During training camp, offensive coordinator Bruce Arians was asked about the importance of developing depth along the offensive line.
“You’ve got to have seven guys and if you think you’re just going to play with five, that doesn’t happen,” Arians said. “That’s Godsend if that ever happens. We went to the Super Bowl with seven offensive tackles and four quarterbacks in Pittsburgh.”
“The next man standing, the next man in line, he jumps in and he plays. There’s no drop off. There’s never an excuse for an injury. If you’re a backup, you’re one of the most valuable players on the team.”
Just two weeks into the regular season, the Colts have experienced every part of what Arians said back in August.
-Left tackle Anthony Castonzo is the only penciled in starter who has been at his normal position for each of the first two games.
-At left guard, Seth Olsen has started both games for Joe Reitz (leg).
-At center, Samson Satele left the Vikings game late in the second quarter with a knee injury and was replaced by right guard Mike McGlynn.
-At right guard, when McGlynn slid over to center, newly signed lineman Trai Essex played the final two-plus quarters on Sunday.
-At right tackle, Jeff Linkenbach has been playing there since Winston Justice exited the Bears game with a concussion.
Through eight quarters of the regular season, the Colts have already used seven different players along the offensive line with Reitz still waiting to make his season debut.
Head coach Chuck Pagano talked about his beat up offensive line and their availability come Sunday.
“(Satele) saw the doctor, the MRI came back and it was negative so he’s just got some bone bruising in there but he’ll be day-to-day,” Pagano said. “We anticipate him being available for the game but you never know. If Satele isn’t able to go, then McGlynn will get the nod at center.”
During the 2010 season with the Eagles, McGlynn was the starting center for 14 games after starter Jamaal Jackson went down in the season opener.
“It’s a challenge just because we haven’t worked together and guys are just coming in,” McGlynn said of the ever-changing line. “It’s tough, but there’s not going to be any excuses come Sunday.”
Justice was a full participant at practice on Wednesday and his return to the line would give the Colts another veteran presence to protect Luck.
Tags: anthony castonzo, bruce arians, Jeff Linkenbach, joe reitz, mike mcglynn, Samson Satele, Seth Olsen, Trai Essex, winston justice
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Maurice Jones-Drew had a little fun with a few of his friends on Wednesday afternoon.
Jones-Drew is back in uniform after a tumultuous offseason dealing with a contract dispute and is looking forward to seeing a familiar foe on Sunday. He explained why he decided to end his holdout a few weeks ago.
“I love you guys too much,” Jones-Drew said joking with the Indianapolis media via conference call on Wednesday. “I actually came back for (Antoine) Bethea and he knows why.”
Bethea and Jones-Drew have the same agent and the two Pro Bowl players each had a little fun with each other on Wednesday.
“The whole time I was out, (Bethea) was texting me making sure I was ready,” Jones-Drew said. “We have a great competitive spirit amongst us. That’s my man. It’s always good to go against him.”
“We’ve just become great friends just from on the field, all those battles, all those times you get to run into somebody, you want to get to know him a little bit as you try to make them look bad and vice versa.”
The normally quiet Bethea even had a few words for his friend, who will turn foe for about three hours on Sunday.
“I’m not happy to see him back but I’m happy to see him playing the game that he loves,” Bethea said with a grin.
“We spent some time in the offseason together. We’ll poke fun here and there. I don’t really want to poke too much fun this upcoming week so he can kind of take it easy a little bit. It’s all fun and games.”
The friendship with Bethea isn’t the only one that Jones-Drew has in the Colts locker room.
Outside linebacker Justin Hickman was Jones-Drew’s college roommate at UCLA and was in his wedding this past April and is ready to hit his ‘little’ friend.
“I’m just looking forward to hitting him,” Hickman said of Jones-Drew. “At UCLA, we couldn’t really hit him too much. But now it’ll be fun to get a lick on him.”
The three friends all share the same agent and this offseason spent a little time together.
Some trash talk was exchanged between the trio and Sunday’s meeting will be the first of two contests to decide who can walk their talk.
“It’s funny, every Fourth of July we get together and go out and all I heard was how (Bethea) stood me up on the goal line last year. That was good fuel to the fire (laughing),” Jones-Drew said.
The laughing will be put on the back burner come 1 p.m. on Sunday. Once that final whistle blows on Sunday, you can be sure to find the trio talking on the field.
“I have a lot of history up there. I hang out with a lot of those guys,” Jones-Drew said. “They’re good people off the field. It’s going to be great. It’s another task and it’s another great competitive game for us.”
Tags: antoine bethea, Justin Hickman
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