There are many things that we come to expect in Indiana this time of year. The weather is usually the steamiest of the Summer time, school is about to begin for many, and the Colts are hobbling together an Offensive Line in training camp. This year is no different than years past. Let’s be honest, we all (fans who follow the team) were not completely satisfied with the moves to shore up the line. Jim Irsay has made it known that the team has to do better at protecting Luck and at the same time become multi-demensional.
The team parted ways with their starting Right Tackle for the last two season, Gosder Cherilus because it seemed the team wasn’t completely satisfied with his play during his tenure with the team along with other factors, especially when it came down to injury and unwillingness to renogiate his contract, ushered the end with the team. Enter in Jack Mewhort, the second year player out of Ohio State who had been preparing to play Right Tackle this off season. The team was concerned about Cherilus’ availability and as it turns out it was wise decision.
We know that Left Tackle is locked up with Anthony Castanzo, the only questions that remains is when will he sign his new contract? The other semi-known factor is Khaled Holmes or Jonnotthon Harrison will be the Center. Both have been splitting time, but the odds on favorite at the current time is appears to be Holmes. Toss is the already mentioned Mewhort and you have your outsides and middle plugged in. The only positions left to fill are the guard spots.
We believe that newly signed veteran free agent Todd Herremans will most likely be the starting Right Guard and by process of elimination (and roster players) Lance Louis is currently the favorite start at Left Guard. Herramans has experience coming over from Philadelphia, but the tick against him is his age. Leading many to wonder how much he actually has left. Louis, on the other hand, is more of a fill-in player. Which leads to the question, “Why is he starting?” Simply, he’s the best of what’s left on the roster.
All of this leads back the main question, could the team have done more to prevent this from happening? Sure. They could have targeted big name free agents (Mike Iupati or Orlando Franklin), but it seemed the team was comfortable with what they had or thought they had. At this point there is plenty of time for these disparate players to unify into a cohesive unit. Chances are this group won’t be thought of as one of the better units in the league, but if they can play some meaningful snaps in the preseason they might be able to play just well enough to at least not be awful. They will have to develop quickly, especially with the Colts newly signed running back Frank Gore, to be successful.
Make no mistake, the Colts are expecting to be able to run the ball behind the likes of Gore, Dan Herron, Vick Ballard, and rookie Josh Robinson. They will need the line working in tandem to open up holes for them if they want to achieve the goal of making it to the final game. Sure, Luck will have plenty of options to throw to, but he will need the ability of the running game to help keep defenses from smothering his receivers.
The line may not be full of first and second round stars like the Cowboys built, but they can still be just solid enough for Luck to use his abilities to help him overcome some of their deficiencies. We saw the line last year make a solid push in the playoffs and that was a line that consisted of a revolving door of players. If they can lock in some stability they might be able to do the unthinkable and play in the big game. After all, no one cares how you got there, just the fact that you did.