Colts Mailbag

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Colts Mailbag Weekend Edition: Who Is The AFC South Favorite In 2016?

Intro: In Saturday’s mailbag, readers inquire about Denzelle Good’s starting potential, T.J. Green’s future at safety and what happened with Duron Carter.

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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).

Chris M. (Sioux Falls, SD)

Thanks for taking the time to answer all of our questions. My question is this. In my opinion the colts have a pretty good amount of back up o-line players now with the draft over. Do you think the colts will rotate o-line players out more often to keep the line fresh? . Anything to help the run game or would they rotate better run blockers in for run downs?. Thanks

Bowen: We had a question like this a few weeks back. You only dress seven offensive linemen on game day so constantly subbing guys in and out wouldn't make a lot of sense. You would also lose any attempt to establish tempo. I think how teams try to use some sort of strategy that you are alluding to is with a sixth offensive lineman. A tackle eligible indicates run and you see more and more teams throwing out of such jumbo package looks. You would be tipping your hand quite obviously if you were rotating in "better run blockers" just for run downs/plays.

Sam B. (Winchester, IN)

Hey Kevin just a real quick question. I just read NFL.com'so projections for the offensive and defensive starters. I believe alot of people and experts are over looking Denzel Good,what is your take on him being day 1 starter going into the season? Thanks

Bowen: In case you don't know what Sam is referring to, head here. Our friends over at NFL.com, posted a VERY early projected depth chart of the Colts (and every team). Again, there is a depth chart for every team. I don't think a lot of people outside those who regularly cover the Colts knows how this staff feels about Denzelle Good. We are going to find out about Good during Training Camp to see where his first look will be in 2016 (right guard or right tackle). I don't know if I would pencil him in as a starter right now, but he's definitely going to be in the competition on that right side. Remember, Good and Hugh Thornton are currently sitting out OTAs while rehabbing injuries.

Christian S. (Chicago)

There's a lot of premature power rankings going around the NFL right now. Obviously it's really difficult to predict which teams are going to have the most success next season, especially without even starting training camp. I am curious to hear what you think the power ranking is in the AFC South though. I understand you have to be a little biased considering.... Myself I think the Texans are the team to beat right now. I look at their roster and see no holes. My only hope is that Osweiler doesn't pan out, although it's hard to predict where the Colts are at since Luck was gone for most of last season, and with the new offensive system we'll be running, I feel like the Colts could be a completely different team than we've seen up to this point.

Bowen: Your thinking falls right in line with what Jim Irsay had to say during the draft. After winning the division last year, the Texans are the "team to beat," according to Irsay. That's what happens when you're defending the division champion. Now, in my opinion, I still think the Colts are the favorite. A healthy Andrew Luck gives the Colts a postseason winner under center. That's something no other division team can say. I'd put my current South pecking order as: Colts, Texans, Jaguars, Titans. I do think the space between those teams has seriously shrunk.

Matthew R. (El Paso, TX)

Its been awhile since I have asked a question. I have been focused on studying the rest of the league along woth the Colts, and doing some homework on prospects coming out next year.

I noticed a lot of questions about our defense. My first point is that I believe with the offensive improvements with the line and Luck being back it will help the defense improve. A lot of people believe it is personnel, but I look at our personnel and new coaching staff and believe that the offense this season won't put the defense in as many situations as last season.

My question is, is there any word about a hybrid type style defense? I was recently discussing with a fellow Colts fan(one of my soldiers) and we were thinking about adding some packages with TJ Green and Mike Adams as safety with Clayton Geathers playing a hybrid linebacker? It could work in certain situations to take away middle of the field while also take away the over the top throws.

Also, the slot CB position to me is where there should be more competition. We also discussed the decrease in production from Darius Butler and we were wondering about D'joun Smith. Has he been placed in the position at all to possibly increase the production in that area?

As always GO COLTS!

Bowen: Matthew, I think you are onto something here. The Colts are definitely looking to get more and more speed on the field on third downs. They know how the league is trending and the need to have multiple guys with sideline-to-sideline ability. You saw an introduction to it last season when the Colts had Clayton Geathers in that dime package, oftentimes playing closer to the line of scrimmage, where you would normally see a linebacker. This season, maybe T.J. Green slides into that role, too. New coordinator Ted Monachino has mentioned this defense will be multiple. He's said that on several occasions. So I would expect a variety of looks with an emphasis of adding more speed, especially on passing downs.

