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:
Doug Luis (Rockford, OH)
Do you think the colts have a hard time winning the AFC South this year.
Bowen: This is a question I've been thinking about a lot lately. I'm really curious to see what the rest of the AFC South looks like in 2015. Houston is obviously the most serious contender to the Colts current reign atop the division. The front seven for the Texans has the potential to be dominant. I'm just not sure if they have enough around that to win 10-12 games. Tennessee and Jacksonville are still a few years away from being true threats to the top of the AFC South. Say what you want to about the AFC South, it's remarkable the Colts have won 13 straight against the division. Houston is going to get an early October chance against the Colts in 2015, an opportunity they squandered last season. If the Texans can win that Thursday night matchup in Week Five, the AFC South race could extend well into December, and possibly January this season.
Chris Calkins (Hampton, VA)
With our weak point being the offensive and defensive lines of the past few years will there be any interest in the upcoming supplemental draft in one of the two defensive lineman out of west Georgia or the OT Isaiah Battle especially with Cherilus going down?
Bowen: The 2015 Supplemental Draft will be on July 9. Under Ryan Grigson, the Colts haven't taken anyone in the Supplemental Draft and, lately, NFL teams in general haven't been too enamored with making selections in the draft (no player has been taken in the supplemental draft since Cleveland chose Josh Gordon in 2012). Chris mentions West Georgia defensive tackle Dalvon Stuckey and Clemson offensive tackle Isaiah Battle as two of the seven players eligible for the draft. By all accounts, Battle is the most talented of the seven potential draftees, where as Stuckey came through the junior college ranks. Based off past precedent and the youth currently on the Colts roster at those spots (the Colts are high on 2014 draft pick Ulrick John), I don't see them taking one of those players next Thursday.
Paul Madorno (Pittston, PA)
Hey Kevin, do you think the o-line has enough talent. Last year the interior was getting blown up more times I care to remember. For a former o-lineman RG has mostly misses, only Mewhart seem to work out, your thoughts.
Bowen: Paul, I do think the offensive line has enough talent, but the Gosder Cherilus injury watch is going to be a critical factor into how this line shakes out in Anderson. Chuck Pagano has made it clear that once Training Camp arrives, the Colts need to find an early starting five up front and mesh those guys together. If Cherilus is healthy and the Colts are able to have Jack Mewhort at left guard and likely Todd Herremans at right guard that should solidify the guard spots inside of Anthony Castonzo and Cherilus. The center position might take a little longer to decide, with Khaled Holmes having the momentum from last year's postseason run. The Colts have 10 guys who have previously started games in the NFL heading to Anderson. Talent shouldn't be the issue. Cohesion and health are of bigger priorities.
Dave H (Sebring, FL)
DO THE COLTS OWNER OR COACHES DO FUN STUFF WITH PLAYERS AND THERE FAMILYS. I HEARD THAT GAINTS COACH TOOK PLAYERS A FAMILY BOWLING! JERRY JONES DOES SIX FLAGES CHRISTMAS,THANKSGIVING WITH TEAM. THEY SAY KRAFT AND STEELERS,49ERS OWNER DO ALOT OF THINGS ALSO???????
Bowen: Dave, it wasn't widely publicized but, earlier this offseason, Chuck Pagano spent a day of OTAs taking players and coaches to a local bowling alley. A night of bowling typically occurs at Training Camp, too, with an offense vs. defense competition taking place for some serious bragging rights. I think these sorts of get togethers and activities are widely popular around the NFL and the Colts are no exception.
Zac Filipetti (Windsor, Ontario)
Just wanted to get your thoughts on which WR's will make the active roster. In the past we have generally kept 5 WR's, obviously TY, Andre, Moncrief and Dorsett are all locks to make the team. This leads me to ask who in your opinion will get the 5th spot between Griff Whalen, Vincent Brown, or Duron Carter? Also do you think they would consider keeping 6 of them on the roster because this group is so talented?
Thanks and go colts!
Bowen: Zac, this is one of the more difficult questions to answer heading into Training Camp. I agree 100 percent with your first statement on the top four wide receivers, who in my opinion are virtual locks to make the team (T.Y. Hilton, Andre Johnson, Donte Moncrief and Phillip Dorsett). That fifth, and possible sixth, spot is where things get real murky. I do think the Colts could keep six wide receivers on their 53-man roster, but that's a lot of players at one position on the final roster. Let's evaluate those three options you mentioned above. Duron Carter clearly has plenty of potential. He does have practice squad eligibility, which could be an avenue for a guy who still has played little (college/professional) football compared to most 24 year olds in the NFL. Whalen has special teams experience, which could be the deciding factor in that final wide receiver spot. Brown has played the most of this trio and could be called upon to fill in if any of the leading four pass catchers go down due to injury. If I had to guess, I see the Colts keeping five wide receivers on their 53-man roster and it remains to be seen which player rounds out arguably the most talented wideout group in the NFL.
Taggyrt Moses (Keenseburg, Colorado)
With the absence of Sergio Brown will a guy like Whalen get a shot at gunner
Bowen: The early practice time at Training Camp is where we will get our early look at possible gunner options for the Colts. If safety Dewey McDonald makes the team again, he would seem to have one of the gunner spots locked up after performing well on special teams last season. Now, without Sergio Brown (and even Andy Studebaker), the Colts have openings for core special teams guys. I would throw Griff Whalen into the mix at gunner for sure. Who becomes that second gunner could very well come down to who ultimately makes the 53-man roster, which is obviously not a guarantee for Whalen at such a crowded wide receiver position. Rookie third-round pick D'Joun Smith is a definite gunner option, too.