The 2012 Colts’ offensive line is going to be a completely different from the patch-up job the Colts have had over the last few years.
It has been anyone’s guess who will man the guard spots, with Anthony Castonzo, Samson Satele, and Winston Justice all seemingly entrenched in their respective spots. According to a new report from the good folks at Pro Football Weekly, the left guard will be left up to a competition between Joe Reitz and Ben Ijalana, both of whom have struggled with nagging injuries.
Reitz’ first real year as a starter was last season, and he played reasonably well in nine games (injured for the other seven), making the left side of the line fairly strong, both in run blocking and pass protection with rookie Anthony Castonzo. Ijalana missed the majority of his rookie season with a knee injury, but looked good in limited time at left tackle against Tampa Bay.
According to the report, the coaches have also praised Jeff Linkenbach, who was terrible as a starting right tackle in 2011, ranked 70th out of 76 starting tackles by Pro Football Focus in 2011. However, as a backup, Linkenbach has the ability to temporarily fill in at either tackle position, as he did in 2010 with some effectiveness. I would guess that Linkenbach will stick on the roster with a spot as a backup tackle.
As for the rest of the line, we’ll see how it plays out in training camp, but it looks like Mike McGlynn will start at right guard. I’m not sold on McGlynn as a player, but he’s reportedly shown great leadership during his limited time with the team, a value that should not be undersold. Castonzo, Satele, and Justice should fill out the rest of the line at their respective positions.