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:Dave H (Sebring, FL)
WILL GRIGSON AND PAGANO WAIT UNTIL TEAMS TOO MAKE THERE CUTS. TO ADD PLAYERS. THERE ARE MANY GOOD PLAYERS ,THAT WILL NOT MAKE IT ON THERE TEAMS ROSTERS. BECAUSE THEY ARE STACKED AT THESE POSITIONS. I THINK THIS WILL PLAY TO THE COLTS ADVANTAGE TO GRAB SOME QAULITY PLAYERS. AND ALSO MAKE OUR TEAM STRONGER??
Bowen: If I recall correctly last year the Colts were one of the last teams to make their cuts, waiting until pretty close to the 4:00 p.m. EST deadline on that Saturday. I have no idea if they will follow that same plan this year or not. Rest assured that this staff will know every team's 22 cuts and be prepared to pounce on any player they feel is an upgrade.
Chris C (Norman, OK)
This just gets more amazing. The Titans cut Gabe Ikard. Can we sign him? I know plenty of fans have written letters about this. You can even ask Mr. Craig Kelley about how we fans bugged in the mailbag about this. He could play any OL position at Oklahoma, we can use him!! Let's see him in a colts jersey. Go colts!
Bowen: The Gabe Ikard fan is back again! Judging by your hometown, you obviously watched Ikard very closely in college. I was a little surprised he went undrafted given the resume he put together at Oklahoma. I would say the Colts are pretty pleased with the undrafted center they found in Jonotthan Harrison.
Paul Madorno (Pittston, PA)
Without a question, Grigson did a good job with the D-line this off season. With him being a former O-line guy you would think he would have a better eye for talent there. His biggest failure is not bringing in proven talent, I know there is a lot of injuries on the line, but lets face, this group isn't that good. I just hope it doesn't get Luck killed. Thoughts?
Bowen: I don't think it's fair to make a concrete statement on the offensive line when the live bullets haven't even started to fly this season. Outside of the Saints game, I thought the line has protected very well this preseason. There's a reason Grigson has picked guys like Hugh Thornton, Khaled Holmes and Jack Mewhort in the first four rounds of each of the last two drafts. The tackle duo speaks for itself and has allowed the attention of the offensive line to focus on shoring up the interior. Make no mistake, if the Colts offensive line can protect No. 12 in 2014, this offense (and team) should flourish.
Isak H. (Mexico City)
Hey, I just want to ask how Montori Hughes is. I heard about the whole situation and as fans, we should show our support to him and his family. Also, I heard it is his brthday today. Congrats. We are all #94STRONG.
Bowen: Yes, Monday was Hughes' 24th birthday. In talking with Director of Player Engagement David Thornton, he says Hughes is doing about as good as you could be under such horrible circumstances. Players approached Hughes on several occasions on Tuesday afternoon to offer their condolences* *to the Colts nose tackle. Hopefully, Hughes can make a big impact along the Colts defensive line this year.
Laurence Foster (Bedford, TX)
What's up with Holmes?
Bowen: Straight to the point, Laurence. I like it. Holmes is out of the boot and out at practice earlier this week he didn't have any noticeable wrap on that ankle/lower leg area. He's done some light snapping with quarterbacks before practice starts, but still hasn't participated. Chuck Pagano says the hope is for Holmes to practice soon. If he can get out there early next week and show no ill effects, that season opener seems like a realistic option for his return.
Josh Reeves (Indianapolis)
As of now are the Colts planning to use a three back system or put the bulk of the load strickly on Trent Richardson? Also how much longer does Trent have left under contract? Is what we saw from the defense against the saints what we should expect during the regular season because if so I'm scared for us this year. Thanks and go colts!!
Bowen: Chuck Pagnao has said in the offseason the Colts are looking for a "bell cow" at running back but don't think for a second that guys like Ahmad Bradshaw and Boom Herron won't play some type of role in the backfield this season. Richardson is on his four-year rookie contract, which expires in 2016.
James Formato (New York)
Are the coaches ever going to design some plays for the Running Backs (RICHARDSON) to run "WIDE" instead of always trying the inside, WHICH NEVER SEEMS TO WORK\?
Bowen: I think you saw a mix of that from Richardson and the other Colts backs on Saturday night. Two of Richardson's better runs (both on the Coby Fleener touchdown drive) came out of the pistol and shotgun formations. For the Colts run game to be successful though they are going to have to be able to line up and run against tighter looks, especially when playing with leads late in games.
