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Each week readers of 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. Please visit to learn how to submit questions.





Readers of may submit questions during the week and have a chance to have them answered during the middle of each week.  Here are responses to some of the questions received recently.  We thank you for your interest in the Colts.

To submit a question for Craig you can visit the COLTS MAILBAG or tweet your question with the hashtag #COLTSMAILBAG

DEVON M. (from Indianapolis) What has surprised you most about the team this year?

A:  There are a number of things that have been fun to observe, but the mature nature of such a young team is interesting.  Guys bought into what Coach Pagano was teaching early, and the coaching staff has done a solid job of demanding accountability and expecting contributions from every player.  The growth pattern is on the trend you want with the challenges that are ahead.  The ethic and maturity stand out to me.  Last Sunday in New England was difficult for everyone.  It will be interesting to see how the team responds this Sunday.

BEN B. (from Greenville, NC) At this point of the college season, which player are you most anxious to try and draft in the first round?

A:  It's never too early to think about that as a Colts fan, but it certainly is way, way too early to speak on it.  I know this is a year-round topic of interest for everyone, as it should be, but let's just let things evolve and focus on Sundays.  There should be a lot of intrigue, though. 

CAMERON E. (from Honolulu, HI) What's up with Andrew Luck's neck beard?

A:  It seems to change daily.  Stay tuned.  Honestly, it's nice that people are having such fun with it.  I'll leave the grooming opinions (and there are a few) to him and others.  What he has done has kept his work approach, his play on the field and his part in helping the team's record trimmed neatly.  He's been very stylish in the pocket, and outside of it, too.

NOAH A. (from Laredo, TX) What is the next step for Andrew Luck as a pro quarterback?  Will he ever be better than Peyton Manning?

A:  Andrew has made so many positive steps and is in great control of what he does that all Colts fans have to be extremely pleased.  Will he ever be better than Peyton?  Who knows?  Why wonder?  Let's let him be the first Andrew Luck.  That has worked for him so far.  It's good enough for me.

ORLANDO R. (from Norfolk, VA) Why have we been so weak in stopping the run?  It has been a problem that's been with the Colts for years now.

A:  There has been a bump or two (ie:  September 23 against Jacksonville), but a few players have missed time with injuries, and this is the first year of a new system.  Guys still are learning and meshing, and the results have been getting better.  You are right that there have been troubling moments historically, but three of our last five opponents have been held below 100 yards, including 37 by Jacksonville two games ago.  Other than one run by Julian Edelman, the run defense at New England was solid.  We are on the right track, and I think time will show.  As Al McGuire would say, 'It's on the uptick.'

HOWARD W. (from Raleigh, NC) Is it possible that a fan can send a message that the team itself can address in the locker room every week?

A:  It's the first week of a mailbag.  We'll probably need to keep it that way for now, but I will give you credit for asking.

POLLY J. (from Terre Haute, IN) This year this group of guys has great chemistry and seem to be having fun and maintaining focus.  What do you attribute that to?

A:  I think there is a lot of credit to spread around.  Start with Jim Irsay for hiring Ryan Grigson and Chuck Pagano.  Those were key additions at a crucial time, and they both have performed well.  Coach Pagano set a great tone with the players, and the organization has been able to attract guys with character and ability.  There was a solid nucleus here, too, and that can't be overlooked either.  Guys like each other very well.  They are playing together and for their coach.  The key is the character of the individuals, and I think fans can see that.  These are the types of guys who are easy to root for.

DALTON C. (from Dugger, IN) Do you think the Colts can get higher in the playoff seedings?

A:  I hope so.  Houston is playing well, so that determines a lot.  There still are three division games out there, including the Texans in two of the last three.  Nothing is possible without focus on the immediate game, however.  We have a lot of business to take care of each week.

ROBERT W. (from Richmond, VA) How do you guys prepare mentally for a game against New England with all the hype (rivalry, winning streak, Chuckstrong, etc.)?

A:  The best approach is the same approach – focusing on your job.  The team does have a legitimate purpose in playing for its head coach.  The team also is starting to draw a bit of attention outside our local coverage.  The best approach is just to go about your business, professionally and without fanfare.  Winning will only increase attention, and we have plenty of players who know how to handle that.  They will help, as will the coaching staff.  Smart teams handle things well on and off the field.  I think we have smart guys.

JONATHAN C. (from Indianapolis, IN) Before a game when the team is there, is it a quiet atmosphere, or is it loud, "Let's Do This," type of atmosphere?

A:  Players and coaches usually have individual preparation methods and most of them relate to making sure assignments are understood.  While "over-the-top" emotion can happen, it typically is not to the extent people believe, or that Hollywood might present in movies.  That said, you never know.  What the team has benefited from at halftimes this year are veterans taking the floor when the coach is finished speaking.  Those are key moments where messages can be delivered.  A number of players have seized that moment.

To submit a question for Craig you can visit the COLTS MAILBAG or tweet your question with the hashtag #COLTSMAILBAG

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