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.
Here is the collection of Wednesday questions:Adam H. (New York)
Hi Kevin...Thanks so much for answering all of our questions and for keeping us updated.
I was wanting to hear your thoughts on Trevor Bates because I heard Robert Mathis say that he is Mathis' favorite rookie. Do you think he can be a good young pass rusher for us? Does Chuck Pagano think that Bates can be a good pass rusher?
Thanks Kevin and Go Colts
Bowen: Adam, check out this piece on seventh-round pick Trevor Bates from earlier in the week. Yes, Mathis likes what the Maine product has shown so far. Of course, especially with pass rushers, you have to reserve judgment until a game setting. But count me as someone ready to watch No. 50 on Sunday night in Canton. We know the Colts could use a young pass rusher.
Zack W. (Bedford, VAHey Kevin my question for you this week is about the Offensive rookie of the year award. I was engaging in NFL HQ's predictions segment on Twitter and I predicted that our rookie Ryan Kelly would be in the running for that award. Someone quickly commented to me that offensive linemen can't even win that award. I was looking at all previous winners and yep no linemen. Is that true? Is there any other positions that cannot win that award? Any thoughts on why that rule might be in place? Thanks as always
Bowen: I don't think I've heard of a lineman winning any sort of MVP/Player of the Year Award, at any level. They don't attract the headlines/attention to stir up such talk. Skill players dominate these awards and I'd expect Ezekiel Elliott to be the leading candidate. That doesn't diminish what Ryan Kelly means to the Colts and his overall impact on this team. I said it earlier in the offseason that if Kelly starts all 16 games and the Colts' offense flourishes, his name will come up in Pro Bowl discussion. It's virtually impossible though for a player who never touches the ball in a game (outside of the snap) to necessitate the attention of such an individual award.
Austin C. (Palm Coast, FL)
First off how is your day going? Now my football question, how will the offense look this year from last couple of years? Thank you #colts
Bowen: Doing terrific, Austin. I'm back in Indianapolis today and just gearing up for four nights in Canton, Ohio for the Hall of Fame induction/Colts preseason opener. Hope you are having a good one! When Rob Chudzinski has spoken about his offense, he's often used the phrase "player driven." When I hear that I think of what the Colts have at receiver, and what is returning at quarterback. That's speed, and a player who isn't afraid to stretch the field. This offense thrived off big plays in 2014. If they can show the ability to hit on those chunks this season, that's going to allow Frank Gore and Dwayne Allen to make plays underneath. Such playmaking in the receiving game is going to be stressed by the Colts, and should force defenses to think twice about loading the box in 2016, something that wasn't always the case last season due to the major injuries.
Andrew B. (Terre Haute, IN)
With Art Jones and probably Henry Anderson being out week 1 Who do you think will start on the D-line next to Kendall Langford and David Perry?
Bowen: When those two were out to end last season, Zach Kerr was your man for the final four games of 2015. He's been the starter here in Anderson, when the Colts employ their base defense. He's atop the depth chart right now. A name to keep an eye on for passing downs is T.Y. McGill. The 2015 undrafted free agent came on late last season and has impressed in Anderson.
Jeffery D. (Shreveport, LA)
Hi kevin im really syked about this years team I know team inside out I'm just wondering at some point we will have to get younger at linebacker my question is do you see trevor bates Antonio Morrison are curt maggitt actually being starters in the NFL?
Bowen: The Colts do have to get younger at the linebacker position and they hope some of the names above have started that eventual movement. I know I'm eager to see that trio in preseason action. This staff, and even Jim Irsay, has mentioned several times about the bright future they envision for Morrison. He's certainly a name to watch in the future at inside linebacker.
Dan A. (Muncie, IN)
Hey Kevin! I was wondering about who you think might be the starter at the right guard possition by the start of the season. I'm kind of rooting for Denzelle Good over Hugh Thorton. What is your thoughts?
Bowen: In recent days, we have seen a shift in the first-team reps at right guard. Denzelle Good is running out with the starting unit and taking the bulk of the work with the first unit. If you've read Colts.com or this mailbag, you know how the staff feels about Good. They've believed he can be a starting guard in this league and we might find out about that as early as Sunday night. With the line group, you don't know for sure what you have until game settings. However, as of right now, that spot looks to be Good's.
Gage M. (Danville, IL)
Hello Mr. Bowen! I was wondering what is going on with Curt maggitt? He looks like he could become a great prospect! I honestly never thought he would go undrafted. Is T.J. Green going to be okay as well as Mr. Gatheres. I'm really excited about this season we stayed quite and out of the spotlight. GO COLTS
Bowen: Maggitt suffered an ankle injury late last week. He's listed at day-to-day, so hopefully he can return to action following Wednesday's off day. The Colts really need to see Maggitt in practice/game reps. Green has returned to practice, while Geathers is still listed as "week-to-week."
