INDIANAPOLIS – Each week, readers of Colts.com can submit their questions to have a chance of them being answered in our Wednesday mailbag.
Here is this week's collection:Jeff Stewart (Savannah, GA)
So obviously gore will be the starting running back but who will likely be in the number two and three spot and how much will they see the field since gore is in his thirty's and will we need him fresh come January
Bowen: Jeff, I will turn around and ask you a question. Is the backup currently on the roster? If the Colts go out and draft a running back in the first couple of rounds, I could see that rookie being Frank Gore's backup. Obviously, Boom Herron has established himself as a quality back in this league and he is definitely the current backup, with the offseason program starting on April 20. If a rookie draft pick is added to the backfield, a trio of Gore/Herron/Rookie would be a pretty solid trio to rely on in 2015.
Jeff Porter (Kansas City)
I know everybody wants to talk about the first few picks of the draft, but I want to know about the bottom of the picks . U think the colts will draft a kicker this year ?
Bowen: We got a couple of kicker questions this week in regards to the draft. I would be beyond shocked if the Colts drafted a kicker. Every time this question comes up I go back to roster mechanics. There's no need to waste a draft pick on a kicker when come cut time, Adam Vinatieri and Pat McAfee will be the only kickers on the roster. Teams just don't keep three kickers on a 53-man roster because those roster spots are too valuable. The Colts have the best kicking duo in the NFL and while Vinatieri's career is nearing an end, I don't see his replacement coming in the 2015 draft. I would expect the Colts to add a kicker after the draft for another leg during OTAs and Training Camp.
Dave Copenhaver (New Castle)
I know the Colts can't keep everyone, but I thought Brown and Francois were real contributors last year. Why didn't we make a greater effort to keep them? Given our lack of safeties and Brown's seemly reasonable deal in Jacksonville, it would appear not much was done to keep him.
Bowen: Sergio Brown is definitely getting starter type money in Jacksonville. Before last season, Brown had started just three games in four years so this will be his first full-time starting experience in the NFL. That's something the Colts obviously weighed in the offseason and why they decided to wait to add a safety (veteran Dwight Lowery signed last Friday). In terms of Ricky Jean Francois, the Colts have picked up Kendall Langford, a guy who is a durable piece up front. Other defensive line reps are going to have to come from some of the younger bodies on the roster and potentially a draft pick.
Rob Lyons (Greenfield, IN)
Off the wall question: Are there stipulations in a player's contract that prohibit participating in certain activities that could injure them (skydiving, scuba diving, motor sports racing, etc)?
Bowen: Rob, good question. While their might not be specific language outlining activities, some contracts have addendums that a team could request. I know some Patriot fans are curious about this after seeing Tom Brady’s pictures/videos from an offseason trip to Costa Rica.
Anthony Colaruotolo (Troy, New York)
In my opinion I think the all white uniforms look really nice and would be a great change to see the team wear the all white uniforms a few times a season. Do you think it's a possibility that the all white uniforms could be used as an alternate uniform for the Colts? And if not, why?
Bowen: We had quite a few inquiries on the white uniforms that the Colts broke out for an April Fool's joke. Obviously, the mock up the Colts had wouldn't fly under NFL guidelines. The numbers would be too hard to identify. I have heard talks of the NFL possibly wanting teams to have throwbacks for their Thursday night games this season but nothing has been announced on that. So yes, if the NFL does have some sort of "throwback/alternate" uniform night, I could see the Colts wearing something like we saw last Wednesday. Safe to say that April Fool's joke sparked a lot of jersey conversation among Colts fans.
Carter Goos (Iowa)
Who would we most likely draft in the first round if a strong or free safety isn't available? Thanks, Go COLTS!!!
Bowen: This question came before the Colts acquired safety Dwight Lowery on Friday night. I don't think that signing rules out drafting a safety relatively high by any means, but I do think it lessens that need. With the draft now three weeks from Thursday, the defensive line is still the area I come back to in the opening round. There's little doubt the Colts will stick with their best player available philosophy but I can see that being a defensive lineman at pick No. 29. If that is the case, I can't think of a more ideal situation for the Colts to kick off the 2015 draft class then adding a young, piece in the defensive trenches.
