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:Oliver Boulton, (St. Albans, United Kingdom)
Hi Kevin... I really should've read this week's mailbag before sending my previous question to you, because you pretty much already answered it in this week's edition. So I've cooked up another question! Being a fan who lives in the UK, what do you think the odds are that the Colts will get a game in London in the next few years? Despite living in Indiana as a child, I never got the chance to see the Colts live and I would have died and gone to heaven if I got the chance to see them in London.
Bowen: Right now, the NFL has three games across the pond each year. The Colts haven't been in the rotation yet, but the marketability of the team seems like a good option in the near future. With guys like Bjoern Werner and Andrew Luck's having strong European backgrounds, it wouldn't surprise me in the least bit to see this team playing in London in the next few years.
Oliver Boulton, (St. Albans, United Kingdom)
Hi Kevin. I grew up in Columbus, Indiana and watched the Peyton Manning led Colts throughout my childhood. I know we've already touched on this quite a lot throughout the off-season but one of the things that always stuck out to me was the connection that Peyton had with Jeff Saturday. It took those guys years of playing together to form that chemistry. Seeing as Andrew has had relatively limited time with Khaled Holmes overall and pretty much zero actual game time, how important do you think Holmes missing the rest of preseason is going to be in terms of their readiness together for the season opener @ Denver?
Bowen: Ideally, you would obviously love to have Holmes back practicing during this critical time for development. He played just 12 snaps last year and seven this preseason. You combine those numbers and he will probably eclipse that snap count by midway through the second quarter in the regular season opener (if he plays). The only good news is that Holmes did get nine weeks of work with Luck during the spring OTA/minicamp session.
Chris Cohron (Lexington, Kentucky):
Hey, Kevin. Just killing time at work and wanted to ask about a few concerning injuries. I know that Jack Mewhort, along with others have been sitting out of practice to ice. Is this precautionary because of his recent surgery, or something to be concerned about? Also, safety Sergio Brown was taken off the field during camp, and not much information was given on the injury. What's going on with that? I feel like our team is made of glass!!! :(
Bowen: Mewhort has returned to practice and Ryan Grigson shared a few more thoughts yesterday on the Colts rookie left guard. It sounds just precautionary for Mewhort after having his knee scoped following minicamp. Sergio Brown was back practicing the next day following the injury in Anderson. No worries there.
Kieffer Graessler, (Miami, Florida)
After the first preseason game I'm quite relieved with how defense looks compared to last year. The unit looks good and we have depth. Now my issue is the o-line , I trust grigson will make the right moves cause the man does a great job but I can't feel safe until we have more depth for the guard and center positions.
Bowen: From a pass protection standpoint, you have to be very pleased with what the starting line has shown this preseason. Even with a few banged up spots in the interior, the line has given ample time for Andrew Luck to operate. Both Chuck Pagano and Ryan Grigson are looking for better production in the run game. They are hoping that will change with some healthy guys returning up front and opposing defenses having to respect the Colts weapons in the pass game.
John Bratton, (Fishers, Indiana)
Congratulations on your new position with the mailbag! Colts fans love their team and I know it's always easy to give them the answers they want or expect, but I'm sure you'll do good job.
I asked last year without a real good answer. Why (when totally healthy) is Joe Reitz not starting. I've NEVER seen a good answer from the Colts on this. When he's played and been healthy....he's been as good as anybody and was better than all three inside guys last season. I know Health was a concern, but bottom line...Joe is still one of the best 5 lineman on the Colts roster. No way to candy coat it. I believe he starts for at least half of other NFL teams at guard or tackle.
Thanks for your time and GO COLTS!!!
Bowen: Joe Reitz is a very intriguing guy along this line. His versatility up front is really unmatched and the staff views him as a key part in creating the necessary across that group. Right now he's playing tackle (could easily slide inside) and obviously your starters are set there in Anthony Castonzo and Gosder Cherilus.
Brian McMillan, (DeLand, Florida)
Hey Kevin. Do you see the Colts possibly signing Ritchie Incognito to fill possible holes on the "O" line? I'm going to the game at the Jags on Sep. 21. Do you know of a hang out or tailgating place Colts fans go before the game ? You do a great job on colts.com. Keep it going. :-)
Bowen: I answered the Incognito(s) question in last week’s mailbag. As far as tailgating spots in Jacksonville the week of the game, I would try the Colts.com’s forum message boards and ask around there if people know of spots. Maybe try Twitter as well with the #Colts or #INDvsJAX the week of the game.
Kevin Cote, (Massachusetts)
Willl Donald Thomas Be Ready to Play for Season Opener?
Bowen: Donald Thomas was placed on injured reserve during the first week of Training Camp.
Ryan Noblitt, (Decatur, Indiana)
What are the Colts plans for Chandler Harnish? Do you see them keeping three qbs this year and prepping Harnish to replace Hasselbeck next year?
