Colts Mailbag

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Colts Wednesday Mailbag: How Can The Colts Handle Blitzes Better Going Forward?

Intro: This Wednesday, mailbag readers inquire about the lack of cornerback depth, the return of T.Y. Hilton and the physique of left tackle Anthony Castonzo.


INDIANAPOLIS – Each week, readers of 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:Stan C (Minneapolis, MN)

There's no getting around how disappointing the first two games have been. Luck has looked abysmal and the offensive line seems just as bad as most of us expected. Those flaws are easy to point to, but my question is a little harder to tell...

For the second straight week, the offensive line was full of momentum-killing holding penalties that erased some of the few good-looking plays from Andrew.

Regarding either these past two weeks or just playing in general, how much can repeated O-line penalties attributed to the linemen's poor play and how much should be attributed to the coach for not instilling discipline?

Bowen: As you would expect, this week's mailbag received several questions about the offensive line. Right now, I don't think there's one specific issue to narrow down on the offensive line. A culmination of problems is leading to heavy pressure against Andrew Luck. Check out Colts UpClose on Saturday night on CBS4 (will be posted to, too) where Jim Sorgi and I take a look at some of the blitzes that got to Luck. While Luck has been sacked just twice in 2015, he's been under pressure more than any other quarterback in the NFL. For improvements, communication amongst protection has to improve, along with guys winning one-on-one matchups. Getting an early run game going and staying away from drive-stalling penalties has to be a focus, too. Last year, Luck was the best quarterback in the NFL versus the blitz. But so far, in 2015, the same success has not been there. Until the Colts offense can turn things around, the unit knows the pressure from opposing defenses is going to keep coming.

Philipe C. (Goiania, Brazil)

Hey Kevin

As always, appreciate your work!

Looking at the corners situation, I was thinking: once Toler and Butler return to the field, seems like we're gonna have more corners in the roster than we need right? That beeing said, if in fact one of those guys is released (or brought down to the PS), what position could the team adress? Maybe the noise about Montee Ball or Ahmad Bradshaw would actualy leave the speculation department?

Bowen: The Colts are dealing with some major injury issues at the cornerback position. They are down their top four corners right now. Currently, there are just three active, healthy, cornerbacks on the 53-man roster (Jalil Brown, Sheldon Price and newcomer Josh Thomas). On Monday night, Price and recently waived Eric Patterson combined for 64 defensive snaps. Prior to Monday, they had never played any defensive snaps in the NFL. When Davis, Toler and Butler do get healthy, I could certainly see a roster spot opening up because of the numbers at cornerback. Most teams carry around 5-6 corners on a 53-man roster, so in regards to numbers, I could see things shuffling there the next few weeks.

David B (Clearwater, FL)


With the offense so complex and so little time to work together in pre-season, should the Colts(or have the Colts) cut the play book back for opening games.

Bowen: David, I don't think there's any need to dial things back from an offensive playbook standpoint. This is Pep Hamilton's third season with the Colts so there isn't really many introductory phases to this offensive system. Outside of the occasional new additions each offseason, the core of this offense has operated together for several years, now. Yes, the preseason is brief for starters, but it's not like players haven't had a nine-week offseason program along with more than a dozen Training Camp practices. I don't think this is an issue at all.

Ryan Schumacher (North Dakota)

Kevin, I was impressed in the Bills game with Geathers, he was in on a ton of plays, kinda excited to see if we're gonna have a good pair of safeties again.(Bathea/Sanders). I guess we'll see what happens tomorrow night. My question is something odd that I've always wondered, how many people are on the colts sidelines for away games, how many do they travel with, from players to doctors to water boys. Kinda dumb, but curious. Thanks for taking time to answer questions.

Bowen: On the Colts sidelines, you will see the normal medical staff joined by the handful of Colts Orthopedic Surgeons that travel with the team. From the half dozen-member equipment staff, to the medical staff, too, those are the non-coaching/player bodies that you see on an away sideline. For an away contest, you see these guys likely wearing white Colts polos and filling a variety of roles during the game.

Chuck Avery (Bowling Green, KY)

When should we expect to see TY back on the field?

Bowen: As I'm sure you saw on Monday, Chuck, T.Y. Hilton was on the field against the Jets. He played the most snaps of any Colts wide receiver and finished the night with four caches for 45 yards.

John Knotts (Frankton, IN)

Anthony Castonzo says he has trouble keeping his weight on, What does he actually weigh? He is listed at 311 lbs.

Bowen: John, I'm not sure if you saw this article from the summer on Castonzo and his diet. It's a really in-depth look at Castonzo and his battle at maintaining the proper physique to play left tackle in the NFL. Take one look at Castonzo and he looks like a really tall tight end with that frame.

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