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:Jonathon Virgen (San Diego, CA)
With all of the injuries/suspensions occuring on the defensive side of the ball, and the strength of the team being the offense, is there a greater emphasis on coming together as a defensive unit with the next man up motto or for the offense to put together long drives each game and to cash in after the drives to take away some of the stress from the depleted defense?
Bowen: I certainly understand what you're saying but I don't think the offense has any more of an emphasis to sustain drives than maybe earlier in the season. Sure, they understand how healthy the unit is right now and, with a banged up defense, what the offense has done the past few weeks has been huge from a time of possession standpoint. The Colts 42:21 time of possession against the Titans was the highest time for any non-overtime NFL game in nearly 500 contests.
Frankie Ruiz (Bakersfield, CA)
Loucheiz Purifoy is an interesting player that we have not seen a whole lot of. He seems to have all the physical tools that most teams are looking for at DB these days as far as height and athletic ability. We seen the type of playmaking ability he can bring to the table at Florida both on defense and special teams. So far he has sat at the bottom of the depth chart and hasn't seen much playing time. Do the Colts have plans for him moving forward? Are they trying to develop him more?? When do u think we will see more of him?
Bowen: Purifoy has gotten some mop-up duty early this season but I don't think there's much of a reason to play him a ton when you have the trio of Vontae Davis, Greg Toler and Darius Butler healthy. There's no doubt Purifoy has some potential, but for now it's a process in bringing him along with three corners who are all in their sixth NFL seasons in front of him. I've also liked what Purifoy has given the Colts on special teams.
Michelle M (Fort Wayne, IN)
Hows come we dont utilize hakeem nicks much? He is a great wide reciever... Is it that he just isnt getting open and that is why luck doesnt throw much to him? Is it in pep hamiltons game plan to use him later? I really like him, i hope that he gets more catches during the upcoming games. thank you
Bowen: We got a couple of Nicks' questions this week. The lack of targets towards Nicks is just a byproduct of the amount of depth the Colts offense has at every skill position. There will inevitably be games this year where T.Y. Hilton and Reggie Wayne are taken away and that will open things up for Nicks. It's nice to see Nicks becoming a threat in the red zone, a place where the Colts can certainly use his size split out wide.
M P (Charlotte, NC)
Will the team be ready for the Ravens, this time?? I watched their game Sunday and they gave the Panthers the business on both sides of the ball.
Bowen: The Ravens were very impressive last week and have been an early surprise at 3-1 in the AFC. I certainly think this team will be ready for the Ravens considering there's still talk on just how good the Colts are after the last two weeks. Defensively, Baltimore will test the Colts offense in the red zone. On the other side of the ball, veteran receiver Steve Smith has been one of the league's best receivers at the quarter poll and if he lines up across Vontae Davis, that will be a matchup to watch.
Gregory Young (Burlington, KY)
WOW!! What a game, Kevin! The Colts sure did take advantage of almost EVERY situation against the Titans this past Sunday. Needless to say the previous game vs. the Jags as well. The offense puts up over a 1,000 yards in TWO games... YIKES! Now we are going to start getting into some of the meat of the schedule soon and for all intents and purposes I like our shot. The remaining games from the AFC North and NFC East should prove to be a test for our beloved Colts regardless to say the rest of our divisional opponents. I LIKE our chances to go 12-4 or 11-5. One thing still haunts me and probably the rest of COLTS NATION for that matter... can our defense rise to the occasion? Can the Colts' defense put pressure on our remaining foes as in the last two weeks? Andrew Luck and the offense will be just fine thank you, very much! Time to step up and play PLAYOFF caliber football don't you think, Kevin? The weapons for the defense are there. Can we UTILIZE and string these last two spectacular performances from BOTH sides of the football into the rest of the year? We'll see. But, like I said before... I LIKE our chances!
GO COLTS .... CRANK UP THE HORSEPOWER, BABY!!!
Bowen: The good news for the Colts defense is the unit should get some bodies back in the front seven over the next few weeks. The unit has played very solid the last two weeks but now some better offenses come calling in the month of October. The secondary will especially be tested with the likes of Steve Smith, Andre Johnson, A.J. Green and Antonio Brown on the horizon.
Ed Karwacki (Wisconsin)
Sundays game was great and I hope our COLTS can keep it going. I would like to know why TY's catch near the end zone wasnt a TD? I saw the high lights of other games and that would have been a TD. Did they give a reason why it wasnt called a TD?
Bowen: Ed, I looked at this play several times and it's hard to decide if Hilton rolled on the defender's foot, allowing him to not touch the ground and get into the end zone. I think if it wasn't the first quarter and the Colts weren't facing a first-and-goal, we might have seen a challenge flag. Obviously, this wasn't needed with Trent Richardson plunging into the end zone on the very next play.
David Byrom (Clearwater, FL)
Been loyal colt fan since 1969. Seen good and bad all the way. Military brat and served myself, never changed my team no matter what city I found myself in How-ever never been to Memorial,,RCA or Lucas. Have there ever been any oversized banners of fans you see in the stands. Thinking of that guy who lead the cheers in the 60s.. Think that might inspire? Any chance? Good reading. Thanks.
Bowen: David, I don't think I've seen any fan specific banners that are hung up during games. I must say that I'm not looking specifically for those but I'll keep my eyes out for them next Sunday against Baltimore. Even with an open roof on Sunday, I thought the Colts faithful was loud against the Titans.
Cameron "Big H" Hughes (Anaheim, CA)
Due to free agency signings and draft picks, plus the addition and cuts during training camp, I lost track of where we're at when it comes to the vaunted "cap-space." Obviously Luck will get an extension, but should I be concerned that another team will try and take T.Y. Hilton due to Indianapolis not having enough room?
Bowen: Ryan Grigson has said on several occasions that he's always reminded that the day will come when not only Andrew Luck deserves a new contract, but several others in that 2012 draft class will as well. The big picture is never ignored by Grigson and rest assured that a plan is in place to make sure Luck has the weapons needed to succeed for a long time in Indianapolis.
Skip Jenkins (Nashville, TN)
WILL WE EVER SEE A 3 RUNNING BACK FORMATION?
Bowen: Skip, I'm not sure if you mean formation or rotation. As far as formation, I don't think any team in the NFL uses three running backs in a single formation. That's something you really only see in college from teams running the triple option. As far as rotation, we have seen a little more of Boom Herron in the recent weeks but the duo of Trent Richardson and Ahmad Bradshaw should continue to see most of, it not all, the first team work.
Chris Dale (Indianapolis)
Should Coach Pagano stick with A.Q. Shipley for the remainder of the season? Thanks Chris. GO COLTS!!!!
Bowen: I don't see any reason right now to mess with success. The Colts offensive line has allowed just two sacks in the last 128 pass attempts for Andrew Luck. That percentage would have led the NFL last year in sacks per pass attempt. Shipley is obviously a key part of that. The Colts line will be tested these next two weeks with Haloti Nagta and J.J. Watt on the schedule.
Jack Deheer (Indianapolis)
when do you think the colts will get another franchise quarterback in the league
Bowen: Jack, I think the Colts have their franchise quarterback right now in Andrew Luck and I don't see that changing for a long time in Indianapolis.
Robert Montague (Mobile, AL)
I am die hard colts fan who lives in Mobile Al, I used to recieve a fan pack , with stickers and an 8x10 of a player can u tell me how to recieve those Items
Bowen: Robert, all requests can be filled out at Colts.com/Donations and look for the Online Donation Request Form.