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Colts Wednesday Mailbag: Will Antonio Morrison Be In The Starting Linebacker Competition?

Intro: This Wednesday, mailbag readers inquire about Jonotthan Harrison potentially playing guard, the starting defensive line in 2016 and possible undrafted free agents making the final roster.

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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:Dustin P. (Virginia)

Hey Kevin I have a few questions for you!!

  1. What are your thought on new Ilb Antonio Morrison? I personally think if he work hard during training camp he has a chance to start and really contribute this year.
  1. With the Olb Being selected in the draft being Trevor bates. Okine Switching positions!! And two stand out udfa Olb. How do you think our pass rush will look? Trevor bates a a good player to be groomed and develop. No one really knows what Okine can do as a stand up Olb. And Thompson and Maggit are going to be steal if we can use them right. With Mathis,walden, and Coke already on the roster I don't see the colts putting four more young Olb to the final roster. Who would you like to see make the cut? I say Thompson Maggit and Bates.
  1. I think it's something like 17 years straight the colts have had at least one udfa make the final roster and contribute. This year I think multiple udfa making the final roster. Josh Fregsoun, Danny Anthrop, Teavun Smith, Maggit, Ron Thompson,Darian Griswald and Recently signed Frankie Williams in my opinion could all make the final roster and contribute big time. How many and which udfa do you think will make the final roster?

Thank you for the time Go colts!!

Bowen: It wouldn't be a mailbag without Dustin firing in the questions. 1. I think Antonio Morrison is going to be thrown into the linebacker competition next to D'Qwell Jackson. If Morrison can show the ability to handle the playbook, he will compete with the likes of Nate Irving/Sio Moore for that starting role. 2. From a numbers standpoint, you rarely see teams keep more than 5-to-6 outside linebackers on the roster. That number might even be a little high. For those guys to stay on the roster, they MUST carve out a role on special teams. That's where their early playing time will come. Then you have to think the Colts would like to keep a guy on the practice squad, too. It's going to be virtually impossible for all four of those names to make the 53-man roster. It's just a numbers game until we see the full pads on in July/August. 3. If seven undrafted free agents make the Week One roster that might set an NFL record. I do see the ability for several guys to challenge for the final roster spots. The positions I'll be watching out of that group are running back, wide receiver, tight end, outside linebacker, cornerback and safety. Again, special teams is going to be a major deciding factor in filling out those positions groups.

Marc B. (Newcastle, UK)

I'm always excited by the prospect of NFL games in London but this year my colts will finally hit this side of the pond and I'm looking forward to meeting any and all indy fans who decide to make the trip (the Atlanta fans from 2014 are the benchmark anyone representing Indy has to aim for by the way) I want to plan my trip to London for October and I'm wondering if there will be opportunities for fans to attend practise or any meet and greets or any events the colts do during their trip to the uk and if so, when and how will these events be announced? Thanks in advance Kevin keep up the good work

Bowen: Marc, I haven't seen anything set in stone for when the Colts will arrive and what events might come about between then and the game. Along with Colts.com, I would keep an eye on the NFL's UK website for information about the week leading up to Oct. 2. Anything I see/hear about I will obviously tweet out and post on Colts.com.

Aidan M. (Ireland)

Hi Kevin,

Love your views. My question is who do you see as your starting defensive line next season? I loved the Hassan Ridgeway pick, I thoughy he was a steal in the 4th. I think I would like to see him start over Parry as he can bring more of a pass rush, but Parry did do a solid job all season for us last year. Overall I'm excited about this line, if Anderson (stud) and Jones can come back from their injuries, it could make for a serious unit in 2016.

Bowen: This is a great question. You do return the starting defensive line from last season in David Parry, Kendall Langford and Henry Anderson (his health will be a question to watch early in the season). Arthur Jones could be a starting candidate, too, with his health also in question. I'm not sure if a fourth-round pick would supplant a 16-game starter at nose tackle, but I do think you will see plenty of rotation within this group. You are right in that if this group can stay healthy, it will probably be the deepest position group on the defense.

Robert B. (Indianapolis)

What is the status of Vick Ballard and Josh Robinson. Thought I saw that Ballard was resigned to futures contract, possibly one last chance at camp? I thought Robinson showed some promise before injury. Are either of them in the picture for camp this year and possible place on roster?

Bowen: Vick Ballard was actually just waived by the New Orleans Saints. Injuries have sadly halted a career that started with so much promise in 2012. Josh Robinson wasn't re-signed back in January and is no longer on the roster. As of right now, these guys are on the open market. With the moves the Colts have made this offseason at running back, it doesn't look like they are in the running to add either of those bodies in the backfield.

Jim S. (Belmont, NC)

Considering the Colts' need for outside linebackers, wide receivers & another running back, what players do you see other teams cutting that may fit our needs?

Bowen: Jim, I'm not going to sit here and lie to try and pry names out of thin air from other team's rosters. I don't know other teams that well to be able to make an educated guess on possible roster cuts. I do think the Colts really like what they have in their undrafted class at the positions you mentioned above. That route should (and will) be explored first before spending elsewhere. Again, funds are tight when conjecturing about other signings.

Zack B. (Indianapolis)

Hey Kevin! What a great draft we had!

I have 3 questions for you.

  1. With the Colts getting Le'Raven Clark could he start at right tackle or guard?
  1. Are the Colts looking to use T.j Green at CB or let him learn behind Mike Adams and become one of our safteys of the future?
  1. Could Antonio Morrison be a starter next to Jackson? He is a very skilled guy and im excited for next season!

Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions Kevin!!!

Bowen: 1. The Colts are initially working with Le'Raven Clark at right tackle but there's been talk of his ability to play guard as well. I think this picture will become clearer once minicamp rolls around and once we see the first couple of practices in Anderson. 2. T.J. Green is going to be a safety for the Colts. Yes, he's the future behind Mike Adams. 3. Toss Antonio Morrison's name into the mix at inside linebacker. Chuck Pagano mentioned such on draft night. In my opinion, this is easily the position battle to watch on the defensive side of the ball this offseason.

Isak H. (Mexico City)

Hi! It's been a while. I wanted to say, great OL draft, nice picks. I wanted to ask, now that the colts drafted both Ryan Kelly and Austin Blythe, and also cut Khaled Holmes, could Jonathan Harrison see the same fate as Holmes at some point? Thank you.

Bowen: There's going to certainly be competition for the backup center spot behind Ryan Kelly. I think a big element of that battle come Training Camp will be which guy can show guard flexibility. There are not a bunch of guards on this roster. Whoever is dressing come game day is going to have to have the ability to play guard. Blythe did it for a year in college. Harrison has done it on a limited basis in the NFL. I think that aspect of the competition will go a long way in who makes the 53-man roster and/or who is the main interior guy dressing on game days this season.

Dave H. (Sebring, FL)

some of the draft picks have good size, but are under weight? will the staff have these players add the weight? I have always felt if this team starts playing more physical with a swagger mean attitude on both sides we would go far?

Bowen: Dave, I can assure you the rookies will be introduced to an NFL weight room and what the Colts' new strength program is all about in 2016.

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