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Colts Mailbag Weekend Edition: Will Quan Bray Be The Colts Return Man Again In 2016?

Intro: In Saturday’s mailbag, readers inquire about Andrew Luck’s control of the offense, the role for Phillip Dorsett this season and our first 53-man roster look.


INDIANAPOLIS – Each week, readers of 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 N. (Orange County, CA)

Hello again Mr. Bowen!

This time i'm here to ask about Jacoby Brissett! I understand Quan Bray did a great job last year returning both kickoffs and punts, but will we see Dorsett kick returning again after a rough go at it last year? Personally, I think Dorsett can be as lethal as a returner as Tyler Lockett, and Antonio Brown.

Thank you for your time! GO COLTS!

Bowen: I'd be surprised if Quan Bray isn't the Colts return man again in 2016. Bray led all NFL returners in combined return yards the last two months of 2015. That's very impressive. If Bray shows some receiving prowess this offseason, I could see him even playing a little on offense. For now, I think letting Dorsett grow on offense, where he is playing a much bigger role in 2016 is the proper route to take. No need to take Bray off the returns after what he did in November and December.

Mauricio G. (Mexico City)

Hi Kevin! big fan of this seccion, i just have two questions:

Firstable it's about Dezmen Southward, what is his status on the team? Do you think he'll make it to the 53? Considering he can play both Corner and Safety.

And also do you have any information about the Color Rush uniform that the Colts will wear on the Thanksgiving Game against Steleers?

Bowen: 1. In past months, the Colts have mentioned Southward's name as a guy they are curious about. He's a bigger safety who will need to make an impact on special teams with the Colts looking to fill Colt Anderson's role. 2. No update on the Color Rush jerseys for 2016. In case people haven't seen it, it sounds like the NFL will have teams wear their "color rush" jerseys on Thursday night games this season (we saw this last year with the Jaguars/Titans, the Rams/Bucs and the Bills/Jets). I'm not sure what the Colts jerseys will look like, although I'd assume blue. There's been no official announcement of what the jerseys will look like when the Colts host the Steelers this Thanksgiving.

Zach M. (Rochester, NY)

Hello kevin,

You did a good job awnsering my question on our safety depth last time. And for that I thank you for taking the time. I have another question on someone who actually isn't on our roster this year which surprised and no it's not Duron Carter like everyone else.

My question is why didn't we sign back boom herron but instead went after people like Jordan todman and Robert turbin which I feel herron proved he good be versatile as turbin and return kicks like todman. I thought boom had proved to be a great back up especially in our playoff run and was also one of my favorite players. Why didn't the Colts bring back such a solid back that could give Gore 3rd down offs?

Thanks again kevin go colts!

Bowen: I think the Colts saw the chance to add two veteran backs who do have much more experience than Boom Herron. In his time here, Herron was very solid but it was clear last year the Colts had moved on from him. Turbin has been a backup for arguably the NFL's best running back. Todman is a guy fresh off a nice playoff performance. Let's not overlook Turbin. He was a quality/versatile backup in Seattle, who is still just 26 years old. Unfortunately, Herron hasn't been able to stick anywhere since the promising end to 2014.

Renee L. (Fort Wayne, IN)

I have seen a lot of complaints about Grigson but never for letting Pierre Garcon go. Why not? Today I read in WaPo, "I really don't understand fans' eagerness to push Pierre Garcon out the door. He has done nothing but produce since he signed with Washington four offseasons ago. Whenever given the opportunity, Garcon makes something happen. He's not used on a lot of deep routes, so he doesn't often get to show off his speed, but he has no problem getting open on short or intermediate routes either. Last season, he recorded 72 catches on 110 targets. That means he caught 65 percent of the passes that came his way (second-highest clip behind Jordan Reed), and according to, Garcon had only one dropped pass in 2015. He averaged a solid 10.8 yards per catch and recorded six touchdown receptions, his most since joining Washington. He makes tough catches in traffic and brings a toughness to the position."

Bowen: I don't think people realize the sort of cap situation the Colts were under in 2012. The Colts made a decision to retain Reggie Wayne, needing a veteran presence on the offensive side of the ball. Wayne turned in a tremendous '12 campaign before injuries caught up. He then passed the veteran torch on to T.Y. Hilton. I think the Colts would take Hilton on a rookie contract over the type of deal Garcon would have warranted back in 2012. Hilton's numbers in the last four years: 283 receptions for 4,413 yards (15.6 yards per reception) and 24 touchdowns. Garcon's numbers: 297 catches for 3,3508 yards (11.8 yards per reception) and 18 touchdowns. I think the Colts are just fine with a younger Hilton playing on a much cheaper contract.

