There are many hopeful fans out there (myself included) who believe THIS will be the year their beloved “blue and white” will solidify the struggling offensive line.
From the outside, it appears that if they can get that unit cleaned up through the draft and/or free agency, they are right back in the thick of the “Super Bowl favorite” conversation.
BUT, for whatever reason, GM Ryan Grigson and Owner Jim Irsay don’t seem to see it that way. They seem to believe that the more skill weapons they have on offense, they better they will be, which is absolutely true…most of the time.
However, as we saw during this past season with the additions of Andre Johnson (free agency) and Phillip Dorsett (1st round pick), and no notable changes to that line, that should NOT be the plan year in and year out.
Maybe they should ask the “face of the franchise” and soon to be 20+ million dollar/year QB Andrew Luck who missed more than half of this past year because of the inability of his O-line. Now finally back to 100%, I’m sure he’d have something to say about not wanting to repeat having fractured ribs and a bum shoulder for much of the year.
Now before I continue, let me make it clear that I’m not putting 100% of the Colts issues on the O-line. While they struggled, that is still only 5-6 players out of the 11 on the field AND only 8-10 players of the whole active 53 on any given Sunday.
Andrew Luck as strong and tough as he is, has never really been one to slide or run out of bounds much when he feels he can get extra yards with his feet. We’ve seen him use the “Truck stick” on LBs and DBs just as much as we’ve seen him take hard hits and get back up with that goofy, yet heartwarming smile of his.
The D-line was also lackluster headlined by a suspended, then injured Robert Mathis…A season ending injury to Arthur Jones in the pre-season…and an under achieving 1st round pick in Bjoern Werner, who was cut last month.
The secondary (excluding Pro-bowler Vonte Davis)… The running game that was supposed to be a huge improvement with Frank Gore, wasn’t much better…. and even outside of the “shell” of a player WR Andre Johnson was with “Big Blue”, Indy was still plagued by injuries and dropped passes by the WR core.
Even with ALL that going on, eventually leading them to miss the playoffs for the first year since that terrible (2-14) 2011 season, the focus should STILL be the offensive line.
The last time the Colts used a first round pick on an offensive lineman was back in 2011 on……..Anthony Castonzo!!!! The only main-stay that has been a reliable piece of this unit since he got here.
So why not play the odds again? Especially with so many talented potential draft picks being on the line!
Indy could even stay close to home when looking for top O-line help. The Big Ten is full of big guys ready to throw other big guys around to protect their future $100-million man.
Ohio State– Taylor Decker
Michigan State–Jack Conklin
Just to name a few….
With a little over 24 days left, all we can do is hope that Luck will be able to get some kind of REAL help on the line…and not just some guys Grigson and Irsay decide to pick on the third day of the draft (Rounds 4-7) as in recent years.