Colts Mailbag

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Colts Wednesday Mailbag: Who Is The Colts Next Leading Pass Rusher?

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:Lester L. (Richmond, VA)

Thank you for your contributions to keep us both informed and entertained during football drought! 

The addition of Mo Allie-Cox has a lot of people in Richmond talking about the Colts! I have lots of friends reaching out to me and ask me if he will play next year and to learn about the Colts. The rumours I've learned so far is that the Colts plan to give him 2017 season to learn and train that it's not expected he will play until 2018 season. Do you have a better idea of what the plan is for him? We're really excited to see him suit up and of what he could do given his size and athleticism. If he were to become a Colt I could finally watch our games at the bars because the city adores him, make sure you remind him of that too please! Thanks again!

Bowen: You’re welcome, Lester. I remember watching Allie-Cox at VCU and loved his tenacity on the basketball court. My best guess for him this year is a practice squad season. He would be on that for a year and then go into 2018 with a much better chance of making the team’s 53-man roster. The practice squad is a great avenue for players like Allie-Cox. It’s terrific experience and you often see practice squad guys eventually make it onto the 53-man roster. The Colts have had players like Allie-Cox do this before and I believe this is the best route for him.

Michael M. (Indianapolis)

Hi, Kevin. 
I've had a question come to mind and I think you're the guy to answer it. With it being the off-season, what is a normal week like for the media? You, in particular, consistently churn out new articles day in and day out. I'm curious as to what the typical schedule of an NFL writer looks like. 
You guys deserve more recognition for your hard work than you get, I'm sure.

Bowen: Haha, I need to hire you as my agent. Right now, things are quiet on the NFL front. Typically, any news this time of year isn’t great news. When camp and the season rolls around, things will get very routine for the NFL and the media that covers it. I’ll take you through a typical game week. Monday is usually a recap day of the previous week’s game. I’ll go back and re-watch the game before Chuck Pagano meets the media that afternoon. Tuesday is the players’ day off. I’ll wrap up any loose ends from the previous week’s game before starting to look ahead to the next opponent. Wednesday-Friday are practice days with media availability each day. Over these days, I’ll churn out written content, while sprinkling in some radio and TV as well. These are the busiest days of the week with access each day. Saturday is either a travel day to the road game or a relaxing day if you are playing at home. Sunday arrives and it’s time to play some football.

Sunil A. (Houston)

Hi Kevin,
First of all, I would like to thank you for the great service you are doing for Colts fans like me. I have been a very loyal fan of the Colts since 1986 and still one even though I moved from Indy to the Texan country here about 10 years ago. The second thing I want to relay to you is I was very glad to see you call Bob Lamey a legend in the last Mailbag.
I enjoyed listening to him immensely on the radio when I was in Indy and have really missed his commentary and his assuring voice here in Houston. Can you tell me how I can access his broadcast on either radio or online?

Bowen: Sunil, appreciate that. Unfortunately, I believe radio broadcasts are restricted to your specific market. You can hear Lamey locally, but he doesn’t span down into Texas. If you want more of Lamey, head to the audio page on Colts.com or even the historic calls section.

Ethan H. (Fort Myers, FL)

With Coach Pagano considering in putting tackling in training camp so you think the defense will improve on tackling? And thank you for always answering my questions

Bowen: It better. The Colts struggled in that area early last season, so clearly that’s why Pagano is exploring some tackling here in 2017. I thought Chris Ballard had a great quote about the tackling debate. You can read that quote here.

Zach D. (Indianapolis)

Hey Kevin! How are ya? Do you think Chester Rodgers will be on the roster week one? I liked what I saw out of the UFA last year. Plus if Phillip doesn't improve this year, I think Chester is a great replacement/substitute.

Bowen: Yes, I do. I think he has a strong chance to make the roster. I look at Rogers as a guy that will challenge for receiving reps, while also having a shot at being the team’s returner. Check back with Colts.com on Thursday for a separate piece on Rogers.

Samuel F. (Ft. Lauderdale, FL)

What's your take on wr jojo natson do I see him making the team

Bowen: I do not. I think the wide receiver group is just too crowded. He does bring that specialty trait as a returner. However, I don’t know if the Colts have the room to carry that guy on their 53-man roster when you could have a person like Chester Rogers who can handle both duties.

Matt H. (Ohio)

Hello Kevin, I'm a big fan of the mailbag and all the answers you supply. I was wondering of all the free agents the colts let walk who you believe will have the best season next year and why? Also, of all the free agents we signed who do you believe will have the most production?
Lastly, Chances of any of our rookies winning any awards next year?

Bowen: Of the free agents who walked away, I really don’t have a great answer. Can I go with Erik Walden, whenever he joins a team? I don’t see a lot of definite fits for the few Colts that did sign with other teams this past offseason. For the free agents coming to Indianapolis in 2017, I’ll go with Johnathan Hankins or Jabaal Sheard. If Malik Hooker is healthy for the entire season, he should be in the running for Defensive Rookie of the Year. Why? Because he makes the game-changing plays that are needed to win those types of awards.

