Earlier today, new Colts offensive lineman Brian Schwenke had a chance to speak with the media, and he explained the reason he signed with the Colts: he said they offered him an “opportunity to compete” for a starting spot, according to the Anderson Herald Bulletin’s George Bremer.
Additionally, FOX59’s Mike Chappell noted that Schwenke said he knows it will be at right guard instead of center because Ryan Kelly is already entrenched as the starting center.
A question many have been asking since the Colts signed Schwenke a few days ago has been what the lineman’s role will be, with most assuming that it will probably be as a depth guard/center, in a very similar role to the one that Jonotthan Harrison occupied last year. But Schwenke seemed to make it clear that he’ll have an opportunity to compete for the starting right guard spot.
That statement shouldn’t come as any surprise, however, especially if you’ve been paying attention to Chris Ballard’s emphasis on competition. The new Colts GM is looking to increase the competition level all over Indy’s roster so that guys have to fight for starting spots, and it’s likely that all of his free agency moves will be driven at least somewhat by that desire to improve competition. So with Brian Schwenke, the Colts add a guy who has played in 41 games and started 28 of them during his time with the Titans to push Joe Haeg, Le’Raven Clark, and Denzelle Good on the right side of the line. That’s a good thing.
None of that means that Schwenke will wind up as the starting right guard, however, as it’s probably best to think of Joe Haeg as still being the frontrunner to start at that spot. But the Colts don’t want to just hand those spots that are up for grabs out automatically, so they’re adding guys like Brian Schwenke to compete. He choose the Colts because of that, and it’s been a major emphasis by Chris Ballard already during his short time in Indianapolis. That emphasis will surely continue, too - and it means we’ll have a competition to monitor on the right side of the Colts’ line this offseason and into training camp.