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Offensive Line Burning Questions Heading Into OTAs

Intro: Players return for work on Monday, April 17 with the start of the Colts offseason program. What are the burning questions along the offensive line going into the 2017 offseason?


INDIANAPOLIS –We are less than a week away from players flocking back to the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center for work.

The Colts will start their nine-week offseason program on Monday, April 17.

Over the next week, will take a look at the "Burning Questions" for all remaining position groups going into the 2017 offseason.

Here's a look at the offensive line burning questions heading into the team's offseason program:

Who starts on the right side of the offensive line?

When the Colts have talked about the offensive line this offseason, they feel very good about left tackle (Anthony Castonzo), left guard (Jack Mewhort) and center (Ryan Kelly).

The right side is up in the air.

To end the 2016 season, the Colts had rookies RG-Joe Haeg and RT-Le'Raven Clark occupy the right side spots.

Haeg and Clark have to be the favorites for those starting jobs going into 2017.

With those two in the lineup last December, the line played at its highest level of the season.

If those two can build off what Chris Ballard has observed on film, the Colts will have a young offensive line core of five former draft picks, four of whom were taken in the first three rounds.

Competition for those right spots should come from Denzelle Good (who has started before at right guard and right tackle) and Brian Schwenke (an option at guard).

Remember, when the Colts played their best in the trenches last year the line had four of the five spots look like this: LT-Castonzo, C-Kelly, RG-Haeg and RT-Clark. Normal starting left guard Jack Mewhort was on injured reserve.

STAT TO NOTE: Since Andrew Luck was drafted in 2012, Anthony Castonzo has been the Colts' starting left tackle in 77 of 80 games.What is the most important key for the offensive line in 2017?

The word that every offensive line is striving to achieve, even though it takes gobs of luck to do it*:


That word has been absent from Colts offensive lines for quite some time, well before the days Andrew Luck got under center.

Last year the Atlanta Falcons had the same starting offensive line the entire season. No coincidence their offense carried them to the Super Bowl.

Good news for line coach Joe Philbin: Besides Schwenke, all of the guys competing for the top 7-8 spots on the line started at least a game for him last season.

This group knows each other, has trained together this offseason and finished last season on a high note.

If the health cooperates, this bunch has the young talent, with starting experience, to become a much more consistent unit.

STAT TO NOTE: Joe Haeg started at left guard, right guard and right tackle last season. He became the NFL's first rookie offensive lineman to do that since 1999.What does the depth look like along the offensive?

First, the Colts are looking to add another offensive lineman in the draft.

Might that be a swing/tackle, as they try to find another body similar to the recently retired Joe Reitz?

We know the left side is set.

Joe Haeg and Le'Raven Clark should be over on the right side, competing with Brian Schwenke and Denzelle Good.

Last year's seventh-round pick Austin Blythe is an interior body.

The Colts also signed Fahn Cooper earlier this offseason. Cooper, a tackle, was a 2016 fifth-round pick of the 49ers.

Chris Ballard has mentioned the Colts would not be opposed to keeping 10 offensive linemen if the numbers allow for it come roster cut down.

If Good and Schwenke do not start, they are likely reserve options.

STAT TO NOTE: Last year the Colts took four offensive linemen with their eight picks. It was the highest percentage of offensive linemen they had ever taken in one draft.[*

ICYMI: Quarterback Burning Questions*](**

The analysis from those producing content on does not necessarily represent the thoughts of the Indianapolis Colts organization. Any conjecture, analysis or opinions formed by content creators is not based on inside knowledge gained from team officials, players or staff.*

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