Chuck Pagano on Anthony Castonzo: ‘I’m not worried about A.C. He’ll Get Things Fixed.’
Along with the rest of the team’s offensive line, Indianapolis Colts starting left tackle Anthony Castonzo struggled in pass protection, blocking for quarterback Andrew Luck against the Philadelphia Eagles aggressive front-seven during Saturday’s 33-23 preseason loss.
Castonzo gave up this sack below, as well as a handful of quarterback pressures on the evening:
While the Colts expect some early season struggles from rookie players such as center Ryan Kelly and right tackle Le’Raven Clark–who was starting in Joe Reitz absence at right tackle, Castonzo is expected to be one of the veteran anchors of this offensive line.
The former 2011 first round pick of the Colts has been rock solid for the team since coming into the league 5 seasons ago. However, after signing his 4-year, $43.6 million extension last September, Castonzo has struggled a bit for his normal high standards and is coming off a bit of a down season.
His head coach Chuck Pagano alluded to the fact that Castonzo–an incredibly intelligent and cerebral left tackle, could be putting too much pressure, while getting overly down on himself after making a bad play:
"“He is very critical of himself,” said Chuck Pagano on Castonzo’s recent play following Saturday’s game. “He tends to, when there is a bad play, one thing we talk to these guys about is that you’ve got to be able to–no matter what it is, whatever position you’re playing, if there’s a bad play, you’ve got to be able to put it behind you, and you can’t dwell on it because it will lead to 2-3 other poor plays.”"
Something that hasn’t been helped by Castonzo now being one of the most highly paid players on the team regarding increased pressure and expectations.
Still, Pagano seemed confident that the 6-year veteran can regain his prior Pro Bowl caliber form, as he’s really just a season removed from playing at that high level of play and production.
"“We’ll go back, he’ll go back, we’ll look at the tape, and we’ll see exactly what’s going on from a technique standpoint, from a fundamental standpoint,” added Pagano.“Anthony’s a smart, smart football player. He’s a great left tackle. He’s just got to play to that consistently, and he’ll be the first one to tell you that. I’m not worried about A.C., he’ll get things fixed.”"
It’s imperative that Castonzo does “get things fixed” because he’s really supposed to be the anchor of this team’s offensive line–especially now with the team’s other best offensive lineman, Jack Mewhort, speculated to be out with a season-ending torn ACL.
Whatever hope that the Colts have of improving their pass protection, a lot of it rests on Castonzo’s shoulders because if he can’t play at a high level then it really sets the tone for this unit to be an underwhelming group yet again.
He’s one of the lone players along the Colts offensive line that the team really can’t afford to be worried about and quite frankly, shouldn’t be–given what we’ve seen from his play in the past.
Here’s hoping he regains his prior form; otherwise, it could be a very long season on offense once again.