Colts Mailbag

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Colts Mailbag: Will The Colts Defense Sustain Their Recent Success?

Intro: This week, mailbag readers inquire about the Colts center position, the depth at wide receiver and the health of Arthur Jones.


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:Gregory Young (Burlington, KY)

Man, oh, man! That's what I'm talkin' about! .... what?.... you say you didn't catch that?.... DEFENSE, baby, DEFENSE! I have to tell you, Kevin, and the rest of Colts Nation these last three games have been a display of great defense none of which has been seen since the 2006 Playoffs. This has been the question in Indianapolis since the Colts moved here. Can the organization SUSTAIN a club that can play defensive football the ENTIRE year?

I think they can! This is not to take away anything from the GREAT Peyton Manning years OR the last 3 years with our next GREAT QB, Andrew Luck and their offenses. I know without them, we stay home every year. However, DEFENSE, is a major attribute to any NFL organization. How about Bjoern Werner and Vontae Davis? Great efforts, guys! I guess my question is, Kevin, can we keep up these defensive games or is this just a flash in the pan?

Bowen: Werner and Davis were certainly two of the highlights from Sunday. Both were very impressive in creating some game-changing plays for the Colts defense. Chuck Pagano said on Monday that he loves the direction his defense is trending after a pretty stout effort against a solid Ravens defense. Stringing those performances together is the next step with some of the game's best receivers on deck the rest of the month.

James Hawley (Forest City, NC)

Great game for the colts defense. My question is why did Jonotthan Harrison start instead AQ Shipley. Go Colts

Bowen: When fielding center questions, Chuck Pagano compares it to any other position on the roster in that the Colts are always evaluating their competition. Harrison has been someone the staff was high on ever since rookie minicamp. The benefit is the Colts are starting to create some necessary depth among the interior spots on the offensive line.

Manny Vang (Fresno, CA)

After bashing on my team's defense in week one, I'm glad that they have stepped it up. Especially with the loss of Robert Mathis they've gone beyond anything anyone could possibly imagine. I hope they keep it up. Also, that offense is looking real good. I've got Super Bowl hopes for my Colts. Also do you know how long before we can get Art Jones back?

Bowen: Jones continues to be a rehab participant at Colts practice. He hasn't practiced since Week Two of the regular season. It's looking like we will have to wait and see if Jones can get on the practice field next week in hopes of playing against AFC-leading Cincinnati on October 19.

Eric Lonsbury (Fort Wayne, IN)

I see we are having our share of injuries again this year and one would begin to think that the Colts are in trouble with depth. Since I don't have a good perspective on other teams how are we stacking up "injury wise" to the rest of the league. Is this common amongst other teams? Are we more apt for injury, less or just average?

Bowen: The offseason wasn't pleasant to the Colts in regard to season-ending injuries. The good news though is that number has seriously dwindled in the regular season. (Knock on wood) The Colts have avoided any really serious injuries so far in 2014 with Jerrell Freeman and Arthur Jones being the significant ones. When looking strictly at the regular season, the Colts are on the good sign of the injury list among other NFL teams.

Jade Davidson (Lafayette, IN)

What's the deal with Khaled Holmes? He isn't even on the injury list now and hasn't been active the last 2 games. Shipley has been playing well, but we need to see what we have in Holmes. Last week was the perfect opportunity with the blow out, but he wasn't active.

Bowen: Chuck Pagano praised the depth of the center position earlier this week with guys like Holmes, Jonotthan Harrison and A.Q. Shipley all on the roster. When you are looking at guys being active vs. inactive you have to look at position flexibility. For example, on Sunday you had Harrison starting and Shipley active, too. Shipley has a ton of experience in this league working at both guard and center where as Holmes' only experience has come at center. This is important when you are only able to dress seven-to-eight offensive linemen each week.

James Hawley (Forest City, NC)


Bowen: The Colts have a service for team members on Saturday night at the team hotel.

John K (Syracuse, NY)

Long time Colts fan here, I like the way we have been mixing in the run and the pass, what I want to know is why not use TY with a stop and go, and a pump fake from Luck. I rarely see this from teams and it has me baffelled as to why QB's are not pump faking as much. This was a staple back in the Peyton era, I would love to see it employed in our current offense a little more. It would seem the perfect play for an overly aggressive defense. GO Colts!!

Bowen: I will agree that you really don't see a ton of pump fakes in the NFL these days. Credit corners for not biting on such fakes and plenty of safety help over the top. The Colts haven't really been able to connect on many deep balls this year, which is a bit surprising considering how productive this offense has been in 2014.

Enrique Haro (Bakersfield, CA)

the Colts have been using Donte Moncrief a lot and I was wondering how come they don't use Griff Whalen at wide receiver but just at punt returner?

Bowen: The question when talking about the Colts fourth receiver comes where do you find the reps. After Moncrief played around 20-30 snaps the previous two weeks, he logged just four on Sunday. Right now, there's just not much room among the Colts skill players to get guys like Moncrief and Whalen a ton of action. It's a good problem to have especially now that Moncrief and Whalen have produced, if need be.

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