Gary C. (Port St. Lucie, FL)

Hey Kevin.I have not checked in in a while. I read the mail bag twice a week. My thought is we took Hooker in the first round because I don't think Geathers is ever coming back. I know Chris said he was taking Hooker no matter what. But I think with a neck injury to a player that hits as hard as he does. It's only going to happen again. I so hope I am wrong. I would love to see Geathers and Hooker on the field at the same time. What do you think? Will he return and will he be the same player? GO COLTS!!!!!

Bowen: With Hooker, I don’t think really anyone actually expected him to be there at No. 15. He was too good a talent to pass up, especially on a defensive needed team. Let’s talk Geathers. This is probably the most difficult question heading into Training Camp. How do you project a player coming back from a significant neck surgery, and one that’s so vital to how this defense can look in 2017? I wish I had more of an answer on Geathers. We did see him do some jogging/running on the practice field late in the offseason program. That’s good news. But you still don’t know how his body will hold up. In my eyes, he’s the ultimate X-factor to how this defense improves in 2017.

Wyatt K. (Mooresville, IN)

Do you see the colts drafting an offensive lineman pending on what pick we have?

Bowen: I assume this is a 2018 draft question. Going forward, I expect the Colts to take at least one offensive lineman in every draft. Chris Ballard is a fan of taking guys in the trenches, when the board is jumbled together. Right now, I don’t view O-line as very, very pressing when looking at the 2018 Draft, so I don’t see a major reason to spend a high pick on that group.

Quincy D. (Indianapolis)

Hey Kevin, thanks for answering all the questions & keeping us informed on the team in the offseason! My questions are a bit less focused on the field this time around. 1- with robert mathis recently retired, and his signature "quarterback smack" celebration no longer being displayed after a sack, who do you see having the next signature celebration on defense for years to come? 2- who do you think has the best TD celebration on offense? Im a fan of The Spike by Luck after a rushing TD & of course we see plenty of the TY celebration but personally i really enjoy the Guitar celebration by Moncreif!! Once again, thanks for your work & input!

Bowen: 1. Tarell Basham? You need a young guy who can get after the quarterback to fill the next sack move. After the offseason program, the staff was pleased with how Basham looked coming off the edge. We will see if he can make a name for himself in trying to be the franchise’s next leading sack man. 2. I do love the Luck spike. Great to see his emotion come out in the end zone. During the minicamp, it looked like Donte Moncrief and Chester Rogers were cooking up a different end-zone celebration this year. Moncrief always likes to have a little fun when putting six on the board.

Mike H. (Tokyo)

Not a lot of news about David Parry making it over to Japan. But as I listen to the different podcasts I keep hearing his name come up when they talk about the revamped defensive line. Due to his off season activities and the NFL's personal conduct policy I imagine he is facing a suspension. Do you anticipate this will impact roster decisions as training camp runs its course? I would hate to see him go.

Bowen: Welcome from the Far East. David Parry is going to be competing for a roster spot in 2017. So far, nothing from the NFL on a suspension. The Colts have said that Parry will be judged for his on-field performance this offseason. It’s no guarantee Parry makes the roster, after the Colts went out and brought in several newcomers in the defensive trenches. In my opinion, a suspension would impact his status on the roster. But that doesn’t look to be the case with Parry.

Jeremy W. (Fort Wayne, IN)

Hey Kevin. Thanks for answering. I'm wondering about some colts history. What were the main reasons why Irsay moved the team to Indy? Did the Ravens enter the league right after the colts move? 
Also i'm curious from your view, just how different if at all the coaching staff and GM relations are now. Compared to the grigson era. Whats your take? Thanks again!

Bowen: Stadium talks in Baltimore were a major reason why the Colts came to Indianapolis. The Ravens did not come around until a dozen years after the Colts moved in 1984. As far as the GM/coaching staff relationship, it does appear things are more cohesive in 2017. You often hear Chuck Pagano talk this offseason about everyone being on the same page from scouting to coaching.

Nicholas M. (Kokomo, IN)

Hi Kevin,
Thanks as always for answering fans questions. First off I wanted to ask some questions concerning players with contracts expiring at the end of the year. I was wondering what you think about the return of Butler and Davis after this season. Do you think it's likely that one, both, or neither come back? Obviously, this will depend on how the corners and safeties play this year. I'm just thinking with the age of Butler and Davis, and the drafting of Hooker and Wilson that Butler and Davis are probably on the hot seat this year. Also, I was wondering what is going on with Henry Anderson? Do you see him being more effective as a run stopper or disrupting the offensive line to pressure the quarterback? He seemed to do both really well his rookie year, but also there are different players on the roster this year that should help out more.
Thanks Again,
Nicholas M.

