Chuck Pagano Talks Offensive Line Depth; Robert Mathis Evaluates The Progress Of Bjoern Werner

Posted Jul 25, 2014

Intro: The Colts wrapped up their second walk-through of the 2014 training camp on Thursday morning and next up was media availability. What did Chuck Pagano and Robert Mathis have to say in their media sessions from Anderson?

ANDERSON – As with most mornings at training camp, the highlights come from the media sessions with Chuck Pagano and selected players.

The on-the-field work will come this afternoon but around lunchtime each day, will take a look at three interesting quotes from that morning’s media sessions.

In today’s media scrums, Chuck Pagano talked about the snap counts of Robert Mathis/Bjoern Werner and the versatility up front.

Also, Mathis shared his thoughts on Werner’s development.

Chuck Pagano on how the Colts are handling Robert Mathis and Bjoern Werner at outside linebacker:

“We’ve got to prepare for reality. Reality is we aren’t going to have Robert for the first four weeks, so we’ve got to get the other guys ready to go.”

“At the same time we can’t let Robert sit around for four weeks because then it turns into essentially eight weeks, if we did that. Bjoern is going to get the lion’s share of the reps with the 1’s. We will get Robert what he needs as far as individual drills. You saw him in there with the 2’s from time-to-time so he can stay sharp.”

Bowen’s Analysis: It’s a difficult situation for defensive coordinator Greg Manusky balancing the reps between Mathis and Werner, knowing that he will be without his starting outside linebacker for the first month of the season. You have to plan accordingly Werner for some elite offenses and at the same time, know that Mathis will in all likelihood start for the rest of the year. Mathis says the reps on the sideline aren’t hindering him too much, considering most vets his age don’t participate in all of practice. The NFL’s leading sacker from last season does think the game time away will allow him to be a bit fresher come October 5 against Baltimore.

Chuck Pagano on if this is the most offensive line versatility he’s seen:

“This is the most I’ve seen, back-to-back seasons. You guys probably saw Khaled Holmes in there at center. You saw Donald Thomas in there at center. You saw Jack Mewhort in there at center, Jon Harrison in there at center. You saw Jon in there at left guard.”

“We’ve got a group of guys that are very, very bright, really passionate about football and have versatility.”

Bowen’s Analysis: The first padded practice is still a couple of days away but we have already seen some shuffling along the offensive line. The tackles are set but the interior is going to continue to see different bodies all across the three spots. Undrafted rookie Jonotthan Harrison is someone Chuck Pagano praised yesterday and the Florida product has played some left guard, to go along with his normal center reps. Donald Thomas and Jack Mewhort have been splitting first team left guard reps and both are playing some center too. For now, Khaled Holmes and Hugh Thornton are occupying the center and right guard spots. Pagano made it very clear though that the Colts have plenty of versatile parts along the offensive line and we should start to see some settling happening up front once the pads get put on Sunday.

Robert Mathis shares his thoughts on the development of Bjoern Werner:

“He’s going to shine. He’s getting off the ball, knows his assignments and he’s playing some good football.”

“He can play fast. It’s more reaction than thinking.”

Bowen’s Analysis: At times, it is a bit odd to look out at the Colts first team defense and not see a No. 98. Mathis and Werner’s lockers are just a few spots away from each other back at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center. Werner will now be trying to fill the shoes of a guy who he played with on the Madden video game growing up. Mathis says he’s seen Werner improve from “leaps and bounds” since last year. Yesterday in practice, Werner was involved in a pair of interceptions and also showed some nice pass rush ability off the edge.


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