Chris Ballard and the Indianapolis Colts let guards Mark Glowinski and Chris Reed walk in free agency and that decision is hurting the team.
Many were okay with not re-signing either of our rotating right guard players from last season because the Indianapolis Colts had the depth to replace them both. Indy’s general manager, Chris Ballard, is known for making the right calls and allowing younger players to step up when they can.
Letting both Mark Glowinski and Chris Reed walk to new teams in 2022 put Danny Pinter in a position to finally earn his starting lineman spot in the NFL. The fifth-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft started three games in the 2021 season and proved that he could hold his weight on the starting line.
In 2021, Pinter was great as a run blocker, which was ideal considering the Colts’ offense heavily relied on by All-Pro running back Jonathan Taylor. However, in 2022, Indy has not gotten off to a hot start, and the running game has not been used as much. Pinter has regressed as a pass blocker and it appears to be killing all confidence that he once had.
Why did the Colts choose to ride with Danny Pinter?
Danny is a success story for Indianapolis. The former Ball State Cardinal grew up in South Bend, Indiana, and never had to leave his home state to play in the NFL. He is well-liked by fans and many thought he’d do fine in a starting role.
In fact, many fans and Colts media members thought that letting go of proven guard talent didn’t matter much in the grand scheme of things. A mixture of Pinter, Bernhard Raimann, and Matt Pryor was all that the Colts needed at right guard.
Although both Raimann and Pryor have been rotating at left tackle, it doesn’t appear that Pinter is seeing that same type of rotational play on the Colts’ offensive line. With Raimann currently sidelined with an injury, Pryor has been receiving all of the snaps at left tackle.
Indianapolis could very well move Pinter out of the starting role and slide either of the left tackles into the right guard spot, but when will that decision be made is what many want to know.
Mark Glowinski earned a new three-year contract with the New York Giants worth $18.3 million. Chris Reed signed with the Minnesota Vikings for two years and $4.5 million. I get not wanting to pay a little over $6 million per year for a non-premium position that isn’t Quenton Nelson, however, Reed is only making a little over $2.25 million this year.
How did the Colts let Reed walk out of Indianapolis and not even offer him a matching contract or something a little better? Was not paying him $2.5 million per year worth the poor pass protection for Matt Ryan?
The worst part is that Chris Reed went from rotating into the starting lineup to being a backup on the Vikings’ offensive line.
Danny Pinter has been struggling for the Colts
When the Colts have to build into their game plan for starting center Ryan Kelly to help Pinter block Chris Jones, allowing for blitzes up the middle, there is a huge issue. With poor performance from Danny, it is forcing players like Kelly and Braden Smith to look like they are falling apart as offensive linemen.
Danny Pinter is more than just a liability for the Colts’ offense, he’s a liability for the team making it anywhere in this young season.
Football IQ is a big factor in who makes it far in the NFL. Here, it doesn’t even look like Pinter has any to make a play in the red zone. Luckily, the Colts brought in a veteran that got the ball out of his hands quickly for a touchdown early.
Ryan was sacked five times against the Chiefs, which ties the Week 2 stat line against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Three sacks came from block attempts from Danny Pinter. It’s amazing how little effort goes into each of these plays.
In the first video, Pinter gets pancaked by the defender and allows the sack easily. He is out willed by the defender and just played weaker.
In the second, he is lined up against Chris Jones (#95), which forces Kelly to move to the side for the assist, allowing Nick Bolton (#32) to get an untouched sack. Bolton is even lined up in the blitz formation. Instead of Quenton Nelson picking up Bolton, he picks up the edge rusher because a linebacker was coming on the outside against Pryor.
Finally, we see Tershawn Wharton (#98) flip to the other side, confusing Pinter, and allowing Bolton to slide right around him. Hines sees this and moves over to protect, which allows Bryan Cook (#6) to run right through the line late and hit Ryan. Cook should have been picked up by Hines here, but Hines had to move to cover for Pinter.
It’s the poor play on the offensive line that needs to be corrected and it starts with benching Danny Pinter. Oftentimes, an offense can only be as good as its offensive line. If Indianapolis can’t find a way to fix the struggles up front the offense will probably be bad all year.