As we've seen for three weeks now, the Colts OL has had numerous issues. Chief among them is the center of the OL.
While Pryor has had his issues with speed rushers, over all he's been serviceable in pass protection, and pretty good in run blocking. Kelly has also been problematic as a center. With messing up QB exchanges, missing protections, blocks, and just looking like he's lost a step overall, Kelly still has been relatively serviceable in his position, mainly due to his experience, and the requirement that is on him in the blocking game. Part of me believes his regression is due to lingering effects of Covid, and if I'm right, he should start showing improvement around week 6, but who knows at this point.
By far the most offensive part of this offensive line is the play of Danny Pinter at guard. For three weeks now, he has shown us he is not strong enough to play RG in the NFL. Every player that can bull rush absolutely obliterates him in pass pro. (Its honestly concerning to see your RG get rag-dolled multiple times a game.) Quite too often, Pinter just appeared lost on the field - literally just standing around wide-eyed and flailing at anything near.
The Chiefs, who are one of the best in the league at gameplanning, noticed this too. There's a reason why Chris Jones switched from Nelson and spent the majority of his time opposite of Pinter. (Also, why did Kelly continue to not help Pinter after seeing him get absolutely wrecked by Chris Jones? They should have been double-teaming him from the start, but alas.)
Now, while I do believe that he did well at center for us last year, and that may actually be a better position for him long term, for the sake of Matt Ryan's health, his fumble count, our offense's ability to move the ball, and our overall season's outlook, its imperative that we do something about Danny Pinter.
Here's what I propose:
- Bench him for Will Fries or a vet waiver wire pickup and pretend like it never happened.
- Bring on Dennis Kelly (If he's ready) and decide whether you want to play him at RG or shift Pryor back to RG, and play him at LT. (Personally I'd keep Pryor at LT until he completely falls apart, and bring Kelly along at RG)
- Keep Pinter at RG, and make Kelly his permanent double-team. There's literally no reason why Kelly continues to help Q, knowing the issues Pinter is having. Q makes $20+ million as one of the best and highest paid Gs in football, and has held his own against Aaron Donald 1-on-1. I'm sure he can manage on an island. Give Pinter all the help he needs.