The most important player on the Indianapolis Colts is Andrew Luck. The rookie out of Stanford has shown that he is likely to become a star in the NFL and has the ability to fill the large shoes of Peyton Manning. But in order to achieve sustained success the Colts must keep Luck healthy. And to do that they must address their offensive line issue.
Colts fans were expecting a long rebuilding process. When the team released Manning following the 2011 season, they admitted they were committed to the rebuilding process. But things sped up in 2012. New head coach Chuck Pagano became an inspiration as he battled leukemia. Bruce Arians took over and did a fantastic job leading the Colts to an unexpected playoff appearance.
From a players’ point of view it was a very successful year. Through the draft the Colts brought in several players who could be key contributors to this team for years to come. But while most of 2012 was surprising good, there is currently one troubling spot on the roster of great importance.
The Colts offensive line in 2012 was terrible. It was obvious to anyone watching the team that they were a liability. There was some good individual play but they weren’t very strong as a unit. That becomes a problem because the Colts success is built on the health of their star quarterback and they must keep him healthy.
Of course quarterbacks can be successful with a poor offensive line. Aaron Rodgers had an MVP caliber season in 2012 despite being sacked more than any other quarterback. But while Luck may be able to run an effective offense with a weak offensive line, there’s a huge risk. A quarterback that gets hit a lot and doesn’t get hurt is simply lucky. Because more times than not one of those hits will knock him out for a while.
So while the Colts have a few issues to address this offseason, none are more important than the offensive line. The health of Luck is of the utmost importance and the Colts can’t afford to risk that health with a suspect group in front of him. If they can figure out how to improve that line this offseason, the Colts could end up with a very dangerous offense for a long time to come.