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Colts Preseason: Offensive Players On The Rise

With three preseason games left, several unheralded Colts offensive players are looking good. Thankfully, two of them are offensive linemen.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
If you're worried at all about the Colts offensive line, this article may help you.

Heading into tonight's preseason game against the Giants, the three players below are making good impressions on offense. Keep an eye on them to see if they continue to prove their worth tonight.

Emmett Cleary, OG/OT

It's time to come clean.

Here at Stampede Blue, we try to give coverage to every player that deserves it and make our audience as informed as possible about everything that matters to the Colts.

We haven't done that with Emmett Cleary.

While fellow rookie offensive linemen Hugh Thornton and Khaled Holmes have been sidelined for weeks with injuries, Emmett Cleary has quietly, and I mean really quietly, played well with the second-team offensive line.

When training camp first opened, Cleary was immediately working as the second-string right tackle next to right guard Jeff Linkenbach. At some point within the next week, those two players swapped positions and Cleary turned into a guard.

Since then, Cleary has consistently performed well in that role. He surrendered zero pressures in 40 pass blocking snaps against Buffalo and looks the part at guard.

Cleary has some decent competition at making the roster as a backup. I don't expect Danous Estenor or Thomas Austin to get in his way, but Linkenbach, Bradley Sowell, Lee Ziemba and Joe Reitz all pose a threat. It doesn't help that Thornton and Holmes are virtually guaranteed spots on the team.

So like many other players, the next three preseason games are big for Cleary. He's definitely on the right track, though.

Kerwynn Williams, RB

Take note of the headline before you react to Williams being here. I'm talking about the offense only, so any struggles Williams showed on special teams against Buffalo are irrelevant to this article.

For right now, just focus on how Williams ran with the ball on offense, because even though many people were down on him after the game, he was pretty effective out of the backfield.

Not only did Williams gain 21 yards (14 after contact) on four attempts and look good running around the left side, but he also pass blocked and caught the ball well too. Pro Football Focus gave him a +1.8 grade for the game, with positive grades in all three areas.

I admit, Williams has a lot of ground to make up to prove he belongs on the roster after his kickoff returns were so mediocre. But what fans saw from him against Buffalo wasn't near as bad as it seemed.

Gosder Cherilus, OT

Yes, I have good news about the starting offensive line. After having a rough start to his training camp, Gosder Cherilus has settled down and is starting to look like the player the Colts thought he would be when they signed him this offseason.

Even though the first-team O-line only played 18 snaps against Buffalo, it was enough to say that Cherilus looked the best out of the five linemen. He didn't give up any pressures in 11 pass blocking snaps, keeping defenders successfully away from Luck.

After years of seeing Linkenbach, Ryan Diem and Winston Justice do the exact opposite at right tackle, Cherilus' play was encouraging.

It's starting to look like he, Anthony Castonzo and Donald Thomas will have to make up for the deficiencies of Samson Satele and Mike McGlynn, if that does end up being the starting offensive line this season. That means that Cherilus will have to be even more mistake-free than he was in Detroit.

So far, he looks up to the task.