Indianapolis Colts General Manager Chris Ballard was hired by the Colts in 2017. From day one when he was introduced, his main goal was to build a strong offensive and defensive line.
“In this league you win up front. You win on the o-line and d-line, and if you’re not good up front it’s very difficult when you get into December/January football.”
Fast forward to week one of the 2021 season, Carson Wentz was sacked three times and hit a total of ten times during his first time in a Colts uniform. Former Indianapolis Colts offensive lineman Jeff Saturday joined the Fan Morning Show with Kevin Bowen and Jimmy Cook on Monday and attributes a lot of the struggles to the lack of time the offensive line worked together.
“The issue for us wasn’t just not playing pre-season games, but there wasn’t practice reps. It just did not look oiled. I don’t think people realize how important reps are for offensive lineman, no difference than Wentz and the other receivers because they just aren’t accustomed to being together. Offensive lineman are the same way, when there’s games and there’s things happening on the outside, you have to communicate, you have to be able to pass them off, and we did not do that in that area of the game.”
The good news for the Indianapolis Colts is that left tackle Eric Fisher’s return could be sooner than later. Last week Fisher practiced three days, but was held out of the season opener. Jimmy Cook asked Saturday on how Fisher will help the offensive line when he returns.
“I think Fisher being over there just understanding pass sets, feeling more comfortable about running a guy around the rails, and sitting on his inside. He’s played a lot of football and so I think his margin for error will be higher just because he’s been at that position, he understands what the battle is out there, and with him and Quenton Nelson playing side-by-side it’ll be a quick adaptation in. I don’t think there will be a ton of communication issues because he played with a similar quarterback in Kansas City with the movement of Patrick Mahomes.”
It’s unknown when Fisher will be able to suit up for Indianapolis come Sunday. Between now and then though, the offensive line and coaching staff will have to put a lot of their attention towards containing three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year in Aaron Donald.
To hear the full conversation, click the link below and be sure to listen to The Fan Morning Show with Kevin Bowen weekdays from 7-10am on 93.5 and 107.5 The Fan!