It was widely expected that Colts rookie QB Andrew Luck was going to have protection issues this season, as first-year GM Ryan Grigson patched together his offensive line with veteran retreads that fizzled out in prior stops. The hope was that Luck’s blind-side protector, second-year OLT Anthony Castonzo, would be the bright spot of the unit, making great strides from an up-and-down rookie season in which he played hurt most of the campaign.
Unfortunately, Castonzo’s progress has been slow, and word is he needs to add strength and continue improving his footwork and hand placement.
In Castonzo’s defense, he is working in an entirely different scheme under new offensive line coach Harold Goodwin, who has had a difficult job this season given the injuries and overall lack of talent in his group. According to one source, "it remains to be seen if Goodwin can unlock the mystery that is Castonzo."
The source added that while it is way too soon to give up on Castonzo — and the new regime has done a good job not tipping its hand regarding former vice chairman Bill Polian's final first-rounder with the team — it wouldn’t be totally shocking to see Grigson look for a bigger, stronger option after the season, perhaps moving Castonzo elsewhere on the line.
Of course, there is a long way to go in 2012, and Castonzo has shown flashes of being the guy. However, we hear the Colts will need far more proof to feel confident they are providing Luck, by far their greatest asset, with the protection he needs to be at his best.