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New Offensive Lineman Ben Heenan Drawn Towards Colts Hands-On Approach

Intro: As a former No. 1 pick in the Canadian Football League, Ben Heenan was a highly sought after free agent who chose the Colts for some specific reasons.


INDIANAPOLIS –Financially, Ben Heenan potentially left more lucrative deals on the table.

Ask Heenan though, and the package the Colts offered proved to be the richest.

"The Colts went above and beyond in order to try and get me down there," Heenan said on Tuesday night. "Now that it's all said and done, I obviously owe a lot to them.

"Once everything was laid out in front of me, it was not a very hard choice to come down here and have the opportunity to play with the Colts."

The process of where Heenan's next football move was going to be proved to be more difficult than the decision itself.

Heenan, the No. 1 pick in the 2012 Canadian Football League Draft, grew up in Canada and played his collegiate football in Saskatchewan.

Besides the CFL attention Heenan got after his third straight professional season, a handful of NFL teams pursued the 6-4, 316-pound guard.

"I think it's natural in any athlete to compete at the highest level possible and it's no secret that if you want to do that, that's where you go, to be in the NFL," Heenan said.

"It was an opportunity that wasn't presented to me after college. I always kind of figured if there was an opportunity here during a contact year in the CFL that it was something that would be worth pursing if given the chance. I'm just very thankful for the opportunity the Colts have given me."

When Heenan broke down his choice of the Colts, the factors in the "pros" category varied in degree.

Heenan quickly realized the hands-on approach Ryan Grigson was taking during his workout, realizing how important the Colts GM viewed addressing offensive line needs.

The CFL history of Grigson and Colts players intrigued Heenan (Jerrell Freeman, Henoc Muamba and Duron Carter).

Lastly, Heenan was impressed by the type of people he came across during his visit to the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center.

The first look Heenan will get with the Colts will be at a guard spot, with some center reps also likely.

"On the field, I take it personally," Heenan said asking to describe his play.

"Anything we do whether it's a run played called, you want to get a running back his yards or in the pass game, you want to keep that quarterback upright and want to keep a clean pocket. It's just all about establishing a line of scrimmage."

After getting a first-hand look at Heenan during his workout, Grigson went in-depth into how the Colts see their newest offensive lineman fitting in initially.

"Versatility is an important component to any position group, but I feel it's extra important for the offensive line," Grigson said.

"Ben has played a lot of snaps out there at tackle in Canada, but he has also played guard which we feel is his most natural fit for our league. Due to his intelligence and overall skill set he could also get some developmental work this offseason at center to see if that is a viable spot for him. Ideally, we prefer all our offensive linemen to play at least two spots minimum, so the more you can do obviously the better chance you have to stick on this roster or practice squad for that matter."

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