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:
Ethan W. (Fort Wayne, IN)
First off I would just like to say thank you. I'm currently deployed with the Air Force, your posts and answers help break up the monotony and give me plenty to think about. Just wanted you to know that you help the troops even if you don't know it. I'll just ask one offensive and one defensive question.
- On offense do you see anything that would suggest they are trying to go with plays that develop faster? The O-line did well at the end of the year but they can only do so much with constant 7 step drops. I would like to see them with more quick slants. Maybe bring Mack into an intermediate slot position out of the backfield to take advantage of some OLBs.
- With the addition of Hooker and a press corner in Wilson do you see them moving to a Cover 3 or Cover 1 press with (hopefully) Geathers in the box as a primary formation?
Thanks again for what you do.
Bowen: Ethan, that means a ton to me. Thank you for your service and I'm pleased to offer a small distraction for you and your fellow troops. Hope to hear from you more often. 1. I think we have to start seeing more of this. Yes, the Colts have tremendous speed at wideout and the deep ball is something Luck does quite well. But it's a lot of pressure on the o-line to hit those major chunk plays. I agree with you in that this thinking is where Marlon Mack comes into play. Can Mack be a guy where an extended hand off via a quick swing pass turns into a weapon for this offense? I think it can, and those sorts of plays would also aid the offensive line. 2. This is something that Darius Butler was pointing out a couple of weeks back. Butler believes that the Colts have the personnel to mix their coverages into game plans. I do think the addition of Hooker allows the Colts to experiment with what they do at the back end. Having Hooker roam back there is a must and should improve the takeaways number for this team in 2017.
Parker T. (Noblesville, IN)
Short and Sweet: Do you think Quincy Wilson will start opposite Vontae Davis. Have a great day, Kevin!
Bowen: I do. You look at what Wilson did the SEC as a multi-year starter and I believe he's in a very good position to be the guy opposite Davis in 2017. Listed at 6-1, Wilson has the length that the Colts love in their corners. With Davis in a contract year this coming season, Wilson could be the team's top cornerback as early as next season. I will say we've seen Rashaan Melvin, Chris Milton and Tevin Mitchel all receive some first-team action this offseason.
Marissa M. (Tampa, FL)
3 questions, and one I may already know the answer to:
- I keep hearing all this talk about Kendall Langford starting this year. Injury concerns, slowed down with age- I see him MAYBE starting because of experience, but 100% finishing the year behind ridgeway, Stewart, or even hunt on the DLine. I would like to see it end up - Anderson, Hankins, Stewart/ridgeway but time will tell. What's your thoughts on this?
2&3: With the number 1 ranked cb marshon lattimore falling to the saints at 11- what's your thoughts of us not pulling luck and letting Jacksonville win that close game 17 last year? That has to be an Irsay call but drafting 11th every round rather than 15 is a HUGE deal. That way we could have got a shutdown cb in rd 1, then focused on rush lb / MLB in rd 2. Are you worried about our only Pass Rush draft pick being a small school prospect and our only MLB pick being a 5th rd practice squad candidate ?
Thanks and let's go Blue!
Bowen: 1. If Kendall Langford gets back to his 2015-self, I like a combination of Langford/Johnathan Hankins/Henry Anderson. Now, that should not be etched in stone at all. The Colts have made it clear that Hankins isn't locked into nose tackle at all. I just believe that those three linemen are the best ones for the Colts. This will not be decided until we see how Langford fits in at Training Camp. The Colts are going to have plenty of options to rotate in this fall. 2. I get the question. Jim Irsay is going to play to win. Period. Tanking isn't in his DNA and I really don't think you see much of that in the NFL. It's so hard to look back on any draft and play devil's advocate for certain picks. I think the Colts are pleased with how the first round of the draft played out. 3. Maybe a little worried, but you knew the draft couldn't solve every defensive concern. You simply don't have the resources in a draft to take care of all those things. The Colts must address both of those positions again in next year's draft.
