INDIANAPOLIS – In a week many thought the Colts would find their future at left tackle, it was the name ‘Sam Tevi’ that the Colts brass mentioned more than any.
It started with Chris Ballard throwing out Tevi’s name following the Colts passing on the left tackle position following the first two days of the draft.
“We’ve signed some offensive linemen,” Ballard began in describing the plan at left tackle this offseason. “Tevi (has) played a lot of games in this league and we’ll continue to scour the market…”
While the endorsement isn’t massive, it is at least more than what the Colts have said for other in-building tackle options, i.e. Julie’n Davenport and Will Holden.
On Saturday, Jim Irsay also mentioned Tevi.
“I really think keeping the four (Quenton Nelson, Ryan Kelly, Mark Glowinski and Braden Smith) where they are, and if it’s Tevi to start with and Tevi to finish with, that’s a possibility,” Irsay said of not wanting to move Nelson or Smith to left tackle.
“I think Tevi’s body of work shows that he’s very capable. He’s a veteran that I think can get the job done. There are other options that could come about that we could look at. I’m very confident. .. I know I’ve talked to Chris and obviously Frank Reich, whose offense is looking to unfold under this scenario, we had a lot of conversations about it. Going into the first two picks (last weekend) and seeing what might materialize, we weren’t in a panic mode, and we believe that if we were playing a couple weeks from now that we would have an outstanding offensive line with Tevi (at left tackle) — and we’re just going to see where we go from here and what other opportunities present themselves. Still, September is a long way away, and a lot of other things and possibilities could come up. We’re going to look at all possibilities that could help us.”
Other possibilities for the Colts are still there, with familiar available names to current staff members out there in Eric Fisher (113 career starts) and Charles Leno (94 career starts), who was released by the Bears on Monday.
If those don’t matriculate for the Colts, then Tevi appears to be the top guy internally.
Tevi, 26, signed with the Colts back in March, and was thought to be a potential swing tackle option for a team needing better offensive line depth.
A 6th round pick in 2017, Tevi has started 44 career games. He’s mainly been a right tackle, only starting at left tackle for one season (last year with the Chargers). At left tackle in 2020, Tevi was ranked by Pro Football Focus 77th out of 83 graded offensive tackles, struggling especially in the run blocking aspect of the game.
The biggest question/limitation surrounding Tevi has always been around his strength, and holding up against more powerful defensive linemen.
Despite that, the important decision makers of the Colts are mentioning him as the guy getting the first crack this offseason to replace Anthony Castonzo (pending another free agency move).
No matter what the Colts did this offseason, replacing Castonzo was going to be a step back.
How much of one would a player like Tevi be?