Colts Mailbag

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Colts Mailbag Weekend Edition: Will Andre Johnson Or Frank Gore Have More Production In 2015?

Intro: In Saturday’s mailbag, readers inquire about the role for Josh Robinson this season, the right tackle position and the defensive improvements necessary this season.

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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).

Here is this weekend's collection:Ollie Boulton (Northampton, England)

Hi Kevin,

What are the chances if Mewhort isn't showing the progress that we'd like to see by game 1 at RT, that we see Reitz starting at RT and Mewhort sliding back into his LG position?

I know we need to come up with a long term solution at RT, and if it means going through the growing pains of someone learning the position, I get that. But seeing as Mewhort already has a year's worth of good experience at LG and Reitz is at the very least serviceable at RT, wouldn't it make more sense to keep Mewhort at LG, work our way through this season at RT and then draft for a future RT next year?

I'm more just worried that our offensive line is always year after year after year shifted around and there has been essentially next to no consistency outside of Castonzo at LT.

Bowen: This questions falls right in line to what we saw in Wednesday's mailbag. Again, I would be surprised if the Colts put Mewhort back at left guard following Saturday's preseason game. He's played barely half a game worth of snaps at right tackle so far. This is what I had to say in Wednesday's mailbag about the Mewhort debate: "Chuck Pagano said after Saturday night that he knew there were going to be growing pains with Mewhort. The new right tackle, himself, said the same thing on Saturday night and again on Monday during locker room availability. The Colts aren't going to be replacing Mewhort after a handful of preseason series. There is an obvious adjustment period for a player who drilled at guard for nearly his entire rookie season and is playing right tackle for really the first time in his football career (in consecutive games). At this point, I'd be very surprised if the Colts replaced Mewhort before the season opener. Mewhort looked better on the Colts touchdown drive Saturday night after the early struggles. The Colts are obviously going to be tested this Saturday in St. Louis with a very talented Rams defensive line. What the Colts have in Mewhort at right tackle is going to be learned in the next month. The Bills and the Jets to start the regular season have two of the best defensive lines in football. Pulling Mewhort from right tackle isn't going to happen this early in his development there." I'm just as anxious to watch Mewhort as you are on Saturday night because we know things won't get much easier when the regular season rolls around in Buffalo.

Rodney Johnson (Louisville)

How much improvement will we see from the deffense?

Bowen: Another question we received from Wednesday's mailbag. I do think the Colts pass rush will be more consistent against the elite passing teams this year, something that is a key in 2015. As far as the other area of improvement in 2015, this is what I had to say on Wednesday (toss in a healthy Arthur Jones as a need, too): "I think when it comes to the Colts wanting to improve their defense in 2015, you center on more consistent run defense and a sustainable pass rush against premier quarterbacks. On Saturday, against the Bears, we saw guys like Erik Walden, Trent Cole and Kendall Langford all do a solid job in limiting Pro Bowl running back Matt Forte to just 24 yards on eight carries. That's a definite step in the right direction. The pass rush in 2014 had more than its fair share of moments, but struggled against the elite signal callers in the league. A return of Robert Mathis would obviously enhance what the Colts will try and turn to in passing situations."

TJ Getts (Garrett, IN)

As everyone knows, the Colts picked up Andre Johnson and Frank Gore this off season. Which one do you think will have a more productive season?

Bowen: A very debatable question sent in by TJ. The definition of production is always hard to quantify, especially with guys playing two different positions. I'm going to go with Gore because I think his role is so vital to this offense achieving necessary balance. I like how Johnson complements the Colts other receivers and what his skillset will provide Andrew Luck. Basically, I think the Colts could survive without Johnson. I'm not sure if they could without Gore. Both players are critical to the Colts' overall success in 2015. There's no question about that. However, Gore is at least going to make defensive coordinators hesitate in how they address their personnel this season. If the Colts can get out of Gore something close to what he's typically produced in San Francisco, it's not going to be fun being a Colts opposing defensive coordinator this season.

Alex Cotterman (New Palestine, IN)

I'm really liking what I have seen out of Josh Robinson. What are the odds that he gets the nod over the other backs as Frank Gore's main backup.

Bowen: Josh Robinson has certainly turned some heads this preseason. I think it's a little premature to place him as the team's backup right now. Boom Herron deserves the first shot at that role. Herron showed last season that he's more than a capable back in this league. He is a nice change of pace to Frank Gore, too. I am looking forward to watching on Saturday night to see how the running back reps are divided up. If Gore doesn't play, that should allow Vick Ballard and/or Robinson to get some meaningful reps, potentially with the first-team. As of now, I see Robinson as your No. 3 back with Herron more than deserving of being the team's backup to start the season.

Alan Kalleberg (Goshen, NY)

This might be a crazy question but here goes. Since a lot of teams are looking for receivers is there any way that the Colts could trade one to a team before cuts? I have read that teams are just waiting to see who the cults cut as far as receivers. Something would be better than nothing.

Bowen: Alan, this has been a popular question for Colts fans lately. I have seen both sides of the argument but I'm starting to lean towards the "no trade" angle. One reason has to do with you don't know what the Colts have behine the "fourth" wide receiver position. While Duron Carter had a nice camp, we haven't seen really any pass catcher emerge after two preseason games. Will that change in St. Louis this weekend? So, having said that, there's little value you would get in return for trading one of those guys now. I don't see enough positives to trading away an asset like Donte Moncrief. He has tremendous upside and should impact this offense greatly in 2015. As of now, I don't see a wide receiver getting traded in the next week.

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