Colts Mailbag

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Colts Mailbag Weekend Edition: How Long Will It Take Andrew Luck To Get His Timing Back?

Intro: In Saturday’s mailbag, readers inquire about the No. 3 receiver race, where rookie offensive tackle Zach Banner fits in and the return duties for the Colts in 2017.


INDIANAPOLIS – Each week, readers of can submit their questions to have a chance of them being answered in our Wednesday or Saturday mailbag.Submit your question here.

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).

Dexter S. (Hopkinsville, KY)

Hey, I am a first time writer and I love reading your mailbags, keep up the good work! 
My question regards our recievers. Knowing that we have the 3 spot open who do you think will get it? To me it seems like Chester Rodgers. It seems Rodgers has good chemistry with TY and Moncrief based on social media and seeing them on the practice field. Do you feel like that helps Rodgers case for the 3 spot? Do you see that same chemistry with dorsett at all with the other recievers? Lastly could you see TJ Green or Dorsett returning kicks or punts, providing Green doesnt get a starting role or Dorsett not getting the 3 spot? They are both very fast good athletes and could provide a good spark to the return game.

Bowen: 1. Look for the Rogers/Dorsett answer below. 2. I see the return jobs going to either Quan Bray or Chester Rogers. That's my hunch on those position battles. A lot of it will depend on roster mechanics and the types of roles those guys, and others, have on offense/defense. But Bray and Rogers both have past history of doing those jobs quite well.

Chris C. (Brazil, IN)

when Andrew is healthy. how long to get timing back with his receivers? like Rodgers

Bowen: That's a big question. The good news? Luck has worked extensively with all those receivers before, including Rogers. Besides Kamar Aiken, the skill group is virtually intact and has past history with Luck. It's still going to take some time to get re-used to Luck. But I think it's more on Luck adjusting to his repaired shoulder, versus the skill guys doing the same with their starting quarterback.

Russell C. (McCordsville, IN)

What are the chances of Zach Banner making the 53 man roster? I've noticed a lot of movement from right to left on the O-Line. Do you think this is for versatility or to put the guys where they should have been a while ago? I know Banner is at the heaviest weight on the team pushing 357, but he's also down 30 pound from the combine. Pagano wants him down to 340, but I don't know if that's a healthy request in such a short amount of time. Your thoughts?

Bowen: 1. I would say very good. Zach Banner is a reserve lineman in 2017, in my eyes. 2. I think a reason for this is to help balance out the veteran experience along the offensive line. You now have two proven vets, paired next to a second-year player, on each side of the line. 3. One thing I've learned is not to completely believe roster weights. With Banner losing weight, I'm sure it's a gradual thing. Like I said above, the Colts probably don't need him right away in 2017. They can be patient with him.

Dayton M. (Louisville, KY)

I just want to start off by saying thanks for keeping us all up to date on our team throughout this vigorous and depressing time without football!
I have 3 questions...
1. If Andrew is healthy for the whole season do you think he could be the front runner in the MVP talk.
2. Since Luck has been with us we went to the playoffs 3 years straight. Each year we get a step closer. Do you think (aside from injuries) that we could make it the last step and get in the Super Bowl with this team? Our defense is finally looking good. I love the competition at LB and at CB. I feel our line (on both sides) is solidifying now.
3. Vontae is my favorite defensive player right now. Do you believe he will have a big year considering he's not doing it by himself this year at corner?

Thanks, GO COLTS

Bowen: 1. I think he could. Of course, for that to happen, the Colts need to be back into double-digits wins. But if Luck is healthy, and can take the step from last year's season, I think he will put up some impressive numbers with all the weapons around him. 2. This year? That's a tall order for a team undergoing so many changes on the defensive side of the ball. Plus, you have some very good teams in the AFC, including that one in New England. I still think the Colts are a draft or two away from completely rebuilding the defense to where this can be a playoff-caliber unit. 3. I do think Davis will have a big year. Check out this article posted on earlier in the week about Davis' contract year in 2017.

Rico W. (Tulsa, OK)

Hey Kevin, Will the team have a few Oklahoma drills during camp 2017? Thanks. Colts Strong

Bowen: After two full-padded practices, we haven't seen any Oklahoma drills. We did see a few of these drills in years past. Maybe we will see them going into the second week of camp?

Grant L. (Jasper, IN)

Hey Kevin. I hope you had a good summer. So, now that it's football season again, I have a question about Jacoby Brissett. With Chester Rogers and Kamar Aiken claiming spots 3 and 4 in the wide receiver depth chart, do the Colts have any need for Dorsett. If no, does he have any trade value. What could Colt's Nation expect if it is decided to trade him. Personally, I'd want either a first 3 round pick or a solid backup player who could possibly developed into a starter. What do you think. Thanks as always.

