Is Jack Mewhort The Colts Contingency Plan At Right Tackle?

Intro: If Gosder Cherilus’ injuries linger into Training Camp and beyond, will the Colts right tackle be second-year lineman Jack Mewhort?

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INDIANAPOLIS – At a Colts OTA practice last Wednesday, Jack Mewhort was drilling at a position where he has one game of NFL experience.

Knowing that practicing at right tackle was still a bit foreign to the second-year Mewhort, injured right tackle Gosder Cherilus decided to step in and contribute what he has learned in starting 100 NFL games.

With Cherilus sidelined during the Colts offseason program, it's Mewhort serving as the contingency plan at the right tackle position.

"(Wednesday), (Cherilus) pulled me aside and said, 'Hey man, think about this when you are doing this or make sure you do this, if this happens,'" Mewhort said last week of the tutorial session.

"He's done it at a high level for such a long time that when a guy like that comes up to you and gives you his time, you listen. That helps a lot. You take those things to the field and I think that's how you learn, and how you get better as a young player. Having Gosder in there watching the film and keeping an eye on me is definitely a big help. I love him and appreciate him for that."

Even having the ability to play at a guard or tackle position in the NFL is something that drew the Colts to Mewhort last spring.

Ryan Grigson watched Mewhort work at right tackle during the Senior Bowl, after the former Ohio State lineman had played all over the line for the Buckeys (started his last two years at left tackle).

Mewhort began his NFL career at left guard. When Donald Thomas went down during the 2014 Training Camp, Mewhort was thrust into a starting role.

Left guard was Mewhort's start in 13 games as a rookie, until he was called upon to slide over to right tackle in the Colts regular season finale due to a banged up Cherilus out of the lineup.

The rookie went back to left guard once the Colts postseason run started last year, but that tackle debut in Tennessee was enough for what has been observed in 2015.

If Cherilus' injuries linger, Mewhort feels equipped for a longer stay at right tackle.

"I made a big point of trying to pay attention to all the different coaching points last year when different guys were getting coached up, and still (do) now," Mewhort says. "If we are in there, and there's a coaching point for a left guard, for a right guard, I'm making sure that I'm writing it down.

"It all goes back to (offensive line coach) Joe Gilbert telling us day one, 'You all are going to be cross-training.' You have to have your head on a swivel. You have to be paying attention to everything, so when your number gets called you can step in and do it at a high level."

The Colts know they have a definite 2015 starter in Mewhort, but where exactly he will line up is a storyline for Anderson.

It can sound cliché the importance of linemen needing to play multiple spots up front.

Guys like Mewhort, Joe Reitz and veteran Todd Herremans are examples of the value necessary when injuries inevitably arise.

"I think we set a good example of that last year, guys coming in, doing different things, different weeks and obviously at the end of the year, we were clicking and gelling," Mewhort says.

"From the outside looking in, it might have looked odd (the postseason lineup on the offensive line), but behind closed doors when you cross train with that many different line ups, you are used to each other. You know each other's tendencies, which is just a huge help."

Behind closed doors, it's Mewhort working at right tackle this spring.

Now, the question becomes, will that continue when the lights come on in September?

A behind the scenes look at Jack's 2015 photo shoot.

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