Perhaps no unit on the Colts roster was happier to have a full offseason in 2012 than the offensive line.
Injuries riddled the offensive line throughout the 2011 season and four new veteran faces made their way to Indianapolis via free agency or trade this offseason.
As the first week of training camp is nearing a close, the new faces along the line are pleased with the progress they are making.
“So far, I think it’s going good,” offensive tackle Winston Justice said. “I still think we have a lot to work on, but so does every other offensive line in the NFL. I just think we have guys that want to get better and that’s all you can really ask for at this point.”
Justice was acquired via trade during the offseason and has started 31 NFL games with the Philadelphia Eagles in his six NFL seasons.
A day after trading for Justice on March 14, the Colts made another move along the offensive line in signing offensive guard Mike McGlynn.
The combination of Justice and McGlynn provided some continuity for the two as they spent three seasons together in Philadelphia.
“I played with Winston (Justice) in Philly so that’s a familiarly to me that’s been a smooth transition,” McGlynn said.
Getting the line to gel together is always a vital key for any group, but takes on added importance in protecting a rookie quarterback. That will still be the case come September but even McGlynn admitted this quarterback isn’t your typical rookie.
“Normally, yes but with Andrew (Luck) he’s not the normal quarterback,” McGlynn said. “Normally with a rookie there’s growing pains, but this guys sharp and he’s on his game.”
Protecting for Luck will be goal number one for the unit and Justice is glad that this unit all shares the same objective.
“The best thing we have is a drive to be better,” Justice said. “I think this group really puts the team first and we just want to be the best individual players we can be and the best line we can be too.”
The four new faces along the offensive line have a combined 25 years of NFL experience and they will mix with some young returnees who are early in their NFL careers.
When asked if the normal amount of time for an offensive unit to feel organized is around a year, McGlynn is hoping this line has higher expectations.
“I think that’s fair, but we don’t want to look at it that way. We want it right now,” McGlynn said. “Like I said, we’ve got that chip on our shoulders. Nobody is expecting anything out of us so we want to make sure these guys in this room are ready to go so we can surprise a lot of people.”
Tags: Andrew Luck, mike mcglynn, winston justice
Posted in Colts Blog
By Kevin Bowen, Colts.com
The Indianapolis Colts wrapped up their ninth of 10 OTA’s Wednesday afternoon under another blue, sunny sky at the Indiana Farm Bureau Practice Facility.
As the OTA’s are coming to a close, the Colts will break for the summer following a week of mini-camp starting next Tuesday.
The Colts will then gather on July 28th as players will report to training camp in Anderson, Indiana before embarking on the 2012 season.
Coach Chuck Pagano called Wednesday’s practice ‘productive’ and knows that despite not being in full pads yet these OTA’s are very beneficial for the team’s development.
“They are digesting everything that we’re giving them, we are making progress and they are working the process,” Pagano said. “(I am) extremely pleased with where we are at.”
Wednesday’s two-hour practice began with some special teams work before the club broke up into positional groups.
A majority of the final hour of practice was spent working on offense versus defense and saw some spirited plays on both sides of the ball.
For the offense, wide receiver Austin Collie made a pair of difficult touchdown receptions in the corner of the endzone.
Rookie tight end Dwayne Allen had the highlight of the afternoon with a juggling touchdown catch that included a celebratory chest bump from offensive guard Mike McGlynn.
Defensively, linebacker Pat Angerer showed that he can be more than just one of the top tacklers in the NFL as he intercepted a pass intended for newly signed running back Deji Karim.
OTA’s will come to an end on Thursday for the Colts and after next week’s mini-camp players will look towards the end of July when the intensity is taken up a notch.
“Training camp, I think is going to be a big thing for us once we put the pads on because a lot of times once you start hitting, once you start really playing football that’s the best way to learn the system yourself,” safety Tom Zbikowski said.
Zbikowski is used to the new defensive system having been a part of the Baltimore Ravens defense for the past four years.