Jacob T. (Columbia, IL)

Hi Kevin allways appreciate your mail bags.

Here is my question. Just to warn you ahead of time it's a two maybe 3 parter.

What with us drafting 4 different offensive lineman in the draft do you think that this may have been a bit of over kill on the part of Pagano and Grigson?

Also who do you think will be our pass rush behind Robert Mathis. Erick Walden is more of a set the edge run defender kinda guy though he does flash as a rusher some And Trent Cole had a year that was well under what I would have expected from "the hunter" is there really a pure pass rusher behind mathis that QB'S should be scared of?

And part 3 do you think the colts will be active in the waiver wire this year? What with a ton of talented pass rushers falling in the draft and going to teams that may not need them I'm sure the colts could find a good player on the waiver wire such as maybe an Eric strickwr from buffalo?

Bowen: 1. I never thought we would get an "offensive line overkill" question after the past couple of seasons. I don't think taking four linemen is too much. The Colts will still have room to keep all four linemen picks on their active roster/or practice squad. With the attrition up front, you almost always have to have at least seven linemen over the course of a 16-game season. 2. The Colts are going to have to rely on a variety of guys/schemes to complement the team's top pass rusher in Mathis. Throw Kendall Langford into the names you mentioned. The scheming of the rush is probably going to be a bigger impact than just one guy having to dial up a double-digit sack season. 3. The Colts are always going to scour that waiver wire when roster cuts occur in early September. I look at wide receiver, tight end, linebacker and cornerback as possible positions to really look at once the 53-man cut takes place. The Colts have found success with that route before (i.e. Jack Doyle and T.Y. McGill).

Kade M. (Texas)

With the colts selecting T.J. Green in the second round and everyone saying that he is learning behind Mike Adams this year does that mean the colts will not try to resign Adams after this year? Also could you give a time table for Luck's extension to be reached?

Bowen: Mike Adams, a 13-year NFL veteran, is entering the final year of his contract. Adams will turn 36 years old next March. The Colts would be doing a disservice to themselves if they ignored the future at the safety position. The pick of Green isn't a guarantee the Colts won't re-sign Adams, but you do have an alternative option now thanks to the 2016 second-round pick. It's like Clayton Geathers and Dwight Lowery last year. In 2015, you had signed Lowery to a one-year deal. When Lowery hit the free agent market this past offseason, the Colts had a young option they were ready to develop in Geathers. That's what the future of this team has to be like---young draft picks playing on rookie contracts. For Green, that could happen next season. There's no specific timetable for Andrew Luck's contact extension. The hope is to get something finalized before the start of Training Camp.

Wayne P. (Middletown, CT)

Last year Kahled Holmes was our starting center. What is his current status? Is he still with the Colts?

Bowen: On May 2, the Colts waived Holmes. This came just days after the team selected center Ryan Kelly with the 18th pick of the NFL Draft. Kelly is the Colts starting center for this season, and the foreseeable future.

Isak H. (Mexico City)

Hi! With Rob Chudzinski at OC, should we expect packages with a more natural NFL O than the one that Hamilton had? I was wondering if Tyler Varga has a chance to see a few reps at FB. The colts haven't used a FB since Stanley Havili left, and Varga played it at college. I don't expect a fullback-permanent offense, but maybe some plays.

Bowen: In the couple of open OTA sessions, we haven't seen a true fullback. Or Varga used in that spot. I'd expect Jack Doyle to once again fill that role, when called upon. It seems like more and more around the league we are seeing teams use other position players to play fullback. It's unfortunately just a dying position to have a player on the roster exclusively to play fullback. Now, Varga could certainly fill other duties if they kept him on the 53-man roster. But, for now. I'd expect that guy to be Doyle.

Josh W. (Marion, IN)

My question is about Duron Carter. Why didnt the Colts keep him on as a project? He couldve stayed on the practice squad. I know he was raw but he has alot of potential. Any chance for a reunion?

Bowen: With Carter, we just don't know why both sides didn't agree on a return. Did the Colts see enough in a year that made them think he was not going to work out in the NFL? Did Carter want to go back to the Canadian Football League (which he has since done with the Montreal Alouettes) to play in actual games? Those are the questions that clearly didn't add up with Carter now back in the CFL. With the offseason now months old, I can't see Carter all of a sudden coming back down to the NFL.

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