Joey K. (New York)
I have 2 quick questions. I read alot about how the defense is making so many great plays..interceptions,deflected passes, and making luck scramble. do you think this is a case of improving defense or our offense struggling again?
I'm also aware of the lack of depth at receiver, what was the names of the 2 receivers we signed from the patriots? what's their status?
Bowen: On your first inquiry, we got a similar question below. So let's focus on your second question. Bryan Tyms was placed on injured reserve over the weekend. The other former Patriots wideout is Josh Boyce. He's been receiving plenty of first/second team work. I'd expect Boyce to compete for the final receiver spot.
Zach M. (Goose Creek, SC)
First, I want to say I'm a big fan of this article and appreciate you doing it Mr. Bowen. My question is about the offense during camp. Everywhere I look, it has the defense outperforming the offense, Luck throwing interceptions, and fumbled snaps. Am I just getting one side of the story or is the offense struggling? Or maybe our defense is really improving? I believe in Luck though and am sure he will prove all the doubters wrong! Thanks!
Bowen: Thanks for the kind words, Zach. I would say early on in camp, the defense was definitely winning. Now, we should mention that this includes both the starters and second team. Obviously some of the interceptions are coming courtesy of the second team. On Monday, it was clear that Andrew Luck had found a rhythm. It was Luck's most efficient afternoon of work and the timing with his receivers looked much more in sync. It's a daily setting in camp. Reports come out every day. So you have to expect each unit to have their fair share of success with installs going on for both sides of the ball.
Luke R. (Rochester, NY)
Training camp has officially started for the Colts, and we aren't far away from the Hall of Fame Game against the Green Bay Packers.
- During the HOF Game, what player should we watch, to see their potential, or how good they will be?
- Out of all of the undrafted free agent wide receivers, which one has impressed you the most during training camp?
- Which right guard do you see starting? Hugh Thornton, Denzelle Good, or maybe Jonotthan Harrison?
Bowen: 1. I'm going to be watching the defense in particular and seeing if some of the draft picks/young guys make an impression, especially in the pass rush. 2. Chester Rogers out of Grambling has caught my eye a couple of times. I will say MeKale McKay and Marcus Leak had a nice day on Sunday, too. 3. Right now, it looks like Denzelle Good is the leader to start at right guard.
Leonardo D. (Jalisco, Mexico)
Is having the HOF a good thing? I understand we get en extra preseason game to test new players and get veterans ready for the season, but is it worth risking injuries on players?
Bowen: Of course you are going to risk injury in playing another 60-minute football game. That's the nature of football. However, I do think the Colts can get some real value out of five preseason games. You are installing new systems on both sides of the ball. Seeing a new offense and a new defense in live, game action is a great evaluation. Second, your starting quarterback missed nine games last season. Andrew Luck could use a few extra games reps. Lastly, five preseason games offers plenty of opportunity/chances for young guys to make an impression. That is going to help the Colts' ability to decipher which guys merit consideration on the 53-man roster. Outside of one or two series in Sunday's preseason opener, the Colts aren't going to tax their starters too much in August.
Michael M. (San Antonio, TX)
Hey Kevin, what are your thoughts on the Colts pickin up Devin Hester? I know Quan Bray did pretty good for the team last year with returns, but Devin's records speak for themselves. Is this even a possibility, or no? We've got both the best kicker and punter in the game, so why not the best returner as well? A good punt/kick return does wonders for a game!
Bowen: I feel like at times people forget what Quan Bray did for this team in November and December. No return man in the NFL had more return yards in the final two months of 2015. You have a young, promising, returner in Bray, who has shown flashes of being a more than capable receiver. Hester is in the final stages of his career and isn't a receiver. Plus, you have the salary impact of taking on a vet, and a player who isn't healthy from toe surgery. To me, that doesn't add up.
Ted H. (Alamogordo, NM)
Hi Kevin. I just read an article from The Cheat Sheet about what three teams in the AFC Denver should be worried about. They listed the Patriots, Steelers, and Chiefs. If I'm not mistaken, we have a better record against Denver than any of them over the last 5 or 6 years. Can you provide some more information of this? Always read and enjoy your columns. Keep up the good work.
Bowen: Well, first I don't think a team's past record against Denver is the defining factor in AFC pecking order. Those teams, along with the Colts, deserve plenty of mention. You can make great cases for Patriots, Steelers and Chiefs. Yes, the Colts have had success against Denver in recent seasons. But the other three teams were playoff teams last season. We've seen the national attention pretty quiet about the Colts, so it doesn't surprise me that they didn't appear in this group.