Our O-Line Stinks Again
August 1, 2011 Leave a comment
I must say I was sincerely disappointed today when I got the text saying that Charlie Johnson was signing with the Minnesota Vikings. Johnson has played in 73 games for the Colts since entering the league. Johnson wasn’t that much liked among fans, as he often was seen as a weak spot on an already weak line. He was playing LT, one of the most important positions in football because it protects the quarterback’s blind side. In Johnson’s case, that quarterback was Peyton Manning. When the Colts drafted Anthony Castonzo in the 1st round of this year’s NFL draft, I was really exited. I was exited because I thought Castonzo was a fantastic player and in fact he was my number 1 choice for the Colts but I doubted he would be there for them. But I was also really exited because Castonzo could take Johnson’s spot at LT and could then move to guard, or at the very least to the other side of the line to RT. I think LT was not his strong spot. I thought the Colts o-line could actually be a strong spot.
And then we lost Charlie Johnson.
Johnson wasn’t just a reliable guy on the field, but he was the ultimate team player. He was a great guy and influence in the locker room, and he wanted to stay in Indy. But it is my growing belief that the Colts flat out don’t have much money to spend at all right now, even for Johnson.
Currently, the starting line is likely Linkenbach, DeVan, Saturday, Ijalana, Diem. Castonzo hasn’t signed yet, but he will and once he does he will take Linkenbach’s spot. Still, with 2 rookies starting this line looks to be potentially worse than last year’s terrible line. And Peyton is already hurt.
I’m going to be honest: this one hurts the Colts more than alot. Not that Charlie was such an outstanding player, but the lack of replacement and his versatility to play anywhere hurts. The Colts flat out HAVE to protect Peyton Manning. Manning’s quick release is the only reason he doesn’t get pulverised 20 times a game. After losing Charlie, the Colts have questions on the o-line. Big questions. And if they don’t answer them before the Colts open September 11th, Manning could be hurt there in the season opener for the second straight year. With a shaky offensive line and a shaky defensive line and an unexperianced linebacker core and an injured Peyton Manning, this team is flat out not a super bowl contender. This is only the first day of training camp and there is pleanty of time to work things out, but right now there are BIG questions on the o-line. It starts with getting Anthony Castonzo in camp right away.
In other news…
DT Daniel Muir signed with the St. Louis Rams last night. Wish him the best of luck (unless he’s playing the Colts).
CB Kelvin Hayden is going to visit the Washington Redskins this week. If the ‘Skins get Hayden, they are getting a good player. He was just overpaid in Indy. Not his fault, but Bill Polian’s.
I’m hearing the Colts signed LB Darry Beckwith. Phillip B. Wilson included him on the list of inactives today, but I hadn’t seen anything about it. I trust Phil a lot and so I believe that this is official. Besides, he’s at camp and I’m not. And also, Phil is a great guy and a great source for Colts news at the Indianapolis Star or on twitter at pwilson24. Must follow.
Lastly, the Colts OT Ryan Diem, DT Eric Foster, OG Kyle DeVan, QB Nate Davis, RB Joseph Addai, S Al Afalava, Beckwith, DT Antonio Johnson, QB Dan Orlovsky, OT Michael Toudouze, K Adam Vinatieri and S Melvin Bullitt all did not practice today and can’t until Thursday since they signed new contracts. Peyton Manning (neck) and WR Blair White (back) also didn’t practice because they are on the PUP list.
More observations coming soon. Follow me on twitter at Coltsfanwilson for up to the minute Colts news.