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INDIANAPOLIS – Readers of 1070TheFan.com can submit their questions to have a chance of them being answered in our mailbag.
Submit your questions here.
Here is the collection of Tuesday questions:
Malik (Franklin, TN)
Hey Kevin, thanks for all the Colts updates throughout the season. I’ve listened to your podcasts this week and I guess my question would be, do you think the colts are ignoring the problem at the corner position? Some good play has come from Kenny Moore but this group has been lit up by subpar QB’s. Do you think Ballard will put an emphasis on this in the off season?
Bowen: Thanks for sending in a question, Malik. It was clear coming out of the Colts offseason in 2018, they felt very good about their young corners and did not feel the need to address wide receiver as that big of a priority in their eyes. With corner, we have not seen the necessary jumps from Quincy Wilson or Nate Hairston. You are spot on with Kenny Moore, who does look like a more than capable corner moving forward. But Wilson and Hairston, two other second-year players, have not done enough. Given the scheme, I think that was a reason why Chris Ballard did not feel the need to go out there and pay top dollar or use any draft pick on a cornerback. Ballard also wanted to see his younger guys play and didn’t want to overcrowd that position in stunting the growth of those players. But if this cornerback play keeps up, and the struggles in the secondary continue, then Ballard will not have a choice. He will need to upgrade at corner, especially with some definite concerns on Wilson as he heads into a very critical third season in 2019.
Nick (Tampa, FL)
Hey Kevin, With such an impressive draft class, do you think Ballard as a legitimate chance at GM of the Year? I know the end of season record may not indicate it, but building a foundation for this new team is enough in my eyes. Also, I think that the Offensive Line stats should be enough as a long tenured problem in Indy looks to finally be fixed! Any response is appreciated!
Bowen: Honestly, I don’t think he does. And that’s not to say Ballard has not done a lot of good for this organization. But unless the wins turn around, he’s not going to garner major consideration from around the league. People voting on such an award are not going to look that deep for candidates. They will just assume Andrew Luck was the difference in the Colts improving by a few wins. The Colts would have to win like 9 or 10 games for Ballard to receive legit consideration for the award. That’s just how those end-of-the-year awards typically go. But there’s no denying the fixing of the offensive line, plus the incredibly strong 2018 draft class have been major wins for the Colts this season.
Juan (Bogota, Colombia)
Hey Kevin, hope you are great and enjoying the bye week. Have a couple questions. Do you think Ballard will decide to complement next year’s draft with a couple free agents, specially for the defense, so that they can make a jump on that side? My other question is that knowing that the offense has really found a grove, do you really think we can sustain this given that the rest of teams we face are not really better? Finally, will the colts officially retire numbers 98 and 87? No one is using them…. thank you and keep up the great work!
Bowen: Hey Juan, thanks for sending in a question and always following along. 1. I do. Now, the question becomes how significant will those FA moves be. The Colts do have to start spending some more money than they have in Ballard’s first two free agencies, given the CBA. Bolstering the defensive depth is needed because we’ve seen that side of the ball slip up when injuries have occurred. On offense, you really don’t need to make big moves at QB, RB, TE or even on the OL (mostly depth needed there). 2. I think the offense is on an upward trend. Now, the incredible run game production isn’t sustainable at that level, but I still think it can be a part of the offense to use. Same goes with the pass protection. But with the healthy returns of Anthony Castonzo, Jack Doyle, T.Y. Hilton and Marlon Mack, I look at this offense as a unit that will to do the heavy lifting for the Colts in the second half of the season. 3. For now, no retirement of those numbers. But we will see No. 87 (Reggie Wayne) back inside of Lucas Oil Stadium next week to be inducted into the team’s Ring of Honor. I see both sides to retiring these numbers and also not putting them away for good. Nonetheless, both players were tremendous talents that will have their Hall of Fame resumes debated in the next handful of years.
Which Pacer Legend does Sabonis remind you of most? Hint: start with a “J” and ends with an “eff Foster”
Bowen: Jeff ‘bleepin’ Foster. An iconic name enters this edition of the mailbag. What a solid, solid career Foster carved out in Indiana. Drafted out of the basketball pipeline that is Texas State, Foster played for the Pacers from 1999-2012 and always was a reliable glass presence (something this team could use now). Fast forward to present day, and Domantas Sabonis is vastly more skilled than Foster. Look, Foster was a great rebounder. But he had nowhere near the half-court ability that Sabonis brings. Sabonis is one of the more skilled big guys you will find in today’s NBA, when also talking about players under the age of 25. The Pacers are teetering on that, ‘Should we insert Sabonis into the starting lineup?’ debate very soon. Thanks for the Jeff Foster name drop into the mailbag, Nick. This mailbag just got grittier with this entry.
Michael (Los Angeles)
Could Kemoko Turay and Tyquan Lewis be long-term solutions for the Colts defensive line?
Bowen: The entire solution? No. Part of the solution? Without a doubt. Even if Lewis makes his debut this month and has 3-4 sacks in the season’s close, these two guys alone will not solve the Colts’ need along their defensive front. Indianapolis is actually pretty old with its starting defensive line, so they will need reinforcements to join the likes of Turay and Lewis (plus possibly a Hassan Ridgeway, Grover Stewart or Al-Quadin Muhammad). I still view defensive line as a major need going into 2019, maybe the biggest. Turay has shown nice flashes, and Lewis is someone the staff loves, but the Colts need more than that.
Jesse (Jasper, IN)
Hey Kevin! After watching the Jets game, would you rather have Henry Anderson or Zaire Franklin? Second question. Who will have the most combined rushing/receiving yards at the end of their Colts career, Wilkins or Hines? Thanks, love the mailbag!
Bowen: 1. This is a question we received last month, but still has relevance today. I’m a big Henry Anderson fan. And I’m also of the belief that you can find fits for good football players, no matter the scheme. But I get why Chris Ballard made the move. He didn’t see Anderson as an ideal fit in this 4-3 defense and the D-line position was very crowded (hence the eventual cutting of a John Simon, too). Ballard was all-in on draft picks this year and at least the Colts have received some production from Franklin at linebacker. I didn’t love the trade, but I get it. 2. Hines. If you’ve listened to my podcast, you know that I’m a big fan of Hines. I just think his gadget ability to be a hybrid receiver will lead to him having more touches and more production. But I do like what Wilkins has showed early in his NFL career.
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