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COLTS MAILBAG

Posted Apr 10, 2013

Each week readers of Colts.com can submit questions about the team and have the chance for their questions to be answered. Here are this week’s answers to selected questions that were sent. To submit a question for Craig you can visit the COLTS MAILBAG or tweet your question with the hashtag #COLTSMAILBAG.

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.

 

DAVID H. (from Sebring, FL) Do you think the Colts will trade their first-round pick or let other teams move up in different rounds so we can get more future picks and help needs?  Right now, we look good going into this season.  We could just about forego this draft and just bring in a lot of undrafted free agents.  I would love to see the Colts have at least two-to-three picks from the second round and down, just like the Patriots have done lately.

A:  We have done a lot this off-season with free agent acquisitions and one trade.  If moving around in the draft beyond where we stand with six picks (rounds one, three, four, six and two in the seventh round) is the best way, Ryan Grigson has shown he will do what it takes.  Stockpiling picks has worked for teams in the past, but you never want to disregard what might be available in this draft.  I know you are high on what we’ve done, and I bet the draft yields results that will please you and other fans.       

 

ED29-1659yards (from Texas) Jerry Hughes seems to be a player built in the Dwight Freeney mold.  I realize he hasn’t had the chance to show all the tools in his skill set, but he doesn’t seem to fit the 3-4 scheme that the Colts are currently using.  Should he be traded, and if so, what’s his trade value?

A:  Jerry is a talented guy who will have his best chance yet to show what he can do.  Clearly, we have a spot to fill, and we’re going to do it.  Jerry is one of a few players in line to try it.  He will be more familiar with what we’re doing.  I hope it works out.  He is in his prime years.  I would not argue or speculate on anything other than letting him show what he can do.

 

DANIEL D. (from Mexicali, Mexico) I live right on the border and even though here in Mexico the main sport is soccer, I've been a long-time Colts fan.  As you mentioned before, help in the secondary is a good guess.  What is the chance on us on taking the Honey Badger (Tyrann Mathieu), if he is still on the board?  I have seen his interviews with Deion Sanders, and he seems determined to not let anything interfere with his football career anymore.

A:  I’ve heard him, too, and I’m rooting for him.  I hope a talent like Tyrann can make it in this league.  Some guys with troubled times in college have proven to thrive in a second chance.  Others don’t take advantage of a second chance and the same behavior follows.  Many times teams are very wary of behavior problems when they crop up in college, and they fear a player will repeat it when he has money in his pocket.  Mathieu suffered quite a fall from grace.  Falling from a Heisman finalist to a jail cell is a dramatic example of what can happen when priorities are not in place.  He sounds like he is grounded.  Time will tell.  I’m not privy to our thoughts on him.

 

FRANK S. (from Leesburg, FL) Why don’t the Colts pick up Brandon Moore?  They need another guard, and he is a good one that would not cost very much.  Then I think they would be set on offense and could concentrate on defense in the draft.

A:  You cannot quibble on a player who hasn’t missed a start in eight years and with 10 full years of experience.  My hunch is we’ve stopped shopping for linemen in free agency, but that is not a reflection of Moore.  He was not one of the top-tier guys in the eyes of some, but he was closer to the top than some others available back on March 12.  I appreciate your concern, but I think we’ve improved ourselves already in free agency, and you don’t know what the draft will bring.

 

K.J. H. (from Mooresville, IN) Do the Colts ever have road trips scheduled for fans of larger groups?

A:  The club does not put together trips, however, we have a sponsor relationship with a group that may be able to help – Sport Events at sportevents.com.  Feel free to check them out.

