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:John S. (Bellevue, NE)
When will Indianapolis hold another super bowl?
Bowen: I like this question to start off another mailbag. This past week at the NFL's Spring Meetings, we saw the league's owners bid on the next three Super Bowls (2019-2021). Atlanta, South Florida and Los Angeles were the lucky winners. These sites will follow trips to Houston and Minneapolis the next two years. With the next five Super Bowl sites now decided, Indianapolis should be much more inclined to drum up another bid. Remember, they were a finalist for the 2018 bid (it eventually went to Minneapolis). It was smart for the bid committee to sit back a few years after the 2018 bid fell just short. The NFL and owners should now be more inclined to come back to the Midwest. And Indianapolis' bid still remains strong thanks to what happened during the 2012 Super Bowl week. I'd be surprised if Indianapolis waited much longer before bidding another season. The signs point to Indy having a strong bid/with a realistic chance to win.
Bryce H. (Shelbyville, IN)
Is Andrew Luck as healthy now as he was a the kickoff of the season last year?
Bowen: Andrew Luck is back healthy and fully participating in the team's offseason program. Here was an update on Luck after last week's OTA session.
Rob K. (Manahawkin, NJ)
Getting my first question to the mailbag answered and so quickly was awesome thanks Kevin.
My next question would come right after the defensive line. How do you see the outside linebackers shaping
up? Excluding Mathis Cole and Walden who seems to be taking the steps to fill out the position? And how is or how will Okine do with the position switch?
Bowen: This is something I don't see being figured out until the preseason. It's great to see Earl Okine in a helmet and shorts, but what will he look like in full pads playing in a totally different role? That's what the preseason is for. Then, besides Okine, the Colts will get a look at their younger pass rushers in game settings. That would be seventh-round pick Trevor Bates and the undrafted duo of Curt Maggitt and Ron Thompson. Of these four, I think a couple could make the 53-man roster. It's just hard to project pass rushers without live bullets flying. Special teams' impact is a must to for these guys fighting for roster spots behind the veteran outside linebacker trio.
Wyatt M. (League City, TX)
I know that Hassan Ridgeway's role is likely to be on third down given his interior pass-rush skill set, but early on in OTAs is he lined up at the five technique/defensive end or the nose tackle position? Also, if Henry Anderson and Arthur Jones aren't healthy at the start of the season, who do you see as the starting defensive end opposite Kendall Langford?
Bowen: We've seen Hassan Ridgeway lined up all over the defensive line, dating back to rookie minicamp. The Colts do love his versatility so it will be interesting to see how they utilize that when the group gets healthy. Now, your second question is a really good one. I'm thinking Zach Kerr would be a name to watch. It was Kerr who started the final four weeks of the season with Henry Anderson on IR.
Larry M. (West Chester, OH)
Looking at our draft picks and overall approach in the off season, do you believe it represents a departure from last season's philosophy?
By that I mean last year we signed numerous aging free agents: Andre, Gore, Herremans, Cole, Lowery. It seemed like a Super Bowl now or bust approach. Many of our draft picks were NFL ready from big schools running NFL type schemes: Anderson, Parry, Dorsett
This year only Robinson in free agency while losing Freeman and Fleener. Many of our draft picks this year beyond Kelly seem to be developmental. This does not seem like a Super Bowl in 2016 or bust approach.
Bowen: I think the Colts definitely have a different approach to this offseason. They've said as much dating back to the Combine. Now, circumstances have dictated that---Andrew Luck approaching a second contract being the biggest factor. The Colts know they have be able to develop young talent going forward and just won't have the same sort of funds to spend in free agency, like they did last year. This is going to be the trend moving forward with the core of the offense off their rookie deals (Dwayne Allen, Anthony Castonzo, T.Y. Hilton and the soon-to-be Luck).
Thomas G. (Tucson, AZ)
First time writing on colts mailbag but im a big fan always reading your mailbags.
I have a few questions for you
My first question is about the rookie Jersey im really looking forward to ryan kelly jersey. Reminds me of Jeff saturday. And a Tj green Jersey do we have a release date?
Where would you rank our offense and defense. The problem now days is everybody ranks our team off last year. Its a new team and a new year. I believe we will see a major increase to both sides of the ball.
Thank you for your time kevin.
