The Indianapolis Colts‘ offensive line did an ample job Saturday against the Baltimore Ravens — not allowing a single sack on quarterback Andrew Luck. Is there hope for the unit this upcoming season?
The Indianapolis Colts have struggled to get a competent offensive line around their quarterback in the Andrew Luck era, dating all the way back to 2012.
General Manager Ryan Grigson has stated that on the night that the Colts drafted Luck No. 1 overall in the 2012 NFL Draft, he wrote himself a note on his desk reading ‘Protect No. 12.’ If that is indeed true, Grigson hasn’t held up his end of the deal.
Aside from this past draft when Grigson drafted center Ryan Kelly with the 18th overall pick and used three more selections on offensive linemen, his resume for building up the unit is average at best.
As a result of the shaky moves, Luck has been one of the most-hit quarterbacks in the NFL throughout his first four seasons. He missed nine total games in 2015 due to various injury — resulting in the Colts going 8-8 and missing the playoffs just one year removed from being in the AFC Championship game.
After learning that Luck wasn’t invincible, the Colts decided that it would be a good idea to directly address the issues with the offensive line. Ex-Miami Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin was brought in to be the offensive line coach, and four linemen were drafted by the Colts this past April — the most by any team in the draft.
With Luck not playing in the Colts’ first preseason game in Buffalo last week, he made his first start of the season on Saturday against the Ravens.
With his new-and-improved offensive line, Luck didn’t disappoint — going 8-for-8 with 71 yards and a 103.6 passer rating. The offensive line gave him more than enough time in the pocket to make good decisions — a rare sight from the team.
While it is the preseason and the Ravens were without many starters on both sides of the ball, there has to be speculation as to whether or not the offensive line can truly be different in 2016.
As the preseason progresses, it is looking more and more clear that the Colts will likely have Denzelle Good and Joe Reitz on the right side of the line.
With the addition of Kelly and multiple other linemen to add depth to the position, the unit could potentially only trend up from where it was a year ago.
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