INDIANAPOLIS – The NFL continues to operate business as usual here in the 2020 offseason, with training camps on the horizon.
If everything does begin on time for camps, the Colts will start theirs on July 28th (veterans report day). This year’s camp will take place at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center, with the NFL mandating teams stay home for camp due to COVID-19.
With the on-field portion of the spring not happening this season, training camp will be the only time this offseason for players to make an impression on the staff.
It’s time to pick back up our ‘burning questions’ series on 1075TheFan.com.
Here are our burning questions at the offensive line position group heading into the 2020 Training Camp:
1. Will the Colts maintain the incredible offensive line continuity we saw last year?
You could get some insane odds in Vegas for the Colts to have the same starting offensive line for a second straight season.
So it’s foolish to debate if the Colts will have the same starting 5 for the entire 2020 season.
But can they still maintain a high-level of durability throughout the year?
That’s key every season.
It means even more to the Colts because they’ve invested so much into their offensive line, have largely built their offense (and team) around that unit and need sound protection to make sure Philip Rivers doesn’t have to move a whole lot.
That’s Ryan Kelly proving last year’s clean bill of health wasn’t a fluke.
That’s Anthony Castonzo showing that he’s found this new success in rejuvenating his body in his 30s.
And that’s the entire group staying away from the month-long absences that might potentially expose their unproven depth.
STAT TO NOTE: The Colts were the only team in the NFL last season to have all 5 offensive linemen start every single game in 2019.
2. Is Mark Glowinski entrenched as the starter at right guard?
It’s a rule for every NFL fan base to continually rip the team’s worst offensive lineman, and want him benched.
For the Colts, that punching bag is right guard Mark Glowinski, even though the Colts have frequently stated that they were/are pleased with the right side of their offensive line.
The drafting of Danny Pinter, and the belief that he’ll be a guard in the NFL, has people ramping up the ‘bench Glowinski’ chatter again.
I’d be pretty stunned if Pinter took that starting job from Glowinski to start 2020.
To begin with, I don’t think Glowinski has struggled as much as the vocal minority thinks. Plus, is a benching for an ‘average’ starting right guard, thus breaking up such rare continuity, and turning to a rookie who has never played that spot, really the risk you want to take?
We should also note that Pinter is hurt majorly by the lack of an offseason program, and possibly a shortened preseason. Every single rep, with or without pads, would have been so valuable to Pinter this spring as he transitions to guard, after playing tight end and right tackle in college.
You can groom Pinter this season, have him as your top reserve, while still having important continuity up front.
STAT TO NOTE: If Ryan Kelly gets a contract extension this offseason, the Colts will have all 5 of their offensive line starters under contract through at least 2021.
3. Does the offensive line need group need depth help?
The Colts are having to replace their top two O-line reserves from last year in Joe Haeg (Buccaneers) and Josh Andrews (Jets).
With those guys out the door, the Colts now must fill spots that many people will overlook this offseason.
After zero outside moves during free agency, and just one draft pick up front (and not until Round 5), it’s a bit up in the air on exactly how the Colts will fill OL No. 6 and OL No. 7.
Is rookie Danny Pinter the favorite on the inside? What about Jake Eldrenkamp at guard and Javon Patterson at center?
Out at tackle, Le’Raven Clark returns, but the rest of the bunch will not draw name recognition, nor much of a recent resume in the NFL.
We’ve stressed this need as something to continue to watch all offseason long.
Perhaps the Colts explore it again during camp, or at roster cuts, but that will still leave some question marks.
STAT TO NOTE: Not one current backup offensive linemen for the Colts played an offensive snap in the NFL last year.