Steve M. (New Haven, IN)

The Colts acquired Tevin Mitchel from the Redskins last year before they could place him on IR. Do you think Mitchel will be a factor for the Colts this year?

Bowen: The Colts staff is high on Tevin Mitchel, a sixth-round pick last season. The cornerback did spend all of last year on injured reserve but is now back to health. Check out this article on Mitchel from Friday. A young corner or two emerging this offseason would be more than ideal for the Colts.

John O. (Walton, IN)

Just want to let you know that I read all the letters and responses in your weekly mailbag. I submitted a question a few months ago about those who are signed to a futures contract at the end of the season. My question is why are these individuals never mentioned in your answers about the offensive linemen. I personally would like to read how they are progressing. All that is ever mentioned is this years draft class. It seems to me that the futures players are destined to be trade bait. I know things will iron themselves out when training camp starts, but let's give these guys a few words when you can. Thanks.

Bowen: John, there are very, very few guys that go from future contract signees to a spot on the 53-man roster or "trade bait." That's just how things work on a 90-man roster. The Colts have added enough depth along their offensive line to where they have around 10 quality bodies to create high-level competition come Anderson. Those "futures" guys just aren't getting the first and second team reps right now. If they consistently start to get them, then they will be mentioned. Also, it's still early for those guys to really make an impact. Offensive linemen need the full pads on up at camp before the true evaluations begin.

Zack W. (Bedford, VA)

My question is about newly acquired colt Trevor Bates. Every team right now is tying to find their quick twitchy edge rusher (Von Miller). I understand that our options for this type of player are going to be Sio Moore and rookie Trevor Bates. To be honest I am much more excited to see our rookie step on the field and make some plays. While I understand Sio is more likely to be handed the reps right now for that role, do you see Trevor being a part of our on field presence at all during the 2016 campaign? I'm rooting for the small school boy to come out here and show his big school attitude. Thanks

Bowen: Sio Moore is in the competition for the inside linebacker spot, not an edge guy. Moore has flexibility and 7.5 career sacks, but he's going to compete with Nate Irving for the starting job next to D'Qwell Jackson. Bates is more of an edge guy. I have noticed Bates receiving some sub package reps with the Colts looking for a young pass rushing option to emerge. Bates, Earl Okine and the undrafted edge guys should all receive some first and second team looks in Training Camp with the veteran guys (Robert Mathis, Erik Walden and Trent Cole) all probably going to have some "vet days off." It's hard to evaluate pass rushers without full pads on, but at least Bates is receiving some looks this time of year.

Andrew H. (Fargo, ND)

Hi Kevin,

I saw the first 2017 NFL Draft question last week and that got me looking into the next group. When you look at the Colts I see a couple more holes. I see the pass rush, the running game, and the secondary. We picked up Patrick Robinson in FA, and we drafted TJ Green. So we will see how that works out. The pass rush is a big and obvious need. We need someone to learn from Mathis and be the future. Finally, I personally think we need to take Christian McCaffery for the running game. Now I'm a defensive minded person but you can't over look that talent and production. It would take the pressure off of Luck and we can have that second dimension that we haven't had in awhile. With Frank getting old it needs to be something to consider plus he is from Stanford! I know we just got some young RB's in FA but still.. Look at what this young kid can do. What do you think? Sorry for the long question. Go colts!

Bowen: I thought I was seeing things when I read another 2017 Mock Draft question. But I'm pretty sure I'm reading this correctly. Another one has entered the mailbag some 11 months short of the 2017 Draft. I've done little research on next year's draftees because things can change in a hurry (this time last year T.J. Green and Hassan Ridgeway weren't likely to come out of college a year early). However, the early indications are that next year's draft class is pretty deep at running back and edge rusher. That differs from what we saw in 2016, but should benefit the Colts and what their needs could look like next year with wanting to get younger at those spots.

Dustin B. (Kings Mountain, NC)

Hi, Kevin

When it comes to calling plays on offense does Luck have the same pull that Manning had, where he can call the plays or does the coaching staff have final say? Also same thing about defense? Would it fall to the Defensive Coordinator or someone like Vontae Davis who has played for years and knows the Colts playbook?

