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:
Carl J. (Surprise, AZ)
With Andrew Lucks injury last season, and his surgery after the the season was over, How many games do you see him missing this season? And Do you think he will play at all this season? Thanks for reading my question
Bowen: Andrew Luck is playing this season. I have no doubt he will be under center in 2017. And I still believe Luck will be under center Week One. Do I have great confidence in that answer? No. But I have confidence Luck will be starting on Sept. 10. Now, as the Colts head towards the second week of Training Camp, we do need to see Luck start to ramp up his throwing and the talk of him entering practice has to begin. If that doesn't happen, then I would start to get more worried about Luck's availability for Week One. Without a veteran QB signed this offseason, I still see Luck being good to go for the regular season.
James S. (Sydney)
Always love to read your mailbags during the week and on the weekend. I have 2 questions today.
- Obviously very hard to pick, but just wondering who you think will win each division in 2017?
- Have made the spontaneous a week ago to fly across the world to watch the colts play Seattle at CenturyLink Field. Am going to the game with my older brother a fanatical fan for his beloved Seahawks. Although, am hoping we can get the win. I know its an away game but was just wondering are there any events pre game or after the game to see the players, meet yourself, meet Stephen Holder and Gregg Doyel or anything you may know or recommend?
Thanks in advance, and look forward to an exciting and hopefully playoff bound season.
Bowen: James, welcome from Down Under. 1. Hmm. AFC East: Patriots. AFC North: Steelers. AFC South: Colts. AFC West: Raiders. NFC East: Giants. NFC North: Packers. NFC South: Falcons. NFC West: Seahawks. 2. James, that's awesome. Unfortunately, with it being an away game, you won't find too many Colts' related activities. I'd love to meet up though, if possible. On the day of away games, we do pre-game radio three hours before kickoff in the press box. That lasts two hours. Then we head down to the field for a pre-game live stream before kickoff.
Carter F. (Norfolk, NE)
Hi, Kevin. Thanks for answering all of Colts Nation's questions.
I think everyone is worried about Andrew Luck and his shoulder. Chuck Pagano has said that he is "hoping and praying," for Andrew to be ready Week 1. That comment makes me worry even more. And Chris Ballard says that he will not give a timetable and Andrew Luck won't as well. What would you say the odds are that Colin Kaepernick gets signed by the Colts. He should be a starting quarterback in this league. Also if Colin Kaepernick starts a couple games and does well he could be trade bait. I don't agree with any of his views but he hasn't committed a crime. And considering David Parry went on a joy ride on a hunt for violence and is currently on the team. I don't think Chris Ballard would have a problem with signing Colin Kaepernick. I just think it would be a genius idea to sign him. Thanks Kevin
Bowen: I'd say not great. The Colts just don't appear very interested in bringing in a veteran quarterback. I've always loved Kaepernick's talent and am surprised he isn't on a 90-man roster somewhere. Actually, Scott Tolzien played behind Kap in San Francisco. But it seems like the Colts are content with Tolzien and Stephen Morris as the No. 2 and 3 guys right now, while Andrew Luck regains his health.
Max S. (Indianapolis)
Hey Kevin have you heard any news about the Colts trying to sign any of our 2018 free agents to extensions before the season starts? I have heard about several other teams signing players to extensions recently, and I thought maybe the colts would try to extend Mewhort/Moncrief or maybe Davis before the season started.
Bowen: Things are pretty quiet on that front, and that's kind of how I figured it would go. With Mewhort and Moncrief, they are coming off seasons in which injuries really hindered things. The Colts would be wise, as they are doing, to practice some patience before handing out those second contracts to two future offensive pieces. I think both guys will be re-signed next offseason, but I understand why Chris Ballard wants a full season to evaluate things with his own eyes. And with Davis, he's approaching the age of 30. I have no problem with wanting to see if Davis can get back to that Pro Bowl level after a couple of up-and-down seasons since his 2014 Pro Bowl year.
Jeff R. (Long Island, NY)
How's that beast dalton crossan making out? Been following him for years and he can do it all!Fast, quick, great hands, blocks well, Smart and if you ever saw him play middle linebacker you'll be amazed..perfect for special teams as well.. Most of all great all around kid!!
