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Colts Wednesday Mailbag: Is The Colts Running Game Strong Enough To Win The AFC South?

Intro: This Wednesday, mailbag readers inquire about the depth in the running game, the Colts and Texans matchups in 2014 and how the outside linebacker position might play out this preseason.

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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:Otis Graham (Camden, South Carolina)

Behind frank gore u think the Colts running game strong enough to win the afc south

Bowen: The run game isn't going to get all the headlines this offseason. However, that doesn't underestimate the importance the Colts will undeniably have to rely on it at some point in 2015. Based off what the Colts will have on the field at the wide receiver position this season, Frank Gore and the other Colts running backs should see ideal running situations. Right now, Boom Herron is your definite backup running back to Gore. I'm very curious to see how the Colts use Gore in 2015. In years past, more of a two-back system was implemented with backs often splitting series (or somewhere close to a 50/50 split) throughout a game. Now with Gore in the fold, that might not be the case. Herron showed last season that he's more than capable of handling really any role out of the backfield and his style complements the hard-nosed style of Gore. After Herron is where the uncertainty creeps into the position. Will Vick Ballard return to the team-leading back we saw in 2012? Is rookie, sixth-round pick, Josh Robinson ready, if called upon? I do think the Colts have enough runners to more than hold their own in the AFC South.

Paul C (Illinois)

Now that Jim Harbaugh is at Michigan, would the Colts consider inviting him to practice or a game, kind of like when his brother invited him to the Ravens' playoff game? He has so many connections to the team -- former Colts great for Irsay; coach for Gore, Hamilton (his assistant coach), Fleener, and, of course, Luck. Ann Arbor is only 250 miles away. Or would that create too much of a circus?

Bowen: Paul, this is an interesting question. I don't know if "circus" would be the right word because it's not like he would be on the sideline during the game (you would put him in a suite with his family). I think the harder question would be finding a time for Harbaugh to come and visit. This is a man who obviously is very passionate about his job. Outside of a Michigan bye week (and even then he might not want to), I can't see Harbaugh taking up time in-season to come down to see the Colts. Nowadays, the college season potentially lasts until early January and then recruiting is in full swing once the games conclude.

John Avery (Houston)

Hey Kevin, Long time Colts fan, originally from LA (where the concept of team loyalty has never taken hole). Maybe the 4th time is a charm!!

Anyway, I have no question for you this time.. but just a heads up that I'll be heavily in the contributor mix as I anticipate our boys taking the next step this year. No since speculating on issues until TC begins.

Now a Houstonian, I've had the delight of listening to Texans fan/media endure our division dominance during the Peyton and now Luck era. And to add insult to injury we now have Dre. True, Houston is the only real threat, but we seem have there number (like NE unfortunately has ours)... Now they have to plan on containing both TY and Dre ... not to mention everyone else? They may have one of the best D fronts, but there backs are below average at best... Can't wait!!

Bowen: John, it's going to be very interesting to see how Houston defends the Colts in 2015. T.Y. Hilton will have the full attention of the Texans defense based off what he's done to Houston in prior matchups. Extra eyes towards No. 13 should open up some more favorable looks coming the way of former Texan Andre Johnson (another clear storyline). Of course, the Colts will have their hands full trying to block a front seven that looks awfully stout, on paper. The two teams will first meet in Houston on October 8 and conclude their season series in Indianapolis on December 20.

Taggyrt Moses (Keensburg, Colorado)

As a die hard Colts fan I know the colts have a ton of Wide Receivers, and as a Whalen fan I am looking for him to succeed so could he even change his position. I know he played QB, RB, and Safety in High School. With his bid to make receiver looking decent, if he did not make it could he change. The safety position is I believe a legit possibility, still open for a smart, aware player, who better than Griff.

Bowen: Our Griff Whalen fan club hardly takes any weeks off in the mailbag. While there's no denying Whalen's intelligence, expecting a player to switch to a position he hasn't seen in years isn't going to happen. Think about how far behind Whalen would be after three seasons learning the wide receiver position at the highest level. If Whalen is going to make the Colts roster again in 2015 it's going to come because of his play at wide receiver and on special teams.

Eduardo E Clavell (San Juan, PR)

I see the LB positions as being the backbone of the "D". Which players do you see as making the team at this position and is Daniel Adongo going to be a part of that group. He,I think, could be a definite difference maker, a BEAST!!!! What are your thoughts Kevin???

Bowen: There's definitely not a defensive position group with more depth heading into 2015 than the linebacker group, particularly the outside guys. At inside linebacker, veterans D'Qwell Jackson, Jerrell Freeman and Nate Irving (pending ACL rehab) are expected to be the main contributors. Outside linebacker is where the number crunching is going to get quite tricky. Daniel Adongo cannot be truly evaluated until we see him in a full pads, defensive, setting, preferably in the preseason. There's just so much unknown with him. Adongo still has practice squad eligibility, which could come into play when you look at the type of depth already at outside linebacker. Last year the Colts kept just five outside linebackers on the 53-man roster. I could see that number being six in 2015 when you have the likes of Robert Mathis, Trent Cole, Erik Walden, Jonathan Newsome, Bjoern Werner and Cam Johnson already in the fold.

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