Bowen: We had a similar question below. I would be really surprised if the Colts got that type of value in return for Dorsett. You just don't often see that high of a pick coming in return, especially for a guy with 51 catches through two seasons. I think a pick in the fourth-round range is more likely. Maybe I'm totally off base with what would come in return (figuring out proper NFL trade value is something that's very difficult for me), but I just can't see that high of a pick.

Theis S. (Copenhagen, Denmark)

Hey Kevin!
Thx so much for the live videos you guys are posting on Facebook and on the app every day!
For me as an 'outsider' of football in general, it is a great inside view to experience in how my NFL-team go about their practice!
Because of me not knowing that much about this subject I was wondering how the training Camp is organized - is it only group-practice early on in camp or do the do other stuff as well? And What other stuff then? When is the playbook being introduced and practiced? And how much is actually practiced before season beginning, and How much is introduced/den for the first time on a Weekly basis during the season?
I know it is a mouthful, but your vids inspired Them, hehe.

Kind regards from DK! 
PS. A Danish tackle, Andreas knappe, is on the falcons roster at the moment, and if He makes it i might have a secondary team to follow in the nfc! Unless the colts Pick him up!! - if He gets sacked before the season.

Bowen: Enjoy it, Theis. Thanks for tuning in! With regards to Training Camp, you are building off all the installation that took place during the nine-week offseason program. This install is re-emphasized at the beginning of camp, before things evolve and get more situational and specific from there. It's hard to know exactly how much of the playbook is in by the end of camp and then how those things differ from week-to-week during the regular season. I know you are probably looking for more insight. I'd guess teams change things up a decent amount week-to-week to make sure they are very opponent-oriented with their prep.

Stephen N. (Texas)

Will Chester Rogers take Dorsetts job and if so will we trade Dorsett

Bowen: We had several Chester Rogers/Phillip Dorsett questions this week. Right now, it looks like Rogers has the early lead for that No. 3 wideout spot. However, it's still the first week of camp and Dorsett has had some nice moments, too. Chris Ballard has said he's intrigued to see what Dorsett can offer, so that leads me to believe that the Colts want to see their former first-round pick in a third season, before making a decision on his future. Also, Kamar Aiken is still a name to watch.

Evan T. (New Brunswick, Canada)

Hi Kevin, hope your well. I was wondering if you happened to read the article on written by Dave Dameshek on the best qb-rb-wr combos where he has at #4 Carolina with Cam , Christian McCaffrey and Greg Olsen and he has at #13 Andrew, Frank Gore and T.Y. Hilton. My question is how could he possibly have come up with that ranking, Cam and Andrew both have similar numbers over their careers so that's a wash, Christian McCaffrey has never played an NFL down and Frank Gore is a legend who had a thousand yards rushing last year and as much as I think Greg Olsen is a great player T.Y.Hilton is a top ten receiver and lead the league in receiving yards last year, why is it that people don't seem to ever give the colts the credit they deserve? And what's your opinion? 
And as always thank you for taking the time to answer my question!

Bowen: I had not read the article before seeing this mailbag question. But I decided to read it once I saw your question. I'm more shocked by the Dolphins at 10 and the Colts are 13. The Panthers are probably too high on the list, but I think people are enamored about the potential of Christian McCaffrey in that offense. The lack of respect for T.Y. Hilton around the league is a bit laughable. Hilton ranks up there with any Hall of Famer in receiving numbers after five seasons. Take a look at this article for more on the Hilton/respect debate.

Andrew R. (Tampa, FL)

Hey Kevin, thanks for all the work you do for us Colts fans from around the country and around the world.
My question revolves around what our team 'should' look like and how we can get there from here.
They say hindsight is 20/20, but imagine for a minute if Grigson would have selected Landon Collins in the 1st round of the 2015 draft rather than Dorset. That pick would have set a series of other moves in motion including probably not selecting Hooker this season, but rather using that pick on someone like Takk McKinley (who I predict is going to be an absolute beast for the Falcons). In 2015 we likely would not have taken Geathers but could have gone for another OL pick.
The point is, we likely would be far ahead of the current schedule in trying to upgrade our defense and would just be looking for those last couple of pieces. I know looking back is not necessarily 'healthy' but it could perhaps give us perspective on where we are and where we need to be.
One last question - simple - what is your prediction on Jack Doyle's year? I personally think he could bust out with something like 75/850/8.
Thanks again and enjoy the remainder of camp!

