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).
Timothy M. (Aberdeen, SD)
My question for you is with offensive line struggles and the group so so. What is the chance La'Raven Clark plays a spot in the o-line? I thought he was injured, but haven't seen him on the injury report. I liked his tape at Texas Tech and could bring a little nastiness to the o-line and contribute in the run game
Bowen: Unless injuries happen up front, I do not think we will see much from Le'Raven Clark this season. I just don't see the need for him in 2016. Joe Haeg has exceeded expectations as a rookie and the Colts have already started him at three spots. We will have to see where the development of Clark goes down the road. Where does he fit into the future up front? Is Joe Haeg the right tackle of the future? Do the Colts think Clark is the RT of the future, therefore sliding Haeg potentially inside? We knew Clark was going to have a bigger learning curve than most coming from Texas Tech because of how much two-point stance they do offensively. It's no real surprise that the Colts haven't used Clark in 2016.
Darin T. (Midlothian, VA)Would you agree, if the middle linebackers and the safeties set up tighter to the line of scrimmage, wouldn't that isolate the opponents catching opportunities in the middle of the field of play?
Bowen: I think you're correct in that thinking. And I especially believe this week is going to be a big emphasis in how the Colts defend more of that underneath stuff from the Chiefs. Kansas City quarterback Alex Smith does not hold onto the ball long and doesn't stretch the field too much. Clayton Geathers is going to be defending tight end Travis Kelce a lot this weekend. For the Colts to win, they are going to have to disrupt the timing of Smith and his pass catchers, which is no easy task.
Anthony S. (California)
There's still a long way to go in the season, and I know he had a good game against the Titans, but Patrick Robinson isn't quite what many fans expected him to be. What emphasis would you place on drafting a CB come next draft, so he can slide into his natural slot position?
Bowen: Patrick Robinson had a much-needed bounce back game in Tennessee. That was the best we've seen from Robinson in 2016. The Colts have to get that sort of play from Robinson with the pass-happy teams coming soon (i.e. Green Bay and Pittsburgh). As far as the draft, I think cornerback is a definite need. I probably wouldn't put it as high as linebacker, but corner is up there. The Colts need some young cornerbacks.
Justice S. (Austin, TX)
Kevin thank you for answering the fans questions! Love it every week.
So I've been looking a head to the 2017 Draft already(I know its wayyyy too early) but it seems like early on this season we have seen some glaring holes.
So I wanted to share this little mock draft or position needs and where they rank:
1st round: OLB, Pass Rush specialist, or RB (Wayne Gallman is a steal and quietly having a fantastic season)
2nd round: RB - if we grab a pass rush specialist in the first round, there is a HUGE NEED for this. Gore though he is amazing aint getting any younger.
3rd - ILB - need to toughen up that middle of the defense, need fresh legs and youth.
4th - CB - We saw that even though we have 2 good CB's we need more bodies behind them.
5th - WR/RB - we just need more depth behind our top 2 WR. We can rely just on Hilton though he is a monster and Moncrief. Dorsette really hasn't established himself yet. I'm holding out hope that he get some spark and finds his groove.
6th - OLB - still need those extra bodies on the outside
7th - ILB - just need more youth on the Defense.
There is an extremely deep RB class this year, but the Rushers this year are not exactly top notch but the top 3 are pretty darn spectacular.
As you can see this is a idea and hope of how we draft this year because we need more defensive help.
Bowen: Our first Mock Draft of 2017!!!! Yes, it is way, way, way too early. However, the draft is always intriguing so let's analyze what you are thinking. Personally, I'm a fan of how you view the early rounds. My only gripe might be taking a running back in the second round. I think with this draft, you could wait a little longer on taking one, especially with Frank Gore under contract for another season. You need impact defenders in 2017, so I wouldn't be opposed to sliding an inside linebacker/cornerback a round or two higher.
John C. (Bellerose, NY)
hey kevin thanks for your answer in last mailbag . quick one do think we will make trade b4 next weeks deadline? i'm thinkimg joe Thomas from browns. seems to be solid player with no injuries. john cosides
Bowen: I do not see the Colts making a trade before Tuesday's deadline. Trades are just so scarce in the NFL and the future draft picks for the Colts are extremely valuable. Here is what Ryan Grigson had to say earlier this week on the trade deadline.
Pam H. (Fort Myers, FL)
To help eliminate those penalties do the coaching staff provide a penalty workshop where they provide the rookies especially the chance to learn what the different penalties are so it helps them not to make the costly ones? It would even help to re-enforce it for the veterans as well since men tend to learn things visually instead of mentally. Shown the actual plays would help them remember what penalties to stay away from. Let's put an end to those penalties. Thanks for the response.
Love the mailbag.
Bowen: The Colts bring in officials at Training Camp for an instructional session with the players to see what is being emphasized that season. They also have officials at every practice during the season for more reinforcement.
