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. Please make an effort to be concise when submitting a question.
JERROD F. (from Watertown, NY) In the draft we got a few offensive linemen, along with a possibly great receiver in Donte Moncrief. So now we have arguably the best young QB in the NFL, three solid running backs and a star-studded WR/TE group. Do you think Coach Pagano and Pep Hamilton will allow Luck to air out the ball more often this year and give the offense a chance to have year similar to, or even better than, the Broncos' offense was last year statistically? I know the plan is to dominate the run game, but I felt like the no-huddle, pass-oriented offense we ran more toward the end of last season was more successful. I know winning is the most important thing, I just think it'd be nice to see Luck get some solid numbers on his career stat-line.
A: Do you really think I'd bite for that? Andrew's best number over two years is 22, for the number of wins he has helped lead (23 counting the playoffs). I doubt big-time he'd say 46 touchdowns or 8,196 yards mean more to him. In the Super Bowl era, Andrew is one of nine NFL QBs to make the playoffs in two or more consecutive seasons to open a career. Prior to that, you'd have to go back to 1950-51 to find the last QB to do it (Otto Graham). I'd say he already has solid career numbers, and it has nothing to do with puffy stats (note – that's not a shot at Denver or any other team and its philosophy). Sure it's fun to see Andrew throw for 400 yards and we're 2-0 when he does it, but games are won more often when teams have a 100-yard rusher than a 300-yard passer. We have only had one 100-yard ground game during Andrew's tenure, and that needs to change. We're 4-7 when he goes for more than 300 yards, and he only has a plus-three TD:int. ratio in those games. I don't think we're constructed the way you want this to go. Since you referred to Denver, Peyton was 141-67 (67.8%) in his regular-season career with us, and his winning percentage dipped to 58.2 (32-23) when he threw for 300. It's about balance and controlling the game, and it's better done with a healthy rushing game. I know you saw that with the Triplets then and like then, we want other weapons to surround a QB. It's a healthy design.
MOST STARTING VICTORIES FIRST TWO SEASONS (Since 1950)
ROB E. (from Ocala, FL) Looks like our roster is filling out well since the draft. I'm very excited for this year. Love the signing of Jonotthan Harrison and Loucheiz Purifoy from Florida. Since LaRon will be more of a run-stopper in the box safety, has Ryan Grigson thought of trying a CB for the other safety position? From what I've read, we need a true centerfield safety, and that seems like a nice idea with Purifoy and Qua Cox with their size and abilities.
A: Ryan said before the draft we're looking for the best combo and that our safeties are "interchangeable" in Chuck's offense – that we don't necessarily need a "true" free or strong safety. He also said their need to cover is important, so that may have led to your question about moving a CB into the mix. There is such a balance needed in the skill set and while Cox (who had a scoring interception return at CB in rookie camp) and Purifoy have good size, I'm not sure we'd try them like you asked. We do have some returnees, plus Dewey McDonald, who joined us like Cox and Purifoy as a FA after the draft. It's a little early to tell. That's what 10 OTAs and mini-camp is for. If we don't have the right mix (I think we do), we will when the time comes. Way to support your Gators. You know they were schooled well in the SEC.
BOB B. (from Deltona, FL) I know the new #75 (Jack Mewhort) will be an upgrade to the old #75 (Mike McGlynn). I'd move Donald Thomas to right guard and put Mewhort at left guard. With Khaled Holmes at center, I know it will be a major improvement. And I wonder what the (Colts') comments were when Clowney made the comment about going after Andrew Luck.
A: Jack will be just fine with us. He could be in for some early impact. I think Donald is coming along well, too, and Khaled has a great opportunity right in front of him. I believe all will be up to the challenge. As for the remarks by Clowney, I guess you're referring to him saying Andrew Luck had better keep his eyes open and head on a swivel. Those are nothing new, and draft-time remarks can be made in the emotion of the moment. He'll be a great player and a good addition to their defense (unfortunately). We'll be ready, however, and Andrew has seen his share of talented defenders. Our division has gotten better, but we like what we've done and we'll be ready to stack ourselves up against competition in September. We'll see him and our other AFC South mates in the first six games. It will be fun to compete.
WAYNE W. (from Boston, MA) I want to echo the sentiments (and) I'm surprised how many people are responding negatively to our draft. I'm pleased to see there are many who are loyal and optimistic about the work that the front office has done this off-season. We can't forget the acquisitions apart from the draft of D'Qwell Jackson to bolster our LBs and Hakeem Nicks is huge with long-term potential. As with all drafts, it's wait-and-see on the new guys. It's funny how the experts grade our draft poorly, but I remember a lot of clamoring from these same experts for the Colts to draft Ryan Leaf instead of Peyton Manning, etc. Anyway, I am constantly amazed and thankful for all that Jeff Saturday has done for this organization. I see that he just tried to help secure Indianapolis for the 2018 Super Bowl. Is he a part of the front office now? I hope we keep him in this organization for years to come.