Bowen: Dalton Crossan, the undrafted running back out of New Hampshire, should be in the mix for a roster spot at running back. Josh Ferguson figures to be a strong possibility, too, at that fourth running back position. I really like what I've heard about Crossan and Chris Ballard is also a fan. I'm eager to see if Crossan can shine in the preseason and also on special teams.
Gage M. (Pueblo, CO)
Hey Kevin! Hope you're having a good day. Enjoy reading twice a week. I'll keep it short and simple.
Do you think our starters, mainly on defense will play more than usual in preseason to try to build some of that chemistry? I can't wait to see what they can do!
Also I'm a huge golfer myself. We should play sometime!
Bowen: Thanks, Gage. Same to you. This is a really good question. I do think they will play more. It's necessary in my eyes for that group to get more reps on the field. Communication is so vital on that side of the ball and you need real game reps to try and replicate the chaos of a regular season game. I'm really curious to see how Chuck Pagano/Ted Monachino choose to handle preseason playing time.
Grant L. (Jasper, IN)
Hey Kevin. I can't wait for this coming season, but this question is more long term. Personally, I don't see Frank Gore lasting more than a year or two before retirement. With that said, who do you see as the Colt's running back of the future? Will Marlon Mack be this year's Jordan Howard? Are there any top knotch free agents to keep our eyes out for? If not, what are some names to watch for in the FBS this year? I know of Saquan Barkley and Derrius Guice. Who else could we see the Colts potentially go for? Thanks as always.
Bowen: I'm looking strictly at the 2018 Draft for the Colts to find the future at running back, to go along with Marlon Mack. I think a future duo of Mack and a 2018 rookie would be ideal for the backfield going forward in Indy. I don't have a great grasp on the collegiate names at running back, but it appears to be another very deep group. Skillset wise, I would lean more towards a power, early-down, runner to complement what you have in Mack.
Juan C. (Bogota, Colombia)
Dear Kevin, hope you are well
Greetings from south of the border (way south) First let me tell you that you do a great job every week, we as fans really appreciate it. This is my first time asking but I always read you and I have been a Colts fan for more than 20 years. I have 2 questions.
First I'd like to have your opinion about the lack of rispect towards TY Hilton by the media in general. It's amazing to me how the lesgue's leading receiver and one of the best in the league, keeps being ignored by everybody (NFL Network, ESPN, Fox, Madden, etc), and they talk about other WR that are not even close to TY, is it because they play in Bigger markets? Or what is the reason because frankly it's unbelievable and really upsetting to me. All they talk about is OBJ and his one handed catches, I mean really? It's all about the spectacle now and not about being an all around receiver?
The second is about the defense, do you see it really coming together, with all the new additions, and being in the middle of the pack in the AFC?
Thank you again and keep up the great work. GO COLTS!!!!
Bowen: Way south! Greetings, Juan. Thanks for the kind words and the readership. It does surprise me how T.Y. Hilton does not seem to garner the same type of respect that most would receive with those same credentials. We are talking about a receiver in Hilton who has put up Hall of Fame numbers through his first five seasons. That's not hyperbole. Now, the touchdowns do need to grow for Hilton. He admitted so on Tuesday. Hilton is gunning for double-digit touchdowns in 2017. He's never had more than seven in a single season. With the defense, I could see it nearing the middle of the pack within the AFC. Doing so would push the Colts into the serious, serious playoff picture. Communication, defining roles and that group staying healthy has to happen though before any realistic predictions can come to fruition.
Will F. (San Diego)
Greetings Kevin. I have very much enjoyed the mailbag through the offseason and appreciate your efforts and insight. To the question:
I just wanted your thoughts on an idea I think could work well for the colts secondary. What if the Colts used safties to cover the other side of the field, opposite V Davis? Put TJ Green down toward the receiver, M Hooker in the middle, and D Butler way up high but ready to come help cover that side. This would allow TJ Green to be used as an occasional blitzer. His primary job would be to get physical with the receiver and interrupt the route with run support as the play dictates. Greens speed should give enough time for D Butler and M Hooker to diagnose the play and then act accordingly. I feel like you almost always want M Hooker trying to jump the route but he would invariably need to play some cover, especially with slot receivers and tight ends. D Butler would either rescue TJ Green if needed or play the last line of defense; his ability to get interceptions, especially on deep routes, would maximize your chances of getting a takeaway.
