INDIANAPOLIS – Readers of Colts.com may submit questions during the week and have a chance to have them answered during the middle of each week. Submit your question here. Here are responses to some of the questions received recently. We thank you for your interest in the Colts.
JAMES M. (from Liverpool, NY) In the new “Hybrid” front, why couldn't Dwight Freeney play like an end instead of like a linebacker. Terrell Suggs plays with his hand on the ground all the time. Dwight looked like a fish out of water at LB. Still, I hope we resign him and finish his career as a Colt.
A: James, by now you’ve heard that Dwight will not be resigned and will be able to take offers when free agency hits on March 12. I will use your question to thank all readers for supporting Dwight recently and through the years. For those who did not know Dwight, he is a fun guy who was great in the locker room and was popular among his Colts teammates. He leaves here with nothing but fondness and respect from those who were around him. I hope Dwight has a few productive years ahead, not head-to-head against us, but in every other game. He was a stand-up guy for what I needed him to do. So Dwight, thanks. I wish every draft pick we have has the impact on the field as you did, along with the personality you displayed off it.
JOSE L. (from Guadalajara Jalisco, Mexico) I have been a great fan of Indianapolis! I want to ask you something. Do you think (the team will) draft Margus Hunt? I have seen him play and he's going to be like J.J. Watt. Watch.
A: It looks as though he is one of the top ends coming out. You can’t quibble with the competition he faced, either, and I can see why you feel the way you do. Comparing him to J.J. Watt is a big statement. If there were a guarantee Hunt could play anything like Watt, I’d drive to SMU and get him. We do want a line that sets a tone. Maybe you’ll get your wish.
NOAH S. (from Michigan City, IN) I'm 14 years old and have been a Colts fan all my life. I am visually impaired and have never been to a game, because I wouldn't see from the stands. Do you think that there is a way that I could see inside the stadium, even if just virtually?
A: Google Maps has worked with the Colts for a virtual tour of Lucas Oil Stadium, the first venture of its kind. To access the images of Lucas Oil Stadium, simply type “Lucas Oil Stadium” or “Colts Stadium” into Google Search or Google Maps. You can also view the images through the Colts website here:
We have a VIRTUAL VENUE via I-O Media at the following spot on our website: http://colts.io-media.com/. In addition, Lucas Oil Stadium offers actual in-person tours of the stadium. See the link on their website for more details: http://www.lucasoilstadium.com/visitors/getting-around-los-tours.aspx
UNDISCLOSED (from Bethlehem, PA) If we were to run the West Coast Offense, under (Pep) Hamilton, how much of an impact would our offense have, since we have rarely worked on it?
A: That’s what OTA’s and training camp are for. There will be a version of it run here, but there will be other aspects of the offense, too. Spring practices are the first implementations of schemes, and players work through mid-June before returning to training camp in August. There will be plenty of time to learn. Remember, last year was something new for us, too, and a great number of players excelled.
UNDISCLOSED (from Indianapolis, IN) Would you know, and if so, has
A: Every player works with the team to reach his prescribed playing weight. They don’t do it on their own. What that will be this year has been decided, but I don’t know the answer. I haven’t spoken to Drake since before the Super Bowl. Drake probably has the ability to play both positions. It might be that we see him a little more on the outside. You’re right about his motor. Drake has the attitude to match, and he is rounding into the prime years of a career.
UNDISCLOSED (from Maryland) What do the Colts plan on doing with the front seven, in terms of drafting and free agency?
A: I have nothing specific for you because we don’t address or haven’t discussed this openly yet. At the 24th position, there should be something available. The draft does not appear to have the “name” players this year like it did in 2012, but the overall depth appears to be good. One prominent analyst projects as many as six tackles in the first round, with prospects for 3-4 linebackers maybe not being quite as many. You see the same free agent names as everyone else. If there is a chance to upgrade among those available, Ryan Grigson will give it a look. He will have a few more dollars at his disposal this year for such efforts. Don’t discount the guys we have here, though.
UNDISCLOSED (from New York) Will the Colts continue with the 3-4 defense? If yes, who is most likely to replace Freeney?
A: The 3-4 is here to stay. I think you will see maturation among the returnees this year, and I think everyone wants more game-changing plays. I think we’ll see that, too. As far as a specific replacement for Dwight, that’s to be determined. On-field work won’t start until later this spring, so the answer to that question still is out there. It should come from the areas mentioned with the previous question.
UNDISCLOSED (from Galveston, IN) Since Luck has two years in (Pep Hamilton’s) offense under his belt, do you believe it will boost his leadership (not that it’s bad) to another level, where he can be like another coach, helping teach it to the vets and rookies smoothing the transition for the entire offense?
A: Pep said the other day if we had to line up and play that Andrew would be full speed with the offense already. That’s a good thing for everyone. Pep has talked with other players about their roles in the offense, and players have a great opinion of what they will be learning. Andrew will be a leader by virtue of his position. In most ways last year, he was the leader on the field. I don’t see that changing, but I don’t think it will fall to him to get guys up to speed with the attack. Pep and the coaching staff will do that.
UNDISCLOSED (from Sebring, FL) Will Indianapolis ever expand Lucas Oil Stadium? NFL personnel said the building is beautiful but lacks seating for major events. That’s why most Super Bowls are held in Texas, Miami, New Orleans, so the NFL can make more money.
A: I don’t believe there are any plans or needs to do so. Across the board for Super Bowl XLIV, NFL officials praised Lucas Oil Stadium for its amenities and size. The atmosphere was exactly what the NFL hoped to have. The stadium seated 68,000, yet had the perfect intimate feel. How the city and stadium handled the event will bode well for future bids. Don’t know where you are coming from on the question. Super Bowl cites are spread around for great reason. Different areas of the country should have the chance to host the Super Bowl. There was not one thing that hurt Indianapolis and if there were, it would not have been the stadium. We have had nothing but rave reviews for it, and it topped the list among all sporting venues for the second straight year by Stadium Journey Magazine. If you haven’t made it here already, please do so. You’ll love what you see.
UNDISCLOSED (from Chicago, IL) Why don’t the Colts pick up Charles Woodson?
A: Woodson has done a great job of competing in this league and against Father Time. I am sure he will draw attention. I just don’t know that it would be from us. Obviously, Woodson would command a contract commensurate with his experience, and that appears to be an aim on his end. Ryan Grigson would only devote that much money for someone in Woodson’s age range if he were a “pillar” player. You can’t quibble with Woodson’s accomplishments, though injuries have cropped up in recent seasons. Reports in his previous location cited diminishing skills and speed. Where his ball hawk skills are may be in question. According to the Packers, he was a “generational” player who had a solid locker room voice. Again, I’m not sure there is a match here. If not, there should be somewhere. I wish the player who was the Heisman runner-up to him had won that award, though.