INDIANAPOLIS – What Jim Irsay wanted to emphasize to new line coach Joe Philbin upon his hire was reiterated last month at the NFL's Annual Meetings.
The Colts offensive line is near the top (if not at the top) of the team's offseason checklist.
"We are looking to make it better. There's no question about it," Irsay said in Florida at the meetings.
"We feel that we have some key pieces here, but we are looking to make it better."
The interior of the line is the focus in improving that group.
This month's NFL Draft (April 28-30) is where the new faces are going to have to come with the Colts currently holding six picks over the seven rounds.
At the League Meetings in March, Irsay went into detail on how he views some pieces of the line.
- Denzelle Good: After four rookie starts last year, Good has his Owner speaking very highly of the 6-6, 345-pound lineman. Irsay believes Good can be a starting right tackle or guard in this league.
- Jack Mewhort: Irsay called the second-year guard an "outstanding prospect" and believes he can play there ("his best position") for 10 years.
- Joe Reitz: "A nice swing option," according to Irsay, Reitz gives the Colts a more than capable starter who can slide in to play guard in a pinch.
- Hugh Thornton: Irsay labels Thornton as the 'X-factor' of the offensive line group. Staying healthy and eliminating the mental mistakes is what Irsay believes is holding Thornton back from being a consistent starting guard.
Irsay went onto say the Colts are looking "carefully" at the center position. In an ideal world, and Irsay was clear the draft dictates to you, the Colts would bring in a center and a guard/tackle body via the draft.
Whatever does transpire come draft time, Irsay is clear on what area to develop is most on his mind.
"We know that protecting Andrew and running the ball is something that we have to improve on."