Colts' transition on lines requires patience

The Colts are making a lot of big changes all at once.

  • To a new general manager and coach.

  • From Peyton Manning to Andrew Luck at quarterback.

  • From a 4-3 that played Tampa 2 to a hybrid 3-4 that will play far more man coverage behind it.

  • And from small to big.

It’s not easy to, literally, reshape a roster.

The team brought in bigger people where it could, with an emphasis on the lines. Nose tackle Brandon McKinney is listed at 345 pounds, rookie nose tackle Josh Chapman is 316 and end Cory Redding is 315. Right tackle Winston Justice is 317 and right guard Mike McGlynn is 327.

“You have to actually have the bodies available to start making that transition,” GM Ryan Grigson said. “When they come available, you watch the film and you see if they are an upgrade or not. Because sometimes a smaller body is still the better choice because they are the better football player, have better technique or can hold down the position better.

“In our situation, you have to be patient. You only can build through waiver claims, free agency and ultimately in the draft.”

Though all teams are physical, the Colts under Bill Polian were a team that relied on finesse and speed.

The new Colts seek size and power.

All 10 defensive linemen on the current roster weigh 305 or more. Last year the team had just two of 11 defensive linemen who finished the season on the roster or on IR who topped 300.

Of the 16 offensive linemen with the team currently, only starting center Samson Satele isn’t 300 pounds. He’s listed at 299. Last year’s team had three offensive linemen who were under 300 pounds.

“They brought in some guys, the first time I saw them I was like, ‘Sheesh, how much do you weigh?’” cornerback Jerraud Powers said. “Guys were saying 330, 340. If you ask Pat Angerer and Kavell Conner about their first couple years here, they probably haven’t had a D-tackle that’s that big. That’s going to take a lot of pressure off the linebackers.

“I’m excited for it. I’m glad that once we get in warm-ups, we’re going to look just as big as the team we’re playing. I remember one year we played the Cowboys and I looked across and thought, ‘God, these guys are like giants out here.’ That’s the whole style of the 3-4 hybrid system. You’re going to need some big guys, especially up front, some guys who can push the pocket.”