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Jim Irsay met with Joe Philbin to stress importance of improving Colts' offensive line

Colts owner Jim Irsay met with Joe Philbin while the coach was visiting the Colts as a candidate for their offensive line position, stressing the importance of improving the unit up front, according to Philbin was eventually hired by the Colts.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Colts owner Jim Irsay has made no secret about the fact that he wants his franchise quarterback, Andrew Luck, protected better.  In 2013, Irsay tweeted "I DEMAND better" protection for Luck, and he has continued to insist that since then, including this offseason, when he noted that the line must improve and take more pride in protecting their quarterback.

When considering it from Irsay's viewpoint, it makes sense.  He has a franchise quarterback who could very well soon get the largest contract in NFL history and upon whom the Colts' Super Bowl hopes rest - so of course he prioritizes protecting that player.  It makes total sense.

Irsay is committed enough to improving the line, however, that he was involved in recruiting new offensive line coach Joe Philbin to Indianapolis.'s Kevin Bowen recently talked with Philbin, who revealed that he met with Irsay when the coach was visiting Indy as a candidate for the team's offensive line coach job.

"I heard his vision for the organization, the franchise and the team," Philbin said.  "I could feel the passion that he has for this football team, his football team."

Philbin, the former Dolphins head coach, reportedly had received interest from teams regarding a coordinator position, but he ultimately wound up in Indianapolis as the offensive line coach.  Philbin realized Irsay's vision for the team, his desire to see the line improve, and his commitment to winning and was sold.

The coach takes over a crucial role with the Colts, as he's the one now tasked to protect the franchise player.  The line has pieces in place - like Anthony Castonzo and Jack Mewhort - but has a long way still to go in doing their job, which is what Jim Irsay, Chuck Pagano, and the Colts hope will happen under Philbin's watch.

Philbin was the head coach of the Dolphins from 2012-2015, getting fired midway through the 2015 campaign.  Before that, he was the offensive coordinator for the Green Bay Packers from 2007-2011 and has spent time coaching the offensive line for the Packers (2003-2006), Iowa (1999-2002), Harvard (1997-1998), Northeastern University (1995-1996), and others.  Philbin has spent 21 seasons coaching the offensive line in various roles, and he'll be entering his first with the Colts in 2016.  Hopefully, Irsay's vision for improving the offensive line actually comes to fruition with Joe Philbin as the offensive line coach.