A: Thanks for the great support from outside territory. Glad you keep up with us in-season and out. Critics always are going to be there. Thankfully, we have wide coverage of the sport and team. With it comes the culture you are referring to (remember the term 'upside' before the 1998 draft? How did that work out?). We'll just go about coaching our guys up (OTAs started yesterday), and we'll attack when the time comes. As for Jeff, he's been one of the top Colts of our Indianapolis era. He helped us achieve greatness on the field, and he has been a big boost to our front office. We use Jeff quite a bit like last week when he helped deliver a big pitch to help try to get us Super Bowl LII. It didn't work, but Jeff was well-received by the other owners, and I hope we keep using him for years, too. He's a great emissary for us and a terrific guy. Anyone starting out in life could use his example as one to follow.
MATTHEW V. (from Indianapolis) Whatever became of Lawrence Sidbury? He was a free agent pick up last year. I believe he was placed on IR.
A: Lawrence was an unrestricted free agent after this past season. Unfortunately, I have not heard that he was signed anywhere. Lawrence came here and got a tough injury as you probably remember and was not able to do what he wanted. He's a good guy, and I hope he gets on with someone. I just haven't heard that he's had the chance. I'm sure he appreciates you thinking of him.
BRENT C. (from Rochester, IN) I was curious if we (the Colts) were going to have mini-camp at Lucas Oil Stadium this year again? I've been looking for the info on that and haven't found anything. Thank you!
A: Thanks for the first-time letter and your long-time support. At the moment, we do not have anything planned at the stadium for mini-camp. It looks like the first chance people will have to see us work will be in training camp at Anderson University around July 24. I don't have specific practice times to publish yet, but we should have something soon. Unless you and other readers hear otherwise from us in the mailbag and on our website, that will be the first time. We will keep you informed. Anderson almost is in your backyard, so I hope we see you there in July and August.
ANTONIO A. (from Hammond, IN) I registered for the 5K that will be held at Lucas Oil Stadium. Were any players or coaches at the event last year? Also, will the first 500 people to register with the promo code for the free preseason ticket be qualified to win the ticket or will they receive the ticket? This will be my first time at LOS and would really like to attend the game as well.
A: The 5K will be held the morning of August 23 at the stadium. All participants will finish on the 50-yard line. Since it is the morning of a game, there will not be any current players or coaches at the event. However, we typically have an alumni player start the race (last year it was Marlin Jackson). The first 500 participants who used the code for the free ticket will receive it when they pick up their race packet either the day before or on the morning of the event. They will be receiving more details on packet pick up as we get closer. Registration for the race can be found at www.colts.com/run. Thanks for getting into the event, and now you know how to get a ticket.
JOSH K. (from Brantford, Ontario, Canada) Just wondering if there's a chance that in the photo galleries during OTAs that the players be tagged in the photos? Do you think that's a possibility? We (fans) enjoy going through them and it is tough to figure out who the rookies are. With the loss of Aubrayo Franklin, will Ricky Jean Francois move to NT along with Josh Chapman to fill that void? NFL.com listed Francois as our second NT.
The final day of Rookie Mini Camp!
A: Thanks for a question we had a few times last year. While we wish we could put some identification on the pictures, it would alter our ability to provide them so quickly and thoroughly. We hope it is not too inconvenient for fans like you, and we ask for your understanding. Our photographer, Matt Bowen, does a great job and puts up a bunch of images for people to enjoy. Thanks for a chance to explain again that specific challenge on our end, and we hope you do enjoy the pictures. Our rosters are on the site, too, if you wanted to use a reference tool to help you identify the players. Ricky and Josh are two candidates at nose. So is Art Jones. We're only starting OTAs, so that, along with RBs and WRs, is something to watch. As for depth charts on other sites, read at your own risk. They can publish what they want, but the club always waits until the first preseason game week at put one together.
KERVENS P. (from Atlanta, GA) How can we toughen the mental part of our OL? Yes we have big bodies now, but big bodies aren't what only make a great line. It's your determination and drive. I don't want to have anybody who is playing because they just want to get paid. The team deserves big men on the OL, not big boys. I'm not calling them big boys, but if their toughness isn't there, you might as well call them big boys. We really want that trophy back in Indy.
A: Two weeks ago, you said our defense played "nice," and now you don't seem to think we're mentally tough enough on the offensive line. I don't get it with your assessments, not in the least. Our players are tough, have the right mindset, the talent level, the moxie – any phrase or analogy you want to use – and they play to win, not to collect a check. You assertion is 180 degrees from what we have and for the type of players we bring in here. I think a lot of teams would like the accomplishments we've had the last two years, and our guys in the trenches have the tangibles and intangibles that it takes to compete. I'll defend them again if you insist otherwise, and thanks for being a regular contributor. Maybe you should watch a little closer while we're playing. We're laying it out there to get that trophy. It's our only goal.
JIM L. (from Palmyra, IN) We are big Colts fans and are season ticket holders. Do you know if the team has released this year's schedule for training camp at Anderson yet? This will be our fourth year going, and we are trying to get our time off from work scheduled.
A: We have not put the dates out yet, other than players report on July 23. Practice typically follows the next day. We'll get things ready for publication soon so you and others can make the necessary plans. We can't thank you enough for being such great fans. We'll take all we can get like you.