Stan C. (Minneapolis)Hey, Kevin! Love the work you do. Could you rank the following young players in terms of their estimated impact in 2017: Chester Rodgers, Hassan Ridgeway, Tarell Basham, Denzelle Good, and Anthony Walker. None of them should be considered starters, but they could all be contenders in a rotation or as supplements. Walker has an unsettled position group, Basham might be the closest thing we have to a dedicated pass rusher, and the rest have shown solid flashes during their limited snaps. It may just come down to who can make the most of their opportunities. Anyways, what do you think?
Bowen: Welcome back, Stan. The order I would go with would be Basham, Ridgeway, Good, Walker and Rogers. When I look at Basham and Ridgeway I see them as possibly the top reserves at positions where we see plenty of rotation within a game. Good probably isn't a Week One starter, but he could be the top reserve on the right side of the line. Walker and Rogers are just in really crowded position groups, so their impact isn't as needed as the others.
Josh W. (Marion, IN)
Hey Kevin. Enjoy your column and have submitted questions many times. My question is about the overly crowded rb position. What are the plans concerning Josh Ferguson? I think he played well in training camp but unfortunately did not carry over to the regular season (20 yards rushing). I am honestly suprised he is still on the roster. I am also starting to think there is a curse with the #34. The last two before him did not pan out (Richardson and Josh Robinson). Do you see Ballard signing anyone else before training camp?
Bowen: The signing of Christine Michael could certainly impact the future for Josh Ferguson. I know they are different styles of runners, but there's a numbers crunch building in the backfield. Yes, the Colts could keep four running backs. You have Frank Gore, Robert Turbin and Marlon Mack as virtual locks. Is that potential last spot either Michael or Ferguson? I know Chris Ballard wants to see what Ferguson can do in his second year, so it appears the opportunity is there for the speedy 2016 undrafted free agent to make an impression.
James S. (Sydney, Australia)
Thanks for answering my questions in previous mailbags. I recently came across an NFL article by Gregg Rosenthal on "Biggest remaining weak spot of each AFC Team". To which he said about the colts. "Nearly every starting job on defense is up for grabs, with defensive end looking the most unfinished. Coach Chuck Pagano will try to get quality snaps out of Kendall Langford, Hassan Ridgeway and Margus Hunt, but there isn't a ton of upside here."
It is quite ironic when reading this, because perhaps the defensive line is one of the deepest position groups on the active roster. A statement I'm sure yourself and many colts fans can agree with. Thus, my question is where do these NFL writers source their information from before writing these articles? And whats your opinion on articles like these they post about the colts and other NFL teams?
Bowen: This differs from what Chuck Pagano thinks. Colts.com will have an article posting Thursday about the improved depth along the defensive line in 2017. When it comes to national writers posting something about all 32 teams, they are never going to hit on each one. It's impossible to have a proper understanding of so many teams. My guess is the writer knew the defensive line struggled last season and felt the d-end position didn't add enough this offseason. However, I think a healthy Kendall Langford should be a massive help to better play there in 2017.
Mark M. (Utah)
Hi Kevin! As a data scientist/statistician by trade, I really liked Stan C's question from Saturday's mailbag and decided to follow suit and ask you to pick over/under for 5 different assertions.
- Colt's sack leader gets 11 sacks.
- Likelihood of Marlon Mack supplanting Frank Gore as starter by seasons end is 30%.
- Season's turnover differential is -2.
- AFC South will win combined 36 games.
- Number of rookie starters by season's end is 4.
Also, if you could rank your confidence in each.
Bowen: Another one of these enters the mailbag, which I like. 1. Under. I'll go 10 sacks on the nose for Jabaal Sheard. 2. Under. 3. Over. 4. Under. 5. Under. My confidence: 2, 5, 4, 1, 3.
Scott A. (Plano, TX)
Maybe this question is outside of your bounds, but I'm going to ask you anyway.
I'm originally from Illinois and had the pleasure of watching the Colts weekly on CBS on Sundays. Moving down here last fall I'm stuck with the Cowboys or Texans and the game of the week. My question is, when will the NFL follow the other professional sports and be able to subscribe to a service to where you can watch any game live and get away from having to have DirecTV? I'm just not a fan of dish services. Also, I don't want to wait until 6pm and try to avoid highlights and sports tickers all day with the NFL Replay. The RedZone would drive me nuts as well bouncing around from game to game.
