Colts Confident in Jack Mewhort at Right Tackle
While the Indianapolis Colts are hopeful that Gosder Cherilus will be their starting right tackle come training camp, uncertainty still remains. The 8-year veteran is rehabilitating from a knee injury among other physical ailments. The backup plan is 2nd-year offensive lineman Jack Mewhort, who can play both guard and tackle effectively.
Ideally, Cherilus will be able to come back fully healthy, and Mewhort can slide over back to guard which is probably more of his natural position. However, the latter has been getting the majority of his reps in practices at right tackle this offseason, and the Colts are clearly confident with him at the position:
"“I like the fact that he’s played the position, on both sides in college,” said General Manager Ryan Grigson. “I like the fact that Jack in a similar way of Anthony Castonzo, I feel like he has a certain determination about him, and a certain aptitude of intelligence and toughness. And he cares so much, that he’s going to get the job done. And I think the athleticism is there at right tackle, and I think that he’s a tough guy. And like I said, just like A.C. (Anthony Castonzo), if he has to play that position, you know’s he’s going to do a very good job. It’s because he won’t accept otherwise. He’s his own harshest critic.”"
Having started 17 games for the Colts last season (including playoffs), Mewhort is looking to build off an impressive rookie campaign. The versatile offensive lineman started 15 games at left guard and 2 games at right tackle, so he already has considerable experience at both spots along the offensive line. Whether right tackle will ultimately be his long-term position remains to be seen, as Grigson has said that has yet to be determined:
"“You know I think the situation will determine that because I think as a rookie, doing what he did, he had his rough moments like any rookie is going to,” Grigson said. “He was also battling through a knee all year. To his credit, he didn’t let that conquer him, and he helped us, played a lot of good football for us. You always are going to be better in your second year, regardless of the position you’re at, but I think that’ll shake out itself. Because you know, we want to have the best 5.”"
Whatever the case may be, the Colts are clearly confident in Mewhort’s ability at right tackle. While the team is still hoping that Cherilus can come back fully healthy, Mewhort appears to be a solid contingency plan otherwise.
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