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 D. (Indianapolis)
Now To See What takes place in a training camp coming up for the Indianapolis Colts, What is your thoughts on the backup QB situation? Also, for the defensive side of the football, is this the best defensive team in colts history after the recent signing of DT, Johnathan Hankins?
Bowen: 1. In the spring, we saw the backup quarterback as Scott Tolzien's job to lose. Tolzien took almost all of the first-team reps, with Luck sidelined. Unless something drastic changes in Training Camp, I'd expect Tolzien to be the guy Week One, if Luck can't go. I've said it before, it's very difficult for a coaching staff to make a decision on a backup QB. Do you want the safer bet in a guy like Tolzien, a veteran who has made three NFL starts? Or do you go with a guy like Morris, who might have more upside, but has also never taken an NFL snap. The good news for Morris? He should see more first-team action/overall playing time this preseason to impress, because of Luck likely being scaled back. 2. No, this is not the best defensive team in Colts history. This defense ranked 30th in the NFL last year and has now undergone a serious personnel overhaul. It's really difficult to project what this defense will look like in 2017. The signing of Hankins was vital. I see defensive improvement coming for sure. But it's going to take some time before you can throw that sort of label on the unit.
Jack M. (Huntington, IN)
If Clayton Geathers is not back by week one, who do think will start for the Colts? Will the Colts have the youngest offensive line next year if the went with Castonzo at LT, Mewhort at LG, Kelly at C, Haeg at RG, and Clark at RT? And my final question is if Luck and Geathers miss week one, would we lose?
Bowen: 1. If Clayton Geathers does indeed miss time, I'm going with a combination of Malik Hooker and Darius Butler at safety. I know those two guys are probably more "coverage" safeties, but I like that pairing. That's a good question on the offensive line. Without diving too deep into it (probably something I will do once the regular season starts), I'd think the Colts would easily have one of the youngest offensive lines in the NFL. Remind me to look that up once the regular season gets underway. 3. Hmm, great question. I think the Colts could still beat the Rams without those two. It would probably be a coin flip game, given we have no idea what the Rams have at quarterback.
Jacob B. (Cedarville, OH)
Hey Kevin. My question is why does the national media always make it seem like Peyton Manning is more of a bronco then a Colt? You always see him on national media in his broncos uniform not his colts. Is that because he was more recently a bronco? I just think it's unfair I think he's Indys QB and he's a colts legend. Also who's your top 10 quarterbacks ever? And what do you think should be the qualifications? Does super bowl wins really matter that much?
Bowen: Probably on the recent aspect of Manning playing with the Broncos. If this was Major League Baseball and players went into the Hall of Fame with just one team, Manning would definitely enter Canton as a Colt. No questions asked. If I was ranking, it would be a combination of things with Super Bowl wins certainly factoring in. At the end of the day, that's the pinnacle of the game. That has to weigh into a ranking. My top 10 (without too much research into specific detail): 1. Brady, 2. Montana, 3. Manning, 4. Graham, 5. Unitas, 6. Elway 7, Bradshaw, 8. Marino, 9. Young, 10. Rodgers.
Andy M. (Swedesboro, NJ)
WHEN WILL ANDREW LUCK START THROWING THE FOOTBALL ?
Bowen: Well, Andy I respect your urgency of the most important question of the offseason. In short, I have no idea when (or if) Luck will start throwing. That update should come next Saturday when the Colts begin their Training Camp. These are my thoughts on the Luck shoulder dilemma: My gut says Luck will be ready for Week One. But we need to see him start throwing really soon for that to happen. Unless the Colts sign a veteran quarterback in the coming week, I think that's another good sign for Luck's availability come Sept. 10. When Training Camp starts a week from Saturday, that will offer some more information on where Luck is rehab wise, thus leading to a more accurate answer to this question.
Luke R. (Rochester, NY)
Under a month until preseason begins, so hyped!
- Next year, Vontae Davis is set to be a free agent, and assuming Chris Ballard acts like he did this past offseason, he would probably want to let him walk in favor of someone younger, potentially better. It might be real early, but how should Ballard solve this problem next year?
- We saw that last year Rob Chudzinski's offense, as good as it was, proved to be a bit too simple for Luck, and it lacked a balanced passing game: mainly deep routes and 3-to-5 step dropbacks by Luck, and not enough of the shorter passing game that Luck does quite well. After 1 year with the system in place, could we see some more complex plays be implemented?
- If you had to guess, how long until Luck wins the Super Bowl?
