For the first time all season, the Colts offensive line put together the starting five that they carried into the 2012 preseason with them.
Left guard Joe Reitz got his first start of the season on Sunday after playing sparingly in his season debut against the Titans.
“It felt great,” Reitz said. “It was tough being on the sidelines and not getting out there but it felt really good to get back in the lineup.”
Reitz and the offensive line helped protect Andrew Luck on Sunday afternoon as the quarterback was sacked just once on 50 drop backs. That effort came against one of the league’s best pass rushes.
While Luck wanted to thank his protection in keeping him clean for the most of the afternoon, it was Reitz returning the favor on Monday.
“We give a lot of credit to (Luck) first off because he continues to do great things back there. He can make up for a lot of mistakes,” Reitz said.
“He’s so athletic and can move around that a play is never over. As linemen, we have to sustain our blocks and make sure that we are blocking to the whistle every play because you never know what’s going to happen back there.”
The pass protection was dealt a little adversity with center Samson Satele and right tackle Winston Justice leaving the game due to injuries.
Now, Reitz and the offensive line will move forward to a rematch with the Jacksonville Jaguars in three days.
“We got a quick turnaround now and got to go to Jacksonville right away because we got a real big one Thursday night,” Reitz said. “It’s really going to come down to preparation and taking these three days here, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and making sure that we’re ready to go because it is such a short week. The mental preparation becomes even more important in a short week like this.”
Back in the starting lineup and getting to contribute on the field for Reitz is something he has longed for since the start of the regular season.
He had been regulated to a spectator for the first six games of the season but now is happy to be apart of a group that has positioned themselves in the top half of the AFC.
“I think that we’ve got a bunch of guys that are hungry, a bunch of guys that love the game. We have a great leader in coach Pagano who’s put forth the message from day one back in April of what we were going to do. Now, B.A. (Bruce Arians) is carrying the torch,” Reitz said.
“We just have a bunch of guys that love the game, want to get better and our best days are ahead of us. We’re moving forward. Like coach said, there’s not rearview with this team. We’re moving forward trying to get better every week because we know that we still have better football to be played.”
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