INDIANAPOLIS – Caution, the full pads have been on for two Training Camp practices.
But, as the Colts inch closer to their preseason opener and the 2017 regular season, the most scrutinized position group on the roster is starting to mold into a firmer group.
Is it now time to work that starting five together as much as possible over the next month?
"It is very important at that position, probably more so than any on the field offensively or defensively, to have continuity," offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski said at the start of Training Camp.
"So as soon as we get that and the sooner we get that the better, we'll want to start working those guys at those spots."
The Colts appear to be keeping the same five that was expected to start up front coming into camp.
But that five has changed where they are lining up.
From left to right, the Colts are looking like this: LT-Anthony Castonzo, LG-Joe Haeg, C-Ryan Kelly, RG-Jack Mewhort, RT-Le'Raven Clark.
The flipping of Mewhort and Haeg has balanced out the experience up front.
It has now given the Colts a true veteran on each side of the line, potentially aiding the ability to handle stunts, a problem area for the Colts last year.
"That is a good part of that," Chud says referencing the Mewhort/Haeg flip. "It won't be the determining factor necessarily, but that's definitely a positive.
"One of the things we want to have is flexibility depending on how the competition goes. We know Jack can play left guard in his sleep, so working him some on the right side, early in camp, this is the time to do it."
Third-year lineman Denzelle Good has also rotated in at times, mostly in place of Mewhort, who is working his way fully back from last year's season-ending knee injury.
Year Two under position coach Joe Philbin has brought a level of advancement for the offensive line.
"In 2016, it kind of felt like we were starting from square one and I think we are certainly further along than we had been a year ago," Philbin says.
"Based on our installation, we can put some things in the offense a little bit faster. I think that the retention has been very good. I kind of liken it to math, to where it is Algebra 2 and trigonometry now. Last year, maybe with a lot of guys, it was Algebra 1. I think we are a little further along."
A week into camp, with competition still coming through more full-padded practices and preseason evaluation, the Colts look to have an early starting offensive line with the preseason opener less than 10 days away.
Depth spots remain up for grabs, but is it indeed time to build the C-word?
"At the end of the day, we're trying to find the best five," Chuck Pagano says of the O-line.
"Get them cemented in there, keep them healthy so we can have some continuity there."
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