Colts Mailbag

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Colts Wednesday Mailbag: When Will Andrew Luck Be Full Go?

Intro: This Wednesday, mailbag readers inquire about the possibility of signing Darrelle Revis, the defensive line depth with Arthur Jones released and if the Colts are the favorites in the AFC South.

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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:

Gregory J. (Wilmington, DE)

Now that we have K. Aiken, what about Quan Bray and Chester Rogers. I think that we should cut Jacoby Brissett and have it with the WR core as T.Y Hilton, Donte Moncrief, K. Aiken, Chester Rogers, and Quan Bray. Or will you have it as T.Y, Moncrief, Rogers, Aiken, and Bray. What do you think about use Getting Watt at 15? Your thoughts on that please.
Thanks,
Gregory

Bowen: Give Phillip Dorsett a third season. Dorsett isn't getting cut. Chris Ballard sees potential in him and the Colts are going to give him another shot to prove that. I think the last wide receiver spot could come down to Chester Rogers or Quan Bray, unless the team wants to keep six wideouts. Rogers showed a lot last season. With regards to T.J. Watt at pick No. 15, I think that could be a little early for him.

Grant L. (Jasper, IN)

Hi Kevin. I have a few questions about Luck's shoulder surgery. How is he coming along in the recovery? Do you think that there will be any lagging effects from this? Finally, do you think he will be ready for camp or if not the beginning of the season? Thanks as always.

Bowen: We, unfortunately, did not get an Andrew Luck specific time table at the League Meetings this week. Chuck Pagano has hinted at the Colts having to work without Luck during the offseason program, so Training Camp could be the first time we see No. 12 slinging it in 2017. Here is more from Jim Irsay on Luck's recovery.

Samuel S. (Owensville, IN)

Hey Kevin! Long time reader of the mailbag and I look forward to it each week! My question is why is it, do you think, that all the analysts and draft "experts" are calling for an OL in the 1st round? Do you think its simply because they have no faith in Joe Philbin as a line coach, or what? I'm with you, I think we need to load up heavy on the defense this year in the draft especially with CBs and Pass Rushers. We just spent a lot of draft picks and capital on OL last year, its time to let them develop! Looking forward to the 2017 season GO COLTS!!!!

Bowen: I think part of it, is the pundits don't really have an exact read on what the major needs are for the Colts. To be fair, these guys are trying to peg 32 teams down. On the outside, they see the hits on Andrew Luck. I think that's why you see some still thinking OL is the way to go in Round One. Yes, those hits have to come down, but the Colts have young guys up front and showed progress there late in the season.

Cameron E. (Ohio)

Do you think the combination of Anthony Castonzo, Jack Mewhort, Ryan Kelly, Joe Haeg, and Le'Raven Clark can finally provide the O-line continuity the team has needed since the days of Tarik Glenn, Ryan Lilja, Jeff Saturday, Jake Scott, and Ryan Diem? Also, could you agree that the signings of John Simon and Jabaal Sheard will pay huge dividends?

Bowen: I do on the offensive line part. That's high praise putting them in the mid-2000s category. But I think the talent is there for the present day offensive line to grow into a very solid group. They need to stay healthy and build off the film we saw late last season, in both the run and pass departments. When I look at Simon and Sheard, I see the potential for the Colts to really cash in there. Both guys were spot starters/contributors for two of the NFL's best defenses. In Indy, they could very well be full-time starters. If they can expand on the potential they showed in more limited action, Ted Monachino is going to sleep well at night with those two now at outside linebacker.

Nic R. (California)

I wouldn't mind seeing the colts take jabrill peppers with the first pick. He can match up with any tight end in the league one on one 
Seems like an advantage what do u think ??

Bowen: Our weekly Jabrill Peppers' question enters the mailbag. Does he have a defined position in the base defense? If it's safety, then what are the Colts doing with Darius Butler and T.J. Green? I think you pass on Peppers unless the Colts are sold on an every down role for him.