Bowen: Harnish has another year of practice squad eligibility. This day and age in the NFL, having three quarterbacks on the active roster is just so difficult based off injuries and dressing 46 on game days. ESPN's Adam Schefter reported earlier this week that practice squads are growing to 10 players (from 8) next week. That would be beneficial to a guy like Harnish. In an ideal scenario, I think another year on the PS would benefit Harnish and then depending on what happens with Matt Hasselbeck in 2015, you might have an opening as a backup quarterback.
Chad T, (Greenfield)
I've noticed this year and in years past, other teams have joint practice in camp, like redskins/patriots. Have colts ever done that in past? Any advantages to that? I also really like depth at wr this year, I believe luck can go for 30 Tds.
Bowen: Advantages I think are, you obviously see someone new, therefore you don't know the tendencies of the opposing players, see different looks, etc. At the same time, logistically it can be a bit difficult with only really the Bears and Bengals being the teams within driving distance.
Jeanne Dickey (LaPorte, Indiana)
Who were the running back/full backs for the 2013-2014 season for our Colts, having a serious discussion and would like the correct answer, please.
Bowen: The Colts backs that got carries last season included Donald Brown, Trent Richardson, Ahmad Bradshaw, Vick Ballard, Tashard Choice, Boom Herron and Stanley Havili. Robert Hughes and Chris Rainey were also on the roster.
Roy Munson, (Jonesboro, Indiana)
Does 12 go by Andrew or Andy?
Bowen: I believe Andrew, although Andy is very popular among fans. I think Hakeem Nicks has even thrown the name "Drew" into the mix.
Isak Haras, (Mexico City)
Who will be playing the unconventional positions for the team this year (gunner, upback, H-back, jammer, KOS)?
Bowen: If my memory serves right, the starting gunners in camp were Colt Anderson and Sergio Brown. I would assume Dwayne Allen is the H-back. Not exactly sure who will occupy the other spots you asked.
Nathan Lopez, (Chino Hills, California)
I think Griff Whalen is awesome. But I can't even begin to grasp the idea of how often Colts fans overlook Darick Rogers! I mean this guy is a great build for the wide receiver position, he has speed, hands, can get separation, and more than all he has BIG play ability! I love watching him play. When Rogers is on the field I'm planted and watching. What is it that I am not seeing that has all the fans raving about Whalen over Rogers? To me I hope that the future of our receiving corps contains T.Y., Darick, and Moncrief. But you never know who may come and who may go I guess. P.S. I hope he does well in the Giants game so I don't look silly for writing this.
Bowen: Well Rogers backed up your statement with a 14-yard touchdown reception during the second quarter. Rogers at times has struggled with his consistency and really had a quiet camp until the last week and a half. Whalen has proven himself on several occasions, and also can help this team out from a punt return standpoint. Having said that, I think there's room for both of these guys on the 53-man roster. If you do end up having to cut one of the two, there's no doubt they will be picked up immediately. Keeping six receivers is well worth it when you have the likes of Whalen and Rogers rounding out that group.
Nick Sheets, (Bear, Delaware)
With all the injuries that the team has had to deal with in recent years I see that the trainers are employing advanced technology and data to help keep our guys healthy. I have heard some teams use floatation therapy tanks and some players use hyperbaric chambers to help their bodies recover more quickly. Do the Colts use any alternative approaches like these as well?
Bowen: To be honest, I'm not exactly sure if the Colts are using those types of techniques. Members of the strength and conditioning staff monitor players throughout practice. Here's an interview with Ryan Grigson about the new technology.
John Stuckey, (Indianapolis)
I don't know if you've been asked this before, but why do the Colts have so many WRs? The depth is really deep as is. Do you think any of the rookie WRs would make the final roster? If so who?
Fela Wyse, (Indianapolis)
The first team and second team defense looked good. But my question do you think any of the third string guys have a chance of making the team? Because that 4th quarter performance against the Giants was just inexcusable. Is Delano Howell done for the season? What's Manusky's view on the safety position?
Bowen: As far as the third and fourth teamers, I do think some individuals in that group could make the 53-man roster or the team's practice squad. Not every player in that group should be written off because of that fourth quarter comeback. Delano Howell is currently dealing with a sore neck and his status isn't defined. Manusky has gone on record saying the Colts would like to have a starter by the end of camp (next week). If Howell doesn't return quickly, then Adams and Brown seem to be the favorites at that spot.
Brandon Owens, (Monroe, Indiana)
How's Dewey McDonald doing, I he had a okay camp. And by watching the preseason games, he made some good special teams hits. Also some some good plays on defense, including a sack with another player. And Grigson talking about how impressive he been, could he makes the roster or practice squad.
Bowen: McDonald has been an intriguing name ever since the Colts signed him as an undrafted free agent. While he hasn't got the first team reps like the four main guys in the mix (Mike Adams, Colt Anderson, Sergio Brown and Delano Howell) to line up next to LaRon Landry, McDonald seems like a guy that will be squarely in the mix for a practice squad spot, if he doesn't crack the 53-man roster. Again, team's practice squads are growing to 10 spots (from 8) so that's welcomed news to any undrafted free agent.