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:Jason B (Nashville, TN)
Hey Kevin, this is my first time writing to you. I've been reading you're articles for about a year now and it's something I look forward to. Unfortunately I have to start think about the sad possibility that the colts may not be able to resign TY. If there is absolutely no way that the team can resign him, is there a possibility that they can trade him?
Bowen: Jason, I appreciate you following along and now sending in a question. Let's start here with any Hilton talk, if the Colts are going to trade him, it will have to become before the new league year begins on March, 15, 2016. You just don't see many trades of such magnitude in the NFL, compared to other sports. What we are going to find out in the upcoming months is the market value for Hilton, when his contract ends next spring. If he turns in another Pro Bowl year in 2015, you know the teams interested are going to expand, and the price is going to go up, too. The Colts biggest selling point to Hilton will be the man under center (Andrew Luck) and the fact they took a chance on the "small-ish" Florida International product back in the 2012 NFL Draft (after so many teams passed him up).
Dave H (Sebring, FL)
I BEEN WATCHING FILM WHERE THE TEAMS THAT BEAT US!THERE O-LINEMEN WERE ALL GETTING TO THE SECOND LEVEL AND MAKING BLOCKS!HOW CAN THE COLTS STOP THIS FROM HAPPENING AGAIN? AND WILL OUR LINEMEN BE ABLE TO RETURN THE FAVOR TO OTHER TEAMS THIS SEASON?
Bowen: Dave, Anthony Castonzo touched on this topic earlier this offseason. The Colts left tackle said one of the first teaching points this offseason was about becoming a line that begins to move people in the run game. As far as the Colts defensive line, that's going to lie within the bodies of Arthur Jones, Kendall Langford, Josh Chapman, etc. Defensive coordinator Greg Manusky believes the communication needs to be better throughout his unit, in order to become a more consistent defense. That's what the upcoming Training Camp is all about.
Truet Trusler (Jacksonville, IL)
I am going to the colts preseason game in September WILL BALLARD/TIPTON /HERRON BE A3RD DOWN BACK?.
Bowen: This is a question that I don't think we will really know the answer to until the first team reps transpire in Training Camp. Boom Herron would seem to be the likely candidate. Herron was extremely effective catching balls out of the backfield last season. If the Colts want to pace Gore in his 11th NFL season, Herron showed he's more than capable in handling such duties. Ballard could also factor in, but his health will largely decide how big of a role he has in 2015.
Robert Rob (Kokomo)
Do you think Henry Anderson has the motor and athleticism to be the Colts version of JJ Watt.
Bowen: Let's pump the breaks on any Henry Anderson/J.J. Watt comparisons. In Watt, we are talking about one of the game's most disruptive defenders, in NFL history. Both Watt and Anderson have similar builds, but comparing the two right now would be unfair. I am still very high on Anderson and am really intrigued to see the type of impact he can have within the Colts scheme in 2015. Anderson should have plenty of chances to work in the regular rotation behind guys like Arthur Jones and Kendall Langford. It would not shock me at all if the future of the Colts defensive has Anderson as a staple of that unit.
Ian Gilbet (Saint Louis)
With Dwight Freeney being a free agent again what's the chances we are a reunion of him with Mathis, assuming we could get him cheap? Our pass rush could use the help and he's undoubtedly a fan favorite. A cheap one year deal could be great even if just for depth. We're spending money on a lot of other veterans in their twilight on a boom or busy approach the way it is. If anyone deserves to be back one more time it's Freeney.
Bowen: I don't see this happening. Freeney, obviously, is one of the greatest defenders in Colts history. But throwing the 35-year-old in the fold, at this point in his career, I'm not sure if that would make a ton of sense. The Colts have really a nice amount of outside linebacker depth, with the addition of Trent Cole and Robert Mathis hopefully returning to form. Where would Freeney fit in with those two mentioned above, along with Jonathan Newsome, Erik Walden and Bjoern Werner in the mix, too? Freeney provided a bit of an update on his 2015 plans on Tuesday night.
Matthew Parker (Boise, Idaho)
How much are season tickets normally?
Bowen: Matthew, there are a bunch of different answers to your question. For all ticketing curiosity, I will point you in the direction of the ticket section right here on the team website.
Ann Ballard (Fishers)
When will the season tickets be mailed?
Bowen: I'm sure you've seen the recent season ticket delivers from players Anthony Castonzo, Dwayne Allen and Pat McAfee. As far as season tickets, all season ticket members should receive their tickets no later than Friday, July 24.
