The Colts search for even more competition along the offensive line continues. The NFL transaction wire indicated that the Colts signed former Stanford tackle/guard, Chris Marinelli off waivers from the Denver Broncos.
Marinelli is 6-foot 7-inches tall and weighs 300 pounds, so he fits right in with the Colts focus on getting larger along the offensive line. What makes him intriguing is the fact that he has gained experience all along Stanford’s offensive line during his career, so he could earn reps at any of the guard and tackle positions.
[media-credit name="Liz Hafalia | The Chronicle Photo" align="aligncenter" width="375"][/media-credit]Marinelli’s photo suggests that he is a very athletic and physically imposing lineman. What makes those attributes more impressive is the impressive work of Stanford’s offensive line during the 2009 season.
Marinelli and the offensive line helped the Stanford running game break a 60-year old team rushing record, with 2,692 rushing yards. As the left tackle in his senior season, he also helped the offensive line record the seconds-lowest sacks in the country, allowing only six on the season.
The one red flag for Marinelli is a shoulder injury he suffered in 2008-2009 that kept him out of one contest, and hampered him in others. This issue is tempered by the fact that Marinelli also played 22 straight games, and seemingly missed only one game due to injury — playing in 45 of 48 total games in four years.
It is hard to ignore that the Colts have a history of striking gold with offensive linemen cast off by other teams. Marinelli seems to fit in the mold of what the Colts are wanting to do along the offensive line this season, focusing on size and strengthening the ground ground, and has the kind of versatility Bill Polian and the Colt front office covets in offensive linemen.
For years the Colts have had to do more with less, so this signing should not be ignored as simple camp fodder. Marinelli could be released as quickly as he was signed, but he is also just as likely as any of the other new lineman to make the regular season roster for the 2010 season.