Andrew Luck, Colts will be scary after securing O-line stability

INDIANAPOLIS -- Re-signing an NFL player who was picked up off of waivers in the final weeks of the 2017 season and didn't move into the starting lineup until Week 6 of the 2018 season because of an injury might not seem like a big deal to some.

For the Indianapolis Colts, though, the re-signing of right guard Mark Glowinski to a three-year, $18 million contract extension Tuesday is a significant deal.

The Colts fired offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo two weeks ago, but the re-signing of Glowinski means they have their entire starting offensive line -- the same offensive line that gave up an NFL-low 18 sacks this season -- under contract for the 2019 season. It also marks the first time that Andrew Luck will enter a season with the same projected starters as the previous one.

It only took eight years to accomplish that.

Colts general manager Chris Ballard's mantra has always been to take care of the team's own players. That's exactly what the team did in re-signing kicker Adam Vinatieri and Glowinski some six weeks before the start of free agency. Glowinski had the highest pass-block win rate (90 percent) among guards with at least 250 pass blocks this season, according to NFL Next Gen Stats. The NFL average for guards is 78 percent.

"What you would like to happen is you are paying your own guys," Ballard said during his season-ending news conference. "You are rewarding the guys in the locker room who have done the right things for you."

Glowinski, who became a starter in Week 6 after Matt Slauson's season-ending back injury, gives the Colts the best guard tandem in the league with All-Pro rookie Quenton Nelson. They join center Ryan Kelly, and tackles Anthony Castonzo and Braden Smith. That group features three former first-round picks, a second-rounder and Glowinski.

"Every team in the league has physical talent, but the mental makeup of this group top to bottom is by far the best I've been around," Slauson said during the season. "The way they're able to take coaching and immediately apply it is huge. It allows for in-game adjustments to happen real fast."

Having that group back with Luck, who is a front-runner for the NFL's Comeback Player of the Year award, and coach Frank Reich's offensive scheme that puts a huge emphasis on quick passes and protecting the quarterback should make what was an already impressive offense in 2018 even better next season.

Luck threw 239 passes without being sacked, which is the third-longest streak in league history, and the Colts finished seventh overall in total offense and sixth in pass yards per game.

"I think from where we are right now, it's awesome," Glowinski told Colts.com. "But I think just even having a little bit more cohesion that we have is going to be crucial. We did a great job of just making sure that we were pushing through and [making] each other accountable ... Honestly, with the group that we have we can take it even to another level. I feel like we are just getting started."