Bowen: I don't think the Colts will ever reveal how much "say" Andrew Luck has at the line of scrimmage. But safe to assume, Luck has enough to be able to change a play/make a check if what he sees at the line calls for it. On defense, D'Qwell Jackson and that inside linebacker group are your main "quarterbacks" for the unit. Defensive communication is constant throughout every level but Jackson has been the main guy in that role the last two years.

KJ Parker (Indianapolis)

  1. What safety spot will Tj green and Geathers Be at.
  1. Biggest concern to You going into this season

Bowen: 1. Clayton Geathers is the expected starter at safety alongside Mike Adams. As of now, T.J. Green is going to play a reserve role as a rookie. 2. I guess I would go with depth at the skill positions (mainly wide receiver and tight end). Then on defense, can the defensive line continue to show quality depth, if Henry Anderson and Arthur Jones have to miss time? The group did it last year and might have to do it early in 2016. Then in the pass rush, can the Colts find a complement to Robert Mathis' ability to individually disrupt the quarterback?

Nathan R. (Columbus, IN)

With Hilton, Moncrief, and Dorsett locked in as the top 3 WR's, how is the battle for the 4th and 5th WR panning out? Any early favorites? My money is on Quan Bray, but I am not sure if there are some new names that are getting a lot of positive attention. Thanks!these guys a few words when you can. Thanks.

Bowen: We had a couple of questions on this subject. As of now, the Colts have been quiet in the "acquiring a veteran receiver option." They have made June veteran signings before so we will see if that happens before Training Camp. Right now, Josh Boyce and Brian Tyms are making the most of extended reps in OTAs. With Donte Moncrief out and Phillip Dorsett missing a week, Boyce and Tyms have been the most frequent names running alongside T.Y. Hilton. Those two do have some NFL experience, compared to the rest of the wideouts. Quan Bray (hamstring) has also been dealing with an injury but did return to action last week. I do believe Bray will have a great chance at seizing those open wide receiver spots. He has the return ability we saw last year and those special teams contributions are huge when filling out a roster. Right now, I'd put these three names as the guys with the best chance, but Chuck Pagano is also high on some of the undrafted guys on the roster.

John F. (Horseshoe Bay, TX)

Hey Kevin,

What kind of timeline are the Colts giving Curtis Maggitt? I know he had a significant hip injure last season with Tennessee. Based on scouting reports, he was on track to being one of best great edge rushers in the SEC coming off his Junior year. I know he has been at OTA's, just not participating in drills. Any update on his injury and when he may get on the practice field?

Bowen: John, I'm not sure if you saw this article on Maggitt. In there, Maggitt has Training Camp targeted for his full return. During rookie minicamp, Maggitt was working off to the side so that's a good sign after the hip injury ended his senior season after just two games last year. I know I'm curious to see what Maggitt can do after that big junior season he had at Tennessee.

Jeff P. (Bristol, Connecticut)

This is my early 53 Man roster. Can you give me your thoughts?

Qb. 2. Luck, Tolzien.

RB. 4. Gore, Turbin, Varga, Furguson.

WR. 5. TY, Moncreif , Dorsett, Boyce, Smith Tevaun.

OL. 9. Castonzo, Mewhort, Reitz, Thornton, Kelly, Clark, Good, Haeg, Blythe..

TE. 3. Allen, Swoope, Griswold..

DL. 7 Kerr, David Parry, Henry Anderson, Langford, Ridgeway, McGill, Okine..

LINEBACKERS . 9. Jackson, Mathis, Cole, Amarlo Herrera, Irving, Moore, Tompson, Maggitt, Morrison..

CB. 5. Davis, Butler, D'Juon Smith, Robinson, Brown..

Safty 5. Adams, Clayton Geathers, Green, Guy, Williamson Andrew.

Special teams. Overton, McAfee and Vinatieri.

PR/KR. Rogers.

Bowen: Oh no. A 53-man roster prediction about three months before roster cuts. These guys haven't even put pads on this offseason. A brief scan has me thinking where is Jack Doyle, Arthur Jones, Erik Walden and Quan Bray? That doesn't even take into account Jordan Todman, Jonotthan Harrison, Josh McNary, etc.

Skip J. (Indianapolis)


Bowen: I'm sure we will see some two-back looks from the Colts, but maybe not with two actual "running backs." In years past, Dwayne Allen and Jack Doyle have both lined up in the backfield and served as blockers. We've seen Doyle receive plenty of first-team action during OTA sessions. This isn't directly related to your question, but it wouldn't surprise me if Phillip Dorsett lined up in the backfield at times. That's a wrinkle we saw last year with the Colts trying to isolate Dorsett in some advantageous situations.

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