INDIANAPOLIS – Each week, readers of Colts.com can submit their questions to have a chance of them being answered in our Wednesday or Saturday mailbag.
With the abundance of questions in recent weeks, we will have two mailbags each week. This one comes via a weekend edition (here’s the Wednesday version from this week).
Here is this weekend's collection:
John Avery (Houston)
The one thing that irritates me the most this off season is this Colts "all in/win now" analogy... With many analysis saying that this is a one year prop because we picked up key vets and that the Colts are no longer built for sustain success... and it's Luck at the end of the day that needs to carry the team to any success. Drives me crazy!!! A Houston sports guy actually says we're put together with duck tape! Laughable... Sure we've put pieces in place to get to the SB, but I think we have a strong mix of depth all key positions with vets (if healthy) having 3 to 4 more years of shelf life. What's your take?
Bowen: This is a question that was a bit more prominent around free agency time. The "all in" description can be interpreted in a few ways, in my opinion. Are the Colts "all in" for a Super Bowl run for this season? Yes. Definitely. They've added pieces to a team that made the AFC Championship in 2014. At the same time, do the offseason moves made in 2015 hinder future success? No. The structuring of the free agent contracts, combined with the young core already in place allows the Colts to be a presence atop the AFC for years to come. Think about the Colts young players in place and the positions they occur at. You have the quarterback (Andrew Luck). You have the bookend left tackle (Anthony Castonzo). You have an elite wide receiver (T.Y. Hilton). You have the lock down cornerback (Vontae Davis). You have a potential young pass rusher (Jonathan Newsome). I think most people view "all in" as a one-year "boom or bust" type of season. So to answer that question, no the Colts are not "all in" just for 2015. Even with the moves made this year and the contracts coming, the Colts are going to be a formidable team in the AFC for the next decade or so.
Anthony Smith (California)
First time writing in, huge Colts fan out here on the West Coast. Why is it that nobody brings up Vontae Davis when speaking about best CBs in the game? Even with surveys from the players, he doesn't show up too often. He's clearly a top 5 player at his position in my eyes.
Bowen: Anthony, you bring up a good question. I will start with this, Davis was ranked No. 59 by the NFL Network’s Top 100 list recently announced. Within that ranking, Denver Pro Bowl wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders thought Davis’ name should have been much, much higher. I think one reason for Davis' lack of recognition is this past season was his first as a Pro Bowler. The names you hear above Davis have a little more longevity. Second, Davis' isn't as outspoken as a Darrelle Revis or a Richard Sherman (also plays in smaller markets than those two). It's clear though when you look around the NFL, the respect for Davis is high within the league. Teams didn't even throw in his direction at times in 2014 and the game's best wide receivers have taken notice. Another season in 2015 close to last year and Davis will definitely be among the top two or three cornerbacks in the game.
Taggyrt Moses (Keenseburg, Colorado)
Does Tyler Varga have a good chance to fill a spot on the roster. He plays Tailback/Fullback and I think he could have a role as a kick returner too
Bowen: Varga is going to be a rookie to keep an eye on this preseason. His resume stuck out on the Colts undrafted free agent list, highlighted by a two-touchdown performance in the Senior Bowl. I'm not sure if he could be a kick returner at the NFL level, but you are correct in his versatility within the backfield. Frank Gore and Boom Herron appear to be locks to make the team. After that at running back, the Colts could keep one or two more guys with Varga in the mix, with guys like Vick Ballard, Josh Robinson and Zurlon Tipton. Of course, Varga has practice squad eligibility as a rookie.
David Hale (Speedway, IN)
Now that Ahmad Bradshaw will serve a one game suspension for next season, what's next? Is there a possibility or grounds for an appeal? Are there any teams he would fit well, and what are the scenarios he could find himself signing with another team or more importantly rejoining the colts. Please feel free to shorten my question to: "what's the deal with Ahmad Bradshaw?" a la Jerry Seinfeld voice
Bowen: Bradshaw remains a free agent with Training Camps opening up around the NFL in just a few weeks. I would be surprised if Bradshaw isn't picked up by some team before the start of the season. As long as he's fully recovered from the fibula injury, which ended his 2014 season, Bradshaw is definitely an asset to plenty of teams/systems. His running style is respected around the NFL and he's coming off a terrific season in catching balls out of the backfield. You know injuries are coming at the running back position and Bradshaw should be an option as a late offseason free agent pick up in the next month or so.
Tommy G (Utah)
I am confused on how the colts have their GM Grigson do their drafts and business decisions while it is up to the HC on other teams (pats-Belichick, Eagles-Kelly.) Is it just how owners have different styles for how their team drafts?
Bowen: How control is divided up for each organization around the NFL is done on an individual basis. However ownership feels the team should be best ran is how you see the amount of control from head coach vs. general manager. I would say the Colts are more of the norm with how they handle duties between Ryan Grigson and Chuck Pagano, although you named teams where the head coach has more control. The NFL does not mandate or restrict specific balance between coaches or general managers.