Look, I've met Ryan Diem and he is a super nice guy. He'll go to the mat for anyone on his team. In my humble opinion, he is one of the most unsung Colts players ever; in the same way Dominic Rhodes, Hunter Smith, and Terence Wilkins are unsung.
But last year, Ryan Diem was simply dreadful as a right tackle for this Colts football team. That opinion was shared by many, including NFL site Pro Football Focus:
Moving On Up: TE Jacob Tamme (-2.2 to +4.5)
Truth be told everyone else on the Colts team that played well this year ether played well last year or didn’t play on the team last year. So we kind of have no alternative but Tamme. After barely playing last year, Tamme was forced into the starting role because of an injury to Dallas Clark. He became a reliable target for Peyton Manning,
catching 7 or more balls in his 11 games. Tamme finished with our fourth best receiving grade for tight ends.
Had a Bad Year: RT Ryan Diem (+9.4 to -25.1)
Not many players regressed as much as Diem did this season. The right tackle had an up and down 2009, and this year there was a lot more down. He allowed 12 more pressures in two less games, and was consistently grading a bit below average in run blocking. This year wasn’t pretty for the Colts, and Diem was one of the reasons why.
Give This Guy More Snaps: LB Kavell Conner (+2.7 in 316 snaps)Pretty much everyone who deserved to see more snaps in 2010 got their chance because of all the injuries the Colts suffered. Conner was pushed into the starting role late into the season to play in the base defense and performed nicely against the run, including a very strong game against the Titans. Linebacker isn’t a strong point for the Colts, so Conner deserves a shot to keep his starting job.
Not surprised to see Tamme and Conner valued so highly in PFF's system. I'm also not shocked that Diem went from +9.4 in 2009 to -25.1. Upgrading both tackle positions has to be the no. 1 roster priority of this club, aside from re-signing Peyton Manning.
I cannot stress this enough (because we stressed it repeatedly during the draft last year): If the Colts do not upgrade their o-line in a big way, there is simply no reason to watch them in 2011. They'll be one-and done again, if they are lucky.
And with a hopefully re-signed 35-year-old Peyton Manning, one-and-done is simply not acceptable.