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Offensive Line Cohesion A Must For Colts Offense To Flourish

Intro: As the Colts offensive line continues to adjust to new personnel, one constant remains. For the group to achieve the ultimate success, all five members must be working together as one.





ANDERSON – While the Colts skill players are dazzling fans in attendance during 7-on-7 work at Training Camp, there's an eerie quietness on the adjacent practice field.

No touchdowns are being scored on this field and the only sounds come from the occasional grunting, and the frequent clanging of pads against each other.

This is where games are won and loss in football.

The trenches aren't for the faint of heart, when it comes to five guys needing to operate as an uninterrupted group of one.

"It's a team within a team," left tackle Anthony Castonzo says.

"Everybody has to be on the same page. We are working together as much as a unit as any group. It's kind of like one giant body separated into five. Everybody has to be doing the right thing and it's very unique in that sense."

Castonzo and Gosder Cherilus are the veterans of the group.

The two bookend tackles have a special bond themselves dating back to their days at Boston College.

It was Castonzo who helped coax Cherilus to Indy back during the 2013 free agency process, and then eventually housed the Colts right tackle during the offseason.

The tackles have spearheaded numerous hangout sessions among the entire line.

"There's a lot of food consumption," Castonzo, a culinary guru, says with a laugh.

"We get to know each other on a personal level, as well on a professional level. It kind of strengthens that bond. If you are bored or something and need somebody to hangout with it's usually a member of the O-line."

Linemen know they play a position with zero glitz and glamour, yet the first little slip up is magnified for everyone to see.

There are no fantasy debates over a starting left guard but it's up to these five to protect the stars of keeper leagues around the U.S.

"Offensive line is a unique position, where it's the only one on the field where five guys have to do the right thing every play, or the whole play's not going to work," center Khaled Holmes, the main communicator of the group, says.

"There's no other position like that really in sports. It's a unique group and the chemistry has to be right."

As the rain began to fall on Monday afternoon in Anderson, Ahmad Bradshaw had time to talk about guys that don't make the front page of papers.

Bradshaw has been a part of those offensive line get-togethers to offer a small thanks for what they ultimately do for himself, and the entire Colts offense on game days.

The Colts skill positions are littered with talent extending past the starters but Bradshaw knows in order for the offense to look like a well-oiled machine, those five up front have to be singing from the same hymnal.

"They go through so much to fight to get us through the holes and protect the quarterback," the eight-year veteran says.

"My hat goes off to those guys. They get no credit at all and they work so hard."

Highlights from the Colts first preseason game against the Jets.

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