INDIANAPOLIS — “There’s a lot of pain and shame in those eyes. Friends — it’s all over.”
That’s the way Lee Corso describes the playing style of hydration specialist-turned-linebacker Bobby Boucher in the hit 1998 Adam Sandler film The Waterboy.
Those who are fans of the flick might’ve had flashbacks Sunday evening when the Indianapolis Colts’ social media accounts released what basically amounts to a teaser for a mic’d up segment featuring Quenton Nelson.
With the mic hot, Nelson is shown jumping out of his stance and pulling to his right, immediately unleashing a battle cry of sorts that only ends after he collides with Jacksonville Jaguars safety Barry Church, who is crushed into the Lucas Oil Stadium turf.
What we’re about to show you might be a little jarring:
There have been plenty of other instances this season, but perhaps this is exactly what Nelson meant when talking to reporters at the NFL Scouting Combine in March, when he said: “As a blocker my mindset is being dominant. I want to dominate all my opponents and take their will away to play the game by each play and finishing them past the whistle.”
Less than two months later, the Colts selected Nelson with the sixth-overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft and instantly inserted him into a starting role at left guard.
Considered one of the best offensive line prospects to come out of the college ranks in years — and maybe even decades — Nelson has been worth that investment, and then some, for the Colts. He hasn’t gone without his share of rookie moments from time to time, but Nelson really seems to be hitting his stride here midseason.
In fact, just a couple weeks ago, Nelson became the first guard to ever be named the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Month, an award he earned after an all-around dominating performance throughout the month of October.
And while the Quenton Nelson hype train is still accepting new passengers, one notable NFL analyst has been singing the Notre Dame product’s praises for a while now.
Brian Baldinger, whose “Baldy’s Breakdowns” film sessions are nothing short of excellent, has been jumping at the opportunity to watch Nelson’s game film as soon as it’s ready in recent weeks, just to see the latest examples of big No. 56’s dominance.
Baldinger knows good offensive line play in Indy, of course, having spent four seasons with the Colts as a versatile piece up front from 1988 through 1991.
And after Nelson’s performance on Sunday against the Jaguars — the Colts earned their third straight win, 29-26, and quarterback Andrew Luck was not sacked for a fourth consecutive week — Baldinger, an NFL.com analyst, has officially put himself out there with a big-time claim.
“He’s already the best guard in football,” Baldinger said in his latest “Baldy’s Breakdown:”
Will Nelson ever slow down? He is a rookie, after all, and he’s used to only playing usually 11 or 12 games a season at the college level, and he’s already at nine with the Colts — with seven more grueling regular-season matchups to go.
His offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni doesn’t see that happening.
“I haven’t seen him slow down at all,” Sirianni said of Nelson last week. “That’s one of the great things about Quenton (Nelson) is that he’s consistent and he’s the same guy every day. That’s something we look for in our players. We don’t want the guys that are up and then down and then up and then down and Q (Quenton Nelson) gives us that steadiness.”
Meanwhile, we'll wait patiently for that full Quenton Nelson mic'd up segment.