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Colts Wednesday Mailbag: Will Rookie Defensive End Henry Anderson Be A Starter In 2015?

Intro: This Wednesday, mailbag readers inquire about an update on Reggie Wayne, the defensive progress and all-time favorite Colts.





INDIANAPOLIS – Each week, readers of 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:Todd Perkins (Santa Barbara, CA)

I'm excited about the potential of Henry Anderson. Do you see him becoming a starter for the Colts this year? I think he will become a superstar at the next level.

Bowen: Todd has the opinion of many Colts fans, and even quite a few draft analysts. Anderson was pegged as a Colts steal when they took him near the end of the third-round back in early May. Now, I don't see Anderson turning into an immediate starter, unless an injury happens to Kendall Langford or Arthur Jones. That doesn't mean Anderson won't see plenty of defensive action as a rookie though. I fully expect Anderson to play a major role up front and it wouldn't surprise me if he hovered around 40-50 percent of defensive snaps per game. The Colts are definitely hoping they have found a player in Anderson, who they can plug into their defense their lineup for years to come.

Joel Cummins (Batesville, IN)

What's the status on runningback Tyler Varga? I've been a fan of his since his first year at Yale and I know we've had trouble rushing the ball. How are his chances at an active roster spot looking? The dudes an animal and I'd love to see him in blue and white

Bowen: Varga, who had two touchdowns in the 2015 Senior Bowl, is definitely going to be a player I will be watching come Training Camp in Anderson. Again, it's difficult for running backs to really stand out in the offseason program without pads being put on. Varga is a versatile back though, who has the upper body to be a short yardage/fullback type and a runner/blocker. The biggest burden Varga will face is something he has no control over. The Colts running back group is deep, with in all likelihood just three or four RB spots on the 53-man roster. Does Varga push guys like Vick Ballard, Zurlon Tipton and Josh Robinson for one of those spots or is the practice squad more of an option for the former Yale running back?

Don W (Indianapolis)

Quick question Kevin,

Has Andy Studabaker been picked up by any other team? If not is there a chance the Colts might pick him back up before the season starts? I thought he was one of the best special teamers the Colts have had in a long time. He definetly new how to lay the wood to the other team. Thanks!

Bowen: Veteran linebacker/special teamer Andy Studebaker remains a free agent. Playing for the Chiefs and Colts, Studebaker was always praised for what he brought to special teams units. I would think there's a chance for him to return to the Colts, as it does appear he wants to keep on playing after seven seasons in the NFL. The Colts do have ample outside linebacker depth (Studebaker's position), however. Check back with tomorrow for a piece on the Colts special teams unit and how coordinator Tom McMahon is looking to fill the voids of Studebaker and Sergio Brown.

Clark McGlauhaney (Pensacola, FL)

How cold does it get in Indianapolis in November? I will be attending the Broncos Colts game on Nov 8 and would like to know if I should pack jackets and jeans.

Bowen: I never thought I would need my grandpa's "Farmer's Almanac" to answer a mailbag question, but there's a first for everything. Before looking that up though, my simple answer is "YES". Living in the Midwest my entire life, you will need to pack for chilly temperatures in early November, especially when that game will end as the sun is beginning to set (4:25 p.m. EST kickoff). Averages that time of year hover just above 50 degrees. Of course, inside of Lucas Oil Stadium the temperature is ideal (pending the roof closed). Hope for the best, expect the worst?

Billy Setterman (Indianapolis)

Hey Kevin, who's your favorite player on the Colts? Who's your all-time favorite player for the Colts?

Bowen: Wow, what a question from Billy. Edgerrin James is probably my all-time favorite player, but I always loved the way Dominic Rhodes ran, too. I think you could definitely make an argument that Rhodes was the MVP of Super Bowl XLI. His 21-carry, 113-yard night in rainy Miami should not be forgotten. The Colts have had a history of those smaller school guys making it and Rhodes is definitely and example of that. As far as this current team, I'm going to go with Mike Adams. It says a lot about a player, who's a 10-year vet, to be on the street for about a month last spring then get signed at the end of the offseason program and turn in a Pro Bowl season. Adams isn't going to wow anyone with incredible athletic ability, but he was so sound at the back end of the Colts defense last season, after not cementing his spot in the starting lineup until the end of Training Camp.

Troy Click (Greenwood, IN)

Has any thing been heard of Reggie Wayne since he was released?

Bowen: Last we heard from Wayne was back at the College Slam Dunk Contest at Hinkle Fieldhouse in early April. By all accounts, Wayne still wants to play in 2015, in what would be his 15th NFL season. This next month or so is obviously when the calls should be coming in for Wayne. Are teams looking for a veteran addition to their wide receiver group before Training Camp? Does an early camp injury force a team to look at Wayne as an option?

Jeremy Anderson (Montgomery, AL)

Is there anything you can tell the fan base about the progress the defense if making? I know that they can't do too much without pads on, but are they communicating more effectively or understanding the principles or concepts of the defense to where they may be expected to perform faster and better?

Bowen: I'm glad this question was asked. I feel like in OTAs and mini-camp so much focus is on the offense, specifically the passing game. Let's be honest though, it is very difficult to project how the defense is going to translate from no pads in the spring, to full pads come Anderson. One thing that I do think is playing in the defense's favor this year is the consistency this time of year. At safety, Dwight Lowery and Mike Adams have worked exclusively together, which is a far cry from the in-and-out nature the first team defense had at safety last offseason. Then at inside linebacker D'Qwell Jackson and Jerrell Freeman are getting another offseason of work together. This is crucial when you hear defensive coordinator Greg Manusky stress the need to have better communication throughout the unit. When you couple that, with Manusky's fourth year in the system, I do think the mental side of things should be much further along for this group in 2015.

Jeanne Weaver (Berne, IN)

This is not a question but a comment. This past Saturday evening I was with my husband at his high school reunion. There was a retired teacher there who was 101 yrs old. Except for being somewhat hard of hearing and having mobility issues, she was very much with it. One of her favorite things is NFL football. When asked which is her favorite team she replied " The Colts, of course!" Makes me feel better at being a Colts football freak at the age of 68!

Bowen: Wow, that is impressive to say the least. Reaching the century mark is remarkable and, the Colts part aside, I love the fact that she went back to the high school reunion as a retired teacher.

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