Eric C. (Indianapolis)

What do you think about trying to pick up Derrelle Revis to play corner along side Vonte Davis

Bowen: I'm okay without venturing down that path. Get younger at cornerback, tap into this year's draft class and find the next lockdown corner via that route.

Victor M. (Sao Paulo, Brazil)

Hi Kevin, how are you this week?

Last week I read a question about picking Sidney Jones in the fourth round, if he's available. Some analysts say that Jones is the best CB on this class, so we can say he's a top 10 talent. That made me think, if there's a top 10 talent in a position of (much) need, but he will miss the rookie season, at what point in the draft you feel good about picking him? 

Not thinking just about the Colts and Jones, any player to any team

Bowen: This is a great, great question. All depends on the team and how willing they are to be patient. Some teams obviously have more patience than others, for a variety of reasons. Plus, each player/injury is a case-by-case study. Like Jaylon Smith from Notre Dame last year. His injury was nerve-related. That had to be scarier than an Achilles for Sidney Jones. Not saying that Jones' injury isn't reason for concern. It is. I would put the Colts in a team with less patience than others, given where they are drafting and the number of needs still left in trying to find Day One starters/contributors.

Theis S. (Copenhagen, Denmark)

Hey Kevin! 
Thanks for answering my questions the last couple of times! 

1)
Now that art Jones is released i feel we are a bit stredged thin at DL - how do you feel about the group?
Is it best to adress in the draft or free agency? And who can you see filling the free spot?
2) 
I am not really that football-minded (only watched it for 3 years now), so how would you evaluate DC ted monachino's first year? 

Kind regards Theis!

Bowen: 1. The healthy returns of Henry Anderson and Kendall Langford will do a lot for that group. I think you are okay with your depth. You still have Hassan Ridgeway, T.Y. McGill, David Parry, Al Woods and Margus Hunt. Maybe draft a guy in the third/fourth round. You really don't need a high quantity of bodies up front with how much teams sub out along the defensive line. 2. Up and down. The Colts ranked 30th in the NFL last year on defense. Did the personnel have something to do with that? Yes, especially if you are seeing Chris Ballard's overhaul on that side of the ball. The tackling must get better on defense and the pressure on the quarterback has to become more abundant. If Ted Monachino can get that unit on the same page with so many new faces, it should make a jump in the league rankings.

James B. (Wappinger Falls, NY)

My one and only question is, what do you think are the chances of the colts making the playoff with a very competitive AFC south divison?

Bowen: If the defense can make some sort of a jump, I think the Colts should be considered an AFC South favorite. With Houston, you worry about the quarterback situation and a defense that did lose its top cornerback. The Titans have plenty of talent, but they just can't seem to get over the hump of beating the Colts (haven't done it since 2011). With a healthy Andrew Luck, better defensive play, the Colts should be a double-digit win team and back at the top of the AFC South.

Bryce H. (Madison, IN)

Hey Kevin, This offseason has been a revelation to me. Ballard was exactly the man I wanted to be GM and he truly has the vision we've been lacking since Bill Polian was removed. I know you've had a lot of questions about the draft but for once I have no qualms in any way because Ballard is going to put talent on our team in any way he goes. My question is with the release of Arthur jones if jabaal sheard will be in a rotation for defensive end since he is the best pass rusher on the roster in my mind. I know he probably wouldn't be a starter in our 3-4 base at D end but for our nickel and dime packages I think he would wreak havoc for us. Hope to hear back i know you have a lot of questions worth publishing in the mailbag. Great work thanks for reading.

Bowen: No. Jabaal Sheard is an outside linebacker in this defensive system. When the Colts go to their sub packages along the defensive line, guys like Henry Anderson/Kendall Langford/T.Y. McGill are better options to slide inside. Sheard is still going to be an OLB, getting after the quarterback off the edge.