His knowledge has spread to another member of the secondary as veteran corner Jerraud Powers is trying to help his fellow corners learn a new system.
Even though the Colts are just in shorts and helmets right now, Powers knows that the value of OTA’s extends past the playing field and into the meeting rooms.
“Guys got a great idea of what this system is and what they’re supposed to do in it and how it’s supposed to function,” Powers said. “Once we get this little break that’s coming up in a week or two, when we get back to (training) camp it’s not a foreign language to anybody and we can just jump back into it.”
PLAYER QUOTE OF THE DAY
Cornerback Jerraud Powers on hopefully having rookie quarterback Andrew Luck at mini-camp next week:
“I can’t wait just to have him in, see what he’s about and see how he’s going to conduct this team. He’s the leader. He’s our quarterback, so he’s the one everybody is going to look up to and I’m pretty sure he’s going to do a good job doing it.”
COACH QUOTE OF THE DAY
Head coach Chuck Pagano on the team’s running back position:
“Right now, Donald (Brown) has been taking the lion’s share of the first-team reps. We are mixing in the other guys, with Darren (Evans) getting some reps, of course Delone (Carter) has been out, and getting the young guy, (Vick) Ballard, in there. So they have a rep count, a pitch count so to speak, and we are trying to balance (the reps) out.”
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS WAIVE OFFENSIVE LINEMAN JAKE KIRKPATRICK
The Indianapolis Colts waived offensive lineman Jake Kirkpatrick.
Kirkpatrick was originally signed as an undrafted free agent by the Colts on July 29, 2011. He was released following training camp. Indianapolis then re-signed Kirkpatrick as a free agent on March 8, 2012 prior to his release today.
Below is an updated 2012 offseason media schedule for the Indianapolis Colts.
Exact times of practices and media availabilities will be announced the week prior to all activities.
June 12 – 14: Veteran mini-camp
* Player availability each day
* Head Coach Chuck Pagano available on Tuesday, June 12 and Wednesday, June 13
* Colts coordinators available on Thursday, June 14
Tags: austin collie, chuck pagano, dwayne allen, jerraud powers, mike mcglynn, mini-camp, ota, practice, tom zbikowski
Posted in Colts Blog
By Kevin Bowen, Colts.com
Of all the units on the Colts roster to see an influx of new talent this offseason, the offensive line received the most veteran additions with a trio of lineman made the move to Indianapolis.
Center Sampson Satele (6 years), guard Mike McGlynn (5 years) and tackle Winston Justice (7 years) all bring together ample NFL experience to a unit that is trying to blend it’s young talent around them.
Offensive line coach Harold Goodwin talked about each of the new additions and what they will bring the Colts in the trenches:
On Satele: “He’s been in the battle. He’s been in the wars. For him to come in, it’s just transitioning the terminology to what he’s heard in the past and flipping it over. He’s been great because he’s a smart football player and anything I teach him he picks up right away.”
On McGlynn: “He’s a huge leader in the room and a powerful, smart football player.”
On Justice: “We have a flexible guy who can play right tackle or play left tackle.”
The unit was a little undermanned on Wednesday afternoon with first year players Anthony Castonzo and Ben Ijalana both sidelined along with guard Joe Reitz.
Castonzo and Reitz saw extensive action on the line last season and with them sidelined the veteran returnee came in the form of third-year pro Jeff Linkenbach.
“As far as the guys who’ve been here, Jeff (Linkenbach) is doing a great job. (We’re) kind of bouncing him around from tackle to guard, just trying to find him a home because I think he’s maybe one of our top five or six lineman.”
Goodwin said that even though the line is ever changing during the month of May he expects that to change come training camp.
“I know I’m kind of bouncing them around a little bit, but I just told them ‘stick with me’ and once we get to training camp and have healthy bodies we can start slotting guys into a single spot and go from there,” Goodwin said.