This is a topic that so many, including myself, have beaten with a rubber hose until we were blue in the face. The Colts’ offensive line woes are on-going with no real light at the end of the tunnel. The team moved their best option at left guard to right tackle this preseason because the guy they had, Gosder Cherilus, couldn’t hack it. That left a void in the middle of the line where the power run gameplan will have the team’s running backs trying to make their plays. Now one of their more experienced offensive guards, Hugh Thornton, is down and has been said to be week-to-week. What is the plan here Grigson?
This is not a problem that the team is just now facing. In fact, it’s been a problem since Andrew Luck was drafted in 2012. The offensive line hasn’t been addressed like it should. They team has studs in both Castonzo and Mewhort, but there’s very little that is impressive outside of that. Lance Louis can’t be their real answer at left guard and Todd Herremans hasn’t been doing so hot this preseason. Khalid Holmes is still fairly unproven, but more and more Colts fans and media are finally seeing what he can bring to the table. The middle of this offensive line is so thin that rookie Kitt O’Brien could see significant playing time this Saturday against the Bears. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all about cultivating young players and bringing them along. Hell, who knows, O’Brien could grow into a pro bowl guard for the team for years to come, but do we really want to play the wait and see game right now?
There are a couple of obvious choices here for the team. The first option is one everyone is talking about and that’s bringing in Evan Mathis. He is older, but from all accounts can get the job done still and is a sure shot better than any player the Colts are currently thinking of using at left guard. That is if they don’t want to move Jack back to the position where he will have the most success and sign a free agent right tackle like Jake Long. Long does have injury problems, yet could be the best option. These two options are band-aids for the team. They won’t be long term and they will have to address their continued problem again come next offseason.
The third option, and the one I like the most, is move Mewhort back to left guard and let Joe Reitz be the starting right tackle. That way you can bring in a guy to start that knows the system and the team. Reitz knows how to play right tackle and does a decent job at it. Is Reitz a 16+ game starter? Who the hell knows, but it’s the best option the team has in which they don’t have to spend money and fix the problem in house.
The Colts don’t have much depth on the o-line and it has haunted them for the last three years. Grigson has never really addressed it and that worries me. How can you not address the position in which protection for the future of the franchise is most vital? I don’t think any of us are expecting the Dallas Cowboys offensive line, but like one that doesn’t seem like it’s patch worked together. It’s time to make a move somewhere so this line can gel together properly and hopefully hold up for the entire season. If this team is to live up to the hype they have to have the big uglies up front to pave the road.