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Offensive Line Preparing For Ultimate Test On Sunday Against Von Miller And Company

Intro: On Sunday in Denver, the Colts will see the most formidable pass rushing unit in the NFL. Why have the Colts had past success in limiting Denver’s Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware?


INDIANAPOLIS – He's the first cubby inside the Colts' locker room, but the media crowd around Joe Reitz rarely spills into surrounding lockers.

Wednesday was one of those rare occurrences.

Reitz took notice.

"Wow, I feel like Andrew," Reitz said referring to a hoard of media that is typically only reserved for the man he protects each Sunday.

When Von Miller and the Denver Broncos' ferocious defensive front appear on the schedule, the attention shifts squarely to those in the trenches.

On Wednesday, the first practice day of the week for Indy, the offensive linemen were a hot commodity inside of the Colts' locker room.

They know why.

Denver's front is a menacing bunch with a pair of edge rushers in Miller (who will line up opposite Reitz most frequently on Sunday) and DeMarcus Ware (who will line up opposite Anthony Castonzo) that often obliterate offensive game plans.

But that duo, with both guys ranking in the top 5 of NFL history in sacks per game among players with at least 50 games played, has been awfully quiet against the Colts.

In the last two Colts/Broncos meetings, two wins by Indy, Luck has been sacked just once in 79 pass attempts.

It's astonishing what the Colts have been able to do against two perennial Pro Bowlers that are well on their way to being Canton-bound one day.

Hearing that stat, Castonzo, who will see Ware, the NFL's active leader in sacks (136.0) a lot on Sunday, is left a bit perplexed.

"It might just be turning it up to that next level," Castonzo offers when pressed why the Colts have kept the pocket clean around Luck when playing Denver.

"When you're faced with a challenge and you realize you are going against some of the best guys in the league, you've got to bring your best game to combat it."

Hearing that stat a locker over, Dwayne Allen can't pinpoint a specific reason why the Colts have had such rare success.

"I would love for that to repeat though," says Allen, who will likely be counted on in chipping Miller and Ware at times on Sunday.

"We do a great job of trying to communicate, stressing to keep (Luck) upright and trying to take care of him, so hopefully that continues. (But) they have those stats also, so I'm sure that's going to be one on their board to get them ready for this game."

So Von Miller, the third fastest player in NFL history to reach 50 career sacks, what are your thoughts on having played the Colts three times and yet to record a sack?

"I've never sacked Andrew Luck," Miller says before thinking about why the Colts are the only team he has played against at least three times and yet to have a sack.

"Joe Reitz and Anthony Castonzo are pretty good tackles. They have a pretty good scheme with a pretty good quarterback. It is just tough to get to Andrew Luck, and when you get to him it is tough to bring him down with the ball."

Last week against Detroit, the offensive line group was able to put together three very solid quarters of play in which the Colts produced 35 points.

Luck connected on four pass plays of at least 32 yards and found eight different pass catchers at least twice, with a big pat on the back needing to go to the line's job in achieving those numbers.

Out in Denver, the Broncos were suffocating things around Cam Newton.

Hit after hit after hit to Newton finally got to Carolina in the season opener.

If those hits do come this Sunday, will they rattle a quarterback coming off of a strong 2016 debut?

"With a quarterback like Andrew Luck, it really doesn't (matter) because after every big hit he is shaking guy's hands and congratulating them," Miller says of knocking Luck around.

"They should, but not going against No. 12."

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