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. Submit your question here. Here are responses to some of the questions received recently. We thank you for your interest in the Colts.
AL O. (from Crossville, TN) My favorite player was Marvin Harrison. He always did his job and was a professional. Chuck always talks about being humble and I understand the intensity of the game leads players to get a little hyped when they make a good play, but sometimes they overdo it. I would personally like to see them be more professional. Vince Lombardi once said when you score a touchdown act like you've been there before. What do you think?
A: I couldn't agree more, but there is a balance that can be struck between natural emotion and over-reaction. I think we've had this talk before, but with Marvin as one-of-15 Hall of Fame finalists, we'll have it again. In his 1,102 receptions and 128 touchdowns, you rarely saw him celebrate. I remember about five times total, with none of them being overboard. As a competitor, Marvin (click here for a story on Harrison) was what you loved watching, and here's hoping we have great news for Marvin and Tony Dungy on Saturday when voters pick the new Hall of Fame class. I know where you're coming from, and I'm a traditionalist, too, but emotion within reason, I think, is fine as well.
CHAD W. (from Houston, TX) I was only able to watch a few games this year. What I did see was refreshing. I agree with the writer about the RB situation, Trent (love this guy, great things are to come), Donald and Vick make our own version of 'Earth, Wind and Dumptruck.' (Vick, Donald and Trent in that order.) The lines will only get better. I'm hoping Deion Branch is back next year to help Reggie mold Da'Rick, T.Y., LaVon and Griff. Thanks to all who put the uniform on for a great season! Can't wait to see who's wearing the horseshoe next year.**
A: Let's hope our RBs make some beautiful music in 'September' (an EW&F classic), and I hope Trent doesn't mind being called a dumptruck. You mean it affectionately, and we want to see him rumble. We will have a number of guys back, along with some new faces. Chuck and Ryan will stir the pot, meld the personnel and continue building. We have given fans like you something to be proud of, but the work in front of us is big. Thanks for the support, and a workable nickname.
TED H. (from Alamogordo, NM) Just a comment about many writers. I picked up a magazine from last September and they didn't have the Colts reaching the playoffs. It really hit home with me how lucky Colts fans are to have such a strong contender each year. We have only missed the playoffs once in the last 12 years. We are so spoiled, and don't even realize it. I am really looking forward to March and how things will shake out with the players. I am really interested in what happens with Ahmad Bradshaw. We have a crowded backfield, but he was exciting to watch. I'd like to see him back. I think Trent will be much improved.**
A: We'll let others have their opinions while we try to define ourselves as a playoff team again. Our goal was to get farther than we did, so let's hope we go even deeper next year. You're right, we've been in 11 of the last 12 playoffs, but I don't think fans are spoiled. Your comments certainly show that you're not. I think our fans are appreciative, and they have been a part of a very fun ride. The RCA Dome and Lucas Oil Stadium are rough venues for visitors, and the 12th Man is quite real. Ahmad still is recovering. Trent will be a different player in 2014. It will be a new year but with hard work and health, we'll try to provide the same results that go beyond 16 scheduled games. Thanks for the out-of-town support, and don't let the naysayers get to you. Our players and coaches don't.
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS PLAYOFF HISTORY (BF-World Champions)
Lost AFC Divisional Playoffs at Cleveland, 38-21
Lost AFC Championship game at Pittsburgh, 20-16
Lost AFC Wild Card Playoffs at Pittsburgh, 42-14
Lost AFC Divisional Playoffs vs. Tennessee, 19-16
Lost AFC Wild Card Playoffs at Miami, 23-17 (OT)
Lost AFC Wild Card Playoffs at N.Y. Jets, 41-0
Lost AFC Championship game at New England, 24-14
Lost AFC Divisional Playoffs at New England, 20-3
Lost AFC Divisional Playoffs vs. Pittsburgh, 21-18
Won Super Bowl XLI vs. Chicago, 29-17
Lost AFC Divisional Playoffs vs. San Diego, 28-24
Lost AFC Wild Card Playoffs at San Diego, 23-17 (OT)
Lost Super Bowl XLIV to New Orleans, 31-17
Lost AFC Wild Card Playoffs vs. N.Y. Jets, 17-16
Lost AFC Wild Card Playoffs at Baltimore, 24-9
Playing in AFC Divisional Playoffs at New England
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS COACHES IN PLAYOFFS: Ron Meyer, 1987; Ted Marchibroda, 1995; Lindy Infante, 1996; Jim Mora, 1999-2000; Tony Dungy, 2002-08; Jim Caldwell, 2009-10; Chuck Pagano, 2012-13.
