The Indianapolis Colts head into training camp and the regular season with questions on the offensive line. While the left side and center appears to be set, the verdict is still out on the right side of the unit.
The Indianapolis Colts made great progress towards improving what was once a leaky and inconsistent offensive line in 2015. General Manager Ryan Grigson used four of the Colts’ eight draft selections this year on offensive linemen, including drafting center Ryan Kelly out of Alabama with the No. 18 pick.
Over the years, quarterback Andrew Luck had become one of the most-hit quarterbacks in the NFL, which eventually took their toll on the young player — Luck missed nine games last season due to various injury as the Colts finished the season with just eight wins and missed out on any postseason action.
Of course, Luck’s injury-plagued campaign last season wasn’t all due to the offensive line — although it didn’t help that he never had much time to get rid of the ball more often than not. On too many occasions was Luck reluctant to slide on plays that he would try to extend with his feet.
Such was the case during the team’s week 9 victory over the Denver Broncos. Luck scrambled on a passing play and instead of running out-of-bounds or sliding, he absorbed a blow from linebacker Danny Trevathan — lacerating his kidney and effectively ending his season. Learning to slide is something that Luck himself knows is vital to his health moving forward, as well as his team’s success.
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The Colts hired ex-Miami Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin to be the team’s offensive line coach, and have built depth behind the unit through the 2015 and 2014 drafts. Now the question remains: what will the right side of the offensive line look like come week one?
We already know that Kelly will start at center for the Colts immediately, and both Anthony Castonzo and Jack Mewhort have been solid for the team on the left side — so expect those three positions to be set for the coming season.
Things get shaky on the right side, however. During the Colts’ three-day minicamp practices, Jonotthan Harrison and Joe Reitz saw the majority of the snaps on the right side of the line. Reitz had played guard and Harrison at right tackle.
Head coach Chuck Pagano had stated earlier that the Colts won’t decide upon who exactly is starting on the right side until training camp, but if Reitz and Harrison mesh well together with the rest of the unit, look for them to be starting on the line come week one.
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