Bowen: With the secondary contracts, I don’t think either guy is a slam dunk to be back in 2018. That’s just life for defensive backs reaching the age of 30-ish. Now, there’s no guarantees that the young guys behind them will ascend into starting-caliber players, but you’ve drafted at those spots to look at the future. I’d say both guys are around a coin flip to come back, with Davis slightly higher than that. With Anderson, I do think we will see him closer to player that was on the field in 2015. Nearly two years removed from his ACL tear, Anderson talks like a guy totally different from the one that battled through last season. I do believe Anderson will be an impact guy for the defensive line this year.

Alex H. (Indianapolis)

Dear Mr.Bowen,
I have two questions today.
1.Do you think that Vinatieri will play long enough to eclipse Morten Anderson as all time NFL leading scorer?
2.Hypothetically if this is Gore's last season where do you think he will finish on the all time rushing list? I think he can finish as high as #4 all time. What are your thoughts? thanks for your insight and as always #Go Colts!
Alex H.

Bowen: 1. Yes, I do. It’s probably going to take Vinatieri into the 2018 season to pass Andersen on the all-time scoring list, and the all-time field goal list. He’s 166 points behind Andersen. Give Vinny two years of kicking and he will climb to the top spot, further bolstering his Hall of Fame resume. 2. Frank Gore is 1,036 yards from passing Curtis Martin for the fourth spot on the NFL all-time rushing list. Gore needs just 620 yards to pass LaDainian Tomlinson for fifth place on the all-time list. Moving to fifth should be little issue for Gore. He’s ran for at least 853 yards every year since 2006. Going for 1,036 isn’t a definite, but he should have a chance at it with his remarkable durability.

Steven B. (Columbus, OH)

Thanks for talking the time to answer everyone's questions. It means a lot to us. Many of the articles about the defensive line say that coach Pagano believes he now has the body types to play a 3-4 scheme. Could you tell us which players have which body type, how it relates to a 3-4 scheme and give an example of another NFL defensive lineman with a similar body type? Thanks again for your expertise.

Bowen: No problem, Steven. Happy to do it. Guys like Johnathan Hankins and Al Woods have the makeup to be able to slot into a 3-4 system. Woods is your wider-body nose tackle, who can eat up space at the point of attack. Hankins has some versatility to play defensive tackle in this scheme, where he can be effective in the thick of it, and also show off his quickness when sliding a bit outside. Even Grover Stewart at 6-4 and 347 pounds slots into this group. I’ve always thought Henry Anderson and Kendall Langford are 3-4 fits with their lankiness allowing the Colts to use them at defensive end. That’s where newcomer Margus Hunt comes into play with a similar body type. I also think the new outside linebackers are more 3-4 fits, where you were always trying to force Robert Mathis into that spot after he played so long as a 4-3 defensive end.

Jacob B. (Connersville, IN)

Hey Kevin. My question i heard on PFT but I think it's a topic that should be more considered. What do you think about the NFL going to a NBA lottery style draft to cut down on tanking? I think it's a good idea. Then you're bringing in more value to winning games. Now bottom level franchises won't want to tank as much due to the Lottery system not guaranteeing a number 1 pick. I know you can't completely get rid of tanking but it does give more value to those late season "nothing on the line games." Just think about it if we had the system and the colts won the lottery we could have of drafted Myles Garrett. Besides the fact that W-L records aren't always a clear indication of a team. Just like how Jacksonville had a bad record but look at the talent on the defense let alone the whole team. Plus you have teams like the 2015 Cowboys who lost Romo for the year got the 4 overall and drafted Elliot and Prescott then went 13-3. Then you have a team like the Panthers who was one year out from playing in the Super Bowl. I think it's a good idea to get a lottery system plus the NFL is wanting the Draft to become a big prime time event this would definitely boost it.

Bowen: To be honest, I think the NFL is lot less of a tanking league than the NBA. I understand where you’re coming from though. Parity is such an important quality of the NFL. Personally, I think that is what separates itself from other professional leagues. I do agree with your line of thinking in the draft becoming a big-time event. I can’t see the NFL going to a lottery in the immediate future. With a 16-game season, it’s hard to see that much tanking in professional football.

Jovon R. (Sharpsville, IN)

Injuries can affect every team in the worst way. What position, other than the obvious Mr. Luck, would an injury really hurt the colts the most? With the all of the new faces it is difficult to tell.
I figured it was either OLB or OL. Curious to hear your thoughts.

Bowen: I would say an injury to Vontae Davis would be really devastating to the Colts. You do not have a lot of proven depth behind Davis at cornerback. An injury there would be massive. Yes, a big injury on the offensive line would be serious as well. But this team, with so many new faces on defense, cannot afford to be without Davis for a long period of time.

Bryan S. (Lafayette, IN)

Hey Kevin, I was wondering if you knew anything about the open practice on July 30th. I want to secure a couple tickets and I know it says "mid to late June" but I just want to make sure I don't miss out.

Bowen: Bryan, here are the details on the open practice at Lucas Oil Stadium. Check back with Colts.com later this summer for more information when that date gets closer. It will be the first practice of the team’s 2017 Training Camp.

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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