MARK M. (from Springville, NY) If Ahmad Bradshaw proves he can come back to play I hope the Colts give him another chance. He is a tough and punishing runner, just like the Colts are looking for. We have a lot of young talent at skill positions that is ready to explode. A lot of fans don't realize how few holes we have to fill. If we fill those holes, it will make all the rest around them look better than what people think they are. It's not the scheme or the defense or the offense, it's a couple of weak points that are causing things to look bad at times.
A: I'm sure Ahmad appreciates your support and like any player who is hurt to the degree he was, you want that player to put a solid end to a productive career. I can't speak for our intentions with Ahmad, but we're all rooting for a complete return to health. With the offensive approach we have, talents like his are good to have. How his spring and ours unfolds is yet to be seen. Beyond Ahmad's situation, we won't stay pat on personnel. We like our philosophy, obviously, and we want competition across the roster to get the best 53 players. It's been the mindset the past two seasons, and Ryan Grigson already has alluded to it again. While we have to get better, I don't quite agree with your using the work 'weak.' We can be more consistent. There were times this past season where that was a very pronounced problem.
RAY S. (from Minneapolis, MN) It was hard to watch our D-line, not getting any pressure up the middle, stuffing the run or sacking the QB. Likewise it was hard to watch the 49ers and Seahawks doing what we couldn't – getting after the RB and sacking the QB without bringing the blitz! Why is our line so bad? Is it talent or coaching? Will this be addressed this off season? We can't depend on Luck putting up Manning-type numbers just to stay in games. I have the same issue with our O-line. They played better of late but overall, our line can't open a hole for our backs to save their necks. Any help coming in that department as well? I love our team, but we need some major help on those two fronts.
A: I don't think it's as bleak as you say, but you made your point(s). We can have a better level of play and if Ryan and Chuck see help out there that's reasonable, they'll do what they can. We have some blocks in place, maybe more than some observers think. We do have good coaching. We did win 11 games and a playoff game. We're not satisfied and we did see a lot of what you saw from other teams in the playoffs. Hang in there. It's been an adjustment to the 3-4. It could be that we're still getting there. What worries you don't have are the two people in charge of the building process and the organization commitment to fielding a competitive product. It's a job that never stops.
ROB E. (from Ocala, FL) Would the Colts be penalized for trading a 2015 first-round pick for a first in 2014? Are teams allowed to do that year after year without penalty? If so, it seems like a great idea if we want a playmaker to make a run at the Super Bowl next year. Also, I am very enthusiastic about Allen Robinson from Penn State. With all the good WRs this year, hopefully he has a chance to slip into the second round!
A: Teams are not penalized for conducting trades, but it takes two to tango, plus a notion that it's in the long-term best interests of the Colts to do so. Ryan Grigson has pulled 16 trades in 106 weeks. They have benefited the club, and having Trent Richardson moving forward will be a good thing. We're missing a fourth- and seventh-round pick in 2014 for Montori Hughes and Josh Gordy, respectively. We get a seventh-round choice from Baltimore for A.Q. Shipley. So we have choices in rounds two, three, five, six and seven (from Baltimore). It could be that we've altered this year's draft as much as we're going to do. The draft is the lifeblood of an organization. Part of what you're asking also would depend on the draft class, which some reports indicate could be deep. There are a record number of underclassmen (98) this year.