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:David W. (Concord, CA)
Thank you for your thorough and insightful answers to our mailbag questions. During his Colts retirement press conference, Peyton Manning mentioned the idea of a Super Bowl XLI 10 year reunion, even suggesting the Colts-Bears game as an appropriate weekend for the event. Has there been any official word from the Colts regarding plans for a reunion? Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! David Wu
Bowen: There is something in the works for the Colts to have a 10-year Super Bowl reunion. A date hasn't been set in stone though. Once the Colts settle on a date that makes the most sense logistically, Colts.com will announce that.
Vonley P. (Raven, VA)
Can someone tell me why the Colts let Coby Fleener go?
Bowen: When the Colts weighed the decision of Dwayne Allen versus Coby Fleener, the versatility of Allen won out in the end. Rob Chudzinski's past offenses have used the tight end position quite frequently in the passing game. Allen's blocking is a strength, but he's also shown to be more than a capable receiver. The Colts want to get him more involved in the passing game this year and those opportunities should be there with what this team has at the receiver position (speed!). When healthy, Allen gives the Colts a look where they aren't tipping their hand. Allen can block and be a threat in the passing game. Such flexibility is what sold the Colts on giving Allen an extension this offseason. This is what Chuck Pagano had to say earlier this offseason on keeping Allen: "You look around the league and he meets all the requirements that we are going to ask of our starting tight end. He's one of the better blockers in the league. We know when healthy he can be a mismatch. He's a big body guy that can make plays. He's going to be big for us in the red area. He's a starting tight end. He's a damn good tight end. That's why he's here."
Paul M. (Pittston, PA)
Hey Kevin, I know it's a bit early, but, how's the new scheme for the o-line looking?
Bowen: When asked about a blocking scheme this offseason, Joe Philbin stressed that he was drilling fundamentals before delving too much into a zone/gap look. Unlike really any other position, you don't get a proper evaluation on the offensive line until the full pads come on at Training Camp and in the preseason. Chuck Pagano spoke at the League Meetings in March that the Colts won't be exclusive with just a zone scheme, or just a gap scheme. The month of August should paint a clearer picture of what the offensive line is going to look like under Philbin.
Luke R. (Rochester, IN)
Last season, Henry Anderson, the defensive lineman picked up by the colts did very well until he got hurt. With that being said, how do you think Henry will do next season in terms of pressure and run stopping?
Bowen: No one can deny that a healthy Henry Anderson gives the Colts a very disruptive interior lineman. Now, the real question for Anderson is just when will he get back to 100 percent? The Colts have stressed that point when asked about a return date for Anderson. Remember, Anderson was hurt in November last year. That's why Jim Irsay has mentioned that Anderson might not be ready for Week One. Anderson talked at the end of the team's offseason program that he's been working on upper body strength while on the mend. Once Anderson gets to 100 percent in 2016, he's going to be a problem for opposing offensive lines.
Rico W. (Tulsa, OK)
Kevin, Any chance the team will try and sign a veteran receiver, there our some good ones out there? Thanks
Bowen: Ryan Grigson spoke at the end of minicamp how the Colts won't be too active with any more moves to the 90-man roster. He said that three weeks ago. We haven't seen any veteran moves since. If a name is intriguing, the Colts are going to explore it. However, tight cap space and the Colts wanting to see their undrafted guys at camp, will probably squelch such an addition.
Don W. (Indianapolis)
Hi Kevin, Great job with the mail bag, love reading it every weds. and sat. 2 questions for you.
1.) since in recent years their seems to have been a lot of injuries especially on game days, have the owners and leagued talked about raising the number of players they can have suited up for a game to help cover this?
2.) I know the Colts are locked in on tradition but, is their any way possible that they could change there uniforms up some? say like change the pants from white with blue strips to blue with white strips and the helmets blue with a white horse shoe and a white strip instead of the white with the blue horse shoe and strip. when the league has the teams wear their throwback uniforms our are the only ones that don't change ( other than when Peyton got fined for wearing Johnny Unitas Black High tops that one game). Thanks again for all you do!!
Bowen: 1. There has been some talk floating around about raising a game day roster from 46 players but nothing substantial. Currently, teams can dress 46 of 53 guys from their roster. 2. We have mentioned the "color rush" talk that might come in 2016. Besides that, the Colts enjoy the traditional look they've maintained with their jerseys over the years. I wouldn't expect an alternate look (besides the possible color rush game for NFL teams this season).
