Colts Mailbag

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Colts Mailbag Weekend Edition: Will Any Rookie Lineman Join Ryan Kelly In The Starting Lineup?

Intro: In Saturday’s mailbag, readers inquire about the depth at running back, what the tight end position looks like behind Dwayne Allen and seventh-round pick Austin Blythe.

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ANDERSON, Ind. – 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).

Carter N. (Indiana)

Do you see the Colt's 3rd round pick, Le'raven Clark starting at any point this season? I've heard people say that he had 1st round potential at an offensive lineman. I know he had to adjust to the new system but if and when he did do you think he will start this season? If so what week do you think that he might become a starter?

Bowen: At this point, I don't see Le'Raven Clark cracking the starting lineup, unless an injury occurs. After a few days of Training Camp, we continue to see four spots solidified on the offensive line: LT-Anthony Castonzo, LG-Jack Mewhort, C-Ryan Kelly and RT-Joe Reitz. Right guard is where the competition lies, and Clark's name is not in the mix there. Clark has worked primarily as a reserve tackle on the right side. In drafting Clark, the Colts knew they had the luxury to bring him along without immediately throwing him into the starting lineup. Reitz (who turns 31 in August) was a solid right tackle last season. That allows for the Colts to be patient with Clark, who is making a significant adjustment from the spread offense in college.

Dustin B. (Kings Mountain, NC)

Hello Kevin,

My question is off the recent news. With Tyler Varga retiring after only one season we are at a loss at RB. We filled his spot with Abou Toure. What do you know about this newly acquired RB?

Bowen: Toure isn't unfamiliar to the Colts. At 6-2 and 235 pounds, the big running back was with the Colts during last year's Training Camp. He was waived in the first cut down from 90-to-75 players last season. After Indy, Toure spent time with the Cardinals and Steelers. Varga's retirement should open the door for guys like Trey Williams and Josh Ferguson trying to grab one of the final running back spots.

Terry J. (Cedar Rapids, IA)

Does the kid drafted out of Iowa have a chance of starting?

Bowen: Austin Blythe's best chance to make the Colts is going to be as a reserve lineman, with the ability to play guard. The Colts know Blythe can play center. He was one of college football's best centers. In the NFL though, with having a limited number of guys dress on game, position flexibility is a must. Blythe did play initially at guard in his days with the Hawkeyes. Ryan Kelly is the starting center for the Colts. Blythe and Jonotthan Harrison are competing for that backup spot, with the need to play guard in a pinch.

Jerry K. (Wisconsin)

I see good players as far as depth goes in almost every group just concerned with tight ends & running backs.

So could Doyle be a number 1 if Allen went down , and not sure but I think turbin got in some trouble how does rb depth look . thanks

Bowen: The tight end depth would really be tested if Dwayne Allen went down. Jack Doyle has filled so many roles for the Colts in his three seasons. However, it would be a lot to ask for Doyle to all of a sudden absorb a No. 1 role, with little proven depth behind him. Doyle has been reliable as always early on in camp, but the Colts need the 2012/2014 version of Allen for this offense to truly reach its potential. At running back, I'd expect Robert Turbin to be the first back to spell Frank Gore. That's what we've seen all offseason long. Besides Turbin, Jordan Todman gives the Colts a slashing type of back, who also has postseason experience.

Sunil A. (Houston)

Hi Kevin,

What is the difference between the two terms "Released Player" and "Waived Player"?

Thank you very much. GO COLTS!!

Bowen: A player that is waived has less than four years of experience in the NFL. That player is placed on waivers and teams can put in an order to claim that player. The priority for those claims is based off the records for each team (the worse your record, the better your waiver claim). Players that have more than four years of experience are released, immediately placing them on the free market.

Michael C. (Tulsa, OK)

Hey Kevin, I'm totally stoked that the new season is here. As is all of Colt's Nation. I am curious about other teams using blinders on their receivers during practice. If I were a receiver, I would want to be aware of all of my surroundings. Are their receives undisciplened? Or are our couches missing a new technique? What are your thoughts?

Bowen: Michael, I'm not sure what you are referring to in "blinders." I assume coaches are just trying to mimic traffic of what a couple of defensive backs and their arms will look like for a contested catch.

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