 

CHUCK F. (from Fort Wayne, IN) I have been a fan since I watched Super Bowl III with my dad!  If I were to pick a single player as my favorite, it would be number 32, Mike Curtis!  Do you think he will get to wear that gold HOF jacket?  A current player reminds me of Mike, and that, of course, is Pat Angerer!  How is rehab going for him?  I can’t wait to see him along with the additions we have added to make a defense like we had in the 70s, and like the shake and bake squad!  REMEMBER THIS ONE THING,
NOTHING CAN BEND THE HORSESHOE!!!!!!
A:  I watched Super Bowl III, too, and it was a crushing defeat.  I disliked Joe Namath for years after that, but I met him in 1987 while he was with NBC.  He did a number of our games and is a truly nice person.  Still….  As for Mike Curtis, I know he and some others around him have not given up the fight.  He was a tremendous player who could have played in any era.  It’s not a stretch to project him and Pat Angerer as the same type of player.  I think Pat could play in any era and in many ways, he’s a throwback.  I just don’t want him to level a fan should one get on the field.  We live in a much different era.  I hope Mike makes it.  I’m not sure he will.  It would be a fun speech to listen to.  As for Pat’s rehab, he’s still pushing.  It was an unfortunate injury, and it nagged him all year.  When he is ready, he’ll be hard to hold back.

 

MICHAEL F. (from Porter Ranch, CA) I was interested, and frankly stunned, to hear GM Ryan Grigson tell some of our season ticket holders recently that NT Josh Chapman weighs 350-360!  Please tell me that Grigson misspoke, or that Josh doesn’t plan to play at that weight this season?  Is it possible he’s put on 35-45 pounds since he was drafted?  Please tell me no.  Thanks for these weekly mailbag articles, they’re very helpful!

A:  I did not hear the interview, but I assure you Josh is at the same weight range as he was when he joined us.  I spoke with him, and he told me so.  I wouldn’t put any fear into the matter.  All is going well with Josh, and we should see him starting work this year.  I can understand your concern.  We feel he has a bright future.  I told him we had a very concerned mailbag reader, and he liked it.  Keep following us.

 

ROBERT W. (from Modesto, CA) I’ve been a fan since the days of Bert Jones.  My question regards Griff Whalen.  I watched him in a preseason game and was amazed by his play.  He caught just about everything thrown near him, both the easy ones and the hard ones.  He reminded me at the time of Wes Welker a bit.  I realize he will probably have to again prove himself on the field this preseason, but what does the team think of him?  I can’t imagine he wouldn’t play a big role in the offense with continued play similar to what I witnessed!

A:  Griff is a talented player, and he will have a chance this spring and summer to display his wares.  He has been the subject of a number of mailbag questions this year, mostly from California, and it seems he has made an impact on a number of followers.  I look forward to seeing him in workouts.  Given his fluency with a few of our personnel, you know he will have a serious look here.  We do feel he has ability.

 

AUSTIN C. (from Indiana) Would the Colts consider trading their #24 pick for a person like Jarvis Jones, a John Jenkins to fill the role of Dwight Freeney, or even a Alec Ogletree?  They’re all great pass rushers which the Colts need.  To me, John Jenkins is a Dwight Freeney, a great pass rusher and spins off tackles.  He’s big, strong and fast.  Is there any option to draft a center for the future like Braxton Cave, to build around a center like Colts did with Jeff Saturday?  Would they consider a beast of a RB like Marcus Lattimore, because they always draft a RB every year? Would the Colts consider drafting Tyrann Mathieu, even though he’s got problems off the field?  I think he fits great for the Colts.  I just don’t know if his off-field problems might cost him.  Is there any way the Colts may draft another WR to fill in for Reggie Wayne when he retires like, Tavon Austin or Robert Woods from USC?  Thank you for reading my suggestions.  Hope you choose my choices, and I hope the Colts pick someone I said.  Go Colts.

A:  Austin, I think you set the record for the most questions in one email.  I hope it stands a while.  You provided a number of scenarios, and I know our football people read the mailbag.  Who doesn’t?  I left your note in there in its entirety so they can see it.  We’ve addressed Mathieu before, and I don’t know that his off-field matters would deter a second-chance club like us from considering him.  Ditto one other guy you mentioned above.  We didn’t build our line around Jeff Saturday.  He just matured into what he became.  We have Samson Satele and A.Q. Shipley there now, and I like them a lot.  As far as receiver, it could be a draft option.  You and others have mentioned the premise of “when Reggie retires.”  It’s not as if he’s in a rocking chair yet.  If we choose one or more of the above, you’ll be happy.  Regardless, you sound like a real fan, and we like that. 

