INDIANAPOLIS -- When Colts owner Jim Irsays talks, you definitely make sure to listen, because you never know what he's going to say.
One of Irsay's latest comments centers on the team's offensive line, the same unit that has played a part in quarterback Andrew Luck's taking a significant pounding during his first five seasons in Indy.
"Let me say this: The offensive line is fixed," Irsay said this week. "I'm telling you guys, the offensive line is fixed. The reason I'll tell you it's fixed is because [former Colts offensive line coach] Howard Mudd told me it's fixed. If Howard Mudd tells you it's fixed, trust me, it's fixed."
The offensive line problems are fixed?
That's a bold statement, considering that Luck has been sacked 156 times in his career and that the Colts gave up 128 quarterback hits in 2016, second most in the NFL. Luck has missed eight games over the past two seasons because of injuries partially due to poor offensive line play.
Indianapolis' offensive line should be improved because the unit returns its core group from 2016, when the Colts started three rookies, led by center Ryan Kelly. This is the first time in Luck's career that Indianapolis is returning its key O-line players from the previous season.
Consistency on the line -- and a healthy Luck -- should put the Colts in position to have one of the NFL's better offenses next season after finishing eighth in scoring at 25.7 points per game in 2016.
"We've worked hard to bring in the right type of players [on the offensive line]," Irsay said. "We're ready to run the football and protect Andrew."