The Colts' two starting guards, Ryan Lilja and Jake Scott, will both be
unrestricted free agents this season. And you can rest assured that with the
reputation of Indianapolis' offensive line, both will receive bids from other
Despite the fact that the pair has flanked center Jeff Saturday since the
2005 season, it wouldn't be surprising to see both of them playing elsewhere in
2008. And that's not a statement of disrespect for either players' talent,
because they both have performed remarkably during their tenure with the Colts.
And I'd like nothing more than to see both of them return to Indianapolis in 2008.
But that's not likely to be practical from a financial perspective for the
team. And team president Bill Polian hasn't shown much commitment to re-signing
guards when they hit the open market. Based on his past decisions, he definitely
puts a higher premium on tackles and the center position.
Back in 1998, Polian's first year in Indianapolis, Steve McKinney was drafted
in the fourth round by the Colts and developed into a reliable starter at guard
on a pretty good line as well. Indianapolis then watched as he signed on with
the Texans when he hit unrestricted free agency in 2002. The same situation
played out with 2001 seventh-round pick Rick DeMulling when he hit unrestricted
status prior to the 2005 season. He ended up in Detroit.
Ryan Lilja ready to protect Peyton Manning.
AP Photo/Tom Strattman
The Colts intermittently plugged other players in at guard during the Polian
era, such as Tupe Peko and Steve Sciullo opposite DeMulling. And current right
tackle Ryan Diem was the usual starter opposite DeMulling during the 2002
season. McKinney played with a rotation of players as well during his seasons at
left guard, including guys like Tony Mandarich, Larry Moore and Waverly Jackson.
But during Polian's ten seasons in Indianapolis, the guard position has been
a largely transient one with no guard to date holding down the starter's role for more than four years. So it
certainly begs the question of whether or not Polian will let both Lilja and
Scott go to seek a bigger payday after this season or whether he'll try to keep
at least one as an anchor and pair up Dylan Gandy, who'll be a restricted free
agent at the end of the year, with one of the incumbent starters.
I looked at some important numbers on both players and uncovered a good
reason to give Ryan Lilja the edge, while also noticing one caution flag that
could be a concern to investing too heavily in him. I've also recently had a
conversation with one of our network sources that brought to light some
information that indicates that Lilja might be the tougher of the two to
But there's also two very good reasons to keep Jake Scott instead. And I can
also tell you about something I personally observed while Bill Polian talked
about one of those two players following the Colts' win over the Ravens during
the playoffs last year.
I'll share all that information with our ColtPower Insiders in this exclusive
feature. And then we'll discuss who you'd pick in a thread in our ColtPower Insiders Forum after you've read that additional information on the pair.
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