 

GEORGE B. (from Bluffton, IN) Most, if not all, NFL teams seldom give their back-up QBs any snaps during the regular season.  It would seem that some “real game” experience would be helpful in the event the starter is injured.  Your opinion please.

A:  If teams are in positions to do so, getting a backup “real” time is nice.  We were proof with seven fourth-quarter comeback victories last year that not every lead is safe.  You would not want to take guys out unless you were convinced entirely the outcome was settled.  You could not jeopardize a season with a loss absorbed if you weren’t playing your starters.  It’s a great premise, but the risk is steep.  Affording backups “meaty” practice reps is about all you can do.  Even then, guys like Peyton Manning took most of the real practice snaps.  In our case right now, we do have a veteran in Matt Hasselbeck behind Andrew Luck.  That should provide Colts fans with a bit of ease.  Chandler Harnish also is a pretty smart guy.  I like where you’re coming from, but resting front-liners is a ticklish matter.

 

DAIRE N. (from Waterloo Ontario, Canada) Hi Craig, big fan of the Colts.  Are the Colts going to go after any more big names?  I like the three signings of Aubrayo Franklin, LaRon Landry and Darrius Heyward-Bey, but will there be anymore?

A:  You are correct in how you feel about these three additions.  I think we’re all excited about them and the others.  As for more additions, I think you will see that come in the draft.

 

CHERYL P. (from Virginia) When will Colts 2013 schedule be coming out?

A:  Cheryl, soon, very soon.  I would look for it in the next couple of weeks, tops.

 

DUMAKA H. (from Pasadena, CA) With our #1 draft pick, who are the Colts looking to select, considering the secondary hasn’t been stable since our Super Bowl win.

A:  We’ve made two solid moves recently with Vontae Davis and LaRon Landry.  Getting Vontae for this year’s second-round pick is a real bargain.  Antoine Bethea should be fine.  I don’t know who we are targeting.  Information needs to remain under wraps.  Getting the other corner firmed up is something we want to do, and we may have those guys here.  It’s true we haven’t been able to have a consistent presence in the secondary for a number of years.  Injuries took their toll and a number of familiar faces aren’t here.  We’ll build some new familiarity for our fans.  

 

MYRON L. (from Atlanta, GA) I like the current stable of running backs with Donald Brown and Vick Ballard, but will the Colts look at picking up a running back in free agency or the draft?  Go Colts!!

A:  I don’t think we have a back targeted in free agency.  We likely have done all our shopping.  As for the draft, who knows?  Our current guys are young and fit in pretty well.  I want to see Donald healthy this year and see how he could be used in the offense.  Everyone wants to see Delone Carter at full strength.  It could be a critical time for him this spring and summer.  Vick should only mature.

 

ALEX M. (from Washington) Hi, I've been a huge Colts fan since 1998.  I really like what Ryan Grigson has done so far for our club.  (It was) amazing assertiveness in the free agency, LOVED seeing it.  The Colts have never had the cap we did heading in, so this year has been exciting.  My question is whether or not the Colts may trade up a few selections to grab the explosive Bjoern Werner, like if he were to fall to the 20th pick?

A:  If you’re a Colts fan, Ryan Grigson would be your man.  Not only has he shown ability, he has the aggressiveness you alluded to above.  We took advantage of cap room to stock the team with some impressive talent.  Ryan showed last year the same nature as the draft unfolded by moving up to get a player (T.Y. Hilton) he liked.  We beat a couple of other teams to the punch with that trade.  I’ve mentioned that draft-day maneuver before because it shows Ryan’s nature.  One thing for sure, he and his staff will be primed for action.  As the draft unfolds, if there is a player we’ve targeted and getting to him is prudent, he’ll take a shot.  It wouldn’t be a cursory one, either.  As for Werner, he seems like a pretty good package.  You like guys who produce, and he did on a big level at FSU. 

 

GREG A. (from Indianapolis) Would you consider drafting Barrett Jones for center? Then it would be awesome to draft defensive players after fixing the offensive line (preferably DBs)!  I think we'd be Super Bowl-bound!