Bowen: No problem, Andrew. I enjoy it. Yep, I follow your thinking in how things would have likely played out a few years ago had the draft gone differently. It's hard to say those players would have developed the exact same though when you factor in schemes and different environments. With Doyle, those numbers are a little high in my mind. Only three tight ends in the NFL had more than 850 yards last year. Just five had more than 75 catches. And no one had more than eight touchdowns. I envision really big years for T.Y. Hilton (again) and then Donte Moncrief. Remember, a healthy Moncrief for 16 games is going to eat into the targets for Doyle.

Cody L. (Mount Union, PA)

Hey Kevin how you

Got a question

If luck not ready for reg season do u think the colts will sign a vet qb or u think they will start tolzien

Bowen: If Luck can't go to start the regular season, it looks like Tolzien will be the guy against the Rams. It's getting to the point in camp and soon-to-be the preseason that bringing in another QB to perhaps be ready for Week One is going to cause for a really quick learning curve. Right now, Tolzien is the guy to start the regular season, if Luck is still not ready.

John O. (Seattle)

Different questions here to change it up:

  1. What are your thoughts on Kap? Do you see him playing anywhere? Why do you think most owners and GM's are shying away from his talent?
  1. Do you think Steph Curry will make the cut this weekend?
  1. Who do you project will be each divisions champion at the end of this season? I have:
    SOUTH - Colts
    NORTH - Steelers
    EAST - Pats
    WEST - Raiders

SOUTH - Falcons (although watch those bucs)
NORTH - Packers (lions will give them a run)
EAST - Giants
WEST - Cardinals (Seahawks didn't address the O line and their D has some injuries to start the season)


Bowen: 1. From a talent standpoint, I'm really surprised Kap hasn't been signed. But teams are really specific in how they handle their backup quarterback situation. It seems like teams often look for the least distraction, rather than the player that has the most upside. I understand the thinking behind this. But it's still just a little odd. I guess teams are thinking that unless total chaos occurs at the quarterback position regarding their starting situation, might as well keep things as quiet as possible. I still think some team will sign Kap, but have no idea where that will be. 2. Well, Curry did not make the cut. And I didn't expect him to. Those guys on the tour are really, really good. Still awesome for golf to see Curry playing. What an unbelievable athlete he is. 3. We agreed on every division in football except for the NFC West. I'm still going with the Seahawks.

Kent M. (Gladbrook, IA)

Not a colts question, but what's your opinion on the patriots, specifically tom Brady? 40 years old and the pats are being given the AFC crown. I saw Peyton go from great to far below average in a flash. Go colts!!!!!

Bowen: Well, Tom Brady is probably the greatest of all time. I'm not sure there's much debate on that, considering what he's done on the game's biggest stage. It's pretty impressive, on paper, what the Patriots did this offseason. With how many acquisitions the Patriots had this spring, you would have thought they missed the playoffs last year. They are definitely the favorite in the AFC again.

Randall T. (Indianapolis)

Love the mailbag Kevin. If Tolzien ended up being the starter in week 1, played very well and won, would you start him in week two? If he continued to play well how much work with the first team do you think the coaching staff would want Luck to get before pulling Tolzien?

Bowen: When Andrew Luck is healthy, he's going to play. Period. You pay Luck $140 million for a reason. I just can't see any real scenario that would unfold in one game where Luck would not be the guy, once he's fully game ready.

Rodney A. (Winston Salem, NC)

Hi Kevin, Let me start off by saying again how much I enjoy the mailbag each week. As a colt fan its a great supply updated information that you provide to us fans far away. About 4 weeks ago , I wrote to the mailbag about some information I had received from classmate who now works for Sports Illustrated in Tampa relaying that Luck was getting ready to go on the PUP for training camp. On Tuesday Aug 1, I was informed by the same source that its becoming very likely that Andrew will began the season on PUP because every time he throws a 20 yard pass or a shorter one with heat he has this stinging/burning feeling in his right shoulder. Its said to have been there since April( during rehab) and has not gone away or improved any at all. So with that being said and if it turns out to be true as the earlier info was wouldn't it be better to have Andrew on the IR for the year? I think bring him back the last half of the season would serve no purpose. Even with a healthy Luck we are not a super bowl contender. Some outlets say we are the worst team in the division . You know, in my opinion , the front office is to blame for this entire situation of an unhealthy franchise quarterback. I mean since his arrival , he has been the most knocked QB in the league. I know they have added Mewhort and Kelly, but have also wasted 1st rd picks from the Richerson deal to Phillip Dorsett. And Im so tired of the media blaming Luck for holding the ball to long.I mean come on, everybody should be able to see that since day one of the Luck era they have employed a stretch the field type of offence. I mean in order to throw and complete a pass of 25 or more yards it takes 3 seconds, at least, to run the route and get separation . And with that being said, they waived the one sure handed 3rd down ,move the chains, receiver in Griff Whalen.I really hope Ballard will address the urgency of protecting our future at QB or we wont have one. Also tired of hearing how great Dak Prescott is,,,I mean my grand daughter could QB behind that line and the skilled players they have.. Remember Carolina coming within a missed FG of winning the Super Bowl with Jake Delhomme---hes much better at raising horses than being a NFL Quarterback and David Woodley with the 81 Dolphins. If we had a O-line like those teams and a great QB,which we have, the opposing team would have the ball about 10 minutes a game. Please Mr Ballard fix this problem before its to late. Only you can do it. Sometimes a QB and his coach are only as good as the supporting cast , they can only do so much. Luck is not GOD. Thanks Kevin for all you do for us fans

