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Colts Mailbag

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COLTS MAILBAG – June 26, 2013

Intro: Each week readers of can submit questions about the team and have the chance for their questions to be answered. Here are this week’s answers to selected questions that were sent. To submit a question for Craig you can visit the COLTS MAILBAG or tweet your question with the hashtag #COLTSMAILBAG.





INDIANAPOLIS – Readers of 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.

TERRY W. (from Ocklahawa, FL) I'm 63 and have been a Colts fan since the days of Johnny Unitas.  I like the direction the team is heading with larger players in the middle.  I also like the off-season additions.  The only area that worries me a little is the receivers.  Glad to hear the tight ends are going to be more a part of the game.  I hope you'll make more use of LaVon Brazill this year.  He seems to have great hands. Any chance of picking anyone else up when teams start cutting players, or are there players you're still looking at in free agency?

A:  I am hopeful LaVon can make a big jump this year, and a lot of people will be watching him.  How he develops is one key thing to follow this year.  Unfortunately, he will miss the first four games due to a league policy issue.  I know we never are asleep when players are waived around the league.  We'll do what it takes to field the best unit at each position.  As for free agency, we've made a one-season team record amount of acquisitions this year and my sense is that we're done.  That said, you never know. 

RUSSELL J. (from Omaha, NE) I am an Indy maniac.  This question is about next year's draft.  Are we making plans for a trade to get more picks, or are we looking to trade some picks?

A:  I would think some of next year's draft outcome would depend on this year and how players mature and stay healthy.  You never can have enough picks, but Ryan Grigson is not shy about following his convictions.  That's a roundabout way of saying let's get this year done first.  Regardless, you have a talented decision-maker at the controls, and he feels the true lifeblood of a franchise is the draft.

TRE H. (from Dayton, OH) I've been a Colts fan for as long as I can remember and first I just want to thank you for the insight and responding to our answers.  I am an aspiring journalist, should be finishing up my degree here soon.  My biggest dream was to do something with my favorite team, and what could be better than writing for the Colts?  How did you get your position and what advice would you give a young journalist who may want to take your job :)?

A:  I commend your taste in NFL teams.  It is impeccable.  As for getting a writing career underway, just look for opportunity.  Try to set a path that will get you from Point A to Point B as quickly as possible.  Keep an open mind.  Make friends, not enemies.  Never mail in an effort.  Short cuts are apparent very quickly.  Don't be afraid of making mistakes.  If you don't from time-to-time, you probably aren't working hard enough.  Don't repeat mistakes (something that can be tricky).  If rejections happen, and they always do, don't take them personally.  I wish you the best and thought you made an artful joke at the end.  I got here by working journalistic jobs during undergraduate years and getting a master's degree.  I proposed a free internship with the New Orleans Saints in 1982 and worked a season and a half for them before getting a break with the Colts in 1985.  Just try your best and be willing to relocate anywhere.  Remember, others are doing the same thing, too.  Good luck.  It can be done.

ISAK H. (from Mexico City, Mexico) Now that the team has Ahmad Bradshaw, who is the "odd man out?"  Also, why was Jake Killeen cut?  I think he is a better player than Monte Simmons, C.O. Prime and Quinton Spears.  LaVon Brazill and Griff Whalen are the number four and five wide receivers on the team, right?  Hope the Colts go 16-0. Thank you.

A:  Don't have an answer for you on if there is an "odd man out."  Training camp will be the time period for most decisions.  Thanks for your support of Jake.  I'm sure he appreciates it.  You never know what the future could hold.  As for the pecking order at receiver, I would not assume anything at this point.  There still is too much to be determined in pads.  As for 16-0, 13-0 (2005) and 14-0 (2009) truly were special starts.  We'll have to take games as they come.  Glad you're locked and loaded with us.

LINDA F. (from Davenport, FL) Just wanted to wish all of the Colts players and coaches best of Luck in 2013.  (I) have always been a fan of the Colts when they came to Indianapolis (and) had season tickets until we moved to Florida.  GOOOOOOOOO Blue.

A:  Thank you for a very nice message, and I am glad you still follow the team closely.  We hate to lose any season ticket holders, but thanks for the support while you were here and glad you remain true to the Blue.