Bowen: Scott, I wish I could help you out. Unfortunately, TV contracts for the NFL are way, way above my pay grade. Does NFL game pass not allow you to individually watch any game that week? I thought it did. Who knows what will happen in the future to cable packages for the NFL considering the constant debate over ratings and even cord cutting.
Jim S. (Carmel, IN)
Hey Kevin, I saw the weekend over/unders and thought of some more:
1. Frank Gore rushing - 956 yds.
2. T.Y. Hilton receiving - 1313 yards.
3. Jamal Sheard sacks - 11.
4. Team D rushing - 125/game.
5. Team passing - 275/game.
What do you think?
Bowen: More over/unders! 1. Under. 2. Over, I think. 3. Under. 4. Under. 5. Under (every team in the NFL was under this last year).
Theis S. (Copenhagen, Denmark)
How is it going - do you have some Nice holidayplans this summer?
My question is concerning the ilb's.
1)Who has had the highest performing level in the past in this group, and do you see an opportunity for them to achieve this again?
2)who has the biggest upside in your eyes, and Why?
3)do you see some pairings of the group making more sence than others, and which?
Take Care and Thank you for answering all these questions every week man! It's awesome!
Bowen: Theis, a lot of relaxation in my summer plans. Hopefully a little golf thrown in there, too! 1. You would probably have to go with the new free agents, Jon Bostic and Sean Spence. Both of those guys have been full-time starters elsewhere in the NFL. They have the most experience at the professional level. If Bostic is healthy (he missed all of last season with a foot injury), he could be kind of an unsung free agent addition at a definite position of need. 2. You would have to go with the younger options, Antonio Morrison and Anthony Walker specifically. Edwin Jackson's name could also be thrown in there. 3. Yes, I do. I would be very surprised if the Colts had two starting inside linebackers playing 90 percent of the snaps for 16 games this season. I believe it will be really situational for how the Colts use those two spots. Speed and power (Spence and Morrison, for example). Or more sideline-to-sideline (Jackson and Bostic, for example).
Jeff P. (Bristol, CT)
53 man roster.
Qb 2. Luck, OPEN
Rb 4. Gore, Turbin, Mack, OPEN
Wr 6. Ty, Moncreif, Dorsett, Aiken, Rogers, OPEN
OL 9. Castonzo, Good, Schwenke, Banner, Mewhort, Kelly, Haeg, Clark, OPEN
TE 3. Doyle, Swoope, OPEN
K 1. Vinatieri
P 1. OPEN
Pr/kr 1. OPEN
DL 7. Hankins, Woods, Ridgeway, Anderson, Hunt, Stewart, McGill.
LB 9. Simon, Sheard, Spence, Bostic, Jackson, Walker, Basham, Mingo, OPEN
S 5. Green, Hooker, Butler, Geathers, OPEN
Cb 5. Davis, Wilson, Melvin, Hairston OPEN
(IMHO) I have 43 locks to make the team. Pagano and Ballard have to come up with the other 10. What are your thoughts.
These are mine for the open spots.
Qb 2. No idea
Rb 4. I think Ferguson makes it.
TE 3. Darrell Daniels
WR 6. Bug Howard or Tevaun Smith
OL. #9. Again no guess
LB 9. Garrett Sickels
S 5 AND CB 5. Again no idea.
Punter and KR/PR is also up for grabs. Think Bray may get cut or traded. He only does one thing well, Rogers and Ferguson may take his job so Colts can carry an extra player at another position.
And yes I did notice Langford is not there. Ridgeway is day 1 starter with Anderson and Hankins. Will save 4 million.
Look forward to your thoughts.
Bowen: I agree with pretty much everything. I don't agree with the Kendall Langford cut. If Langford proves he can be healthy in camp, he's a starter. This guy was easily one of the Colts best defenders in 2015. Six wide receivers seems like a lot. I could see an extra defensive back making the team. It looks like you're cutting Antonio Morrison. Not sure if I would jump the gun there just yet.
