Colts claimed OT Chris Marinelli off waivers from the Broncos. The lanky Marinelli never fit in Denver, but he'll get a good look with the Colts, who value intelligence in linemen. The right tackle for Jim Harbaugh's Stanford Cardinals last year, Marinelli could be a practice squad stash.
Marinelli is the second Broncos roster casualty to get claimed off waivers this off-season by the Colts (quarterback Tom Brandstater was the other).
To make room on the Colts bulging roster prior to the start of camp, the team waived rookie kicker . Now, I'll get to Marinelli in a second, but first I'd like to examine the Colts releasing Swenson.
We all assumed Swenson was signed so that he could handle a majority of the camp reps at place kicker while Adam Vinatieri continued to rest. With Swenson now gone, the only kicker on the roster is Vinatieri. This likely means that the Colts feel Vinatieri is healthy enough to handle the kick reps in practice, and to kick during pre-season. Of course, if they sign another kicker, all that changes. But, for right now, Adam Vinatieri is the only FG kicker on this roster.
After the jump, we talk Chris Marinelli.
Walter Football ranked the Stanford kid as the 25th best tackle in the entire 2010 NFL Draft. Likely, others felt the same way about Marinelli, which explains why he wasn't drafted by anyone in April. He signed a rookie free agent deal with the Broncos, who cut him yesterday.
At 6'7, 300 pounds, Marinelli is built like a tackle. He's from the just south of Boston (boooo!) and because of his hometown roots in New England, Patriots fans were hoping the Bill Belichick brain trust would draft or sign the local product. There isn't much in terms of scouting reports on Marinelli, save a CBS Sports report linked to an Examiner.com article.
From a pass blocking standpoint:
Textbook knee bend and angled, short steps when set up in pass protection. Mirrors very well, extends his arm and resets to punch and keep defender at bay. Good balance and armbar to prevent ends from using inside moves to get to the quarterback. Gets down quickly on cut blocks but needs to get more into his man's thigh to get him on the ground.
Drives off the snap and keeps his legs churning to push the pile on blocks inside. Anchors well, very strong at the point of attack. Combos from the tackle to linebacker fluidly and with strength. Able to turn his man out of the hole. Will take his man ten yards downfield once attached, if given the chance.
He has the versatility to play guard or tackle at the next level, thanks to his intelligence, size, strength, foot speed and nasty streak.
Intelligent player that plays with a bit of a nasty streak. Cleans up piles and won't back down when challenged. Strong, vocal leader. Father worked for Local 88 Tunnels Workers Union for 30 years, and the offensive line took on that nickname for their group before the season because of its blue-collar attitude.
Since he's had zero time this off-season to work within the Colts offense, don't look for Marinelli to be competing for any starting jobs. If he's lucky, and stays healthy, they've keep him on via the practice squad. He has a noted strong work ethic and a blue collar background. So, already, fans like him. He's stated that he feels more comfortable playing right tackle than guard or left tackle. So, unless Pete Metzelaars wants to move him around, Marinelli is probably going to work mostly at RT.
Oh, and yes, Marinelli was one of Jimmy Harbaugh's most dependable players at Stanford. For those of you who remember Harbaugh as a Colt, here you go (oh, and check out the "rookie from Syracuse" in this clip):