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.
GEOFF M. (from undisclosed) What amount of playing time will the starters get against the Texans on Sunday?
A: By the time this is answered, you will have seen that players who were healthy enough to play, played. There were a few who had injuries serious enough that prudence dictated rest, but the approach was much different than the one used in 2004, 2005, 2007-09 when starters rested a large portion of the time near the end of the year. The players fought all year, like Coach Pagano did with his health situation. They put together a strong performance against Houston, one that should have pleased every fan. A 13-play drive netted seven points right off the bat. A marathon drive drained nearly the final 10 minutes off the clock while getting four first downs. A kickoff return for a score, four sacks and two takeaways were key parts to the day, and fans greeted Coach Pagano warmly. Fans had to love the production, and winning against the team that entered the day with the AFC's top record was important.
DARREN E. (from undisclosed) Not including Andrew Luck, what other QBs have started games for the franchise since the move to Indianapolis?
A: Darren, I will broaden your question with this answer because I keep a chart of all quarterbacks who have started for the Colts since 1983. I will give you more than you bargained for, and here is the list: Mike Pagel (1982-85: 15-31-1), Art Schlichter (1984-85: 0-6), Mark Herrmann (1983-84, 92: 2-2), Matt Kofler (1985: 0-1), Jack Trudeau (1986-93: 18-29), Gary Hogeboom (1986-88: 7-5), Blair Kiel (1987: 0-1), Chris Chandler (1988-89: 10-6), Tom Ramsey (1989: 0-1), Jeff George (1990-93: 14-35), Don Majkowski (1994: 3-3), Jim Harbaugh (1994-97: 20-26), Browning Nagle (1994: 1-0), Craig Erickson (1995: 2-1), Paul Justin (1995-97: 3-4), Kelly Holcomb (1997: 0-1), Peyton Manning (1998-2010: 141-67), Kerry Collins (2011: 0-3), Curtis Painter (2011: 0-8), Dan Orlovsky (2011: 2-3). Andrew, as you know, was 11-5 this year.
BILLIE N. (from undisclosed) I was just wondering why Bruce (Arians) was not allowed to win one more game to break the interim coach record?
A: It would have been a nice footnote, but it is much greater to have Coach Pagano back. Bruce did a tremendous job in Chuck's absence, but he was thrilled to have the coach return, too. The job Bruce did in Chuck's absence will have a place in Colts history and a bit beyond that, but I know all parties inside our building are pleased to have this behind us and have them both on the sideline doing what they were doing when we started the season. I do commend your feelings on Bruce because it is a very unique matter. The two coaches with whom he is tied for the most wins by an interim coach were not serving for someone who was scheduled to return.
JOEY H. (from undisclosed)Will the return of Chuck (Pagano) make the team that much more inspired?
A: It was a very emotional time for the players to have their coach come back. Reggie Wayne said the standing ovation Coach Pagano received when he walked into the team meeting was among the longest Wayne ever had seen. While players are motivated themselves naturally, part of what was accomplished this year was because of what Coach Pagano instilled in them and how they feel about him. I think you saw Sunday's sharp performance against Houston be a result of having him back. There was a great feeling in the locker room and organization when he returned a week ago. We can use every bit of that as we prepare for a very tough game in Baltimore.
JOEY D. (from undisclosed)What was the locker room like after the Kansas City game knowing we just clinched a playoff spot?
A: From all accounts, it was quite festive – yelling, whooping, dancing. It sounded like it was different than ones we've seen in previous years from more veteran squads but with the nature of this team, what it has done and with whom it was accomplished, emotion was the most appropriate thing. There was a tremendous sense of satisfaction, along with excitement for extending the season as Coach Pagano returned.
MICK L. (from undisclosed)Why aren't there any logos on Colts jerseys?
A: There never have been logos on the jerseys. Horseshoes were moved to the side of the helmets in 1957. For a period in the early 1980s, there was a horseshoe on the hip of the pants, but that was taken off in 1988, when the Colts went back to blue and white and eliminated gray that had been a part of the uniforms. I'm not sure I would like a logo on the jersey. Maybe I'm too traditional, but I think the purity of the uniform is among the best is all of sports. Sometimes gimmicks are made in uniform designs. I would hate to see that with the Colts.
JIM M. (from undisclosed)What ever happened to (Austin) Collie and will he be 100% for offseason workouts?
A: Austin is busy rehabbing from a very tough injury. All indications are the rehabilitation is going well. Austin is one of our most popular players, and we all wish him a speedy recovery. I know he appreciates hearing from interested followers like you. Keep your fingers crossed for him. He is a hard worker and is a player who can be very productive, as you've seen. Quarterbacks like a target like Austin.
DESEAN W. (from undisclosed)With the way Andrew Luck is playing, how far do you think the Colts will go? Is there a good chance at the Super Bowl?
A: The target for Andrew and the Colts is not beyond Baltimore. If there is any energy expended thinking beyond this week's game, it needs to be re-focused. How he and the team have played is a bit remarkable. It can end in a moment, though, so I know the only focus is on this weekend.
CHIP B. (from Palestine, TX) What is it with the gong or bell ringing during home games?
A: What you are hearing is a component of our in-stadium entertainment. We want the crowd engaged to make things difficult for opponents. Our crowds do a terrific job. Hope you can make it up here sometime.
TONY R. (from undisclosed) Is the home schedule set for next year (season ticketholder)?
A: Tony, thank you for being a season ticketholder. The Colts' 2013 opponents are: HOME: Houston, Tennessee, Jacksonville, Denver, Oakland, St. Louis, Seattle and Miami; ROAD: Houston, Tennessee, Jacksonville, Kansas City, San Diego, Arizona, San Francisco and Cincinnati.
I'm guessing at least one home opponent in 2013 jumps out at you. We hope they all do.