Bowen: Thomas, welcome to the question portion! It looks like the Ryan Kelly jerseys are in at the Colts Pro Shop. I would contact them about when/if T.J. Green's are in yet. I do think the Colts offense has a strong chance to climb back into being a top-10 unit. There are many reasons for this (Luck's health, improved line play, plenty of skill talent). Defense is where the bigger questions side. The Colts didn't make too many personnel changes there. However, a healthy Robert Mathis (for 16 games), plus the addition of Patrick Robinson has me thinking this unit will be improved in 2016. How much is the question?
Michael S. (Fort Wayne, IN)
First, love the weekly mailbags and all your answers with your logic, knowledge, and insight.
Second everyone is talking about having a change of pace guy behind Gore and the other backs, and only seem to be focused on this years undrafted Josh Ferguson. I seem to be the only colts fan aware of Trey Williams on the team, who IMO has much better college tape than Ferguson. I can only imagine 30 teams waiting and hoping we cut him like Dion Lewis. Is there any chance an awareness piece could be done on him for colts.com or at least a link to his A&M highlights in your mailbag? I personally will be less excited about this season if he doesn't make the team. Thanks for your time
Bowen: Thanks, Michael. This was a story we had on Trey Williams late last season once he came over from the Dolphins. I think this staff is intrigued by Williams. You saw just a couple of instances late in the 2015 season of the burst that makes Williams an attractive option in the backfield. Count me as someone eager to see Williams (and Josh Ferguson) receive reps in Training Camp and the preseason.
Terry W. (Ocklawaha, FL)
I know Arthur Jones is supposed to this great player but no player can help a team if he can't stay on the field. How long are the Colts going to hold on to someone is not helping the team and just taking up roster space. Any chance they could trade him for some picks next year.
Bowen: Jones is still in rehab mode this offseason with the Colts expecting him for Training Camp. On several occasions, the Colts have mentioned the sort of impact Jones can make when healthy. Unfortunately, he didn't get a chance to do that last season and battled ankle problems in 2014, too. The Colts know how valuable depth is on the defensive line and how Jones can factor in to achieving just that. As far as trading Jones, the Colts know where he is at rehab wise. I can't see other teams giving up quality picks for a guy who hasn't been on the field in more than a year. A versatile and healthy Jones improves the Colts defense. We will see if it happens in a few months.
Max S. (Indianapolis)
Who do you think will be the 4th wide receiver behind T.Y. , moncrief and Dorsett? Do you think Quan Bray will get some snaps at receiver this year?
Bowen: I'm interested to see more Quan Bray at receiver. He impressed on more than one occasion last year in Anderson. During the regular season, the Colts clearly didn't need him to play receiver and he did not see any offensive action as a rookie. With Andre Johnson and Griff Whalen gone now, Bray will certainly be in the mix to slide into more of a receiving role. With Bray out last week, Josh Boyce was the "No. 4" receiver. Bray didn't have a bunch of catches in college so we will have to see this preseason if he can make an impact as a pass catcher.
Nate D. (Flagstaff, AZ)
Thanks for the mailbag, and everything you do for Colts Nation. I've got two quick questions for you:
Which UDFAs are still on the roster?
And which names have been popping up as stars during OTAs?
Bowen: The Colts have virtually every one of their original undrafted guys still on the roster. Here's the current roster. When it comes to OTAs, only two days have been open to the media so far. I say that with caution for saying anyone has been a "star" in the month of May.
Lucas R. (Carmel, IN)
Hey Kevin, really appreciate your work, always great articles and mailbox answers! My question is: do you think with a fully healthy season and this possibly improved O-Line that Andrew Luck will be statistically better that his 2014 season? Or will he progress from last year but not be able to reach his 2014 level?
Bowen: This is a good question. In 2014, Luck completed 61.7 percent of his passes for 4,761 yards, 40 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. It was probably the best statistical season Luck has had in his four years of professional football. I do think a healthy Luck will rival those 2014 teams. I'm sure Luck and the coaching staff would love to see that percentage rise even a little. The touchdown-interception ratio is impressive though. I really think big plays are going to be a staple of this 2016 version. That might keep his completion percentage hovering around the 60 percent number though. With the speed at the receiver position, you can't ignore what those guys excel at. That's running quite fast. So I believe Luck and the Colts will hit on more than their fair share of big plays in 2016. I see similar numbers to 2014 for Luck.
Daryl I. (Whitby, Ontario)
Hey Kevin what do u think of RG RT and ILB spots what are chances Morrison Haeg or Clark start ?
