There was a lot to be concerned about regarding the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday night, and the most concerning part of it was the offensive line. And now that we know that Jack Mewhort should return from injury in a few weeks, the most concerning part of the offensive line was quite possibly left tackle Anthony Castonzo.
Now, let’s be clear: everybody struggled up front on Saturday night against the Eagles, and Le’Raven Clark was the worst offender. But considering the fact that he’s probably the third option at right tackle (behind Joe Reitz and Joe Haeg), it’s not as concerning that he struggled as much as Anthony Castonzo’s struggles are.
The Colts signed Castonzo to a four-year contract worth nearly $44 million last offseason with $35 million guaranteed. This year, he’ll have the fifth-highest cap hit among NFL left tackles, according to Spotrac. So when that guy struggles, it’s much more of a concern.
And Castonzo has struggled. He wasn’t too great last year, but he struggled with an injury. So it was easy to just assume that Castonzo’s struggles were tied to the injuries, but that’s what makes his play this preseason especially troubling. He struggled quite a bit on Saturday against the Eagles, but head coach Chuck Pagano is confident he’ll get things fixed.
“Like he said, he is very critical of himself,” Pagano said on Saturday night after the game. “When there is a bad play, one thing we talk to these guys about is you’ve got to be able to, no matter what it is and whatever position you are playing, if there is a bad play you’ve got to be able to put it behind you and you can’t dwell on it because it will lead to two or three other poor plays. We will go back, he’ll go back and look at the tape and we’ll see exactly what is going on from a technique standpoint and fundamental standpoint. Anthony is a smart, smart football player. He is a great left tackle, he just has to play that consistently. He will be the first one to tell you that. I am not worried about AC, he will get things fixed.”
Asked the same question on Monday, Pagano gave pretty much the same answer: “No, AC is going to be fine,” Pagano said. “He will play winning football for us.”
The Colts are counting on him doing just that, as they have enough to worry about with their offensive line. They have a rookie center, a second-year guy making the move to guard, and now will have to replace their left guard for the time being. They don’t need to worry about their left tackle, who has usually been very reliable.
It’s more likely than not that Castonzo will get things fixed. Chuck Pagano’s comments seem to indicate that Castonzo needs to be able to move on from a bad play faster and not let it linger, so if he can do that he hopefully will become more consistent. The Colts definitely need him to, because they certainly don’t need to add another worry to their offensive line.