We're all familiar with and understand coach speak, which is when a coach says something you know he's only saying because he's not going to bash one of his players. That's understandable. But then there's what Chuck Pagano said earlier today.
He was asked about Khaled Holmes, which everyone knew was going to happen. This particular question was about whether he ever thought about playing Holmes last year (Holmes played just a handful of snaps all season long in his rookie year). Here's what Pagano said:
"There was really no necessity to, to be honest with you. We never, even though we had shuffled that line and we had seven or eight different lineups throughout the course of the season, it really was no need at the center spot. With having Samson (Satele) available, Mike (McGlynn) going in and getting snaps and having a veteran guy. He's going to line up with the ones, he's going to get a ton of reps and get a lot of experience in the preseason and it's only going to help him moving forward."
Yes, you read that correctly. The Colts head coach said that there was "really no necessity" to play Khaled Holmes last year. I wonder if he'd say the same thing to quarterback Andrew Luck, who was running for his life and getting hit way too much last year. I wonder if he'd say the same thing to running back Trent Richardson, who had no lanes to run through and has taken a beating from fans and media when, in reality, it wasn't totally his fault.
I understand not playing Khaled Holmes last year. I get it, I really do. The Colts didn't want to play their rookie offensive lineman and instead wanted to, essentially, "redshirt" him a year. While I would have liked to see him get an opportunity last year given how bad the line was, I get them not doing so. But to say that there wasn't a need? Really? That's just ridiculous.
The need was clear to anyone and everyone who watched the Colts last year. Andrew Luck was hit more than any quarterback in the league last year. Over the past two seasons, nobody in the NFL has been hit more times while still avoiding sacks than Andrew Luck. Many people, including myself and Battle Red Blog's Brett Kollmann, looked at Trent Richardson's struggles and saw problems with the offensive line - though, granted, a lot of it was still on Richardson. But to say that there wasn't a need for Holmes to play last year? It either means that the Colts don't think Khaled Holmes is better than Samson Satele or Mike McGlynn, in which case Ryan Grigson failed miserably this offseason, or else Pagano's statement was just dumb.
I understand why the Colts didn't play Khaled Holmes last year. I disagree with it, but I get it - they didn't want to throw the rookie in there before he was ready. This year, he appears ready, and he better be since the Colts don't really have a good backup plan. But for Chuck Pagano to suggest that there was "no necessity" to play Holmes last year is completely ridiculous. The Colts desperately needed offensive line help. Either Pagano couldn't see that, they don't really think Holmes is better than Satele, or the Colts just simply didn't want to play their rookie lineman last year. Only one of those reasons is even somewhat acceptable, and it's the one I know was the case (the last one) - but Pagano instead said that there was "no necessity" to play Holmes last year.
Oh, how I've missed press conferences...