Steven B. (Idaho)
I really want to thank you for the hard work you do in keeping us informed. The rush uniforms.... Check the last time we wore blue pants and maybe we can rethink that....what do you say?*
Bowen: My pleasure, Steven. I believe the last time the Colts rocked some blue pants was in the mid-1990s. I'm sure you saw earlier this week the announcement was made the Colts will be wearing their color rush jerseys (blue from shoulder to toe), for their Week 15, Thursday night game at home against the Denver Broncos. I can't wait to see how they look in game action.
Benny F. (El Paso, TX)
First of all thank you Mr. Bowen for answering all our questions, you are a great part of colts nation. I got a simple question for you today. Do you listen to the Pat McAfee show? If you or anybody reading this go support the guy by subscribing to his podcast here. https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-pat-mcafee-show-presented-by-barstool-sports/id1134713453?mt=2
Bowen: Benny, appreciate the kind words. I do listen to Mr. McAfee's podcast. I don't think I've missed one yet. He's a talented, talented individual and I enjoy him providing me some comic relief during the work day.
Alex G. (Osgood, IN)
Hello Kevin. I'm sorry I was so short with my last question with regard to who would have the most interceptions in 2017. Thank you for answering my question and I hope you are doing well. When I wrote the question, I was in a hurry because we were about to leave for Indianapolis to get to the 500 last weekend. We enjoyed ourselves as we were in the infield for the race and awfully fortunate not to get rained on when it looks for sure we would at least get a little something during the race. I will be moving back up to Indianapolis sometime next week as I will be interning with Eskenazi health this summer working in their public affairs and EMS department.
My question for this time around has to do with the recent turn of events that we just learned about in the last couple of hours in regards to the release of Pro Bowl wide receiver Jeremy Maclin. I guess this question is in a couple of parts, but I first wonder what must have happened and why the Chiefs released him? Of course, you know where the next part of this question is going as I'm sure many fans who you will probably pull out of the mailbag are asking the same thing I'm about to ask, but here it goes anyway. Given the Kansas City connection with Chris Ballard, might we have the slightest bit of interest in acquiring Maclin? I personally lean toward know on this question given that he was probably released for a reason and we are in pretty good shape with that position. Yet we have run into some injury problems over the last couple of years and he might be able to help us out. Keep up the good work.
Bowen: Alex, great to hear from you. Hope you had an awesome time at the race. I know I did. On to your question. I had a feeling this question would surface in the mailbag. We saw the Chiefs part ways with Maclin late last week. My gut tells me the Colts will pass on Maclin. Obviously, the Chris Ballard connection is there for Maclin and the Colts. But I think the Colts are okay at wide receiver and do not need to hand out a substantial contract for a group already crowded with deserved guys needing reps. I'm really curious to why the Chiefs released Maclin. They have hardly any proven at that position.
Jacob B. (Connersville, IN)
I have a colts history question for you. I was looking at the list of retired numbers and I thought Peyton would be the first. However I did not realize that the colts had a couple from the Baltimore era retried (19,22,24 just a few). Then I was reading up on Johnny Unitas and that he has the number 19 retired. However I found out that he was very mad when Robert moved the colts out of Baltimore and rightfully so having the franchise you played for moving away would definitely not be very easy to root for again like we're seeing now with the chargers and rams. My question is why are those numbers retired if they are not considering themselves a part of the Colts. Also, Unitas has 19 retired with the ravens. Don't get me wrong Unitas was an incredible quarterback and one of the best all time. I just don't see why we would give up a number to someone among others who don't want anything to do with the colts. The other retired numbers included. I just feel like there is a few other true colts that are wanting to be a part of the colts and played a key role in the colts success who's numbers are not retired. Such as Harrison, Freeney and even Mathis and Wayne. I'm not trying to take away from what these guys accomplished it's just a head scratcher for a fan to see a number retired when that player wants nothing to do with the Colts. Also I read they had a reunion with some of the Baltimore Era guys in 2009. Do you see the colts doing it again?
Bowen: Just because the franchise has moved, doesn't mean you totally alienate yourself from that history. Robert Irsay, the father of Jim Irsay, was still the Owner for a long period of time in Baltimore. Here's a list of the retired Colts. I could definitely see that type of reunion happening for the 2000 Colts down the road.
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