Colton P. (Indianapolis)

Hi Kevin, 
I want to start off by saying I agree with every move the colts have done this offseason so far but one question has really got me thinking. As it stands right now if you were to look at our starting roster on Defense as of last November we only have 4 of 11 starters returning to the team. Also with a heavy defensive dratt we all kind of foresee my question is this, do you think that the colts can be any kind of playoff contender with 7 or more starters that haven't played with one another for more than just a few months?
Thanks in advance for taking your time to answer all our questions we really appreciate it.

Bowen: Well, the Colts were ranked 30th in the NFL last season with those 7-ish starters now either gone/or not starting come September. So a rebuild was needed on that side of the ball. The chemistry aspect, like you stated, must be solved during the offseason program. If guys can acquaint themselves fast enough on defense, the unit should see some progress. To me, that's the bigger question of the offseason---getting everyone on the same page defensively.

Stan C. (Minneapolis)

Hey, Kevin! Thanks as always for all your hard work. First off, I love the direction of the new front office. As Carolina adopts a very Grigson-like strategy of big price tags and aging FA's, we've seen Ballard's Colts adopt a far more measured strategy. In particular, I love the deals with Darius Butler, Kamar Aiken, Robert Turbin, and Sean Spence. Big value for day one contributors. I also applaud Ballard for not feeling married to the big-money, Grigson-era deals for players like D'Qwell Jackson, Art Jones, and Patrick Robinson. Couple that with tons of mid-round draft picks, and I'm extremely impressed by how the new front office is operating.

Now, on to business. I continue to believe that Reuben Foster, Solomon Thomas, and Derek Barnett will all be off the board at 15. Many fans tend to think that OLB/CB should be taken in some order in the first 2 rounds. The CB pool is deep enough that we can land a starter in either round. The trick is going to be pass rusher, as I think most of the value is in the 20-40 pick range, sandwiched between our picks. We might be helped by the continued rise of Hassan Reddick. He has positional versatility and a really high floor. I used to think 15 was too high for him, but I struggle to find flaws in his game. I see a tin of Ryan Shazier in him. With that in mind, which of these 2 scenarios would you prefer? As positional big boards and other teams draft picks can shift the board dramatically, I used a range of possible players. Feel free to swap for a similar player if you have a preferred choice or think my valuation is too low/high.

R1 LB (Reddick), R2 CB (Moreau, Tankersley, Conley, H. Wilson, Sutton, King)

R1 CB (Tabor, Q. Wilson, Humphrey, White), R2 OLB (Watt, Lawson, Williams, Willis, Anderson)

Both paths feel great, but which sits better with you? Personally, I think the volatility of the late 1st/early 2nd pass rush value makes me lean towards taking Reddick in the 1st and just about any CB in the 2nd. There's a chance the pass rushers get stripped by pick 48 while there will surely be a stud CB remaining. Quincy Wilson is my favorite fit of the likely players available in R1, but a Reddick/Conley defensive core would be phenomenal. Thanks for your thoughts!

Bowen: Very good either/or scenario here. I'm going to go with No. 1, just slightly over the other scenario. For some reason, I'm pretty steadfast in thinking linebacker is the right route in Round One. I could see a run on linebackers/pass rushers happening in Round One to where the value might not still be there when the Colts get back on the clock at pick No. 46. That's kind of my thinking when weighing your two scenarios.

Landen S. (Washington)

What will the colts do with gore when his contract expires?

Bowen: Unless Frank Gore has another 1,000-yard season, I'd expect the starting running back in 2018 will be someone different. Gore's contract expires after this season. No NFL running back in the history of the league has started all 16 games at the age of 34. Gore will turn 34 in May. Running backs don't put up the numbers that Gore has done in recent years, so maybe he will continue to defy the odds. But I think a future running back coming out of the 2017 Draft would serve the Colts quite well in the next chapter at that position.

Mason Y. (Wilmette, IL)

Will the colts trade up higher in the draft?

Bowen: I'm not sure what round you are asking. If it's the first, I don't think so. In my mind, it takes too many resources to climb in the first round. The Colts still have several needs, not just a glaring one going into the draft. Unless a guy really starts to fall in the 10-to-15 range, I don't believe the Colts will be trading up next month.

