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:
John Krellner (Ithaca, NY)
Now that we have an star running back do you think we can get back to the running game.I'm a believer in the run but we have gotten away form it.
Bowen: The "all star" running back John is referring to is five-time Pro Bowler Frank Gore. The Colts do have a bonafide lead back in 2015 and Gore has handled the brunt of being the guy in all of his 10 seasons with the 49ers. The Colts don't need him to have that type of workload in Indianapolis, but that's a great feeling for Pep Hamilton to have at night. When you say "get back to the running game", that means to me can the Colts run the football when the defense knows its coming? A combination of having Gore in the fold and the defense having to worry about the Colts passing game, should open up the running game in 2015.
Jack Martin (Huntington, IN)
Hi Kevin, do you think the colts will win at least 12 to 14 games next season?
Bowen: That win range seems to fall right in line with what most national pundits have for the Colts in 2015. I have the Colts hovering around that 12-win mark this season. You get up in the 13 and 14-win range and that obviously is a tall, tall order. I think the Colts are one of a few teams with the talent to reach that mark, though. I stand by the most important key for the Colts in 2015 is trying to obtain some sort of home field for the playoffs. A season of at least 12 wins should accomplish that task. Circle the games against the likes of New England, Denver and at Pittsburgh as pivotal matchups in formulating the hierarchy atop the AFC in 2015.
Keith Sinders (Massachusetts)
Colts.com lists Henry Anderson and D'Joun Smith as both still being unsigned. I'm just curious as to their status and how soon the Colts might get these two signed so they don't miss any summer training camp. They both seem like exceptional players.
Bowen: Just three draft picks remain unsigned around the NFL and the Colts have two of them in D'Joun Smith and Henry Anderson. Ryan Grigson has reiterated that it’s a contract language issue leading to the picks still being unsigned. Grigson expects that to be resolved before things gets started in Anderson, on August 1. I'd fully expect to see Smith and Anderson on the field when Training Camp practices begin on Sunday, August 2.
Kevin S (East Brunswick, NJ)
I was just reading the piece by Steve Andress, Robert Mathis Effect: Colts 2013 vs. 2014 Pass Rush, and was wondering what 2015 has in store for us? Assuming Robert is healthy and makes it back into the line-up, do you think the Colts will continue to add more blitzing schemes in hopes of having an even bigger number of sacks this year (a cumulative effect of Mathis plus blitz schemes) or do you think it will simply be a return to great pass rushing by a great pass rusher?
Bowen: Kevin, nice question. Defensive coordinator Greg Manusky was asked something along these lines earlier this offseason. Manusky made it clear that as players have been more and more trained within the defensive scheme (this is Manusky's fourth season in Indianapolis) that has allowed the defensive coordinator to get more creative with his blitz packages. As Steve pointed out in the piece (and check out this video breakdown from Jim Sorgi and I, too), the numbers back up Manusky's statement. In 2013, you could rely on the individual disruption of Mathis and his NFL-best 19.5 sacks. In 2014, without Mathis, the Colts had to explore any and all avenues to get to the quarterback. If Mathis can return close to 100 percent this season, I fully expect Manusky to still be plenty creative with what he does on third-down, often times utilizing packages that include multiple edge rushers at once (i.e. Mathis, Trent Cole and Jonathan Newsome all on the field for one play).
Steve Garner (Maryland)
Hi, I am a Colts fan living in Maryland. I have season tickets to the Ravens and was wondering if there was a site where season ticket holders can exchange tickets? Thanks for your help in this matter .
Bowen: Steve, there isn't a specific NFL site where season tickets can be exchanged. I would say your best bet is to head to Ticketmaster and use their exchange section.
Josh Baker (Fort Worth, Texas)
Do you think the colts receiving crew is number 1 in the AFC
Bowen: Josh, Chuck Pagano was asked this question earlier this offseason and he believes their receiving group is the top in the NFL. I do think the Colts have the most versatile/diverse receiving group of any in the AFC, and the NFL, for that matter. When you think of the skilslets of T.Y. Hilton/Phillip Dorsett vs. Donte Moncrief/Andre Johnson they complement each other from a speed/size standpoint. I would put that foursome up against any in the league and that doesn't even include a quarterback like Andrew Luck. In the AFC specifically, I think Denver and Pittsburgh definitely have wideout groups that have the talent to rank among the league's best units, as well.
Brent Coffing (Rochester, IN)
Besides the preseason opener, are the Colts wearing white in any home games?
Bowen: Brent, nothing has been announced on the Colts wearing white uniforms in any game this season. You mentioned the preseason, and the Colts do typically wear their white uniforms for their first home game each preseason (this year that falls on August 22 against the Bears). That trend has not extended into the regular season, and as of mid-July, nothing has been announced for that to change in 2015.