Scott L. (Albion, IN)
I really like our top 3 receivers, TY is a beast and I could see Dorsett becoming a player like Antonio Brown. A man can dream, can't he? But I believe Moncrief has the skill set to become a bigger threat than both of them. My reason for that is that it's all about the YAC! He never looks to the sideline, he will bounce around you or bring it to you. Hilton was better last on that last year but I think his time under Reggie Wayne's wing may have caused that. Wayne is an all-time great receiver but by the time Hilton got to Indy he was looking to prolong his career and ALWAYS looked to get out before contact. Thoughts on that? And obviously our pass rush is going to be weak this year, Mathis will be a great situational pass rusher I believe, but outside of some unexpected rookie coming out of nowhere, it may be a long year if your a Colts fan looking for a plus 10 sack guy. Do you think any our rookies got the juice to get it done or should we just sit back and wait for next year's draft and hope our scouts find a guy that will blow the roof off Lucas Oil Stadium? Lastly, I know, a lot of questions, but Trey Williams and Varga looked pretty good in limited action. Williams looks like the shifty speed guy we need but he's definitely not a 3 down back and Varga would run through a brick wall if you ask him to. Do you see either of those guys getting a decent number of snaps or do you think we ride with Gore till his wheels fall off? Can't wait for this season and Luck to be back behind center. And what a relief it is to have a center! Go Colts!!
Bowen: 1. If you've read this mailbag, you know that I view the top of the Colts' wideout group as a major strength. The type of pressure that speed can put on defensive backfields is really going to open things up for this offense. 2. I think Robert Mathis is going to be a 10-sack (or more) guy this season. He had 7.0 sacks last year and didn't become a full-time starter until Week Seven. Now that Mathis is more than a year removed from his Achilles' injury, I see a double-digit sack campaign. But yes, a young pass rusher makes plenty of sense for the Colts in next year's draft. 3. Tyler Varga and Trey Williams will be competing for the final running back spot or two. Frank Gore is your starter. Veteran backups Robert Turbin and Jordan Todman are the most likely options behind Gore. I can't see the Colts having room for four running backs in a game plan. We will see if Varga and Williams can rise up the depth chart in Anderson.
Rob K. (Manahawkin, N.J.)
I read a list online from colts 24/7 and it actually makes a lot of sense. It pertained to each teams surprise cut. The colts were selected to cut Erik Walden. This move actually made alot of sense to me due to the cap and the need to get younger at the position. What are you're thoughts on this logical surprise cut?
Bowen: Erik Walden is a starter on this team. He's been that for the last three years. With the Colts not having much proven depth at outside linebacker, Walden is a key ingredient to this defense. You need production in 2016 from the outside linebacker group and Walden was your most consistent guy there last year (with Mathis banged up early on).
Matthew H. (Iowa)
I don't watch much college football so I don't have much of a personal opinion on any of the rookies for next year, but I've heard people mention several times that TJ Green wasn't worth a second round pick. What are your thoughts on this?
Bowen: We won't know the "worth" of T.J. Green until a couple of years. The Colts are going to start Mike Adams and Clayton Geathers at safety this season. Green's rookie-year impact is going to come on special teams. The Colts knew that with Green's inexperience playing safety, there was a developmental period. Green played safety for just two seasons at Clemson (one year as a starter). Now, depending on what Adams does in 2016 (he will be a 36-year-old free agent), Green's role could really change next year. With the NFL trending towards a sideline-to-sideline league, a speedy safety is coveted. Green brings that range and the ability to even match up with tight ends. Again, we probably won't know how valuable Green is in 2016, but his skillset is something defensive coordinators would love to have.
Jacob H. (Fullerton, CA)
what exactly does an offensive coordinator do? I always assumed it was just play calling. we switched from Pep to Chud, so that would suggest play calling was a problem for us last season. Is play calling really that important?
Bowen: Play calling is clearly a major part of the offensive coordinator's job requirements. He's also implementing a system, formulating a game plan and using his play calling to dictate tempo throughout a game. Play calling is critical in the NFL.
Mark C. (Greencastle, IN)
believe for the last 4 or 5 years the colts wear white jersey at home in the preseason. Is there any word about wearing white jersey again at home in preseason this season?
Bowen: Mark, the Colts have worn their white jerseys in the preseason for the last handful of years. I would assume the Colts will once again do this for either their home preseason games in 2016: the Ravens (Aug. 20) or the Eagles (Aug. 27).