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.
ROSS C. (from Jackson, MI) With all the "luck" the Colts had with rookie receivers and obviously at quarterback, do you see the Colts going for a more powerful running back, or maybe a speed demon? Or do they go for defense help like (Jadeveon) Clowney from South Carolina?
A: You ask valid questions that will have to wait. What we do know is the team drafts in the 24th position and has picks in all but rounds two and five. Those respective choices were sent to Miami and San Francisco for Vontae Davis and in a package last year to draft T.Y. Hilton. We got very good production from Davis and Hilton, and we were fortunate with the rookie class from last year. Yardage-wise, they were the most productive draft class in the NFL since 1970. Those were not empty yards either. They related greatly to the 11-5 record. We'll see how things shape up in the coming months, but I suspect we will not be talking directly about targeted positions or individuals coming out of college. I don't mind you asking, but I will only be able to let you know what Ryan Grigson addresses himself.
ROSE P. (from Indianapolis) I have been trying for a few years to get these two questions answered. Where is the original Super Bowl trophy located for the Baltimore Colts' win (in Super Bowl V)? Where is the beam in Lucas Oil Stadium that the fans signed in downtown Indy before the stadium was built?
A: The memorabilia from the Baltimore era was returned many years ago, in 1986, I believe. You should be able to find that Lombardi Trophy in the "Sports Legends Museum" in Baltimore. The beam that fans signed before Lucas Oil Stadium was built is in the retractable roof section of the North end of the building. If you get onto the catwalk that leads to the peak of the building on that end, the beam is near the top of the stadium. If you get us both clearance to go, I will go with you.
MIMI P. (from Greensburg, IN) First, I want to say how proud I am of this team and what they accomplished and looking forward to next year. My question is how is Coach Arians doing and how willing is Mr. Irsay to keep him here and happy?
A: Mimi, we are glad we were able to give you a good season in 2012. You and our other fans in the city, state and elsewhere had a lot to cheer about. We hope to do the same for you next year, too. There is no doubt Bruce Arians, who is doing well physically, did a great job for us. What he did in the interim role for Coach Pagano will stand out for a long time. We certainly would hate to lose Bruce, as a person and a coach. There are only a few times in life, though, when opportunities come. Should something transpire with Bruce and the chance to be a head coach, we'll cross that bridge at that time. What we do know is that he is gifted and does like it here. Many fans did not know of Bruce all that much prior to this year. Those of us around him and in the game have really liked him for a long time. He is a class guy and a blast to be around, and he's a terrific coach.
MATTHEW T. (from Scott AFB, IL) What are the chances we see the Colts draft or sign a safety? (Tom) Zbikowski…is constantly getting beat. Frustrating.
A: We had a couple of letters like yours this year that showed some very raw emotion, and I did edit your question down a bit because of the tone. Sunday at Baltimore was a tough day. No one will argue that, but I would hesitate to point at one player in any loss. Tom had a pretty good year, and he was a stabilizing force in a secondary and on the defense in a year of dramatic scheme change. Let's credit the Ravens for making plays and move on. Tom has some very good days ahead, as does the team. I appreciate you writing and supporting us. I hope you understand that I edited your question a bit, but I thought it did merit a response. Hang in there. It looks like you are a service person. If so, I know you understand better than most people the concept of teamwork and the things that go along with being part of a group. Suffice to say, Tom's partners in the secondary will vouch for his ability to be there.
MATTHEW V. (from California) Will the Colts make it past the first round of the playoffs next year?
A: Right now the goal is to get to the first round of the playoffs. It's no fun losing in the first round, so we have to start over again in 2013. Coach Pagano says the bar is set high. Players already are talking about things they can do better. That's a good sign, one of maturity and hunger. We're still a long way away from the new season, but guys talked Monday about remembering the feeling of disappointment. They will rest and get back in a couple of months ready to go again.
ERIC J. (from Danville, IN) Since Ed Reed is a free agent and (Chuck) Pagano was his coach and Reggie is his best friend, will the Colts get him?
A: You lay out a pretty good symmetry as it relates to people from "The U," but talk about specific players on other teams is not prudent. This answer will have to suffice for the question below. Free agency will start around mid-March. The club should not be as restricted financially as it was last year, so stay tuned. With Ryan Grigson at the controls, you know there will be an approach that mixes aggressiveness and wisdom. Colts fans can look at what he did last year and feel assured he will do whatever he can and is best for the team.
PATRICK K. (from Westfield, NC) What are some big name free agents that the Colts will be targeting this offseason?
A: Patrick, see above. Off-season chatter like this is plentiful and fun, but you will have to wait until the appropriate time for us to participate. Until then, keep up the chatter and the interest.
BELLA T. (from Florida) How long have the Colts been around? Who was the first owner and are they still the same owner?
A: The Colts in their present form began in Baltimore in 1953, though the roots of the franchise date back to 1946. The original franchise was disbanded, but the Baltimore Colts were re-established in January of 1953, and that is starting point for this team's history. Carroll Rosenbloom was the principal owner in 1953. In July of 1972, Robert Irsay acquired the team from Rosenbloom, and the franchise has remained under the family's ownership since then. Jim Irsay assumed ownership of the team in 1997, and he has led a resurgence that places the Colts among the most successful in NFL history.
KAREN L. (from Decatur) Are the Colts going to work on getting guys to protect (Andrew) Luck?
A: The team will look at all areas to improve just by the nature of the off-season. The line this past year fought through a number of injuries, and getting the same group on the field for extended periods was an issue. The linemen were gritty and had to play a number of different positions, and they would be the first to tell you they wanted to avoid all quarterback hits. It was the first time for a number of guys to play together, so you can expect to see things gel. The team did move the ball and score points. None of that could have happened without the line performing to a certain level. That said, the off-season is the off-season.