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.
ALEX V. (from Danville, VA) Why was the much-heralded
A: We appreciate everything Donald Brown accomplished last year, and Trent was one of the leading locker room voices praising Donald’s (click here for highlights) achievements. It was a tremendous year for Donald, and we’ll have to see how that plays into the plans for 2014. The plans we have for 2014 do include Trent, and he will be able to use the off-season in our program to develop. We’ve talked often about how that is a period of growth for players, and Trent did not go through that with us last year. We know the price paid for Trent. We know how he played in Cleveland as a rookie, and we need steady contributions from him if we are to keep progressing as an offense. We do have a great deal of young talent on hand. There are many parts beyond Trent (maybe one of those will be Donald), and all of them working together can give us an offense that is tough to defend.
A: It is done face-to-face. There is no other proper way to handle it when you’re dealing with something unpleasant like this. I don’t know of a Colts head coach yet that hasn’t visited with each player personally who is waived. While the coach does not deliver the message directly, he does have time to visit with a dedicated player who has spent a great deal of time, effort and emotion trying to make the team. In some cases, players can return to the practice squad. A waived player also could come back when other players get hurt. Believe me, this is one of the toughest days in any organization. It never is fun, but these matters are handled with human interaction. Anything less would not be professional.
ISRAEL R. (from Laredo, TX) Free agency is all about low price for a big production. Bringing in players like Sam Shields, Riley Cooper, Breno Giacomini, Eben Britton, Jonathan Goodwin, Linval Joseph, Dane Fletcher, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie Stevie Brown and Jonathan Dwyer are names that are low price for high production. Especially Shields, who proved to be good and durable in Green Bay, where CB was a huge problem for the Colts. Any thoughts?
A: Not every free agency acquisition is at a low price, in fact, few of them are. Free agency can be used as a supplement, but the true long-term health of a team is ensured through the draft. We have had some great success stories through the years in free agency (I’m speaking beyond Ryan Grigson’s tenure here), and some additions that brought levels of disappointment. I know we have some room to maneuver this year, but I don’t get the sense that we will be quite as active as last year. Thanks for providing your shopping list (it’s huge), but I’ll refrain from getting into specifics until things are better defined here in the near future.
R.J. E. (from Marion, IN) Just finished reading last week’s mailbag. Kudos for calmly cooperating with the couch coaches. I wanted to say thank you to the organization for not using the media to posture during contract negotiations. That gets old. I personally would be thrilled to see Mr. Grigson stand pat during the amateur hour spending spree at the start of free agency and hit gold during the draft. Hope to see the core players back next season, but losses are expected.
A: I love our “couch coaches.” Without them there wouldn’t be an NFL, plus it’s fun to hear what’s on people’s minds. I don’t see that we will be as active as last year, though I could be wrong. I think we have a number of things in place that we can supplement with selective shopping. I agree with your estimate and appreciate when you write in. We have some great fans in your area, and we hope we can keep our playing core intact for another solid run next season. As for negotiations, those are best done as quietly as possible.
A: I have not met Henoc (6-0, 238) yet, but look forward to doing so. His story reads a little bit like Jerrell’s and
BOB B. (from Deltona, FL) I read the Colts have the second-highest cap space (only Oakland is higher). If I were a FA, I would rather sign with a team that will always contend and be in the playoffs. Oakland doesn’t fit that description. It should draw a lot of interest from good FAs. We do need a solid O-lineman or two, some run-stopping LBs, beef up the D-line and re-sign some key FAs. I think Josh Logan and Alex Mack would look great. If I were a Cleveland Brown, I’d want out ASAP. Do you think Ryan Grigson will look at either Richie Incognito or Johnathan Martin? Do you think they’ll move Donald (Thomas) to RG and sign a FA to play LG? I think a priority is finding a WR who’s got size and speed to complement Reggie, T.Y, Fleener and Allen.
A: If those figures are accurate (and I think they are), it’s because we’ve done a really good job of keeping our house in order the last couple of years and striking where needed. I know we have been aggressive the last two years, but those actions were accompanied with thought. That will be our tactic again this year. I agree we do have an attractive situation for those looking from the outside, and that’s something that has come from our leadership (Jim Irsay, Ryan Grigson, Chuck Pagano). Their culture has taken root and has been aided by good coaches and character players. We’ll see how free agency unfolds. I wouldn’t want to characterize any organization but our own, but we do feel good about how the Colts are viewed. I think our fans like you enjoy that, too. As far as Incognito, it’s tough to say. You’re not the first to ask. Martin is property of Miami, and we do not comment on players belonging to another team. I have heard no mention of moving
DAVE H. (from Sebring, FL) I do like
TED H. (from Alamogordo, NM) There has been talk of some very recent Ryan Grigson signings as being camp-filler. I’m sure Jerrell Freeman was not signed for that purpose, so I’m also sure that these additional signings are at least for quality depth. I think Grigson and his scouts are doing a great job finding talent, and I fully anticipate a Super Bowl appearance in the next two years. I am still really high on