INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indianapolis Colts’ offensive line will return intact next season — albeit with a new coach.
Right guard Mark Glowinski signed a three-year contract extension worth $18 million Tuesday, assuring the Colts of having all five starters back. Center Ryan Kelly just finished his third season and is still on his rookie contract.
Left guard Quenton Nelson and right tackle Braden Smith were selected by the Colts in the 2018 draft and longtime left tackle Anthony Castonzo will be entering the final year of his four-year contract this fall.
Together, they allowed a league-low 18 sacks and paved the way for Marlon Mack to top the 100-yard mark four times during the regular season — the most by an Indy runner since Joseph Addai in 2007.
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“I think just even having a little bit more cohesion that we have is going to be crucial,” Glowinski said in a statement issued by the team.
“We did a great job of just making sure that we were pushing through and (making) each other accountable even regardless of who they are and all that kind of stuff. Honestly, with the group that we have we can take it even to another level. I feel like we are just getting started.”
There will be a couple of other new faces in the locker room, though.
The Colts also announced Tuesday they have hired Chris Strausser as the new offensive line coach and Jason Michael as the tight ends coach.
Strausser replaces Dave DeGuglielmo, who was fired Jan. 15. Assistant offensive line coach Bobby Johnson, whose previous experience included working with the tight ends, left to take a position with the Buffalo Bills. Tight ends coach Tom Manning left Jan. 18 and returned to Iowa State where he will serve as offensive coordinator.
Under Manning, the Colts had the most productive tight end group in the NFL and Eric Ebron made his first Pro Bowl after catching the most touchdown passes in the league by a tight end, 13.
Strausser is a 30-year coaching veteran who spent the past two seasons working with Denver’s offensive line. He worked the previous 28 years in college, making stops at Washington, Boise State, Colorado, Portland State, Foothill College, San Jose State, Sonoma State, Oregon State and Menlo College.
Michael worked as the Arizona Cardinals tight end coach last season after spending four years on the Tennessee Titans’ staff. He’s also worked with the Chargers, 49ers, Jets and Raiders as well as two stints at the University of Tennessee.
But general manager Chris Ballard’s bigger priority was keeping the offensive line together.
Glowinski moved into the starting lineup in early October after Matt Slauson went down with a season-ending back injury. Glowinski appeared in 11 games, starting nine.
He spent his first three seasons with Seattle before Indy claimed Glowinski off waivers in December 2017.
The moves come one day after kicker Adam Vinatieri re-signed with the Colts for one year.
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