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Colts Mailbag

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Colts Mailbag: When Will Colts Training Camp Start?

Intro: This week, mailbag readers inquire about numbers for rookies, Frank Gore’s role in 2015 and the duo of T.Y. Hilton and Phillip Dorsett.





INDIANAPOLIS – Each week, readers of can submit their questions to have a chance of them being answered in our Wednesday mailbag.

Here is this week's collection:Aaron Maxwell (Bakersfield, CA)

Kevin the colts haven't had a solid reliable running back for sometime. Do you think Frank Gore is going to be our guy?

Bowen: Gore will get every chance to be that guy in 2015. Now, the offensive line is a critical ingredient to that happening, but Gore's pedigree has to give fans plenty of hope heading into this season. I’ll point you to this article from earlier in the offseason to show the type of addition Gore could be. Gore had 255 rushes for 1,106 last season. The last time a Colts running back reached those plateaus was nearly a decade ago. Gore knows the clock is ticking on his own career, yet his production has hardly tapered off in recent years.

Rico Wolford (Tulsa)

Kevin, Is Frank Gore going to swap jerseys with the Robinson kid? Thanks, Rico Coltstrong '15

Bowen: Rico, I think Gore is sticking with his No. 23. We know what that number has meant in Robinson's life, however he did not wear it at Mississippi State (he wore both No. 13 and No. 34) and it doesn't look like he will wear it in Indianapolis. Rookie numbers are very fluid this time of year (Phillip Dorsett just changed from No. 16 to No. 15) but as of now, it looks like Josh Robinson will be No. 34 next season.

Jorge Villarreal (Merida, Mexico)

Hey big mexican colts fan here!

What happend with robert mathis and his injury? Is he going to play on this 2015 season?

Bowen: Robert Mathis is currently rehabbing an Achilles injury that he suffered last September. The timetable for Mathis' return is up in the air. Jim Irsay has said that a worse case scenario would be for Mathis to return to 100 percent by November. Mathis is hoping to get back on the field in some capacity during Training Camp. Obviously, this will be a major storyline to watch come Training Camp in Anderson.

Tommy Griffiths (Utah)

I hear a lot of talk about Dorsett being a pick partially because Hilton did not get resigned this offseason. As a colts fan I can't bare the possibility of losing a young favorite player like Hilton to free agency. I'm also not ok with Dorsett replacing him even if he is a step faster or whatever. Hilton is one of my favorite players just like other colts fans and to think about losing him after four years is an awful thought. Please tell me that he will likely get a new contract next offseason and that the replacement theory is most likely wrong! HILTON NEEDS TO STAY

Bowen: Tommy, you aren't the only fan that has brought this up in the past couple of weeks. Let's first start off with anything can happen in free agency, which Hilton will enter next offseason. However, the Colts have made it clear that Hilton is a priority. While Dorsett is a talented and dynamic pass catcher, it would be a disservice to Hilton to try and compare the two right now. What Hilton has done after three NFL seasons is arguably the best start to a career for any wide receiver in team history. The rapport of Andrew Luck and Hilton is really impressive. They make things look so easy at Training Camp in Anderson and that has clearly carried over to Sunday's. In an ideal world, the Colts would be able to secure all of their key pieces from that 2012 draft class. However, that puzzle will have to wait to be put together until we get to 2016.

Dom G (London)

Can you predict how much (if any) impact some of the undrafted free agents will have next year? For example, I've heard lots of talk about Zachary Hodges out of Harvard; what're the chances of any of them making the roster? Also, a slight change from your usual 'When will the Colts play in London' question: are there any plans for a meet and greet with the players or something along those lines in the UK this offseason or next offseason? Cheers

Bowen: I touch on the undrafted free agent question below so let's stick with the London aspect of this one. As far as Colts players, I don't know of anything planned in the UK this offseason (these sort of events normally happen in the spring). I know in year's past we've seen Andrew Luck (along with Coby Fleener) host football camps over there. If you venture over to Germany, Bjoern Werner is involved there. The NFL UK typically plans something with players from around the league that you could look into. With the NFL's spring meetings next week, maybe we will have an update on the game of football in London.

Michael Landers (Columbus, IN)

how many receivers and running backs can we keep

Bowen: This is a question usually on people's minds in Training Camp. But with such deep groups at both these spots right now, there's definitely merit for it. Last year, the Colts kept six wide receivers and four running backs when they cut down to 53 guys. Most teams typically keep right around a handful of receivers and four running backs. So when you begin to try and configure 53-man rosters over the next few months, keep those numbers in mind at running back and wide receiver.

Austin Morris (Palm Coast, Florida)

Hi Kevin

now that the draft is done and out the way, what are some important dates in the near future fans should watch for or look forward to this offseason? and off topic of football, not sure if your a boxing fan but how did you feel about the Mayweather vs Pacquiao fight?

Bowen: Let's start with next Monday, when the Colts begin their 10 OTA sessions. Those will run from Monday, May 18 to Thursday, June 4. The Colts will then have their mandatory veteran mini-camp the next week, June 9-11. That will include an open mini-camp practice down at Lucas Oil Stadium on Wednesday, June 10. After that, it's a *long *layoff as far as NFL circles go. The Colts are scheduled to report to Anderson for Training Camp on August 1. As far as the fight, I would have really liked to know how much the shoulder injury impacted Pacquiao. He seemed borderline hesitant at times and once Mayweather got that early round lead, it was over.

Frankie Ruiz (Bakersfield, CA)

I understand that it is way too early to tell, but out of the Colts UDFA'S who do u think has the best shot to make the team? I really like Tyler Varga but our backfield is already loaded with talent. Who impresses u the most on film?

Bowen: We got a couple of questions this week on Tyler Varga, the undrafted running back from Yale. He showed at the Senior Bowl (two touchdowns) that he could play against some of college football's premier talent. Varga is also a versatile guy (could play some fullback), which is paramount for back end of the roster guys. A pair of other names from the undrafted class that are intriguing to watch is outside linebacker Zack Hodges (Harvard) and cornerback Donald Celiscar (Western Michigan).

Michael Forrest (Porter Ranch, CA)

Kevin, congrats to everyone on another great draft. Now, let's end the wait on talking about weight.

A study came out last year showing the Colts were the heaviest team in the NFL. For whatever it's worth, Seattle was the lightest.

I'm sorry, but I don't see what we gain by being the biggest? I don't see domination on either the OL or especially the DL. I don't see a clear advantage for the Colts.

I'm of the opinion that Hughes, Chapman, Jones, Kerr, Thornton and now Goode can all stand to lose at least 12-15 pounds. I think both their movement skills and their stamina would increase. I'd like to see Indy take a new approach toward the issue of size.

I'll weight -- I mean, wait -- for your reply...

Many thanks....

Bowen: For fans that don't know what Matt is referring to, here is the release from last year about teams and their averages in a variety of categories. The Colts have made changes within their strength and conditioning staff and nutrition programs heading into 2015. Now, as far as deciding what a "clear advantage" is to teams that are more heavy than others, it's hard to necessarily pinpoint a common denominator. You mentioned Seattle, but nearly every other 10 plus win team in the NFC last year were the heaviest in that conference. The more important area to look at is the Colts now feel they have the right body types for their 3-4 scheme.

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