If you are a fan of a team using a 230-plus pound person solely has a human battering ram in order to open up holes along a defensive line, then these comments by Colts G.M. Ryan Grigson should put a smile on your face:
As of right now, yes we’ll utilize a fullback. We also can utilize a tight end in a fullback type role. Those things are all evolving as we move forward here and see what we actually have to actually pick in this draft.
Grigson made these and other comments today during a call with the media. Thanks to ESPN's Paul Kuharsky for compiling them.
The Colts never truly utilized a fullback during much of Peyton Manning's tenure as the team's quarterback. Peyton seemed more comfortable running the offense out of two TEs or a three wide receivers. This shift, coupled with all the changes along the offensive line, suggests that the Colts will utilize the power running game more.
Last week, the Colts inked center Samson Satele to a three-year contract with $5 million in guaranteed money. They also signed Mike McGlynn and traded for Winston Justice.
Offensive line is, apparently, a huge priority for Grigson, himself a former-offensive lineman at Purdue University.
"It all starts up front. I know that going way back. . . . If you have holes up there, things aren’t going to go very well for your or for your quarterback."
This philosophy is indeed quite different from how Bill Polian ran things. Polian rarely upgraded positions via free agency, and he often seemed to view offensive linemen as inferior assets compared to skill position players. Wide receivers, running backs, and corners were always valued over linemen. It wasn't until the team started to really look vulnerable that the Colts used a first and second round pick last year on Anthony Castonzo and Ben Ijalana, respectively.
The team also used their second round pick in 2008 on Mike Pollak. Pollak turned out to be a bust, and recently signed with the Carolina Panthers.
For 2012, the new Colts o-line looks to feature LT Castanzo, LG McGlynn, OC Satele, RG Ijalana, and RT Justice. Brody Eldridge is a hybrid TE and fullback. Look for him to be more involved in the offense in 2012.