Clayton C. (Fort Wayne, IN)
Hey Kevin! So I think that we all can agree that the linebacker spot has been subpar behind Jackson. Do you think there is any chance that the Colts bring in a free agent vet to fill the void for the rest of the season. AJ Hawk was just released today, or even bring back Sio Moore/Nate Irving. I just feel like they went from having 3 decent linebackers, to cutting 2 of them for apparently no reason? The remainder of the guys on the roster just don't seem up to the NFL level for me, and it's showing in the run game.
Bowen: Right now, I don't see the Colts bringing in the names you mentioned above. Where I do think you could see a change in the coming weeks is with the usage of Edwin Jackson. Last week in Nashville, Jackson was all over the field in limited action. Ted Monachino has not shied away from altering playing time throughout his defense. It would not surprise me at all if Jackson played more this weekend.
Greg C. (Wilmington, VA)
Kevin, I was curious about how penalties might effect rankings. Specifically, do defensive penalties like defensive pass interference, add to the total yardage and yardage per pass play?
My reason for asking this is, many fans (and commentators) site where the Colts rank defensively, to argue they are not talented. But if penalties affect those rankings, it is then not a matter of talent but of correctable mistakes that can be corrected (I would include injuries and inexperience in that group of things that can change.
Bowen: Penalties aren't factored in to yardage given up. They are separate categories. Safe to say the penalties are really hindering the defense this season.
Jesse P. (Sao Jose dos Campos)
My question is about McGill,I don't uderstand why he didn't played more snaps in our defense.He's strong , fast and smart. Why our D.C. maintained he on the bench all this time? Now if some injuries he is playing, and showing he is one off best players in font seven.
Thank you for answering.
Jessé César Pinto
Bowen: We are going to see T.Y. McGill play more this weekend. We got this question several times this week. Where McGill is best suited is on passing downs, in sub packages. He's not a guy that is going to be playing every snap in the base defense. Kendall Langford and Arthur Jones have proven themselves for a long time in this league in being better options when the early downs arrive. McGill has the wiggle though to be a very effective option when the sub packages are used. Again, McGill will play more this weekend. The Chiefs use a lot of three-receiver sets, calling for more sub packages from the Colts.
David S. (Richmond, VA)
It seems like the Colts could definately be 6-1 with all the loses coming within' one scoring posession. How about this idea...for one game only, never punt between the 20's? Or don't punt when its 4th and 5 or less? It's a 50/50 chance risk but if the idea is to keep posession why not go for it when it's 4th and 1 or 2 and just give it to Gore to power it up the middle? Don't even punt fake just show that they will go for it and BOOM run it up the middle. On all the turnover on downs it came on 4th and 3 or less (mostly) and we line up in shotgun formation and throw instead of giving it to Gore to go up the middle. But why not take a risk during the middle quaters to just go for it without even thinking of punting? 4th and 5 (or less) ahead of our 35 yard line and see what happens? Be aggressive and see what happens. If it backfires so what? just regroup for the next games?..thoughts on this type of method?..
Bowen: This sounds like the type of strategy I would go with playing Madden back in the day. The Colts aren't going to employ such a strategy. Field position is the name of the game in the NFL and so, so valuable. Could I see the Colts going for some 4th-and-shorts? Yes. But anything longer than about a 4th-and-3, and you are really playing with fire when having to defend such a short field.
James H. (Belvedere, DE)
thank you for answering everyone's questions its very useful!
I've recently read an article on NFL.com suggest trades that make sense for the AFC, it was suggested the Colts go for Willie Young from the Bears for a 3rd round pick. It does make sense given that fact that Leonard Floyd is healthy and McPhee is back.
My question is this viable option given the lack of production in the pass rush?
Bowen: I see on paper why this would make sense. The Colts need to bolster their pass rush and the Bears have some extra bodies in that group, while looking to expand the role of Leonard Floyd. I don't see this sort of deal happening though because Young is 31 years old. The Colts have to start getting younger at the linebacker position. Giving up a third-round pick for a 31-year-old edge guy would not accomplish that.
Michael M. (Indianapolis)
Hey Kevin. Thank you for answering my last question. Given it was my first time submitting a question I was surprised to see it up there.
I have two questions that have been on my mind.
- Do you see Phillip Dorsett evolving into what that Colts expected, and the fans prayed, he would be when using our first round pick on him?
- I doubt anyone forecasted this kind of breakout season for Jack Doyle but it he has taken away any doubt of our tight end production this season. However, I believe I've heard that he is in the final year of his contact. If so, and also if he continues to ball like he has, what kind of contact do you see him demanding?
Bowen: 1. I do think Dorsett is going to become an impact player for this team. It's been really puzzling to me how Dorsett did not get more involved with Donte Moncrief missing so much time. I thought Dorsett would ascend into that No. 2 receiver role. It's not like he has consistent drops or something specific holding him back. For some reason, Andrew Luck and him just could not find each other that much with Moncrief out. I do think we will see more production from Dorsett in the second half of the season. 2. Right now Jack Doyle is proving that he can be a starting tight end in this league. His career-year comes at a very important time. I could see Doyle right around a five million per year guy depending on how the rest of the season goes. He's going to be one of the more important free agents for this team heading into the offseason.