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).
Jonathan M. (New Jersey)
Since Josh Norman is now a free agent will the Colts go and try and pursue him since we need the extra help in our secondary opposite Vontae Davis?
Bowen: Ah, the Josh Norman question. Jonathan, you are the lucky winner out of the Norman questions to be published today. As I'm sure everyone saw, Norman signed with Washington on Friday night. There was no shortage of fans eager to know about the Colts' realistic chances to acquire Norman. With the contract Norman got, the Colts just didn't have the funds to satisfy those wants. After playing Norman in Carolina last year, the Colts will next see the lock down corner in 2018. The Colts went out and signed Patrick Robinson in the offseason to fill the duties opposite Vontae Davis.
Matt A. (North Dakota)
Hi Kevin. Aside from Patrick Robinson, the Colts have been largely quiet--almost absent--in free agency this year. Was this the plan from the get-go, or did potential targets and trades fall apart? Likewise, how set is the team's plan for the NFL draft next weekend? Is there any talk of moving up or down?
Bowen: This was definitely the plan. This article expands on all of your questions regarding the offseason/draft. Check it out for a much more in-depth look at the 2016 plans and beyond.
John F. (Horseshoe Bay, TX)
Kevin, we have been asking a lot of questions about who and when the Colts will pick up some offensive linemen. I have started to think about guys that we already have. With newly hired O line Joe Philbin, what blocking changes will we see and how will that improve the run game and pass protection? I hear he is a "zone blocking" guy, but what exactly does that mean?
Bowen: The Colts won't be employing strictly "zone blocking" schemes. Chuck Pagano spoke at last month's League Meetings about how zone and gap schemes will be used by the Colts. Zone blocking typically involves more athletic linemen and not a lot has to be changed pre-snap to identify who you are initially blocking at the point of attack. Maybe that's why we've seen Hugh Thornton shed 20-ish pounds this offseason to play at a lighter weight. The Colts are very high on Philbin and his track record coaching offensive lines is impressive. His ability to teach/develop is something this team is counting on in 2016 (to go along with any possible additions come draft time).
Carac C. (Indianapolis)
Hi kevin,I think pass rush is ine of if not the most important areas for improvement. My question is do you think Leonard floyd will have the necessary strength to get to the quarterback as well as he did in college? Thank you.
Bowen: A great question here on the most popular defensive prospect we've seen pegged for the Colts. You watch highlights of Floyd and you see the No. 84 (at Georgia) and think he's a bigger wide receiver at first glance. When I saw him at the Combine, I thought this guy looks like a pass catching tight end. Listed at 6-6 and 244 pounds, Floyd's lanky frame looks like it could easily put on 20-30 pounds. That number is just conjecture, however it does seem like he will have to put on some weight to reach his vast potential at the NFL level. Is he a three-down guy from Day One? Probably not. But Floyd should be able to contribute from Day One on passing downs. Then once that frame fills out, he can handle setting the edge routinely on the early downs.
Anthony B. (Los Angeles)
Hey Kevin, just had 2 quick questions. What ever happened with Duron Carter and Trey Williams? Will they get a shot at competing for a roster spot?
Bowen: Duron Carter is no longer on the roster. Carter was on just a one-year deal and he's playing back up in the Canadian Football League, with his former team (the Montreal Alouettes). Williams, a speed running back signed late last season, is still on the roster. With his unique skill set to the running back position, he will certainly compete for a roster spot.
Aaron L. (Danville, IN)
Do you think the colts should draft Shaq Lawson or Reggie Regland. Then in the second round draft jaylon smith in the second. You have to stud defensive players. I know that smith has a knee injury but he will come back and be a all pro. You can draft offensive lineman in the third or trade back into the second and draft nick Martin. I know that the colts have only 6 picks but they have a lot more picks next year. Give this advice to Mr. Irsay please go colts
Bowen: A pick of Reggie Ragland or Shaq Lawson would give the Colts an immediate starting caliber player in the front seven of their defense. That's never a bad thing, especially when the Colts are trying to build that unit. Ragland and Lawson were both key cogs on two teams that played in the National Championship. The "Jaylon Smith second round" talk is still tough. If this injury is as serious as it's being reported, the Notre Dame star could really fall. I know it only takes one team to take a chance, but it wouldn't shock me if Smith fell to the final day of the draft (Rounds 4-7).
Jonathan B. (San Diego, CA)
Could drafting Noah spence first round and picking up jaylon smith third round a smart move for the colts. This would help out the much needed pass rush and gives them both great talents and can let jaylon smith have time and no need to rush his recovery and learn from watching?
Bowen: The Noah Spence selection makes sense for the Colts in addressing their pass rush need. The difficulty in your scenario comes with where to pull the trigger on Jaylon Smith. With the recent Smith news of him likely on the shelf for the entire 2016 season, the rumblings are he could really slide in the draft. Taking Smith in the first two days of the draft (Rounds 1-3) is a definite risk. The reward is certainly there, but the nerve damage aspect of his injury makes the risk so great.