A:  I like the phrase “Super Bowl-bound,” but let’s be careful.  Our team that won it was not our best one ever, it just played the best when it truly counted the most.  As for Barrett Jones, I really wanted to hear him speak at the combine, and he truly was impressive.  I think he has the tools and makeup to have a long career.  It pains me as an LSU guy to cite how well players come out of Alabama, but you do respect it.  Alabama is not alone, but it does prepare guys, if they try.  I think Jones will have a long career playing on Sundays.  If it works out here, that’s great because of his versatility.  He grew up in Tennessee liking the Colts because of Peyton Manning, and he says Jeff Saturday is a player after whom he patterned himself.  I think the line is better than people think, and I think it will show this year. 

 

TOM B. (from Wabash, IN) Do you think the Colts are using a new strategy by signing players about to hit their prime?  They are all similar in age and experience and no big splashes were made.  Is this the Colts’ version of “Moneyball,” taking chances on players about to hit their prime?  Also in the draft, do you think the Colts should still take a WR if there is someone they really like WRs from Cal and Tennessee if there isn’t a suitable pick at 24 for DE/OLB?

A:  I don’t know that we applied any specific metrics, but I was an interested reader of that book, too.  We did some interviews with Michael Lewis (he spoke with Bill Polian and Howard Mudd), and those were fascinating interviews.  Ryan Grigson has his own way, just as any GM does.  He wants players who will have a long future.  If there is an “older” type of guy, he must be a pillar guy.  We had opportunity and motive this year, compared to only motive last year.  I like how Ryan went about the process.  As for a receiver, you made a veiled reference to a couple of guys.  I know you are tuned in.  I think we have some talent on the corps, but that won’t preclude us from creating better competition if possible.

 

ERICK D. (from East Chicago, IN) I want to know what position the Colts are leaning towards with the 24th pick in the draft.  I heard that if the Colts go wide receiver they might go with Keenan Allen, but I also heard that if they go defense, they might get Manti Te'o.  I would say defense the first round and get good picks later in the draft.  Some legends aren’t always drafted in the first round.

A:  Erick, what you hear is the typical draft babble that is prevalent this time of year.  I’m not demeaning the babble at all.  If people didn’t care about us or the NFL, that would be a huge problem.  We’re armed with six picks.  We could add or subtract to that with trades.  How we spend them remains a mystery.  I doubt we have people on the inside here chattering beyond the draft room.  There are plenty of outside sources who engage in that.  I’m glad they exist.  We’ll just have to wait a couple of more weeks, though.

 

JON P. (from Elwood, IN) Are we starting Vick Ballard at RB this year?  I love his play-making ability and what he brought to the team last year.  He seems like the play-maker we need, or do you think we are going look for a back in the draft?

A:  I’ve been on record as liking Vick, too, and all our guys.  Vick is a good guy, a hard worker.  He was a fresh presence in the locker room last year among many others, and I think he is very well grounded.  If there are additions this year, I don’t see it coming as a detriment to anyone who’s here.  I think all will have a real chance to mix into the new offense, and I think we’ll be okay.  I can see why Vick appeals to you.

 

JAMES J. (from Muncie, IN) I've been reading your blog for a while, and you do a great job answering questions.  I've been a Colts fan since early 1990s as a kid when Jim Harbaugh was our quarterback.  I personally like all of our signings this year, and I hope they all work out.  As a matter of opinion, what do you think our best and worst off-season moves were?  And who would you like to see us draft with the 24th pick?

A:  James, thank you for the compliment.  Our readers are very important, and they deserve the best answers I can give.  As I’ve said before, I’m not privy to everything here, but I will provide the best information I can.  You’ve grown up with us and have seen a fun quarterback lineage.  Even in 2011, we had good guys, though the team struggled.  The best move?  I like them all.  I think we’ve added to positions across the roster.  I am excited to see LaRon Landry, though.  I think a bunch of people think that.  The worst move?  I don’t think we’ve made one.  I hope history doesn’t reveal anything.  We’re not perfect, but our intentions throughout the organization are.  With the 24th pick?  I’m just along for the ride.  Whoever it is, I hope he contributes like last year’s rookie class did.  We hit one deep with them last year.

