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Indianapolis Colts

Rob Chudzinski Challenges Colts Offensive Line

Intro: After making some significant changes up front early in 2015, the Colts offensive line received a challenge from new offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski for the final half of the season.


INDIANAPOLIS – The "swagger" of Rob Chudzinski's message in his first meeting as Colts offensive coordinator was the grandest takeaway.

Chud also wanted to speak directly to a position group that is described as anything but "swag" in the trench lifestyle of the NFL.

In the first half of 2015, Chud had observed a Colts offensive line group that had grown through some significant early season changes.

"Those guys have shown improvement. I know they've shown improvement," Chud said of the Colts offensive line after a half of 2015.

"I challenge them to be one of the best offensive lines in the NFL. They need to feel that and believe that to achieve that."

Following back-to-back losses to start the year, constant pressure from opposing defenses was a theme.

After major reshuffling, the Colts have settled on a starting five that has helped pave the way for 100-yard games in five of the last seven weeks.

"The run game's improved (and) the protections have improved as the season's gone on," Chud said. "That's something that we need to continue to get better. It's not there, but we will."

Colts offensive line coach Joe Gilbert also believes his unit is beginning to come together.

In Training Camp, the Colts practiced almost exclusively with a first-team offensive line of Anthony Castonzo, Lance Louis, Khaled Holmes, Todd Herremans and Jack Mewhort.

Two weeks into the season, the line made a seismic shift.

Mewhort was heading back to the left guard spot he occupied for virtually his entire rookie season of 2014.

Hugh Thornton and his physical mentality in the run blocking game entered the lineup for Herremans.

At right tackle, the Colts were turning to the athletic Joe Reitz to occupy a position he held down more than adequately during the team's playoff run last season.

Despite not having really any Training Camp time together, the offensive line is pointing in the right direction, according to Gilbert.

"Now they are feeling comfortable next to each other. They are getting to know each other and I think we are starting to play well together," Gilbert says.

"There are obviously some things that we have to clean up. We've got to do a better job of protecting (the quarterback), but I think we are steadily making progress."

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