There are few units on a football team with which continuity is emphasized more than the offensive line.
Colts fans have heard that talk plenty over the past few years, as the team has tried to get the best starting five out there so that they could gel together and get used to playing with each other. We know that it hasn’t produced the best results, but that’s not the fault of the emphasis on continuity.
While playing together is the best way to develop and cultivate that continuity, the Colts’ offensive linemen have been attempting to do so this offseason by working out together and being around each other.
According to the Anderson Herald-Bulletin’s George Bremer, some of the linemen were back at the team facility within three weeks of the end of the regular season to begin rehab work, and then as the offseason has gone on they’ve been back lifting weights together and bonding as a unit. The idea behind that? The group felt like they ended the 2016 season strong, so they want to keep growing and building on that continuity.
"Working together, being accountable to one another, I think that's the main thing," guard Joe Haeg said last week, according to Bremer. "If I was working out by myself back in Minnesota or something, I wouldn't have as much of that push, that competition between the guys. I think that's just a huge part of working out together."
Hopefully, that work together will pay dividends on the field. We always talk about the talent level of players and who should wind up winning each spot (and we’ll keep talking about that, too, since there will be competition at right guard and right tackle), but it should be noted that the players are trying to at least develop a sense of continuity and unity this offseason as best they can by working out together. Hopefully that work that they’re putting in now will pay dividends when the season rolls around.
Of course, continuity is only as valuable as the players who are out there, as if a team has the wrong guys on the field the continuity won’t be the most important thing. But for a unit that could use every advantage possible, this is a smart thing for the players to do, and it also provides encouragement for Colts fans that the linemen seem to be doing everything they can to make sure that they’re as ready as possible for the season.
For many reasons, including this one, it seems there may actually be some reason for optimism about the offensive line entering the 2017 campaign.