Last season was a huge disappointment for the Indianapolis Colts. The organization failed to meet expectations in every area. Most of the time the offensive line is where the problem starts offensively.
- 60 sacks allowed (2nd most)
- 3rd most pressures allowed (3rd most)
- Gave QB 2.3 seconds of time in the pocket (8th worst)
Those are just some of the many passing stats where the Colts offensive line ranked within the bottom half of the NFL. Now a large part of those issues could be because of the inability of Matt Ryan to move around in the pocket and receivers not getting open.
Former Colts, Ravens, and Dolphins offensive lineman Joe Reitz joined the Fan Midday Show on Monday with Greg Rakestraw and provided four reasons why they will bounce back.
1. Personal Accountability
“If you polled those guys last year, especially your veterans. Kelly, Quenton, and Braden didn’t play up to the standard that they set for themselves. And then you had some rookie struggles.”
2. Quarterback Mobility
“Let’s state the obvious, the quarterback and being able to run and move in the offense with Shane Steichen will be vastly different than how it was with Matt Ryan.”
3. Getting Behind In So Many Games
“When you’re forced to throw the ball and the other team is up ten points, I don’t care how good of a line you are and who you are blocking on the other side, it’s darn near impossible to hold up in those passing situations.”
4. Diminished Jack Doyle’s Value to Offense
“He could hold up in-line as the Y on the line of scrimmage, he could go back to that fullback and be the lead blocker, he was the best in the business at cutting off the backside when you have a run to the left and imagine he’s starting left and he’s coming back chopping the defensive end. Our tight ends weren’t even in the same zip code as him in blocking last year.”
All five starting offensive lineman (Bernhard Raimann, Quenton Nelson, Ryan Kelly, Will Fries, and Braden Smith), plus Danny Pinter are returning this season. One of the many players on the Colts roster that must prove that they are apart of the team’s future is their second-year left tackle.
“I do think Raimann really came on the last five-six games. When I watched the tape, I saw a better anchor from him, which I think was his biggest liability. He’s got the feet, it’s the strength, and it’s just playing. I think Raimann will be a lot better in year two.” Reitz stated.
Indianapolis will take on the Buffalo Bills in lass than three weeks for their first preseason game. That will be the first chance we Colts fans will be able to get a sense whether Tony Sparano Jr. has been able to get the best out of the five starting offensive lineman.
To listen to Greg Rakestraw’s conversation with Joe Reitz, download the podcast containing the conversation below! You can always listen to the Fan Midday Show from 12pm-3pm on 93.5/107.5 The Fan, but you can watch and interact with the show by going to the 107.5 The Fan YouTube Channel.
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