For the first time since the end of season press conference announcing his extension, Colts head coach Chuck Pagano met the media on Thursday at the NFL Combine. He didn't share much in the way of the team's offseason plans, but he did confirm what many have already noted: the Colts need to add help along their offensive line and on defense, particularly at pass rush.
Regarding the offensive line, Pagano shared his thoughts on the group and mentioned several guys he feels good about, but he added that the interior of the line is really where the Colts need to focus on.
"We feel great about AC [Anthony Castonzo] and where he's at," Pagano said. "He'd be the first one to tell you that he can clean up some things and he'll do that, but we feel great about the blindside in him protecting the backside of Andrew [Luck]. And Joe Reitz came in [and] did a great job at right tackle until we moved him inside and he got hurt, and Denzelle Good's got a bright future, but you want to shore up the middle there. We feel really good about Jack Mewhort where he's at. I think his ceiling is still high and he's got a lot of room to grow, but he's going to do nothing but get better. Again, the interior of that offensive line - the center and two guard spots - is the focal point."
Nothing that Pagano said is new to the discussion, but it's nice to hear confirmation from the Colts' head coach that the team will be looking at the interior of their line. Many have been projecting the Colts to take an offensive tackle in the first round of the NFL Draft, and while that likely won't change, Pagano confirmed what was evident last year: that the biggest needs are on the interior of the line.
The center spot needs work, as neither Khaled Holmes nor Jonotthan Harrison have done enough to inspire confidence or be given the starting spot moving forward. Ideally, the Colts could address the position, but the guard spots could stand to be upgraded as well. Pagano did say they're comfortable with where Jack Mewhort is at as the starting left guard (and they should be, since he has played very well there), but they want to add guards to the mix to give them flexibility and improved play inside. At the right tackle position, it sounds like the Colts could be ok with having Joe Reitz and Denzelle Good compete for the spot, though they could make a move this offseason that changes that.
Basically, the bottom line is this: the biggest needs for the Colts along their offensive line are on the interior, and Chuck Pagano realizes that. While he also spoke of the importance of adding pass rushers, it's clear that the Colts will be looking to upgrade the interior of their offensive line this offseason.