Jeffrey K. (Colquitt, GA)

What's up Kevin... Do you think we should do a package deal with the Jets for Mo Wilkerson or Sheldon Richardson? I know we have a lot of needs and either one of those guys would be an upgrade over what we have on the D-line especially with the release of Art Jones. I also think we should draft Hasson Reddick in the first round. He has versatility and speed he could be a day one starter for us at ILB and take a chance on Joe Mixon or Tim Williams in the second round if either one of them are available. What do you think?

Bowen: I don't. I'm not a fan of jeopardizing those draft picks. If Henry Anderson and Kendall Langford can return to the form we saw them in during 2015, the Colts should be okay with their defensive line talent in the starting lineup. Use those picks to acquire some nice young talent.

Zach S. (Brookville, IN)

What do u think about D'onta Foreman the running back out of Texas ? Could be a great pick in the second round. I'm really excited about this draft. We need to draft a great corner to step in right away. These rumors of going with an o line first round seems odd since we need so much more in other positions. Just seeing what u think we'll go with in our draft this year. Thanks ! Go colts #bleedingBlue

Bowen: Is the second round too early for Foreman and/or any running back for that matter? That's my only worry with such a selection. I'm still an outside linebacker/cornerback guy with those top picks.

Matt H. (Metea, IN)

Thanks Kevin for answering the questions that evereyone send in. It is wonderful to see all of us in Colts Nation being so inciteful, plus respectful at the same time. 56th st complex, Lucas Oil, IPL , everyone seems on board for another good season. People can complain about an 8-8 season, complain about Pagano, etc. But I am proud to be a Colts fan since 1987, yes the lockout year. Enough about that, I am concerned that the fans in Lucas Oil, may start booing again, if there is any kind of loss. I have seen this , we are Hoosiers and we dont boo the Colts. New York kind of people do that. Colts fans have always been optomistic and have always supported the players, coaches, etc. Why the boos in Lucas Oil? Those guys are playing their butt off! Maybe I am being too much of a softy, but booing guys that sweat, bust their butt, go out there on the field, could injure themself at anytime, ruin their career, at any given moment, gets booed! Colts nation is better than that! Mr Irsay, who i respect , wish I could meet him, has got to get mad when that happens. When did we slide into a New York Style of fans? Pacers included.

Bowen: Fans boo. That's life in sports. You pay money, you can yell how you please. I have no issue with fans booing. Frankly, I don't think Colts fans boo anywhere nearly as much as other fan bases around the league.

Chuck F. (Fort Wayne, IN)

Kevin,
I'm very pleased with what Chris and the staff has done in free agency. I mean we are going to have a new look to are defense this year!! One player that no one has talked about is Alex Bazzie ! To watch his tape from the last two years WOW!!!! How do you think he will fit with our other new linebackers? I also understand that there is a learning curve for him but the mechanics are there. Do you think he will start? 
I thinking he will be used on special teams and then fit into lineup.

Bowen:

I do not think Alex Bazzie will start. Making the jump from the CFL to starting from Day One in the NFL is no easy task. Bazzie will have opportunities to showcase that pass rushing ability, but it's too much to ask for him to be an every down starter when the Colts have some proven guys ahead of him. If Bazzie makes the team, he will be a definite special teams guy with the possibility of seeing some passing down package plays.

Ruari A. (Stevenage, UK)

How do the cheerleaders prepare for game day

Bowen: While I'm not positive of their game day routine, I do know they get to the stadium extremely early. I think it's around 6:00 a.m. for a 1:00 p.m. kick. They have a dress rehearsal on the field. Some cheerleaders make appearances around the stadium or outside in Touchdown Town. When I get to the stadium around 8:30-9 on game days, the cheerleaders are typically down on the field going through a dry run of the game-day script. It's an early day for those ladies.

Stephen D. (West Virginia)

Any word on CB Tevin Mitchel? I think a lot of people have forgotten about him.