Bowen: Thanks for the kind words, Randy. I'm a fan of the mailbag as well. We have no idea if these rumors are true or not regarding Andrew Luck. Chuck Pagano said Friday that Luck continues to progress well. That's the latest on the franchise quarterback. If Luck does have a setback, and it becomes something more long-term, then an IR move is going to have to at least be debated. But, again, we have no idea if those are true or not. The expectation remains for Luck to come off the PUP list before the start of the regular season.

Nick M. (Long Island, New York)

Hey Mr. Bowen, how's it going? Wanted to give you a break from all the training camp questions and decided to ask you this, who are your top 5 favorite athletes of your lifetime that you have watched? Personally mine are, Dereck Jeter, Lebron James, Marvin Harrison, Ken Griffey Jr, and Andrew Luck. With Marshawn Lynch and Pat McAfee being Honorable Mentions. I look forward to your response!

Bowen: Wow, what a question. So, so hard to narrow down. My list: Tiger Woods, Ken Griffey Jr., Edgerrin James, Randy Moss and Luke Harangody.

Tim S. (Anthem, AZ)

Thank you for hearing me out and sharing your insight and thoughts. You do a fantastic job of keeping us diehard wanna-be GM's in check. Thanks for all that you do!

That said, my question you think the Colts will ever make it through a draft without focusing on Ohio State prospects as a go to? I understand that the close proximity to Columbus, may make them easier to scout, and, they do have an elite program, but, it always seems a little close minded to go back to drafting from the same school, year after year. Notoriously, we are understandably, Big-10 heavy, in the draft. Please, don't get me wrong, Mewhort, is a stud and Hooker is a great prospect and worthy of his selection, but, with cringe-worthy names like Pitcock, Gonzalez, Hall and Hartsock, through recent drafts, it just leaves me wondering about the thought process. What's your take on this?

Bowen: Since 2008, the Colts have drafted two Ohio State players in 75 selections. I'd say that's a pretty small percentage. It's a great program, especially with Urban Meyer's arrival. Why wouldn't you try and tap into talent? The other names you mentioned were all a decade ago or longer. I'm just fine with the Colts continuing to explore Columbus for NFL talent.

Cody S. (Indianapolis)

I have some questions about some players we really haven't heard much about in training camp. 
It seems Chester rogers has taken a lead on the 3rd string spot, but how has kamar Aiken played given he was the early favorite? And how has john Simon performed, I haven't heard anything on him.

Bowen: We've seen some moments from Kamar Aiken. I still believe he will have a role for the Colts in 2017. He gives you something a bit different from the rest of the wideout group. That's a bigger body that can factor into specific situations, especially in the red zone. With John Simon, I fully expect him to start at one of the outside linebacker spots. It's hard to really notice guys in the trenches right now. But I see Simon as a definite starter for the Colts.

Dustin K. (Fort Wayne, IN)

Is it safe to say that grigson didn't preach competition so the players didn't try as hard because they knew they had their spot already as where Ballard that's all he does is preach competition so the players are actually competing and having fun do u think this will make us a better football team it just seems like a lot has changed since we hired Ballard and I like it.Thanks for answering our questions and go colts

Bowen: I wouldn't go that far. However, anytime you have a new general manager come in and make the substantial changes that Ballard has made personnel wise, that should be a wakeup call enough to know that pretty much no one is safe on this roster. I do think the added competition in 2017 is a good thing for a team coming off of back-to-back seasons without the playoffs.

Mike H. (Sayre, PA)

Why don't Colts use QB and 3 running backs? Lots of blocking,receiving, running options. Any time I've seen them run plays like this, they've been successful. Protect Andrew!

Bowen: I don't recall one formation the Colts have used with three running backs and a quarterback. Not one in the Chuck Pagano era.

The analysis from those producing content on does not necessarily represent the thoughts of the Indianapolis Colts organization. Any conjecture, analysis or opinions formed by content creators is not based on inside knowledge gained from team officials, players or staff.*

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