This clearly wouldn't be your base defense but I think it would have the added benefit of actually allowing Q Wilson to spell V Davis and try to get a few reps on that side as well. Would love your thoughts and look forward to the next mailbag.
Bowen: My pleasure, Will. Thanks for reading along. Oh boy, my head is spinning though imagining that taking place. First, if Vontae Davis is healthy, he's not coming off the field. I just can't see this working on a consistent basis. Once the Colts showed this package, I think offenses would load one side of the field to combat the personnel the Colts were showing pre-snap. I understand what you are hoping to accomplish, but I just can't see it working. You would have a lot of pre-snap confusion with offenses shifting personnel.
Chris E. (South Wales, UK)
Hi Kev, with less than 6 weeks to go until we kick off the season in LA, I can't help but be concerned with the status of Andrew Luck and our quality of depth at QB. Whilst he's openly said not to "freak out", our back up option is a QB who's only started 3 games in his 6 years in the league, posting a 2-7 TD:INT ratio. We have some very winnable games at the start of our schedule and the team can't afford a 4th consecutive 0-2 start if we are to return to the playoffs in 2017. Do you think Scott is really the guy to carry us if Andrew misses playing time or could Stephen Morris even challenge to be the starter with another strong preseason? (I believe he posted a QB rating of 106 last preseason, admittedly not against 1st string defences)
Thanks Kev, Go Colts!
Bowen: Right now, there's no debate. Scott Tolzien is clearly the backup quarterback for the Colts. We haven't seen Stephen Morris receive really any first-team work this camp. I do think Tolzien can win you a ball game, especially when you look at the "softer" earlier schedule. If the Luck injury could stretch into October, I believe the Colts would have signed another veteran quarterback to compete with Tolzien. Unless we see Tolzien totally flop in the preseason, and Morris play like he did last year, it looks like Tolzien will be the guy, if the emergency situation is needed in 2017.
Gary C. (Port St. Lucie, FL)
Hey Kevin. I listened to the pod cast on 7/26. You guys where talking about Gathers. Weather he comes back or not. Even if he does no one can expect him to be the same player he was. If he had a arm or leg injury then yes. But a player who hits like he does with a neck injury I don't see it. I hope I am so wrong. Just think what it would be like with him and hooker at safety. So my question is. Do you see us picking up a safety when the final cut comes. Kevin please put this prediction in your notes and save it lol. Miami will win the AFC east. New England gets wild card and loses in the first round. Remember you heard it here first. GO COLTS!!!!!
Bowen: Haha, consider it written in sharpie! Onto your safety question. I do think the Colts will be monitoring the safety waiver wire very closely at final cut downs. That might be the most closely looked at position. You could throw cornerback into that grouping as well. Can the Colts find a quality body on a team with heavy safety depth?
Carl J. (Surprise, AZ)Hi. Thank you for reading my Message. My question is, with Aaron Donald holding ou5 in LA. Do you see the Colts try to make a trade for him? It would be something to watch him play next to Hankins. That would a be mean D-line.
Bowen: Just because Aaron Donald is holding out, doesn't mean he's going anywhere. The Rams would be foolish to trade one of the best players in the NFL. I fully expect the Rams to get a deal done with Donald just in time for the Colts to try and block him in Week One.
Joseph V. (Shelbyville, IN)
So my question involves the backup Quarterback spot. I am a huge fan of Philip Walker. He gives a spark in my opinion. I like Tolzien and Morris, but I see something special in Walker. Could you see him taking the backup Quarterback spot away from Tolzien? If not, do you see Morris some how working his way past Tolzien for the spot?
Bowen: Phillip Walker will not be taking the backup spot from Scott Tolzien anytime soon. And, frankly, it looks like Stephen Morris is also a long shot at supplanting Tolzien. Throughout the 2017 offseason, the Colts have stuck with Tolzien in running the first-team offense, with Andrew Luck sidelined. The best a guy like Walker can hope for in 2017 is a practice squad spot. When Andrew Luck gets healthy, I see the Colts carrying Luck and Tolzien on their 53-man roster.
The analysis from those producing content on Colts.com does not necessarily represent the thoughts of the Indianapolis Colts organization. Any conjecture, analysis or opinions formed by Colts.com content creators is not based on inside knowledge gained from team officials, players or staff.