Bowen: He's still on the roster. Mitchel just has to stay healthy in order to see what's there. Injuries have plagued his two seasons in the NFL. Cornerback reps are wide open so a healthy Mitchel will have chances this spring/summer to impress.

Sergio D. (Rhode Island)

Kevin,

Thanks again for your great coverage.

My question is regarding the NT position.
I have not heard anything regarding David Parry's punishment for his off the field incident, is this something that the league will decide or is that up to the Colts? 

Assuming David is able to play who do think has the upper hand on securing the starting position David or Al Woods? 

Thanks.

Bowen: Here is what Chuck Pagano had to say earlier this week regarding David Parry: "He's still going through the legal process. I don't have any details to update at this time. As far as the football side of it, David has played good football for us, winning football for us but like everybody else, he's going to be in great competition for a spot." So unless the legal process dictates otherwise, I'd expect Parry to be back with the Colts. I could see a NT rotation with Parry and Woods on early downs before the sub packages takes that position off the field on passing downs.

Ron H. (Newark, DE)

Hi Kevin,

I appreciate you conducting the mailbag for us fans week in and week out. With our recent moves in free agency and Chris Ballard's emphasis on build a competitive roster I thought I'd submit another mock draft to get your thoughts on.

Rd 1: Reuben Foster ILB. Now like you I would love a pass rusher but over free agency we had add a lot of competition for rushers on the roster and the great thing about having a competitive roster is it gives you time to develop players at that competitive position. So I'll leave rusher as a later Rd addition

Rd 2. Chidobe Awuzie CB. Now I chose to move CB to Rd 2 because a linebacker like foster won't be there in RD 2 (he might not be there at pick 15). Chidobe brings great athleticism to our secondary and has experience playing the outside and slot very good. 

Rd 3. Tyus Bowser OLB/Rush. Now this is were we grab our rusher who can develop into the main antagonist for opposing franchise QBs much like how King Koopa (Nintendo's bowser) has developed into a pain for the franchise star Mario. Tyus can become our King Koopa

Rd 4. Josh Harvey-Clemons SS/ILB, now josh is an interesting prospect. He's built like an inside linebacker with the athleticism of a safety and has been used like a Swiss Army knife to play both. With development Green, Geathers, and Clemons can make any team think twice on challenging them in the future Geathers and Clemons could be used interchangeably as SS/ILB on certain packages

Rd 4. RB. No specific choice here my man Gore can't run forever bring in someone to develop and take the load off of in a backup role

Rd 4. Flexible DL

Rd 5. Flexible OL

Thanks Kevin!

Bowen: My two initial thoughts: 1. Is Foster dropping that far? I don't think so. 2. Don't forget about a tight end in this draft haul. The staff loves the depth at that position.

Braden K. (Kansas)

What are your thoughts on Jordan Willis from Kansas State? If we get him in the second round what would you say?

Bowen: I'd be okay with that. I'm not 100 percent sure though he will be available when the Colts get on the clock in Round Two. Pass rushers will likely get gobbled up a little quicker than most expect.

Brett H. (Aldeo, TX)

Hey Kevin, thanks for answering our questions and keeping the off season interesting. On the Art Jones release, any ideas why it was so long coming? Perhaps he didn't see Art trying to improve himself (working out at the facility)? Or any other ideas, at any rate what a tremendous waste of resources he turned out to be (of course hindsight is 20/20). I like the moves Chris is making, but just curious to know what took so long to get rid of Jones? Thanks again Kevin

Bowen: This is a question we still don't have an answer to. I was a little puzzled by the timing. I do not believe it had to do with a timing thing regarding roster bonuses. When veterans get released this time of year always confuses me a bit. I wish I had an answer on why the Colts released Jones more than two weeks into free agency.