Bowen: 1. The Davis' debate is going to be interesting to me. What if Davis goes out and has a Pro Bowl caliber year. With no crystal-clear picture of the cornerback future, wouldn't Ballard be more inclined to give Davis a short-ish deal and keep him? At the same time, Davis could be wanting to cash in on the biggest pay day possible. No matter what the Colts do with Davis, they need another cornerback early in the 2018 Draft. That's an absolute must. The Colts are going to have develop these young corners fast. 2. I think as long as the offensive line provides the necessary protection, then that's going to allow Rob Chudzinski to be as creative/complex as he wants to be. I don't think a "lack of complexity" is an issue for this offense. If you can execute the simpler stuff, that should cure all for the offense. 3. Purely, purely a guess here (obviously). I will say Andrew Luck wins a Super Bowl (at least one) before the end of this current contract. I believe with Chris Ballard at the reigns, this team/defense will have the makeup of a legit playoff contender in the next two-to-three years. Of course, the Patriots and how long their incredible run lasts will also have a lot to do with the Colts' chances for a deep playoff run.
Joshua L. (Camp Casey, South Korea)
Hey kevin, how are things going? My question is for next years draft. I would like to see us draft a top corner or linebacker with our 1st pick next year regardless of where we end up picking. I would love to see us go mostly defense next year as well. Do you foresee that happening or do you think it will end up being more balanced?
Bowen: I'm good, Joshua. Nice to hear from you again. I'm not of the thinking "best player available, no matter what" when it comes to draft philosophy. Especially not when the Colts need to continue the rebuilding on the defensive side of the ball. I can get fully behind the cornerback/linebacker choice in Round One of the 2018 NFL Draft. Just tell me where to sign up for that.
Eduardo C. (San Juan, Puerto Rico)
Hi Kevin. Got 2 questions for you this week. Where does T.Y. Hilton stack up history wise for receivers as far as receptions and yards during the first five years in the NFL?? What place does he occupy on those lists?? The other question is in reference to your golf game, since you have expressed your liking of the game. What kind of player are you?? What is your handicap, if any?? Thanks again for all your great answers and insight into what goes on with our COLTS!!!!
Bowen: 1. Hilton's 374 receptions through his first five seasons are good for 16th on the all-time list. He's top 10 in receiving yards for any player through the first years of a career. Some people might disagree, but Hilton is putting together the early imprint on a Hall of Fame career. 2. I'm right around a five handicap or so. I played in high school and was fortunate enough to be on a state championship team here in Indiana (thanks to my teammates!). I love the game. The ability to play it your entire life, with all ages of people, is something I look forward to continuing.
Ryan B. (Cheshire, UK)
Hey Kevin! Thanks for answering our questions twice a week! My only must-read webpage every week.
Firstly, with Le'Veon Bell not signing a long term deal after Monday's franchise tag deadline, if he was hypothetically to hit the open market next season, do you think the Colts would pursue him as much as some other teams?
Secondly, is TJ Green going to get any playing time this year or is he a long-term project for the Colts?
Thanks for doing this every week, and GO COLTS!!
Bowen: I appreciate that, Ryan. 1. I do not. You threw in the phrase "as much as other teams" and that's a big reason why I don't think the Colts would be as active in such a pursuit. Bell is an unbelievable talent. The Colts do have a need for a future running back. But I think the needs on defense are still too immense for the Colts to also have enough ammo for a Bell contract. Bell is going to demand quite the pay day. I just don't see how the Colts can get into that type of bidding war, while also taking care of things on defense and re-signing some key free agents. 2. While I do not see T.J. Green competing for a starting job, I still believe he could factor into some sub packages. But it's no guarantee that Green will find his way into playing time. Green has the athletic ability that you want on the field, but he's got to earn that playing time in a crowded safety position.
Mark M. (Utah)
Hey Kevin, two questions for you. (1) With the Panthers firing Dave Gettleman, do you think Chris Ballard would have any interest in bringing him into he front office? The man obviously knows how to build a good defense. (2) I just had surgery yesterday to fix a torn ACL and meniscus and my Dr. said that two out of three times when someone tears there ACL they also tear their Meniscus. Do you know if that is similar in the NFL. It seems that is never mentioned because they only really mention the ACL (Henry Anderson, Adrian Peterson, Jordy Nelson Tyranne Mathieu). I mostly just ask because that seems to be the more painful injury but has quicker recovery.
Bowen: 1. I'm not sure. If your Gettleman, 66, wouldn't you probably just be okay with taking the year off and going after a GM opening next year? At that age, I would want one more chance at being the head man of a personnel department. Looking at their history, it doesn't appear Ballard and Gettleman ever crossed paths. 2. I do not. I haven't really heard of that high of a percentage when ACL injuries are announced in the NFL. That seems really high.
Andre M. (Fayetteville, AR)
So I know Coach Pagano is debating
whether to tackle during trading camps. My question is is there a league rule on this or is left up to the discression of each team?
Bowen: No league rule. The main rule regarding the physicality at Training Camp is that full pads cannot be worn until the third day on the practice field. But in terms of how "live" teams go with practices, there's no restriction on that. It's a team decision.
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.