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Thursday, February 24, 2011
Manning was off his spot more than ever

By Paul Kuharsky

INDIANAPOLIS -- Colts president Bill Polian talked at this time last year about needing to upgrade the offensive line. He never did and expressed regret about passing on tackle Rodger Saffold in the 2010 first round.

The presumption is that the Colts will do more than spend a fourth-round pick (as they did with Jacques McClendon last year) addressing the line.

Mike Lombardi of the NFL Network had some good thoughts on the subject Thursday in the media room at the combine.

“When you watch the tape on Peyton Manning I thought he threw the ball from more different spots than he ever has,” Lombardi said. “And for Peyton, it’s not about sacks, it’s about can we get him to move off his spot? Can we get him to move on the pocket behind the tackles, in different locations.

“This year he did, and that’s their offensive line really breaking down. I think to rebuild the offensive line it’s a two-year process, it doesn’t just happen in a year. Because you have to develop the players to get them physically ready to play the game. So I think Bill’s probably kicking himself because he’s a year behind in the process.”

Offensive linemen are filing through the media room today. Wisconsin’s Gabe Carimi said he’s the best tackle in the draft. Boston College’s Anthony Castonzo, USC’s Tyron Smith and Colorado’s Nate Solder are regarded as first-round tackles at this point.

When it appears there will be talent available at a big position of need for the Colts, the team often seems to go in a different direction. That’s part of the fascination with Polian as a drafter. We aren’t generally going to predict his picks very well.