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
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