Oehser on the Tackles

Oehser on the Tackles

Colts

Oehser on the Tackles

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Continuing his excellent series

* What the offseason might bring: There could be flickers of news at this position in the coming weeks. Johnson is a restricted free agent, and it would be surprising if the team didn’t extend a tender offer to keep him on the roster next season. Such an offer wouldn’t necessarily ensure him a starting position, but considering he has started at both tackle positions and guard during a four-year career, it’s hard to imagine the Colts not wanting him in some capacity. One of the main offseason storylines at the tackle position may be something that takes a while to flesh out and that’s the philosophical approach in the absence of Howard Mudd, who planned to retire following Super Bowl XLIV. Under Mudd, the Colts utilized lighter-then-normal offensive linemen with an emphasis on pass protection. The emphasis on pass protection likely won’t change with QB Peyton Manning around, but considering a failure to convert 3rd-and-short has been costly the past two postseasons, an issue during the offseason will be whether the Colts plan to get a bit bigger and more physical up front. If they do, that could spark a longterm change of approach at every position on the line, including tackle.

* Feeling the draft: This is where the position could get interesting this offseason. With Diem in his 10th season and with Ugoh not starting this past season, this could be the year to again address the tackle position. If the Colts do, the question becomes when. Getting a big-time left tackle often is something that must be done in the first 10-to-20 players and since the Colts likely can’t trade to get near there, the question becomes will a big-time player drop to the last few selections of the first round. This is considered a strong year for tackles in the draft, so it’s possible a solid one could slip within range of the Colts. If that happens, trading up wouldn’t be far-fetched. That’s all assuming we know what President Bill Polian’s thinking, which of course, around the draft very few do or will.

Johnny O doesn’t see this as a trouble spot, but the Colts were good running up the middle, but among the worst teams in football running right and left.  The tackles were the weak link.

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