ANDERSON – 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:Michelle M (Fort Wayne, IN)
Could u please tell me the timeline on how this trimming the roster works? I know each week we have to cut players now just not sure when and how many..ty
Bowen: It's pretty crazy to think we are less than three weeks away from the Colts having to cut down their roster by 15 players. On Tuesday, September 1, the Colts will have to trim their roster from 90 to 75 players. That will come after three preseason games, and just two days prior to the team's preseason finale against Cincinnati. The final roster cut to 53 players will then have to come that Saturday (September 5). That's why this initial preseason game on Sunday is so key for fringe roster guys. Starters are going to play even more in preseason games two and three, so Sunday might be the most playing time the backend of the roster receives until the preseason finale.
Josh Wickersham (Marion)
I like most of the changes that Grigson has done and the approach he has taken. That being said, one thing still remains. Will the Colts ever get rid of the "Peyton Manning defense"? I know that they are tremendously talented on the offensive side of the ball but they still have glaring holes on defense. They have many key players but cannot still not stop the run. Will they get away from the we can win in a shootout mentality?
Bowen: I don't think anyone in the Colts front office, or on the coaching staff, would fall into the belief they are trying to win games in a "shootout mentality." Certainly, not with a head coach who is as defensive minded as Chuck Pagano. Last year, the Colts gave up 23.1 points per game (19th fewest in the NFL). It's clear from the top-down that for this team to reach the final peak on the mountain, more consistent play has to come defensively. Jim Irsay has pointed to defensive communication against some of the elite quarterbacks as an area of improvement for this defense. The answer to your question is going to have to wait until the Colts meet the likes of Brady, Brees, Newton, Manning and Roethlisberger later this season.
Isak H. (Mexico City)
1- Only not to miss the situation, how is Griff Whalen doing? Heard he had a very good camp along with Carter.
2- I heard there had been a scuffle at camp that caused two players to get kicked out of practice. Does this make these two players expendable? I think none of the two are exactly locks to the roster with the great depth there is, so getting into trouble might not help either's chance.
Bowen: Griff Whalen is having a typical Griff Whalen camp. His reliability has been constant and he's definitely in the mix for one of those final wide receiver spots. As far as the fights, I don't think those players are "expendable" at all just because of one scuffle. Chuck Pagano sent Jonotthan Harrison and Kelcy Quarles to the locker room after the incident and the two returned to practice the next day. Fights happen at every single Training Camp, every year, across the NFL. That's what happens when you have 90 of the same men hitting each other (particularly in the trenches) day-after-day.
Laurence Foster (Bedford, TX)
Kevin, I can't remember if I ask you this question before (I get these senior moments). Why don't both teams use the same ball during the game?
Bowen: From the NFL rulebook… "The home club shall have 36 balls for outdoor games and 24 for indoor games available for testing with a pressure gauge by the referee two hours prior to the starting time of the game to meet with League requirements. Twelve (12) new footballs, sealed in a special box and shipped by the manufacturer, will be opened in the officials' locker room two hours prior to the starting time of the game. These balls are to be specially marked with the letter "k" and used exclusively for the kicking game." Basically the NFL decided to allow teams to prepare separate balls, often to what their own quarterback prefers. I remember reading this New York Times article on Eli Manning and how much time goes into the preparation of footballs each week. It's remarkable what type of process footballs undergo before they are thrown each week.
Ali Khan (Lima, OH)
Will newly acquisitioned CB Tevin Mitchell have to be subject to waivers again? Do we have to worry about retaliation from the Redskins?
Bowen: From my understanding, Mitchel will not have to be subjected to waivers again. The Colts claimed Mitchel last week. As a 2015 sixth-round pick, Mitchel obviously is someone the Colts feel has some potential. Mitchel has a torn labrum and is expected to miss the entire 2015 season, yet the Colts are currently using a roster spot for him right now. Once the first roster cut down occurs, the Colts can then place him on their team's injured reserve for the season.