Lily Stritt (Noblesville, IN)
What is your advice for getting autographs at training camp this year?
Bowen: My advice for getting autographs at Training Camp is get to the afternoon practice early so you can claim a seat as close to the field/roped off area as possible. That way, when the horn blows to end practice, you can get right up to the fence for when players migrate over to sign autographs. Chuck Pagano typically has offensive players sign one day, defensive guys the next, but often the other skill group signs, too (even when it's not their day to sign). I don't think there's any real strategy in where to stand in regards to one side of the 50-yard line or the other. The more unique your item is to sign, might help you attract the eyes of players who have just finished a two-hour plus practice in the summer heat. Good luck.
John Le Boeuf (New Bedford, MA)
I asked several weeks ago about our unsigned third round draft picks, training camp is just a few weeks off.What's the problem? Any insight on why we haven't signed these guys yet.We need to have these guys to start training camp on time!
Bowen: I expect we will continue to have mailbag questions regarding the status of D'Joun Smith and Henry Anderson right up until they sign their contracts. Nothing has changed in regards to their status, so here's the answer I gave in Saturday's mailbag (just two picks remain unsigned now in the NFL after Marcus Mariota inked on Tuesday night)…"Just (two) draft picks remain unsigned around the NFL and the Colts have them in D'Joun Smith and Henry Anderson. **Ryan Grigson has reiterated that it’s a contract language issue leading to the picks still being unsigned**. Grigson expects that to be resolved before things get started in Anderson, on August 1. I'd fully expect to see Smith and Anderson on the field when Training Camp practices begin on Sunday, August 2."
Nathan Lopez (Chino Hills, CA)
Hi Kevin, so I have two questions. One of my favorite signings of the offseason that I feel is going to have a great impact this upcoming season is that of Nate Irving. Do you think he can have an instant impact at the beginning of this season? And as much as I love Robert Mathis (favorite defensive player), with him being older do you see him being more of a situational pass rusher?
Bowen: We haven't received many inquiries about Irving. You say "instant impact" and I'm not sure if we will see those benefits right away in the regular season opener. Remember, Irving is still coming off an ACL injury that he suffered midway through the 2014 season. That's a lot to ask for in a player logging minutes at such a physical position to be full go less than 11 months after such an injury. I do think Irving will have a role in 2015, and that could develop as the season goes along (and he gets healthier). Similar to Irving, I could see Mathis' role expanding once he gets closer and closer to 100 percent. I see no problem in starting Mathis off in passing situations then, once he establishes himself as completely healed, his play count grows. You have the depth at outside linebacker to ease Mathis along (more depth at outside linebacker, versus inside linebacker with Irving).
John Avery (Houston)
Hey Kevin... So Reggie says several teams are interested in signing him this season... so let's play which teams do you think are interested! My guess would be Broncos, 49ers, Eagles or possibly (say it isn't so...) the Pats. What's your take
Bowen: John, I think the biggest factors in where Wayne will play a 15th NFL season starts with a team already built for the postseason. Wayne playing meaningless games in December isn't something the future Hall of Famer is used to. I don't see him wanting to start now. Denver already has a lot of depth at wide receiver. Remember, Wayne isn't going to play special teams where he goes, so he has to be in a place where the offensive snaps are going to be enough to have him on the roster. I could see Dallas, Miami (mentor a young wideout room, too), New England, and New Orleans as possible fits. Then, of course, you have to factor in an early Training Camp injury, which could allow for another team to slide into the mix for Wayne.
Taggyrt Moses (Keenseburg, Colorado)
Hey Kevin, In 2013 Griff Whalen was a huge part of the offense late in the season. Why do u think he has fallen as a 5 or 6 wide reciever on the depth chart.
Bowen: It looks like the Griff Whalen questions are coming in rapidly with Training Camp getting closer and closer. In 2013, Whalen was called on for duty and delivered. Reggie Wayne's ACL injury and Darrius Heyward-Bey's struggles opened up the door for receiver reps. Guys like Whalen, LaVon Brazill and Da'Rick Rogers were thrust into action during that postseason run. I don't think the reason for Whalen "falling" on the depth chart is anything to do with him, instead the quality of bodies that continue to join the wide receiver group. I would put the Colts current wide receiver crop right up there with any in the NFL, hence the reason for Whalen challenging for a roster spot.