On Monday, Blake Freeland sat down with local media to discuss how he has grown this season as a rookie lineman who was propelled into the starting lineup very quickly. How has Freeland gone from being a backup to lining up against stars like Aaron Donald, Jeffery Simmons, Myles Garrett, and more?
The simple answer is with support from his teammates and coaches. When asked what the coaching staff and players like Braden Smith has done to help him grow into a starter, Freeland said that everyone was really supportive and showed a lot of confidence in him from the jump. The coaching staff continues to push him to get better each day.
Tony Sparano Jr. is a large reason for the improvement in the Colts offensive line in the 2023 season. After the Colts saw one of their worst years with a highly paid offensive line, Sparano was brought in and did a great job turning the entire unit around very quickly.
Between ensuring that players are keeping their hips underneath him and focusing on the little things in the pass and run blocking, Sparano has seemed to focus on the little things that make it easier for the offensive line. Blake credits this to the offensive line's success this season, where most coaches will just focus on getting the job done.
Blake Freeland credits coaches and teammates for his early growth
Freeland made his first start in the NFL in Week 2 against the Los Angeles Rams and was assigned Aaron Donald for the majority of the game. What a welcome-to-the-NFL moment and all that could be said about the moment from Freeland was "it was awesome." Offensive lineman are expected to be thrown in the fire sometimes. The position sees the most injuries in the league, and the lines are constantly changing. Players expect to be thrown in and learn in an instant. The important thing is to continue to learn after each play and never stop perfecting your game.
Blake Freeland has had a great start to his NFL career and with Braden Smith back, he can continue to sit back and learn from some of the best offensive lineman in the league. It appears that the Colts finally have some reliable depth on the offensive line.