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:Matt (Ontario)
Always a fan of the give and take on this but reading the last couple of weeks have been painful, yes the losses have been hard to take this season but can the whole sky is falling mentality finally stop? our defense just stopped a Denver offense that is coming together and not the same team from the beginning of the year, i'm very aware of the obvious offensive let downs but again they just took on the best defense this year and maybe in many years. In conclusion our defense is playing well (better then last year) and our offense will together by playoff time, which everyone knows it has all the talent to do so and has showed flashes, special teams are at the top of the league as well as a weak division easily won, no worries right?
Bowen: Matt, I wouldn't go with the "no worries" mindset when your is team sitting at 4-5 and having to rely on your backup quarterback for a critical stretch of the season. Is there reason for optimism after what the Colts did against Denver? Of course. The Colts were tremendous in their latest 60 minutes of football and now the task back from the bye is taking that act on the road for three of their next four games. The offense with Matt Hasselbeck will likely look a bit quicker rhythm with how rapidly he likes to get rid of the ball. Defensively, the Colts really played pretty well against Denver, outside of some big third-down conversions allowed. The unit must get added production from Billy Winn and Zach Kerr with Henry Anderson now on injured reserve. As far as the division, with Houston winning on Monday night, the Colts and Texans are now tied atop the AFC South (record wise at 4-5). With Jacksonville just a game back, the Colts have little margin for error, but do control their own destiny with seven regular season games left.
Isak H. (Mexico City)
First, I send my best wishes to Henry Anderson after his injury. Second, I am happy Griff Whalen keeps proving many wrong, he's been masterful. Lastly, since the OL has been changed a lot and clearly Thornton and Harrison are not fulfilling expectations, would the colts consider Cody Whitehair, Landon Turner or Isaac Seumalo for next year? Thank you, and my regards.
Bowen: The offensive line is going to be a priority once again come next offseason. The Colts have drafted at least one offensive lineman in every draft with Ryan Grigson at the helm. It wouldn't even shock me if the Colts took another tackle in 2016 to go along with a pick in the interior of the line. I wouldn't say Harrison isn't "fulfilling expectations" though. He was an undrafted free agent who has now started a dozen NFL games in two seasons. There's definitely not a very high percentage of UDFAs that can say they've done that.
Matt W. (Plant City, FL)
Can you plz answer this question. Why did the colts not trade for joe Thomas or at least alex mack if we have been struggling so much with the offensive line?? Wouldn't 1 if not both been a major impact on the offensive line?? I just don't get why the colts didn't atleast pick up alex mack especially around the time are starting center went down. I mean I know they would have been expensive but if we are trying to make a superbowl run why would they not pick atleast 1 of them up if not both. Can you plz answer this for me I would really appreciate it. Thanks for your time
Bowen: Matt, this question was answered in a couple of mailbags ago. You mentioned the extreme asking price that was being reported but there was also no indication of Thomas and Mack wanting to be traded. Those two combinations are why we hardly ever see any significant trades when the deadline comes up each year. Giving up potentially multiple top picks for a likely short stopgap on the line is a very steep demand. That obviously doesn't even take into consideration Mack and Thomas indicating they wanted to stay with the teams they've played with their entire NFL careers.
David B. (Clearwater, FL)
Kevin, In defense of players I am so tired of reporters clamming to report the news when its clear that they are trying to create the news, by baiting players over and over with the same questions. Can a player walk away from an interview without punishment from the NFL?
Bowen: Instead of boring everyone through the lengthy fine print of the Pro Football Writers Association, here is an excerpt of players media availability every week: "Players must be available to the media following every game and regularly during the practice week as required under league rules and their contracts and as noted above. It is not permissible for any player or any group of players to boycott the media. Star players, or other players with unusually heavy media demands, must be available to the media that regularly cover their teams at least once during the practice week in addition to their required post-game media availability. This applies to a maximum of one or two players per team only. The minimum for such players does not include other required media obligations such as visiting team conference calls, network production meetings, and national media interviews arranged by the team."
Michael D. (Indianapolis)
With all the attention paid to the 'eye-poke' play in the Bronco's game, no one has mentioned the game clock didn't start like it should have. Since the previous play was a run, the game clock should have started once the penalty was marked off. Did the Colts notify the league about this obvious oversight?
Bowen: Michael, nice observation. For those not knowing what Michael is referring to the clock stopped at the 2:24 mark of the fourth quarter following the penalty on Aqib Talib. The previous play was a running play, starting at the 2:35 mark of the fourth quarter. Once the Talib penalty had been announced and the ball was set for play, the clock should have began running again down to the two-minute warning. Chuck Pagano rarely comments on what plays he notifies the league about and he didn't go out of his way to mention anything particular about that play. Fortunately, for the Colts sake, this play had no bearing on the final result.