Jake B. (Connersville, IN)

Hey Kevin I just watched your video about the interview with irsay and one question stuck out to me. What if the colts drafted a QB? I know it seems off but think about it luck is in his 6th season and has had some injury issues. What if we acquired a young QB either by trading back or using one of the 4ths. I don't know about who you would want but one guy that comes to mind for me is ole miss QB Chad Kelly. He's got the arm talent that would work well in our vertical attacking offense but has some character issues but maybe you get him to Indy where he's be a backup with no pressure to start which means no spotlight and maybe he develops into a solid back up or even better starter potiential. And if this did happen I see a few things that could happen 1. We get a Jimmy G situation and trade him 2. We save money on back up QB for the next 3-4 years. I know Kelly has his issues but I believe he could be special. I mean after all he gave Bama troube.

Bowen: It sounds like the Colts will indeed be adding another quarterback this offseason. I don't expect for it to come through a draft pick though. You reference Jimmy G. He was a second-round pick. The Colts aren't in a position to spend that high of a draft pick on a quarterback. I can't see the Colts being in the Chad Kelly sweepstakes. I think an undrafted quarterback is the more likely option with the Colts bringing in another arm to ease the reps of Andrew Luck.

Steven D. (Salt Lake City)

Hi Kevin, first thanks for all you do. I have been following the colts ever since my father introduced me to football, and this is my first time writing into the mailbag. Do you seen the colts possibly taking anyone from the University of Utah? I think Joe Williams would be a good 4th pick, assuming he is there. Who else coming out of the U of U would possibly be beneficial to the colts?

Bowen: I could see it. I can't say I have a great grasp on the pro prospects for Utah, but Joe Williams impressed me when I watched them this year. The Colts should definitely be in a market for a later round running back come April. We had questions about Donnel Pumphrey in this week's mailbag, too. He's a fit in my eyes for how the Colts would be looking to complement Frank Gore and Robert Turbin.

Doug R. (Moses Lake, WA)

Why haven't we heard more about KR Todman? What is his status?

Bowen: Jordan Todman is a free agent. It looks like the Colts will turn to some combination of Quan Bray/Chester Rogers/Josh Ferguson for their return duties in 2017. I was not that surprised Todman wasn't retained. The Colts are probably going to fill his vacant running back spot with a draft pick.

Jarrett D. (Lyles, TN)

Do you think there and chance for the colts to draft d'onta foreman rb from Texas in second round or 3 and I think we should pick Derek Barnett 1st then Chidobe Awuzie or Cameron Sutton and how many pick do we have this year?

Bowen: Sure, I could see that happening. The Colts have seven draft picks in 2017, all in the first five rounds.

Kevin R. (Michigan)

How long do you think it will take before the Colts will be serious Super Bowl contenders again?

Bowen: An educated answer at this question is going to come down to how quickly the Colts' young defensive talent can make an impact. If the Colts can hit on the 2017 Draft with some quality defenders, it should not take long at all for them to be back near the top of the AFC. New England is showing no signs of slowing down, so the Colts must hit on their young draft picks right away, because the Patriots have a firm, firm grasp on the No. 1 spot in this conference.

Jerry M. (Indianapolis)

Hey Kevin, I have been reading some of your articles here lately, I know you want a pass rusher selected in the 1st round. Myself,I agree with NFL Media analyst Charlie Casserly,he has the Colts selecting Utah offensive tackle Garett Bolles. I do believe Anthony Castonzo's days are limited here in Indy, Bolles blew away every other OL at the combine. I think Clark(RT)and Haug(RG)will be starting on the right side, both of these guys were very productive last year and both were 4 year starters in college. I guess my question is, if the Colts draft Bolles, will this be the end of the Tony Castonzo era in Indy?

Bowen: If the Colts did draft him (which I don't think is really in the cards because I don't view offensive line as that pressing of a need because I see bigger ones on this team), it would either mean Castonzo's days are numbered, or the right side of the line will likely not include Le'Raven Clark. Every time Chris Ballard is asked about the offensive line, he mentions Castonzo's name as a building block. I don't see Castonzo, who has several years left on his contract, going anywhere.

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.

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