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).
Caleb D. (Columbus, OH)
Do you think Vinateiri will retire at the end of the season or how long will he play?
Bowen: Adam Vinatieri isn't retiring at the end of this season. Back when Vinny signed his two-year deal with the Colts last March, the thought was he needed two-to-three years before having the NFL records for most points scored and field goals made. Vinny, who turned 44 years old on Wednesday, still has another year on his contract and I fully expect him to want to play in 2018, too. The guy has once again kicked at a very high level this season, right around 90 percent on field goals. I believe Vinny will play through the 2018 season (meaning he will need another contract after 2017) and that will give him the major kicking records and further validate his status as not only a Hall of Famer, but a first ballot HOFer.
Carter F. (Norfolk, NE)
Now that the Colts are eliminated I started looking at some mock drafts. The names I saw were:
Jabrill Peppers S/CB
Zach Cunningham LB
Derek Barnett OLB
Tim Williams OLB
Dalvin Cook RB
Sidney Jones CB
and Quincy Wilson
So I tried to figure out our biggest weakness pass rush and running back. So I had some free time and I came up with some stats that I think should tell us to draft a running back round 1 or 2.
I used yards per game and compared the colts vs the opponent and that didn't quite tell the whole story. I looked how many carries we had too. If we had more carries we won if we didn't we lost. The only two games that disproved my theory were against the Texans Week 6 and the titans week 7.
So given those stats what do you think we do at round 1 and 2. And are those the names that we should be looking at.
Bowen: If we are looking strictly at positions, I think the first two rounds need to be an edge rusher with one pick and another linebacker/cornerback with the other selection. I understand where you're coming from at the running back position. But I think that you can find a quality back in the middle rounds next year and pair that guy with Frank Gore and the possible return of Robert Turbin. Look at Oakland last week. They had more than 200 rushing yards with a fifth-round pick, a sixth-rounder and an undrafted free agent rotating at running back. Yes, the Raiders have a great offensive line, but those runners are still very talented. That would be ideal for the Colts if they can find a middle-ish round pick at running back and then commit the bigger draft capitol to the defensive side of the ball.
Paul M. (Pittston, PA)
Hey Kevin, with the off season fast approaching the Colts have some interesting decisions to make. Do they resign Adams, the man is still ballin. What about Doyle, all he does is every thing you ask him to do. Then you have a list of other FA, including Mathis, Cole, Walden, etc. Any insights?
Bowen: Earlier this week, Ryan Grigson was asked on his weekly radio show about retaining Jack Doyle. "Definitely," was Grigson's response. The market value for Doyle will be much higher than the Colts could have expected coming into 2016, but it's hard to put value on such dependability. Doyle is available (has never missed a game due to injury) and produces to the tune of the team's second leading receiver in 2016. If I had to rank the others, I think it will come down to an either/or with Darius Butler/Mike Adams and then Erik Walden the favorite over the other guys in that edge rushing group.
David B. (Greenville, SC)
Hi ho to all the merry Colt's elves 1)The Colt Offensive Line appears to have slowed the progress of the sack parade; is Philbin also pushing to slow the 'hit parade' so that Andrew is not pounded as he releases the ball ? 2)Luck was pounded by at least 2 Raider linemen as he released what became his 1st interception; are you privy as to whether he suffered any further damage to his right arm/ shoulder as a result of this or any other hits absorbed while passing the ball ? 3)Luck is a top rated AFC/NFL Passer with 29 tds, 3,900 yds, 92 PR ;why no Pro Bowl or MVP discussion for this elite QB ? Thanks guys -Anno Prospero Nuevo
Bowen: 1. The offensive line, with a much different looking group, hasn't given up a sack to Andrew Luck in consecutive weeks---for the first time in his career. The arrow is pointing up on this unit going in 2017. 2. Luck's name didn't pop up on Wednesday's injury report this week, a rarity for this season. So it looks like Luck didn't suffer any additional injuries out in Oakland. 3. You knew it would come down to Andrew Luck and Ben Roethlisberger for the final AFC quarterback spot. Tom Brady and Derek Carr are more than deserving for Pro Bowl spots. With Big Ben, his team being in the playoffs was probably a major reason why he got the nod over Luck. Technically, Luck has slightly better individual numbers. But remember, when this voting was going on, the Colts were under .500 and trying to get back into playoff consideration. It's been arguably the second best season of Luck's career, however a Pro Bowl distinction didn't come for the fifth-year quarterback.
Ronnie O. (Cape Coral, FL)
Why does it seem that year in and year out the Colts are one of the leaders on the injury front? Every year the Colts O-line has six, seven and eight different combinations. Should the Colts take a different approach to their conditioning program?
Bowen: I mentioned this a few weeks ago, but the Colts actually avoided the serious injury bug for much of 2016. They only put three guys on injured reserve through the first three months of the year. Yes, you had your bumps and bruises among the offensive line group and even in the secondary. The Colts did hire a new strength and conditioning staff in 2016 and the serious injuries certainly decreased this season.