Colts Mailbag

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Colts Mailbag: How Will The Colts Try And Defend Rob Gronkowski?

Intro: This week, mailbag readers inquire about the starting job of Sergio Brown, LaRon Landry returning to the field and Lucas Oil Stadium’s new “Chair of Honor.”

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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:Michael Morris (Amarillo)

Hey Kevin, first off i just want to say how much i enjoy reading the Mailbag. Alot of good insight, love it! Keep up the good work! So I have 2 questions for you:

1—my girlfriend and I will be coming to Indy for the first time in a few days to see our first pro game ever--Colts/Patriots! We'll be there 14th-17th, and i was wondering if there were any Colts players doing any signings or guest appearances anywhere during those dates? I've never gotten to meet any players, so that would be awesome if i could! Or actually, if there's just any sort of Colts thing goin on outside of the game, i'd love to hear about it! Because we don't know what all is gonna be happening around there when we come down, so any insight would be greatly appreciated!

2—any word on if Landry is expected to start against New England? (This may have already been answered, and i just overlooked it, no tellin) i like Laron and all, but Sergio's just been doing a phenominal job in his place! Was just curious if you knew how any of that was gonna pan out yet or not.

Thanks Mr. Bowen!

And lets go Colts!!

Bowen: Michael, all of the player appearances for this week (and most game weeks) happened on Tuesday, which is the player's day off. I would check out Touchdown Town on game day. This week it will open up at 5:30 p.m. on the north side of Lucas Oil Stadium along South Street. That's always a great atmosphere with a variety of activities from food trucks, a Play60 Zone, live entertainment and appearances from cheerleaders and Blue.

Chuck Pagano announced on Monday that LaRon Landry will play, but not start, against the Patriots. So expect to see Sergio Brown back in the starting lineup for the sixth straight game.

Gregory Young (Burlington, Kentucky)

Hi Kevin! Have question in regards to the "Chair of Honor"! First and foremost, I think this was an OUTSTANDING gesture by the Colts' organization. Our Armed Forces deserve whatever we can do for them as far as recognition for their service. It is extremely important to them and their families and for that matter the rest of the country as well. I am so PROUD to be a small part of this GREAT organization if only as a FAN!

My question is this .... Will the "Chair of Honor" be occupied by former POWs and MIAs during games ? If not, shouldn't it be?

Thank you Armed Forces ladies and gentlemen for serving this GREAT country of ours!!!

Bowen: Greg, this answer comes from Mike Clark, the President of Rolling Thunder Chapter 1…"The "Chair of Honor" is in honor of our Service Members that are still listed as POW or MIA and yet to return home. This special Chair is to remain perpetually empty until ALL of our POWs and MIAs are accounted for and returned home.

The Chair will be a beacon to all that see it, to remind them that freedom isn't free and to never forget the sacrifices, and hardships that our POWs and MIAs have endured in the defense of our freedom."

Isak H. (Mexico City)

So, Ryan Grigson has scouted in the CFL, AFL, IFL and the late UFL. Has he considered ONEFA or CONADEIP? It's not like he can find a Jerrell Freeman but he can get some players for Tom McMahon that can play decently.

Bowen: Isak, I'm not sure if the Colts GM or his personnel department have scoured that area but rest assured if there's a player to be found in those leagues, the Colts will take a look. International scouting is something that Grigson's personnel department has prided themselves on lately and continues to evaluate. As far as Tom McMahon's group, that's a competitive bunch leading the Colts premier coverage units.

Dave H (Sebring, FL)

WILL THE REST OF THE NFL TEAMS FOLLOW SUIT, LIKE ROBERT KRAFT AND GIVE A DONATION FOR THE BENGALS PLAYER DAUGHTER DEVON STILLS, WHO IS BATTLING CANCER. IT WILL SHOWS THAT NFL TEAMS CARE ABOUT PLAYERS AND FAMILYS. AND IT'S FOR A GREAT CAUSE, THIS ALSO GO ALONG WAY WITH CONTRACTS IN THE FUTURE?????

Bowen: I believe many NFL teams have made a donation in honor of Devon Still's daughter, Leah. Back when the Colts played the Bengals, Jim Irsay donated $10,000 to the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center to support pediatric cancer care and research.

Wayne Pegolo (Middletown, CT)

I really like the way Griff Whalen is returning punts and kickoffs for us. He rarely calls for fair catches on punts. He is so close to breaking a long touchdown run. It's going to happen before our season is over. I really hope he breaks one out against the Pats .This is something we have not seen probably since Clarance Verdan. Your thoughts Kevin.

Bowen: About the only missing piece from a tremendous special teams season is a long return from Whalen. Right now the Colts rank 22nd in punt return average and 16th in kick return average. The last time the Colts took a punt or kick return back for a touchdown occurred in the 2012 season (T.Y. Hilton with a punt return against the Bills and Deji Karim with a kick return against the Texans).

Caleb Smith, (Canberra, Australia)

Our defensive backfield has been probably the strongest point on our defense all season, with Vonte Davis and Greg Toler both playing at Pro Bowl level. Mike Adams has been a fantastic signing, and our Strong Safety spot remains solid even with the changes due to suspension. With Laron Landry coming back, and Sergio Brown showing us that he's a capable starter in the NFL, do you think we'll get the chance to see some more 3-safety sets? Or will Brown likely revert back to a special teams role?

Bowen: Like it was mentioned above, Chuck Pagano said on Monday that LaRon Landry will play, but not start, against the Patriots. It will be interesting to watch if the Colts try to incorporate Landry in any defensive snaps. A lot of the early talk this week has centered on how the Colts will defend Patriots' tight end Rob Gronkowski. One would think Sergio Brown will play some sort of role in that.

Zachary Lee (Louisville, KY)

Mr. Bowen,

What is your favorite part about writing for the Colts? What do you feel was the top on field moment from the season so far? Do you think the Colts will win a Super Bowl in the next three years?

Thanks!,
- Zach

Bowen: Zach, I would have to say all the engaging personalities within the locker room. Clearly, this is a very talented team but they make time for the media and seem to genuinely care to talk with you. As far as the best on the field moment so far, I would go with the Bengals game and just how dominant the defense was that afternoon. You just don't see those types of performances, over 60 minutes, against a quality NFL team. And yes, I do think this team has the pieces and mindset to win a Super Bowl in the next three years. It won't be easy, but this team is built to play deep into the playoffs.

Christopher Rivas (Springfield, MA)

I would like to know how will we defend Gronk and if we double team him then hopefully we can bump there receivers because of the skill we have in our secondary. Your opinion on how we defend Gronk and Brady with his recievers?

Bowen: Sergio Brown said earlier this week that you have to smother the 6-6, 265-pound Gronkowski and sometimes that's not even enough to contain him. During the Patriots' five-game winning streak, Gronkowski has played at an All-Pro level with 18 catches in his last 19 targets. The Colts struggled earlier this season in defending tight ends but getting Jerrell Freeman back in the lineup has helped in that area. The Colts aren't revealing how they will try and stop the "walking mismatch" but expect to see several different types of players thrown Gronk's way through the course of the game.

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