Michelle M (Fort Wayne, IN)
what happened during preseason week 3? disappointed in our O Line.. Defense couldnt stop brees... Manning will pick us apart opening game.. are they going to invest in some one next year to protect Andrew Luck and what changes are they going to make to help us for opening night?
Bowen: Saturday night wasn't the Colts best effort on either side of the football. That comes on the heels of two very solid performances to start the preseason. There are certainly corrections to be made and that's what games in August are all about. The Colts have won just nine preseason games since 2005, yet have been in the playoffs every year but 2011. Let's not hit the panic button just yet.
M P (Charlotte, NC)
So far, my team, The Colts, haven't been looking too good this preseason. Although it's only preseason, I still noticed a lot of weakness that have been exposed. Will they ever trust Luck with the play calling? Will the defense continue that ridiculous method of "Bend but don't break"? How about "Don't break at all"?
Bowen: Again, when taking a look at the entire preseason there's plenty of good to go along with the rough patches from Saturday. The starting offense scored on half of its preseason drives and that came without Reggie Wayne and T.Y. Hilton for over half of those series. Defensively, the unit was stout in the first two contests before the Saints moved the ball very effectively on Saturday night. Some miss tackling is a bit worrisome, but having Jerrell Freeman back in the middle of the defense will be a welcomed sign to that unit.
John Cosides (Bellerose, NY)
first welcome to the mailbag kevin.. being I can't see most of the games it's hard to see what's really going on. lucky for me this will be my 3rd game to see thanks to the colts playing both new York teams.so far I see a very good defense better than most years. offense looks ok. my question looking at the charts do we have enough backups who can play if need be. at some point they could be the key to winning as with all teams. thank you john cosides
Bowen: I do think this team is starting to create the necessary depth that is needed to survive an NFL season. The skill positions on offense speak for themselves in terms of the quality bodies that are running with the Colts second unit. It's the front seven depth and the secondary that is more of my focus. Guys like Ricky Jean Francois, Bjoern Werner (once Robert Mathis returns) and even a Darius Butler will play vital roles for this defense.
Bennie Turner (Houston)
mr kevin do you believe delano howell will be the starting safety if fully healthy or will ed reed get brought in for a look
Bowen: If healthy, it did appear Howell had the early leg up in the spot next to LaRon Landry. Unfortunately, the injury bug has bitten Howell once again and that has opened the door for the likes of Mike Adams, Sergio Brown and Colt Anderson. As far as Reed, I think Reggie Wayne answered it best during Training Camp in that his former University of Miami teammate is enjoying life just fine.
Bob B (Deltona, FL)
I know Ryan Grigson will be checking the waiver wire these next 2 weeks or so , but if he finds someone or others how fast could they get acclimated to the offense and or defense ?
Bowen: That's a good question and one that is probably a case-by-case type of situation depending on the player, position and the previous system they were in. I don't think this staff will shy away from someone they feel can make an impact, but certainly the timeliness will be something they will take into account when evaluating options.
Josh Weinstein (Miami, FL)
What's the deal with Josh McNary? The team has been high on him the last two years and even sitting out he got penciled in as the second-string ILB so clearly that hasn't changed. By my count though he hasn't even practiced at all, yet he sticks around, is there hope he'll still play this season?
Bowen: McNary has returned to practice this week, which is a great sign. In talking with him, the past month has been brutal knowing that he entered camp feeling comfortable with the entire defensive playbook and then had a month long set back. He will play on Thursday night and I'm very anxious to see if we see the same type of player that made some plays in pass rushing situations last year.
Bob Hannaman (Olive Branch, MS)
As an LSU fan I follow recruiting as much as NFL draft. A couple of LSUs 3 star recruits were Mo Claiborne, Jacob Hester and Corey Webster. Not highly recruited. Sometime there are diamonds in the rough. Looks like RG has found some gems this year. You need players who stick around. Who in Reggie Wayne's draft class were still on the Colts roster after 3 years.
Bowen: In Reggie Wayne's 2001 Draft Class you had Idrees Bashir (2001-2004), Cory Bird (2001-2004), Ryan Diem (2001-2011), Raymond Walls (2001-2002), Jason Doering (2001-2003) and Rick DeMulling (2001-2004).