Rob Eads (Kokomo)
Kevin, I know you're not a doctor but I also know you can find the anew. With all the ACL/MCL injuries. Is there any certain workouts of exercises players can do to prevent this. Or our they at the mercy of there body and just good luck.
Bowen: This question is definitely above my pay grade. From everything I've read about ACL/MCL injuries, there are no specific workouts that significantly lesson the prevention of such freak injuries. I direct you to this sports medicine website for hopefully a little more clarity to your question.
Dan Anderson (Muncie, IN)
I was one of those guys shaking their head about the Phillip Dorsett pick when there were clearly more pressing needs. Jim Irsay knew that Gosder Cherilus was in bad shape back then and with other needs at safety and defensive tackle. Malcom Brown or Landon Collins looked like obvious choices and instant starters. Do you still think the Colts made the right decision drafting Phillip Dorsett in the first round? (A guy that will most likely specialize in special teams this year)
Bowen: By all accounts, it looks like the Colts have a special talent in Dorsett. His complete role for 2015 is to be determined, but he's ultimately going to have an impact on what this team does come postseason time. Look back at that New England game in the AFC Championship where Colts wide receivers caught just two balls in 12 targets. It was clear the Colts needed to add another dynamic playmaker for when teams (New England) take away T.Y. Hilton. The Colts are hoping that Dwight Lowery/Clayton Geathers and Kendall Langford/Henry Anderson can fill-in at the other positions you mentioned above. Let's be frank, the Colts did not draft Dorsett to be just a special teams guy in his rookie season.
Brian Jenkins (Fort Wayne, IN)
How is Josh Robinson looking this training camp? Is he really the "Human bowling ball" that can assure we get those 3rd and 1 conversions that have plagued the Colts for so many years?
Bowen: Unfortunately, we've barely seen Robinson on the field this camp. He returned to the practice field on Monday after missing several practices due to soreness in his hamstring. I know I speak for plenty of people in the eagerness to see Robinson on the field in these final three days of Training Camp. The Colts have Frank Gore and Boom Herron clearly atop their running back depth chart. After that, there are spots and roles to be filled. A healthy Robinson should factor into that. And as far as third-and-one conversions, I would think Frank Gore might get an early look at those situations.
Tyler Fabbri (Memphis, TN)
Hey there, just wanted to check in and see if there was any possibility that the Colts would get more interest in Evan Mathis since Heenan went down and guard depth is questionable. I know there are rumors the Colts didn't have a serious interest, but with training camp underway, is there possibility for a second look at the vet?
Bowen: Tyler, I don't see it happening. From the sound of it, Mathis is looking for somewhere in the five-million dollar range. That's a steep price for a 33-year-old guard. After eight practice days in Anderson, the Colts have appeared to have their starting five. That could obviously change with preseason games on the horizon. For now though, I don't see Mathis factoring into that equation.
Dave H (Sebring, FL)
KEVIN, I CAN'T WAIT FOR THE SEASON TO START.I'VE ALL READY DVR'D THE FIRST PERSEASON GAME! I WANTED TO SEE THE COLTS PRATICE! BUT HAD TO GO BACK HOME! SO, HAS THIS COLTS TEAM SHOWED,OR DISPLAYED THAT YOU HAVE WATCHED THE TUFFNESS.HUNGER, ATTITUDE,DRIVE TO GET THEM TO THE SUPERBOWL LEVEL AND WIN IT OR THERE STILL IN QUESTION MODE?????????
Bowen: It is just camp, but it's clear there's an extra physicality to the work in Anderson versus years past. We've seen the Oklahoma drill at practice, something Chuck Pagano hadn't used in prior camps. On Monday, the Colts donned full pads and the short yardage drills included plenty of hitting and tackling to the ground. In talking with members of the media, we had not seen such a physical practice in Pagano's time as head coach. Again, it's just practice, but there's a clear message being sent to this year's Colts. The good news for fans is that there haven't really been any injuries in the trenches, despite the extra physicality.