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:Bill Eggert (Cambridge, WI)
What is the status of the highly regarded offensive lineman the Colts signed out of the CFL? I seem to recall he was the #1 overall pick in a recent CFL draft.
Bowen: Unfortunately, Ben Heenan suffered a meniscus injury during the night practice in Anderson. The Colts waived Heenan with an injury settlement, as he tries to recover from an injury that was thought to keep him out for 4-to-6 weeks. Heenan is currently not on an NFL roster.
Tommy G (Utah)
Do you think that Langford might be an upgrade from Redding at DE?
Bowen: After around eight or so preseason series from Kendall Langford, I've been very pleased with what the Colts have in their new defensive end. Along with Erik Walden, Langford has been really impressive in the Colts run defense. I do see Langford as an upgrade because you are getting a younger version of Cory Redding with incredible durability. Langford has started 112 straight games, the longest active streak of any NFL defensive linemen.
Sunil Anaokar (Houston)
How are players (other than the kickers) selected to form Special teams? Does the team management and/or coaches look for a certain mix of players who play at different positions in the offense and defense, probably as back ups to the starters? Are there any players in the Special Teams who are exclusively designated as 'Special Team' players?
Bowen: This is a great question. The problem you run into in having specific special teams players comes down to dressing just 46 players on game day. That means everyone is likely a "backup" at some level and just a play away from being in on offense or defense. Having said that, there are defintiely guys that dress primarily because of what they bring to special teams. If everything goes according to plan health wise, the Colts won't need those guys on offense or defense within the game. Linebackers and defensive backs typically fall into this category and the Colts have had some of those guys recently with Andy Studebaker, Sergio Brown and still with Colt Anderson. Now, with roster mechanics being how they are, it's just very difificult to have several of these "pure" special teams guys dressing on game day. That's why if you can play special teams, along with being a potential contributor on offense/defense, that truly enhances your value to making the team.
S Boone (Greenville, NC)
Arthur Jones may or not be lost to the Colts for either the entirety of the season or for only a portion of said season. In his absence why not try and revive the career of a player such as Bjorn Woerner, who played the position of a pass rushing DE in college ? Considering all of the pass rushers Indy has at the linebacker position isn't this a great opportunity for Newsome,Anderson, and or Woerner to 'step it up' and make an impression on the 'D' ? Thanks for responding Kev.
Bowen: Bjoern Werner isn't going to be moving to Arthur Jones' position anytime soon. Werner is listed at 255 pounds on the Colts roster. Jones' position has duties in the thick of the trenches, hence him weighing around 315 pounds. The Colts have other bodies capable to handle that area more so than Werner. You mentioned Henry Anderson and he's going to be the one called upon to play a major role, with Jones out for a significant time.
Nathan Lopez (Chino Hills, CA)
This may be a funny question but on Madden 16 franchise mode each player has season goals planned out for them to achieve (For example Andrew Luck's goal is 26 TDs and close to 4,000 passing yards). The wide receivers have a certain amount of receiving yards and TDs they should achieve and ect. Do players on the team have similar goals like this planned for them by the coaching staff?
Bowen: Nathan, you are onto something here with your question. Players do have individual goals from their position coaches but they might not be as cut and dry as reaching specific marks. For example, Andrew Luck has been staunch in wanting to improve efficiency in the red zone and in third-down situations, so those areas will be where Luck's goals fall in 2015. For coaches and players, they narrow things down to specifics versus just a general "X amount of passing yards" type goal.
Matt V (Indianapolis)
With regards to roster transactions/designations, can you discuss the difference between 'cut', 'waived', 'waived injured', 'injury settlement', 'injured reserved', 'released', etc? Thanks.
Bowen: We need an NFL dictionary for this one. Let's start with waived/released because basically they are both synonyms of "cut". Players with less than four years of experience are waived. That means a player has to clear the NFL waiver wire before becoming a free agent (the 31 other teams can place a claim and whoever is the highest in the waiver order to place a claim, they get that player). If the player goes unclaimed, he becomes a free agent. Players with more than four years of playing are not subject to the waiver wire, so they are "released" and become free agents. Without spending the rest of the mailbag breaking down all the terms, I'll direct you here for how injured reserve works.
Ewotha Gay (Columbus, Ohio)
Big Colts fan since Bert Jones and Lydell Mitchell days. I'm really excited about our chances of winning it all this season. My question is about Bert Jones. I read somewhere he still follows the Team. Any chance he becomes more involved with the current Team. I'd really like to see him working with Andrew Luck. Thanks for taking my question. Go Colts!
Bowen: Ewotha, I found this recent Q & A on Bert Jones about his current life in a "Where Are They Now" piece. In the answers, Jones talks about why he didn't get into coaching after football.