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. Here are responses to some of the questions received recently. We thank you for your interest in the Colts.
CHRIS N. (from Evansville, IN) When (Jim) Irsay asked Peyton (Manning) why he should draft him he replied saying he would kick our (butts) across the league. Did Luck say anything that shows the fire that the great QBs have?
A: The anecdote you mentioned regarding Peyton and Jim Irsay was a classic. Peyton did vow to beat the Colts if he weren't drafted first overall in 1998. It happened after one of the final pre-draft meetings. He was matter-of-fact, not threatening, but firm. Luckily (no pun intended), we saw how that decision went. I am not aware of any of the pre-draft discussions this time around with Andrew and the team. I'm not sure anything like that happened, and it's likely that Manning moment will stand forever in its own category. We all see how competitive Andrew is and how he has taken over the position the same way Peyton did as a rookie. He shares many of the same characteristics as Peyton, and if he has the same good fortune health-wise, the team will have one of the greatest 1-2 punches chronologically in league history. Colts fans are loving it.
RICO C. (from Milwaukee, WI) Do you think Andrew Luck has a chance to win Rookie of the Year even with Robert Griffin III going for it, too?
A: I think he has a good chance. His impact on the team is undeniable. His talents and leadership on the field are huge difference-makers. How voters interpret that is an unknown. If you ask the 50 or so voters, you will get about that many different opinions. That he has won a large number of starts is obvious. How he leads the team in the clutch has been on season-long display. There have been some great rookie performances in the league this year, and he would get my vote. I don't think I am overly-biased.
AUSTIN W. (from Newburgh, IN) What defines an MVP, 1:07 seconds left in the fourth quarter and need to go 75 yards and get a touchdown to win and you have a rookie quarterback starting? How confident are you? All Colts fans are confident because they know they have a leader and a winner in their quarterback.
A: Austin, please see the answer above. There has been a lot of chatter on this topic, and fans really are tuned in. The 8-1 record in close games and six fourth-quarter comebacks speak volumes. As you said, he is a leader and winner. He'd be a terrific MVP. That said, MVP and Rookie of the Year are two vastly different categories. There was a freshman winner of the Heisman, though……
MICHAEL C. (from Lakewood, WA) How does the Colts offensive line get better? It stinks.
A: You're probably a bit harsh. The line has done pretty well this season. Injuries certainly have disrupted the process on a regular basis. While there have been times both Coach Pagano and Bruce Arians have said they needed cleaner pockets, the line has protected well and the team has run the ball when it mattered. Linemen are rough on themselves and to a man, they all probably would grade themselves tough. There is heart and a competitive streak with the bunch, and guys like A.Q. Shipley and Jeff Linkenbach have really come through. Mike McGlynn is one gritty competitor. You would want him on your side for everything, and Anthony Castonzo is playing well. They're an interesting group to observe.
MICHAEL P. (from New Castle, DE) I just wanted to thank the team for a very inspirational season so far, especially when I need it the most. I have been a Colts fan all my life (I am 43) and although I have not been financially able to attend many games I am really proud to call myself a Colts Fan.
A: It's great to have a Colts fan in your part of the country. I hope you get to see us on a regular basis. Maybe we're playing to a level that next year will get us back into prime-time on occasion. It has been an inspirational season. Coach Pagano really helped get it going, and players have bonded and played hard with the foundation he has laid. After three games, the target was to play well enough to extend the season in hope that he can return. We are very close now, and the goal is reachable. I hope you've enjoyed the ride so far. We still have work to do, so keep doing whatever you are doing.
HOWARD L. (from undisclosed) Why on earth do we keep putting Cassius Vaughn in? He gets more yards thrown his way than anybody on the team. Somebody off the street could do better.
A: You contacted us at 2:45 p.m. ET on Sunday, right before Cassius had his interception-touchdown against Tennessee. (How's that for checking the mailbag?) Maybe that play calmed you down. I know it fired us up. Cassius had eight tackles and three passes defensed to go with that interception. He had a busy afternoon, and I would not be surprised if he won player of the week honors. In a league where teams throw predominantly and where the NFL average completion percentage is 61.2, you're going to give up and make plays. I would tell you to chill, but we like fans with passion. Hopefully, you were emailing from inside Lucas Oil Stadium. We can use your enthusiasm to go with our other rabid fans.
JOCELYN S. (from Houston, TX) Hi, I'm from Houston and the only time I get to see the Colts is when they come down here. Luckily, the game just so happens to be the same day as my birthday. Realistically speaking what does the matchup look like against the Texans?
A: Jocelyn, we all wish you a Happy Birthday, and many more. I know a great present the team can give you Sunday, so we'll work on getting you a win. It should be a great game on Sunday. Houston's loss at New England keeps the stakes big for them, and they are big for us, too. We have not won there since 2009, so that is something that needs to change. A perfect time to do it would be on your birthday. Also, the team is 3-1 in the division, and we place a premium on competing well in the AFC South. They are good in all phases and have run well on us the last two times down there. While we have given 60-minute efforts weekly, we have yet to piece together a game that is sharp in all phases for the entire game. We will need to do that against the Texans. I know the expression, "Luv Ya, Blue," is big down there. Glad you know the best shade of blue.