Ever since Howard Mudd retired, Peter Metzelaars' coaching of the offensive line has left a sour taste in our mouths. I mean... does this man have a backbone in his entire body? First off, allowing Bill Polian to destroy any opportunity of success this season by releasing Ryan Lija (a pro-bowl caliber guard). We all have questioned this decision, especially after paying the man, to just let him walk without a suitable replacement? Speak up dude, this is Metzelaar showing his incompetence. How about making a decisive evaluation of your players? Last time I checked Lija was heading up one of the best rushing teams in the NFL.
Next up, Tony Ugoh. Now, I won't say he was the right successor to Tarik Glenn, in fact, I believe he was a horrible choice to get for a future first round pick. But, when the team announced they were planning to slide him over to the left guard position, I believe a collective hope resided upon us all he'd magically find success there . And before we knew it he's injuried, much like everyone else on this team, only to be sent to injury reserve and later released. Unlike skilled players like Bob Sanders, the team was ready to drop him like someone prairie dogging to the bathroom. I wish he was given a legitimate shot to sure up this line and provide more push in the run game. Yet again, Polian pushes Pete's hand (or not) to say enough is enough even thou the line fail to correct this matter in the draft or free agency. Way to go!
Here we are today, with a make shift line made up of, you ready for this... No one drafted higher than a 4th round selection. A tackle in Jeff Linkenbach playing out of position at guard, while four others who were drafted to play guard/center sit on the bench. Charlie Johnson protecting Peyton's blindside who is a pretty good guard, pretending to be a tackle. Speaking of pretending, with all the injuries they have Jacques McClendon throwing on a number 80 jersey to make us believe he's a tight-end. If the Colts feel that confident putting him in the starting line-up than suit him up at guard, the guy is 6-3, 320 pounds and benches over 600 pounds. But, we're all lead to think Metzelaar and Polian know who makes up the best starting five, after they claim to have thrown all of them in a pot and let the cream rise to the top. However, Ryan Diem (starting right tackle) is in a serious decline and remains with the starters. Even when he continues to hurt this team with his play, penalties, and side stepping defenders like a matador on their way to bulling over (our most important investment) Peyton "F@ck!ng" Manning. Injuries are one thing stupidity is another, I wouldn't trust them with evaluating any offensive linemen on the team currently or in the draft. Just listen to Jamie Dukes from the NFL Network, the man is dead on when making offensive/defensive line player grades. Otherwise, Polian misses with more guys like Tony Ugoh, Steve Justice, and Mike Pollak. Poor Mike, I feel the worst for you, twice now you've been sent to the bench for some undrafted player taking over your spot. Are you bound to be another failed high round selection in the recent Polian years? From a reader's stand point there was far less criticism aimed at you in the weeks leading up to your demotion.
If its all about putting the best talent on the field than in my opinion the O-line would get the most productivity from this set-up:
LT - Jeff Linkenbach
LG - Kyle DeVan
C - Jeff Saturday
RG - Jacques McClendon/ Mike Pollak (if unsuccessful)
RT - Charlie Johnson
Its beyond perfect by a long shot but, with what's left out there to work with could sub-vice until the season ends. Afterward, the Colt either breakdown and spend some money on a free agent or listen to someone who knows what their talking about at that skilled position. Because there's only so many times you can swim with the sharks before it bites you in the ass. Listen to a lifeguards, since superior talents like Jeff Saturday don't fall through the cracks every year.
Would you choose to keep Pete Metzelaar around after everything you've seen this year so far? Do you believe he's really putting together the best line-up for Peyton Manning? I just wonder how long of a career Peyton has left if he has to depend on the personnel the coach is bring out week to week?