 

WYATT M. (from League City, TX) I was wondering about people on NFL Network and ESPN making a big deal about the Colts needing an outside linebacker/defensive end with Dwight Freeney leaving.  Won’t Jerry Hughes, who was a first round pick just a few years ago become, be the starter?  I really like the way the guy plays, especially now that the Colts have moved to a 3-4 hybrid defense.

A:  Those guys have microphones to wear and content to fill, and I don’t mean that in any negative sense.  We’re lucky to have such interest and coverage as a team and league, but you can’t take to heart everything you hear.  Jerry Hughes will have a crack at the spot.  We certainly have to fill it.  It’s a great opportunity to assert himself.

 

STEVE W. (from Wisconsin) Is Ryan Grigson ever going to do a “GM Corner” online segment on Colts.com like Bill Polian used to when he occupied that same position?  I really miss the in-depth analysis of those question and answer sessions, and I think the Indy fans deserve to know or at least have some insight into what direction the front office is going from a player perspective.  Even once a month is better than nothing.  Please elaborate on the realistic prospect of bringing a routine Q-and-A inquiry back on a frequent basis.  Thank you.  If the answer is no, please explain why.  Eventually, every GM has to get their feet wet in my opinion and provide the fans with some detailed answers about the direction of their favorite team.  Your feedback on this question is immensely appreciated Mr. Grigson.  Thank you.

A:  At this point, there is nothing planned of that nature.  Ryan does a good job communicating with fans through the media just like other general managers in the league.  All of us understand the importance of contact with our fans, and we hope we are effective in doing so.  He will be speaking in the next week or so about the team’s draft preparations.  I know fans will enjoy hearing an update from him sometime next week.  It will be after veterans have reported for the first week of voluntary workouts, so it should be an informative time.  What you remember was “The GM Corner,” and it simply was a transcript of our Monday night radio show.  Most GMs do not do a radio show, and Ryan currently does not.  If that changes in the future we most likely would post the transcript on our website.  Thanks for your interest in the Colts.   

 

LEVI F. (from Grand Ridge, FL) I'm loving the signing of Darrius Heyward-Bey.  I think he fits perfect in our offence.  Nice move by Mr. Ryan.  What do you think the next move by Mr. Ryan is going to be?

A:  I think the addition of Darrius is solid, too.  A former coach here told me last week he thought it was a terrific move and one that will make the offense much tougher to defend.  I loved hearing that.  I think the next move by Ryan will be in the draft.  We’re still in good cap shape, but we’ve done a lot of shopping.  My guess is we’re likely done until the draft.

 

CAULIN P. (from Salt Lake City, UT) I am excited to see what Pep Hamilton’s offense is going to look like this year.  What are the chances we run a little of the read-option that’s been so successful throughout the league?  We have an athletic quarterback, and some dynamic running backs to do so.

A:  When Pep spoke earlier this spring, he said the offense will be diverse, especially on first and second downs where there will be no “can’t do’s.”  He envisions power runs and mixing in downfield passes.  Pep mentioned the possibility of some read-option and other things to present conflicts for a defense.  What we do have is an outstanding quarterback.  You don’t want to expose Andrew to more evils than those that typically exist.  I think we’ll be smart and aggressive.  On-field preparations will begin in a few weeks.  Until then, you can only imagine what we could be up to.   

 

TRUDY D. (from Crawfordsville, IN) I’ve been going to training camp for the past five or six years.  Terre Haute is by far the better place for fans.  They have lots of shade to sit in, and they have nice, clean restrooms.  Please move it back.  Or better yet, move it to DePauw or Wabash College.

A:  It’s good that you use camp to watch the team form, and we appreciate your dedication.  We have not announced yet this year’s site.  We have been fortunate at both locations – Anderson University and the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.  The people at both places are gracious and hard-working.  Your opinions are noted, and we hope to see you at our camp this year.  I can understand you wanting it to be geographically closer to your home area.

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