No Snaps, No Problem. Colts Jim Irsay Praises Ryan Kelly as a Core Player

Jun 7, 2016; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts center Ryan Kelly (78) squares off in blocking drills against offensive tackle Anthony Castonzo (74) during mini camp at the Indiana Farm Bureau Center. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 7, 2016; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts center Ryan Kelly (78) squares off in blocking drills against offensive tackle Anthony Castonzo (74) during mini camp at the Indiana Farm Bureau Center. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports /
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On a day where Andrew Luck made NFL history, his starting rookie center Ryan Kelly also surprisingly received a considerable amount of the Indianapolis Colts attention.

While this year’s 1st round draft pick has yet to take a meaningful snap with the team, Colts owner Jim Irsay clearly has high expectations for one of the team’s newest players–calling him a core member:

However, the high praise didn’t exactly stop there, as Irsay believes Kelly can be a gamechanger not just for the team’s offensive line, but for Luck’s well-being overall: body and mind:

Perhaps spirit. 

It makes sense too.

Jun 7, 2016; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts center Ryan Kelly (78) participates in blocking drills during mini camp at the Indiana Farm Bureau Center. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 7, 2016; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts center Ryan Kelly (78) participates in blocking drills during mini camp at the Indiana Farm Bureau Center. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports /

After investing $87M guaranteed into Luck in a mega-deal that could reach $140M over the next 6 years, the Colts will assuredly seek to keep their highly paid franchise player healthy and upright.

While Kelly can’t be the only answer to the Colts continuous offensive line woes, he figures to be a monumental part of the solution.

Having another cerebral player to assist Luck in managing pass protections should only help the Colts offense and perhaps assist Luck into becoming the elite quarterback he’s more than capable of being.

As such, it’s easy to why the Colts significantly value Kelly and have such high expectations for him going forward. He’s clearly seen as a major contributor for the franchise for years to come and rightfully so.