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Chuck Pagano: Offensive Line Continuity is a "Premium"

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Colts head coach Chuck Pagano once again stated that "there's a premium placed on continuity" when it comes to the offensive line.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Since 2000, only one team has had less continuity along the offensive line than the Colts did in 2014, according to Football Outsiders.  No team in the NFL had more starters along the offensive line than the Colts did (10) and no team in the NFL had more starting combinations than the Colts did (11).  In short, the Colts had little continuity up front, an area that surely led to a number of the struggles to protect Andrew Luck.

While head coach Chuck Pagano has said before that continuity along the offensive line is important, last year's struggles have likely placed an even bigger emphasis on that aspect going into the 2015 season.  When speaking to the media on Saturday during rookie mini-camp, Pagano emphasized that continuity is crucial.  When asked whether he'd like to have a set five despite the team's versatility up front, Pagano said, "Absolutely.  It's like the end of the season when we had the same starting lineup for three, four weeks, whatever it was.  There's a premium placed on continuity.  So I agree with you 100%.  It's great to have guys that can move around so when you get in a pinch or if somebody goes down you have the position flexibility there, but certainly you'd love to get the pieces in place and have it week-in and week-out."

Last year, the lack of continuity up front was due to both injury and to Pagano experimenting with the center position, but that likely hopefully won't be the case in 2015.  While the Colts can't really control injuries, they can control who they start, and the top five are looking to be pretty good.

Of course, Pagano wouldn't yet declare who those starting five will be, though he has an idea.  "You guys have your thoughts," Pagano said.  "I have my thoughts.  As an organization we kind of know where we're at with that thing, but it's fluid.  It's always fluid.  I just feel good that we have a great room, a great group of guys.  They work well together, they're smart, they're tough, they've got the right demeanor."

While Pagano won't say it, I will: the starting five currently looks to be Anthony Castonzo at left tackle, Jack Mewhort at left guard, Khaled Holmes at center, Todd Herremans at right guard, and Gosder Cherilus at right tackle.  Of course, there are still questions left about this, however, such as who will win the center competition between Holmes and Jonotthan Harrison, whether anyone will be able to beat out Todd Herremans at right guard, whether Gosder Cherilus is healthy, and whether the Colts would move Jack Mewhort to right tackle if Cherilus isn't.  Those questions all need to be answered, but at this point it looks like those five will start, if healthy.

And if all five of them remain healthy, this could be a solid unit for the Colts and likely the best unit Andrew Luck has had since joining the Colts.  That's not saying a lot, but one of the biggest things that could help the starting offensive line is to gain experience playing together so that they are familiar with each other.  And if Chuck Pagano's comments are to be believed, "there's a premium placed on continuity" - which would certainly be a nice change from a unit that had the least continuity of any team a year ago.