Colts’ Jack Mewhort has no issue moving to right guard
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Moving day was met with minimal resistance.
Despite a left-to-right relocation on the Indianapolis Colts’ offensive line and landing in a position he hadn’t played since 2011 – his sophomore year at Ohio State – Jack Mewhort followed orders.
“Zero push back from me,’’ he said following Monday’s training camp practice.
A starting left guard in 36 of his 40 regular-season games since joining the Colts as a 2014 second-round draft pick, Mewhort seemingly was headed toward a business-as-usual fourth season. He almost exclusively worked at left guard during the offseason while Joe Haeg took first-team reps at right guard.
But when training camp opened Sunday, there was a switcheroo at guard. Mewhort was on the right, Haeg on the left.
“You can get those two long-haired guys on the same side together,’’ Mewhort said, referring to Haeg and left tackle Anthony Castonzo.
“It’s nothing big. It’s nothing earth-shattering. I don’t think anything’s set in stone right now.’’
Perhaps not, but the start of camp is when positions begin to crystalize. That’s especially true with the offensive line where developing versatility is important, but settling on a firm starting five critical.
Mewhort isn’t a stranger to right guard – he occasionally took reps at that spot during the offseason – but the last time he focused on that position was in 2011, his sophomore season at Ohio State. He was the Buckeyes starting left tackle his final two seasons.
“It’s an offensive line position, right? So I should be able to do it,’’ Mewhort said. “Point me in the direction and I’ll go do it the best I can.
“They made the decision. The coaches know what’s best. That’s why they’re NFL football coaches. We trust in what they’re doing.’’
Rookie safety Malik Hooker was not at practice Monday, but his absence apparently will be brief.
“He’s got a family issue,’’ coach Chuck Pagano said. “Will be back (Tuesday).’’
Time for pads:
In accordance with the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement, players will be in full pads for the first time Tuesday morning. Everyone seems to be eager for the upgrade.
“It’s easy day 1 and day 2,’’ Pagano said. “We put pads on fortunately tomorrow so we’re going to find out a lot about guys come the next couple of days.’’
Added wide receiver Phillip Dorsett: “With the CBA, it’s a limited amount of padded practices. This is what you live for. This is what you play football for, just to have the pads on and going out there grinding with your teammates every day.’’
The defensive backfield features a pair of veterans in cornerback Vontae Davis and safety Darius Butler. They are two of nine Colts who remain from the 2014 AFC Championship game.
The secondary, though, also includes five rookies: cornerbacks Quincy Wilson, Nate Hairston and Dante’ Blackmon and safeties Hooker and Tyson Graham Jr.
“We’ve got a good blend of just enough veteran guys and we’ve got young guys,’’ Pagano said. “We’ve got length. We’ve got speed. We’ve got some guys that can make some plays.
“There’s some young guys flashing, the Hightowers of the world that nobody knows about. There’s a guy that’s hungry as you-know-what to make a ballclub. Special teams are going to make a huge factor in those down-the-line guys.’’
Hightower would be Lee Hightower, a second year safety out of Houston. He was one of the Colts’ undrafted rookies a year ago who spent time on their practice squad as well as time on the Washington Redskins’ practice squad.