According to Indianapolis Colts left tackle Anthony Castonzo, playing next to All-Pro left guard Quenton Nelson along the Indy starting offensive line has been a tremendous help to his game—calling him a ‘giant body’ (via Colts.com’s Andrew Walker):
“Yeah, I mean, to start off, he’s just such a giant body and how much space he takes,” said Castonzo. “Not to take away from his athleticism or his ability to play, but just having somebody who takes up so much space and is able to move the way he is … and he sees things before they happen. His awareness is some of the best that I’ve ever played with. And it just makes things easier for me; like, if he’s supposed to be there on a block, I know he’s gonna be there, and there’s never a question, there’s never a, ‘Oh, I’ve gotta do this because I’m not sure if Quenton’s gonna get it done.’ He’s always gonna get it done, and it allows me to focus on my job, and I hope it’s the same for him knowing that I’m gonna do my job.”
Blocking on the left side of the Colts’ offensive line, both players have been standouts for one of the league’s best, and most improved units over the past two seasons.
At 6’5”, 330 pounds, Nelson is a literal giant, but he also has the athleticism, quick feet, awareness, and yes, even flexibility that help make him the NFL’s best offensive guard—as a dominant interior physical force.
With bruising blocks like this, it’s easy to see how Nelson has helped Castonzo at times:
Quenton Nelson blocking Melvin Ingram— NFL Stats (@NFL_Stats) July 4, 2020
LT Castonzo + LG Nelson double team steamrolls the 3T on Duo. Nelson's initial fit is perfect. Same foot/same shoulder at the POA: pic.twitter.com/2rXl2Hr4AP— Brandon Thorn (@BrandonThornNFL) November 13, 2018
Before we talk about Brissett, Mack, Hilton, the #Colts O-line was dominate today. 203 rushing yards. Crucial 3rd and 2 here in the 4thQ. Look at the combo block by Nelson and Castonzo(LG/T). Get movement on the defensive linemen before releasing to the linebacker. #NFLSunday pic.twitter.com/bmGRQn3kvc— Thomas Gibbons (@ThomasGibbons_3) September 9, 2019
Playing next to Nelson has potentially brought out the 31 year old Castonzo’s best football—who has always been very good at left tackle for the Colts, but had arguably the best season of his 10-year career in 2019—as he was simply elite.
Castonzo can just focus on his man—without having to also cover for the left guard (i.e., Jeremy Vujnovich previously) and knows full well that Nelson can also help clean up any ‘spillovers’ coming from elsewhere.
There you have it.
Quenton Nelson: giant body, great player.
Just ask Anthony Castonzo—or anyone else.