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Sunday, February 23, 2014
Grigson: Offensive line play has to improve

By Mike Wells

INDIANAPOLIS -- The word “consistent” was used quite often by Indianapolis Colts general manager Ryan Grigson and coach Chuck Pagano during their media portion of the scouting combine.

So you knew the offensive line would be one of topics in the discussion.

The line was better -- they could only go up after bad play in 2012 -- only giving up 32 sacks compared to 41 during quarterback Andrew Luck’s rookie season, but the unit wasn't consistent.

“Offensive line play has to improve,” Grigson said.

Injuries and poor play at guard and center were the biggest factors for the line not living up to expectations.

The Colts used seven different offensive line starting lineups last regular season. One of their starting guards -- Mike McGlynn -- is a free agent. Donald Thomas, who missed most of last season with a torn tendon in his quad, is expected to be. Hugh Thornton was pressed into the starting lineup after Thomas was injured. He struggled liked rookies do at times, but that doesn’t mean he won’t have a chance start at again with a strong offseason and with McGlynn being a free agent.

The wild card in the equation is center Samson Satele.

Grigson didn’t give exactly give Satele a ringing endorsement when asked about his future with the team last week. Grigson said, “This is an evaluation process and we have a plan in place.”

The knock on Satele is that he gets overpowered too often by defensive tackles.

Why didn’t Grigson come out and say they plan to release Satele?

There’s no guarantee Satele will get released and the Colts don’t have to make that decision now. Cutting Satele will likely increase the price for what the Colts will to have pay for another center because free agents at that position know they'll need a starter.