ENRIQUE H. (from Bakersfield, CA)  Is it confirmed that (Ahmad) Bradshaw will be the starting running back and Vick Ballard will be back up and if so, do you think it's the right choice (any choice will be a good one)?

A:  Nothing is confirmed on the starters yet.  Vick Ballard spent a large part of the spring working with the first unit.  Ahmad Bradshaw will get his feet wet (perhaps drenched) in training camp, and things will sort themselves out.  The coaches will make the right call on who starts and what the rotation will be.  I think we have a very talented backfield, and I expect them all to contribute.

ERIC V.G. (from Bloomington, IN) With the addition of Ahmad Bradshaw, it appears that Donald Brown and Vick Ballard will likely see fewer snaps, unless Bradshaw has an injury that we're not aware of.  How do you see the running back situation going, more power or more finesse?

A:  We have stated all spring there will be more of a power approach, and the addition of Bradshaw only helps that mindset.  His acquisition did not change it.  How playing time will be allotted is to be determined.  I think there will be something for everyone in the offense.  Pep Hamilton does not have any "can't do" players.

BRAD F. (from Charleston, WV) I have been a Colts fan for about 27 years.  I have never been to a game.  They cost too much, but was just asking how could I get a Colts NFL football like the ones they play with.  Thank you for reading.  Go Colts!!!!

A:  You can check merchandise on the NFL's website, and most sporting goods stores likely would carry authentic NFL footballs.  I got my first one in fourth grade many years ago and still have it to this day.  Hope you can find one and thanks for many years of support.

OWEN D. (from Stratford, Ontario, Canada) Hey Craig!  My roommate and I here in Canada at Wilfrid Laurier University Brantford Campus are die-hard COLTSTRONG through and true since we've started watching the game when we were kids up here in the north.  He wants to see Delone Carter featured as a back, along with Vick (Ballard) and the new signee Ahmad Bradshaw (unreal snag!).  How many carries does he figure to get?  Personally, I've loved and raved about Reggie Wayne since we got him from Miami U, and am just psyched to see him be among the top receivers this year again!  My question is how did we ever manage to woo LaRon (Landry) into joining the horseshoe?  What a beast!  P.S. My roommate and I are coming down in August for the first preseason game, our first Colts game live, a LONG time coming.  I cannot wait to see Reggie!  Cheers and thanks for a great section of the site, we read it every week!

A:  I hope you have a great trip down and a fun time while you are here.  You'll enjoy the stadium, and you'll see a number of players that night.  We want to see Delone make some progress this year.  Health has been his big issue, and it's been a continual one.  The coaches will divvy up the playing time this year with what appears to be a talented corps of runners.  Time will be the judge on how much Ahmad Bradshaw gets the ball.  I'm glad also you will get to see Reggie in person.  He's one of the most special players we've had.  It also will be the first look at LaRon Landry for our fans at home.  Ryan Grigson and Chuck Pagano can be pretty persuasive with free agents, and Chuck's defensive pedigree doesn't hurt in the recruiting process.  It should be a fun defense to watch, and here's betting fans will give LaRon a huge hand that night.  I hope Reggie makes a catch or two for you.

TIM S. (from Incheon, Korea) I have two questions regarding defense.  Which position do you think would suffer most from injury to a starter?  Do you think the Colts will have a defense in the top half of the league this year?  Thank you. Coltstrong in Korea!

A:  Tim, thanks for writing from far away.  I really don't like to think about injuries.  Let's hope they're not part of the equation.  We do have talent beyond many of the front-liners, and I hope they get playing time for reasons that only are beneficial to the team.  I think our defense will have a much stronger presence this year.  Being in the top half of the league, I think, is in reach, and I bet Coach Pagano expects it.  Thanks for writing in and adding to another country that has contributed to our mailbag.

EMMANUEL M. (from El Paso, TX) Do you think that I should still keep my Peyton Manning jersey?

