INDIANAPOLIS --- A.Q. Shipley feels like he's back where he belongs, but he isn't just talking about returning to the Indianapolis Colts. He's talking about returning to playing the center position on the offensive line, a spot head coach Chuck Pagano said Wednesday Shipley would continue to start at moving forward, after the Colts picked Shipley up off waivers from the Baltimore Ravens one week before the start of the regular season.
"I think getting back to my natural position at center has been big for me. It's where I feel comfortable. It's where I played in college. It's where I succeeded in college. It's where I succeeded in the NFL," said Shipley Wednesday.
That wasn't the case during his time in Baltimore though, before he was cut.
"Obviously, I got an opportunity to play at guard last year at Baltimore. It was great for experience, played well for the most part," said Shipley. "Getting back to center is where I feel comfortable, and getting in here with Andrew (Luck). He makes everything easy."
The Colts offensive line is making it easy as well for Luck, graded as the #1 pass blocking line so far this season by Pro Football Focus.
"It's pretty solid. I think it has to do with the way the games have gone for us. We're throwing the ball a lot. I think Andrew might lead the league right now in pass attempts per game," said Shipley, which is accurate with Luck tossing 42 passes per game. "We're taking what teams are giving us. We're lining up. They have eight or nine in the box, then you have to throw the ball and do things to get them out of the box. Andrew's doing a heck of a job completing passes, and it will only continue to grow."
Growth is something that Shipley says he's seeing as well individually in his crash course back in the Colts offense over the past month.
"This is a whole new offense than I played in during 2012," said Shipley, before explaining what he's tried to polish since week one. "Just really getting more and more comfortable with the calls, more and more comfortable with communication. I feel really good where I'm at. That first week I had six days to learn. Obviously, there were some things that were a little cloudy. With every day, with every rep, with every practice, with every game, the looks and the communication and everything becomes more comfortable for me."
And now Shipley is back feeling at home both with the Colts and at center.
"It was weird, because I always looked at myself as a center, but they put me in at guard. They liked where I was at at guard. When I came back this preseason, (the Ravens) basically had me playing guard only," said Shipley, who says he just tried to take it all in stride. "It's not my call. My job is to do whatever they tell me to do."
Now, the Colts coaching staff is telling him to play center, and he's doing a pretty good job at that...once again.