Bowen: Right now, I'd be surprised if any of those guys were in the starting lineup as rookies. There's a lot of development for Joe Haeg and Le'Raven Clark to go from the collegiate level to start at different positions in the NFL. In 2015, only three rookie linemen started all 16 games. Two were chosen in the first 34 picks. I think the Colts have enough depth elsewhere that it's not a must for Haeg/Clark to start from Day One. We did see Haeg get some first-team reps during Tuesday's OTA practice (with Denzelle Good and Hugh Thornton still out). With Morrison, he's currently nursing a hamstring injury so we haven't seen him on the field yet. If he gets healthy, I think he will be in the mix next to D'Qwell Jackson. However, Sio Moore and Nate Irving are getting valuable practice reps right now, while also having starting experience in this league. The good thing about this draft class is the Colts don't have to have multiple guys start. Ryan Kelly obviously being the exception to it.
Zach M. (Rochester, NY)
I've been reading the mailbag every week and your insight is rather helpful and has made me more confident in our moves this off season. My biggest concern though seems to be one people arnt taking serouilsy enough which is the safety position. Last you I think lowery and Adams complimented each other perfectly but with lowery gone I don't know how they are going to do it.
So my question is who is going to be the starting safteys will it be and Adams Geathers pairing even though they are both more in the box then coverage guys or will someone like the inexperienced t.J. green start or Winston Guy alongside Adams and let the young guns marinate another year?
Thank you for your time #coltsnation
Bowen: Zach, Clayton Geathers is your starting safety next to Mike Adams. Geathers is known more for his physicality and showed that off in rookie action last season. Even though Adams has the notion of a "box" safety, he's showed plenty of range in his two years with Indianapolis. Adams' 10 interceptions the past two seasons are the third most in the NFL during that span. I'd envision T.J. Green being groomed behind Adams (35 years old) and maybe playing on some passing downs in his first season.
Marcus M. (Bay Area, CA)
Hey Kevin it really is awesome of you to do the mailbag especially for us west coast fans. I got a few questions that I can't find answers to.
first is Josh Robinson the RD out of Mississippi State...are we expecting a return? I seen nothing saying he was cut last I seen he had gotten injured but his tape from college I wouldn't mind him or varga.
Secondly is the burner what's the likelyhood Lucks play won't drop off after such a serious injury?
GO COLTS! Can't wait till we play the raiders
Bowen: Marcus, happy to help and we will see you out there come Christmas Eve. Josh Robinson never regained the momentum he created for himself last August. Some fumbles and injuries led to Robinson going off the active roster and eventually he was placed on injured reserve. He was not re-signed and remains out there on the open market. The Luck answer is covered throughout this week's mailbag above. In short, I think past precedent let's you know that I don't expect a "drop off" from Luck.
Anthony O. (Springfield, MO)
Hey Kevin, I have a 2 part question for you, first part pertaining to the draft in a way, and the second on all the recent flack it seems the Colts have had this offseason.
First questions, did anyone ever pick up the big TE out of Baylor? And if not, was there a reason why? I feel like he would be a great addition to any team as at least a blocking TE it'd be like having an extra lineman basically.
Second question, why is it that the Colts seem to be receiving so much doubt from many of the analysts this coming season? I just watched a video recently where they were saying the Texans are the team to beat in the South, and rightfully so after winning it last year, but they said the second closest team was the Jaguars and the Colts have a lot of work to do. It seems like they're treating our 8-8 injury plagued season as it was the 2011 season all over again. How do you feel about all the flack it seems the team has received? Because I don't agree at all with any of it, the dominance the Colts have had since Luck took over can't just be dismissed for one sub par season, you can't just write off a 16-2 record over the last few years against the division no matter what the other teams now look like "on paper."
Thanks for all your hard work Kevin, and as always Go Colts!
Bowen: I'm not sure why LaQuan McGowan isn't on an NFL roster. I did read that the 400-pounder wanted to pursue a career in WWE after his NFL days were complete. That might be happening quicker than he previously thought. When it comes to offseason projections, I think a lot of it has to do with momentum. The Jaguars have created a good amount of it with what they've done in the past couple of months. The Colts have, of course, been much quieter this offseason. Like I've written here before, I'm with you in pundits seeming to forget/discredit to a degree what the Colts have done in recent years. None of the opposing quarterbacks in the AFC South have thrown a postseason pass. Andrew Luck has won three playoff games. That experience can't be overlooked when meaningful football rolls around in 2016.