Andrew Luck was sacked 32 times in 2013, down 9 sacks from the 41 he absorbed in 2012. While -9 sacked taken is an improvement, it isn't much of one. Not for the money in free agents and cost in draft picks that general manager Ryan Grigson has used on the offensive line.
To keep this topic in tune with the article sponsor, if drastic improvement to the offensive line isn't accomplished very soon, the Indianapolis Colts may have to transform Andrew Luck into a cyborg just to keep him playing.
Yes, Luck is big (6'4, 234 lbs.) and tough, but quarterbacks can only take so many sacks (73 in two years) and hits (22 in two years) before they breakdown. As our own in his recent Position of Need article:said
The offensive line is undoubtedly the biggest priority for the Colts in the offseason once again.
For me, at some point the line just needs to get fixed, and fixed NOW! If it isn't, then the people making the decisions need to be replaced. Whether that's Grigson, head coach Chuck Pagano, or offensive line coach Joe Gilbert, I don't know. What I do know is the line didn't improve much in 2013 despite Grigson spending $35 million on Gosder Cherilus, $14 million on Donald Thomas, and using two draft picks on linemen Hugh Thornton and Khaled Holmes.
Despite significant investments in 2013, the running game wasn't very good (20th in the league in 2013 compared to 22nd in 2012) and Andrew Luck got knocked around far too much.
As we'll detail throughout much of the offseason, throwing buckets of cash at potential free agents and investing even more picks in linemen isn't necessarily the answer. Not with all the holes throughout this roster. The Colts front office has made their bed with players like Cherilus (who was actually quite well last year) and Thornton (who was quite terrible). These players are the corps of the Colts offensive line, and the group simply must improve if the Colts are to contend in 2014.
If they don't, then the decision-makers must be accountable. I personally have no desire to see Andrew Luck fitted with reinforced, bullet-proof plates on his chest and thighs just to keep the J.J. Watts of this league off his back.