James Jordan (Vancouver, BC)
Hey Kevin, first off let me say I'm a big fan. I really like RB Jay Ajayi from Boise State and think he would be the perfect RB to to learn behind Frank Gore and eventually replace him. However, I have heard conflicting reports on how powerful of a runner he is. What are your thoughts on his power and whether or not he would fit the Colts if he falls in the third round.
Bowen: The depth in the 2015 running back draft class includes Ajayi, a true workhorse out of Boise State. With 347 rushing attempts in 2014, Ajayi showed he could carry the brunt of a running game. If he is available in the second round, I think he would be a great fit in the Colts scheme. Again, Frank Gore isn't the long-term option at running back so adding a talented young back in the draft appears to be a possibility. Something to watch come draft time will be which running back is the third one to be taken off the board (behind Melvin Gordon and Todd Gurley), when the dominoes start falling at the ball carrier position.
Bryce Daneshrad (Los Angeles, CA)
First, let me start off with thanking you for answering all of these questions with great insight! They really help and put lots of perspective in me. Now for the question: What is your take on Andrew Luck winning MVP and possibly breaking some big records in 2015? Possibly most touchdown passes or yards.
Bowen: Ah, the Luck MVP question. It will be interesting to see how much momentum this storyline will get in the offseason. Luck put up major individual passing numbers in 2014 but did not receive a ton of attention in end-of-the-year awards. I think the biggest thing Luck has to do in 2015 to be a top-flight contender is more based on what the team does. The individual numbers are going to be there. However, for Luck to be one of the favorites come mid-to-late December, the Colts have to be near the top of the AFC. Another 4,000-yard, 35-touchdown type season (numbers that should not be taken for granted), paired with 12-13 wins would give Luck a great chance in the MVP race.
Cory Cardwell (Abingdon, VA)
Just like all the others colts fans, I think that they need a safety. what safety do you think they should get? Also, why did the colts sign Vincent Brown? I have never heard of him until now. Besides that I think they did good in the off-season, and i can't wait till the draft!
Bowen: This question obviously was sent in prior to the Colts signing veteran safety Dwight Lowery last Friday night. In Lowery, the Colts are getting a player very similar to that of Mike Adams. Even with Adams and Lowery in the fold, a safety taken in the draft would not surprise me at all. Both Lowery (29) and Adams (34) are not the long-term solutions at the safety position. As far as the signing of Vincent Brown, the Colts have added a guy, who at the age of 26, is already the second most experienced receiver on the roster. If we are looking at roster mechanics, a team typically carries around five receivers on their final roster so Brown is certainly in the mix. He's more of a slot receiver that should complement a pass catching group that is quite big, based off past Colts teams (Andre Johnson, Donte Moncrief and Duron Carter in particular).
Jim Overton (Avon, IN)
what happened to jeris pendleton, he went on injured reserve and I did not see where he was released but I don't see him on the roster. He was big body nfor d line.
Bowen: Pendleton is a free agent who is rehabbing his ACL injury from last year. The Colts have always thought highly of Pendleton and it seems like the biggest thing right now for the defensive lineman is rehabbing completely, before trying to get another crack around the league.
Kevin Braun (Rochester, NY)
I am a longtime Colts fans and have heard all about the RB situation for the Colts this offseason, of course love the Gore signing; but why is there no love for Zurlon Tipton? He came in and played great for the Colts in the playoffs last year!!
Bowen: Well, I think when you compare the resumes of Tipton versus some of the other Colts running backs, the hype for the second-year running back is about right where it should be. Yes, Tipton was a key guy to close out the 2014 season as he evolved from a special teams player to the backup behind Boom Herron. Tipton will definitely be in the thick of the race for the final couple of running back spots. Right now, you have to think Gore and Herron are definites. I'd expect Tipton, Vick Ballard and a potential draft pick to compete for a running back group that usually is around four players on a 53-man roster.
RaDarius DeHaan (Mobile, Alabama)
Did coach McMahon like his stay in Samford when he came to see Jaquiski Tartt and the punter? Heard he was spotted here. Love to know these two guys are being taken into mind by the colts.
Bowen: For the past month, Colts coaches and personnel people have been scattered across the country evaluating draft prospects at their respective pro days. As far as Tartt, this is a name that could be a Colts option at the safety position. Scouts seem to be intrigued by the potential of Tartt, considering he played just one year of organized football in high school.