A:  Absolutely, no doubt, without question, you betcha.  I couldn't stress it enough.  Tony Dungy says, "Once a Colt, always a Colt," and it could not be said better, or by a better former Colt than Tony.  Peyton is one of the greatest players of all-time.  Every time he took the field, he had done the utmost to win.  He never wanted to come off a field with a thought that he could have done anything more in preparation terms in case the team had lost.  His greatness is tough to describe, and I was around him in enough moments to see it beyond his on-field performances.  While I hope you end up feeling the same way about our current players, honoring the past is an important thing to do, in my opinion.  I really don't think you needed convincing, and all of us hold Peyton in deepest regard.  Wear it proudly, and hope for a great franchise heritage to continue.     

MICHAEL F. (from Porter Ranch, CA) I noticed you've updated the weight of the players on the team roster.  We clearly are bigger.  My question is in several parts. I'm wondering, does this represent the weight the team wants the players to play at this season?  Or, is this more, "It's the off-season and guys will lose most, if not all of it, before the season?"  If so, will there be new updated weights posted come September? Thanks again....

A:  The spring and conditioning work is finished and these are the playing weights for the season.  Training camp will be a continuation of what has been done to this point.  The years are long gone where camp is used to get players into playing shape.  We're good to go on this and if you are keeping such a trained eye on us, I bet you as excited as we are for the season.  Thanks for being such an observant fan.

PAULA K. (from Pittsburgh, PA) My nephew is a HUGE Colts fan, even though the rest of us are Steelers fans.  He is getting married in November of this year and is SUCH a fan that he requested – and got – that the colors for the wedding be Colts blue and white.  I think it would be neat if I could get a wedding card signed by some of the Colts players for him.  Would even travel over there to see it happen – wearing a Steelers shirt, of course.  Have no idea where they have training camp.  Can you help me out?

A:  First, congratulations on your nephew's impending marriage.  It's a great time for a family.  As for guaranteeing autographs, that is not something we do as an organization. Our training camp schedule was released on Tuesday and you can find that here.  Anderson University is located about 25 miles north of Indianapolis off I-69.  Players are urged to mix with fans after practices, but please understand we do not promise results.  Still, our players have been very accommodating in the past.  Hope it's a great wedding.

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BOB B. (from Deltona, FL) I've been a Colts fan for over 50 years , even though I lived in Illinois I took a lot of flak for it.  My question is why isn't the Colts' first-round pick signed yet?  I believe with the free agents that have been signed and the draft choices the depth this team has is the best than they've had in years past.  And, I'd like to comment on the mindless input Mark Schlereth.  He's a former Bronco, what do you expect?

A:  Glad you've had a spine of steel in your support of the team.  Bjoern has yet to sign, but I severely doubt it will be an issue in late July.  Some things take their own time period to solve.  I agree with you that we have enhanced our depth tremendously with the off-season moves.  You hope for health to see how the position battles sort themselves out.  As for Mark Schlereth, the bashing of him continues with our readers.  He's entitled to his opinion, and that's fine.  Don't let him get your goat.  I have no problems with him, though.

MIKE N. (from Dubuque, IA) (I'm) thrilled about the Ahmad Bradshaw signing.  I was trying to find out when Bjoern Werner signed his contract.  When I saw reports of tweets from Mr. Irsay saying he was offering a contract to an Iceland body builder.  I was excited and hope there might be real interest.  Go Colts.

A:  Bjoern has yet to sign his contract.  I don't think you'll have worries.  As for the Icelandic prospect…..only the shadow knows. 

GARY B. (from Fairport, NY) What are the rules and time frames for Bjoern Werner practicing with the Colts without a signed contract?  Based on the current 89 positions on the roster and the pending Werner signing, am I correct that a player will need to be cut if the Colts do add Josh McNary to the roster for training camp?  Is McNary still a possible tryout?  Thank you!

A:  Players cannot participate in training camp practices without being under contract.  I don't think there will be an issue at all with signing Bjoern.  As for Josh, he is under contract and hopefully will join the team in camp.  Spring work has come and gone, and he was fulfilling his military obligations.  We'll keep the light on for him.

JOYCE F. (from Fort Wayne, IN) What are the beginning and end dates of 2013 training camp?

A: The first open training camp practice is scheduled for Sunday, July 28th from 1:50-4:30 p.m.  Players report on Saturday the 27th with the camp is expecting to run until Friday, August 16th.  Click here for a complete training camp schedule.

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