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).
Dustin B. (Kings Mountain, NC)
Hi Kevin, I just want to thank you for these mailbags. They are great. My question is about Luck. How much of an impact do you truly believe last year's injuries and 9 games out will have on Luck? Also do you think Kendall Langford has what it takes to be defensive POTY?
Bowen: We had a few questions this week regarding Andrew Luck's 2016. The motivation Luck has to compete is something that should not be overlooked. Luck doesn't give off this vibe during a media session, but his play on the field and the nature in which he plays speaks for itself. Does he need to be smarter at times with knowing when enough is enough? Yes. But I do believe the time as a spectator last year has Luck very motivated to be there for his team, and deliver. Watching Luck on the sidelines last season, you could easily see how much it was eating at him not being able to impact games from snap to whistle. A healthy Luck should have him back to his Pro Bowl self. Now if we are talking Kendall Langford and a Defensive Player of the Year award, that's a long shot. Those awards go to guys named J.J. Watt, edge rushers who challenge for 20 sacks and lock down cornerbacks. It's very, very difficult for a defensive lineman (not named Watt) to win that award. However, that doesn't diminish what Langford means to this team. I mentioned it below, but Langford's reliability and his production last season were absolutely massive. Given the defensive line injuries last season, Langford might have been the Colts' most important defender in 2015. He's going to be counted on heavily again this year.
Bronson B. (Argos, IN)
The Colts went 8-8 last season as everyone knows, due to the QB, O-line and defense situation. People say the Colts will have the same record this year. Do you think the Colts will be the 11, 12, 13 winning game team or an 9,10 winning team?
Bowen: If you were going to group the Colts into one of these two scenarios, I'll put them in the first category. I see them really challenging for 11 wins this season. The road schedule has some difficult games throughout the season, but I believe this team should control home field. I've said this before, but I think a key part of the season is a five-game stretch that goes: Steelers, @Jets, Texans (short week), @Vikings and @Raiders (short week). If the Colts can go 3-2 in those games, I see this team right in the 11-win group.
Andrew E. (Lafayette, IN)
Hey kevin thanks for doin all of this, I've noticed that there are like 10 to 20 of us that write in almost every week hahaha, maybe we should all get together and form a super fan alliance haha. I have a couple questions I guess one is about our wr group. I'm from lafayette hometown of anthrop, I watched him play at Purdue he has some great hands, he caught an inure bug and suffered from less than desirable qb play (unfortunately Purdue is not the qb cradle that produced Brees grieve and Orton among others anymore) but I saw him make some plays know he was Goin to be demolished. He seems like the under the radar guy that Whalen once was. What's your opinion on him, can he make the team or at least the practice squad. I think besides Hilton moncrief,Dorsett he and bray could be the best fit. My other question has to do with an article I read about a couple offenses looking to go no huddle this year, we weren't mentioned and I'm totally fine with that, part of me is always weary about giving to much away with our plans in the offseason. But I would like your take on luck and chud running no huddle. I think it's a great way to keep them guessing and tire a good defense out not to mention I think luck has the skill set to dominate in a no huddle much like his predecessor did. Last question is what happens when all this hype for jags, texans, and titans proves as worthless as our hype last year and we once again dominate our division? Do we finally get a lil credit? Sometimes I feel like we don't get much credit from the talking heads of football on both ESPN and nfl network when I feel we are always a top ten team.
Bowen: 1. I do think the wide receiver group could have an undrafted receiver emerge to make the team. Chuck Pagano has praised Danny Anthrop before, but it's likely going to come down to his impact on special teams and how that compares to the other receivers fighting for that final spot or two. 2. We haven't heard much "tempo talk" from Rob Chudzinski. Luck and the Colts have had success before using a quicker pace so I'm sure that is in the playbook, but we don't know how Chud wants to handle things from a pace standpoint. Last year was impossible to judge with the injuries at the quarterback position 3. I wouldn't fret too much over the attention the Colts are getting this offseason. They didn't win the division last year and didn't have a very active offseason (which was expected). You put those two things together and the Colts aren't going to be leading off NFL Live every afternoon. If the Colts can fuel this similar to what they did in 2012, they will be receiving the necessary attention come New Year's.
Kyle A. (Indianapolis)
2 question-er if that's ok!
How much playing time will the 1st team get during the hall of fame game?
And with the hall of fame game (5 total preseason games) and the game in London, what kind of training / rest would the Colts need to give the players to get them physically and mentally ready for this 2016 season?
It's gonna be a one heck of a year for our Colts! #ColtsNation! SB 2016 bound.. Let's hit the trifecta!
Bowen: This is a great question. The Hall of Fame game often looks similar to what teams use in Week Four of the preseason. I wouldn't expect the starters to play long at all. In talking with Green Bay's Mike McCarthy, he mentioned how he's going to use the extra preseason game to really evaluate their young talent on the roster. Now, the Colts are installing a new offense and defense so they might want to use the extra playing time to get game reps with those systems. This will be a storyline to watch for the Colts in how they handle the change in the preseason schedule. Chuck Pagano has tapped into many resources to make sure his team is prepared physically for a season he wants to last into February.
Tyler R. (Fort Wayne, IN)
Hope this might be a little random for you since you have covered most all questions possible so far about how players are doing. So how about this...We know Pat is quite the personality on and off the field but other than him who would you say has the most fun/outgoing personality through the camp so far?
Bowen: I'll pick one guy on each side of the ball. On offense, Dwayne Allen is an extremely engaging personality. Allen is the team's NFLPA rep and you can see why such a young player has a position of authority within the locker room. He's frequently in the community and is even a Butler basketball season ticket holder. Allen has appeared on NFL Network and is also very active in the Colts playing in London this season (Colts.com will have more on this in July). On defense, I'm going to go with Mike Adams. The 35-year-old safety always seems to have a quick joke when talking to the media. He's been that way since his first interview in Indy, back in June of 2014. Adams has a desire to get into broadcasting after his football career. His quick wit will be attractive to potential employers.
Jacob H. (Fullerton, CA)
Who do you think is going to take that next step this season and make the Pro Bowl? Im hopeful it's Moncrief, but I can see Allen making that jump too.
Bowen: I like this question and thinking about some of the possibilities. On offense, I think Dwayne Allen/Frank Gore would have your best shots. A 1,000-yard season at the age of 33 would give Gore plenty of respect from coaches and players around the league. Allen is more of the obvious "on paper choice" given the numbers the Colts lost with Coby Fleener. I still think T.Y. Hilton is your clear No. 1 receiver, which will hinder Donte Moncrief from putting up those Pro Bowl numbers. On defense, the name that I think could be deserving is Kendall Langford. Last year, Langford had 6.0 sacks and did it for a banged up defensive line group. Langford isn't a major, major name in the NFL, but another season like 2015 should stir up some discussion. Like Gore, Robert Mathis could merit some Pro Bowl talk, too, with a productive season at the age of 35.