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).
Leonardo B. (Rio de Janeiro)
Hi, Kevin. It seems that we always have some issue going on. At first was the poor tackling. Now its drops. Do you think thats somehow lack of focus? Maybe these issues are connected to mental mistakes? Regards.
Bowen: Lack of focus/concentration, fundamentals/technique---it's a little bit of everything for the Colts in looking back at the Thanksgiving loss. The Colts did not help out Scott Tolzien. Each of their top three wide receivers had significant, significant drops. You wonder if those guys were pressing a bit on Thursday. The Colts knew how potent Pittsburgh's offense was/is. Touchdowns had to be there for the Colts to survive a shootout. The chances were there to get into a shootout, even with your backup quarterback, but the drops played a big role in that never evolving. T.Y. Hilton said this afterwards: "It was my fault. I started it with the drop. Shouldn't happen. I should have had it. It changed the game. That was on me. It started with my group. We put too many balls on the ground."
Paul M. (Pittston, PA)
Hey Kevin, why do the coaches insist on putting Vontae Davis in single coverage on speed guys? With no pass rush, receivers have way too much time to run by him. Give him some help over the top.
Bowen: Thursday went about as bad as you could expect it for the Indy secondary in the first half. The Colts had so many dilemmas going into that game. You needed to create a pass rush after Big Ben hadn't been sacked, and hardly touched, in the two previous meetings with the Colts. So that leaves your secondary a little vulnerable. Without Clayton Geathers, that shifted around your sub packages. The Colts tried to give Vontae Davis the shadow role, which was needed in wanting to commit more resources to the pass rush. But with Davis clearly not 100 percent, Antonio Brown scored twice in building a 21-7 lead in their first 21 plays from scrimmage. For the Colts to have a chance on Thursday, without Geathers, they needed Davis to able to slow down Brown and allow the rest of the defenders to get after Big Ben and account for Le'Veon Bell. That never happened. You could make the case, the injuries in the secondary ended up being more of a deal than not having Andrew Luck.
Willie B. (Indianapolis)Kevin I hope you had a happy thanksgiving. After watching the colts / steelers game , it appears that the right side of the oline is still not very good. Denzelle Good and Joe Haeg are backups at best. We have to find some starters on the right side of the line. Is it possible to bring back Hugh Thorton for the rest of this year and play him at RG with Joe Reitz at RT?
Bowen: I don't think Hugh Thornton is coming back to the Colts this season. When healthy, the Colts are going to stick with Denzelle Good at right guard and Joe Haeg at right tackle. That's how the Colts view the best chance for the offensive line right now, and the future of that position group. The Thornton experiment has run its course with him battling injuries and never having the consistency needed.
Joe D. (Pendleton, IN)
When will the Colts retire Payton's #18?
Bowen: I feel like we get this question quite a bit. Peyton Manning's jersey was retired in March, by Jim Irsay, during 18's final press conference in Indianapolis. I'd guess the Colts would bring Manning back for a statue dedication at a game next season, when the statue is complete outside of Lucas Oil Stadium.
Leonardo D. (Mexico)
This question might be a little late but it became relevant this week. At the beginning of the season, the team kept 3 QBs when they made the final cut. It seem odd to me with all the injuries they had back then. After a couple days they send Morris to the practice squad. Was all the just so that Morris didn't get snatch because he had such an impressive preseason?
Bowen: You're on it with this observation. The Colts wanted to protect Morris initially and they were able to do that. Now, the Colts might be faced with the same problem once Andrew Luck gets healthy. When Luck returns, the Colts might not have the luxury of keeping three quarterbacks on their 53-man roster. That means Morris will be subject to waivers again. So that's a storyline to watch, possibly as early as next week, once Luck returns. The injuries from Thursday could force the Colts to sacrifice some of their back end of the roster guys.
Zach M. (Rochester, NY)
I have a pretty irrelevant question for,you but one I'm interested in what has lead to frankie Williams to be placed on the non football injury reserve list? What does that mean and why is Williams placed on it I have liked Williams tape since the preseason and think he can become a solid nickel corner for us
As always thanks for your insight.
Bowen: Zach, this is a great question. One that I don't have an answer for. Williams missed Tuesday's practice due to a non-football injury. That means he was hurt away from the team complex, outside of a football setting. These are injuries you see typically happen during the offseason. Clayton Geathers, for example, injured his foot in early July. He was then placed on the non-football injury list. Chuck Pagano has given no specific update on Williams and why he was then placed on injured reserve because of the injury. Basically, the injury Williams suffered occurred outside of practice, but how it exactly happened is not known.