INDIANAPOLIS – Each week, readers of Colts.com can submit their questions to have a chance of them being answered in our Wednesday mailbag.
Here is this week's collection:Jack Deal (Granger, IN)
I've been a Colts fan since 1960 Kevin, and current season ticket holder. I love Reggie Wayne, Robert Mathis, and Cory Redding, but isn't it time to take the next step with younger,faster, and hungrier players? After all, this is now Andrew's team to lead to the next level. Aforementioned are good players, but with injuries/age, their skill levels appear to be diminishing. Your thoughts, thanks!
Bowen: Jack, this is a fine line that every personnel department in the NFL must weigh in the transformation from one tenure to another. In the Colts case it's harder because it's from one winning tenure to another. Wayne and Redding are facing the retirment question and while both players are still contributing (when healthy), they mean a great deal for keeping this locker room together and relaying Chuck Pagano's message. There's a balance that has to be acted upon when you face the decisions of when to cut ties with "franchise" type players. Ryan Grigson made several difficult (some very difficult) decisions back in 2012 with Mathis and Wayne being the holdovers. They've been vital to the recent playoff run the last three years. One day will come where new leaders will have to emerge but don't think for a second the Colts are forcing anyone out the door, knowing how critical those guys are to this team's success (on and off the field).
Isak H. (Mexico)
Hi, Mr. Bowen.
So I know the colts don't publicly comment on draft meetings, but Josh Wilson spilled the beans on how many Safeties would be meeting with the colts. This makes me wonder, could you provide a short scouting report on Safties Landon Collins, Adrian Amos, Jaquiski Tartt and Cody Prewitt?
Bowen: Let me first say that each team at the Combine gets 60 formal interviews with prospects (lasting 15 minutes each). Considering the average team selects a little less than 10 players in the draft, it's a very small percentage compared to those interviewed at the Combine. Then you throw in the fact that some players don't go through this interview process with the team that eventually drafts them and you have to take the interview/team rumors with a grain of salt. Now, the Colts are clearly interested in the safety position. Landon Collins seems to be a sure fire top-15 pick as a physical safety. Amos hails from Penn State and is in more of a coverage role with some experience at cornerback. Tartt played at Samford in the Southern Conference but has a frame seen at the highest of Division 1 levels for the safety position. He uses that size to get down in the box and mix it up in the run game. Prewitt is more of a rangy safety at 6-2 and 208 pounds. Outside of Collins, the Colts could easily see any of the three available when they pick in the second round.
Steve Lindeman (Avon)
I was wondering if you have heard if the Colts are going to wear any of there throwback uniforms this year? If they do wear the throwbacks, who has the final call on that decision? Do you ever hear any buzz about changing the logo on the helmet? Maybe, like a updated horseshoe logo? Thanks
Bowen: Funny this question enters the mailbag this week. Matt Hasselbeck!(/team/roster/matt-hasselbeck/e9f08016-a819-44eb-8dae-97a9eb3ffe0a/ "Matt Hasselbeck") tweeted earlier in the week on how he's never worn a "throwback" jersey in his 16 NFL seasons. Now, as far as the possibility of the throwbacks in 2015, I know the NFL threw around the idea of possibly having teams wear some version during Thursday night games this year. Not sure where the talks are on that. I know the Colts staff has used the older team logo on several different apparel items in the past few years (I'm a big fan of this logo).
Gordon Leffel (Fredericksburg, VA)
I just read that the Jaguars are looking possibly to shop the third pick in the first round for a first round pick in 2016.. Would it not make sense for the Colts to trade thier first round pick of next year to go for the 3rd pick this year to have two first rounders this year.. The reason I ask this is because I read buffalo is looking to possibly pick a RB . If they do they will probably Take Melvin Gordon which has the running styles of Edge and Jamal Charles that would leave Gurley which today he turned down a leg exam that doesn't leave us much to choose from . unless we get a great running back in Free agency . But if we take the third puck and We get Gordon that would free us up alot more money in free agency to get great o and d line guys .. Is this a possibility?
Bowen: Gordon, I can't see this happening. Moving from No. 29 to No. 3 would take an incredible haul of Colts picks. If a team had ONE specific need and could afford to give up several picks, I would maybe entertain that (stress on maybe). Melvin Gordon is certainly not worthy of the third pick in this draft. The highest I've seen him slotted in mock drafts is the late teens. The Colts have more than one need entering the 2015 offseason so adding some young pieces (not just ONE piece) is a priory for the draft.
Jordan Day (Albuquerque, NM)
My question is "What about Vick Ballard?" I know he's been injured the last 2 season's but he is still under contract, where are the Colts going with him? Have his injuries jeopardized his position as a Colt or are we hopefully to see more of him to come if he can stay healthy?
Bowen: This was a popular question for Chuck Pagano and Ryan Grigson at the Combine last week. Ballard is coming off two season-ending injuries, both non-contact instances. The "good" news this time around is the injury occurred early in Training Camp allowing for plenty of rehab time. Now, at the same time, you have no idea how Ballard is going to react physically, (or maybe more importantly, mentally) coming off two devastating injuries. He was an extremely productive back in 2012 as a sixth-round rookie. Grigson talked at the Combine about the "core traits" Ballard brings as a runner. Pagano said Ballard is right on schedule with his rehab. Ballard has to be treated as an unknown heading into 2015, one that could reap some serious benefits though.
Connor Shepherd (Wisconsin)
Hi Kevin I just have one question, why in the world are we not using the fastest man in the NFL Jeff Demps? I can understand not using him as an every down back but he could easily be used as a scat back or slot player he can beat linebackers and corners one on one simply with his speed so I just want a reason as to why we aren't using him at all? Thanks and go Colts!
Bowen: Connor, I think the biggest thing for Demps last year was getting down the playbook and having him be able to impact the game in more than one way (in order to be called up to the 53-man roster and ultimately dress on game days). Let's say you slot him at running back. Zurlon Tipton had been with the team the entire offseason so obviously he had a better grasp on the playbook while contributing on multiple special teams units. Now, the Colts think there's some potential there with Demps having signed him to a reserve/future contract after the season. Having a full offseason will allow the Colts to truly evaluate the Olympic-type speedster.
Brandon Mathe (Racine, WI)
First off. HUGE fan. I have a dream of becoming part of the coaching staff. Haha. Are realistic expectations for Duron Carter the 3rd String with Moncrief at 2nd?
Bowen: The term "realistic expectations" should be used quite often for Carter in 2015. Fans are clamoring for him to be a star, but I think you've put a good bar on where those expectations should be. If Reggie Wayne retires, your top two wideouts (right now) entering 2015 would be T.Y. Hilton and Donte Moncrief. I could definitely see Carter sliding into that trio and playing behind those two young pass catchers, who have shown plenty of early promise. The physical traits of Carter are evident. It's the transition to NFL life (and facing press coverage) that remains the biggest hurdle for Carter to clear.