Zach Bolinger | Getty Images
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 Saturday questions:
Kevin (Noginsk, Russia)
What are your thoughts on what you have seen from Marcus Johnson? When could we see him get some playing time?
Bowen: Honestly, I haven’t really seen anything. He was inactive in Week One and played just 5 snaps in Week Two, with no targets. Frank Reich is really, really high on Johnson though. “I really like Marcus,” Reich said earlier this month. “Marcus has really good traits. He’s got good vertical speed. He’s got good feet. He’s got good size. I mean, really, in a lot of ways, Marcus is the prototypical receiver in the NFL. I mean, I like everything about Marcus. I just don’t think Marcus has had the right opportunity. He has a chance of getting that here, and we’ll see what he does.” Right now, it’s hard to see Johnson overtaking Ryan Grant or Chester Rogers in those three wideout packages. Given Reich’s affinity with Johnson’s vertical speed, it will be interesting to see if that gets scripted into the game plan at all moving forward. I think the earliest we see Johnson involved more consistently is around October, but I’m not holding my breath just yet.
John (Buenos Aires)
According to the draft nuts out there, the 2019 class is strong/deep with OT, DT, DE, and WR. Coincidentally, Colts could address all of those positions. Which of those positions would you be more inclined to draft in round 1 of the 2019 draft?
Bowen: Love a good draft question this time of year (seriously). Let’s go with DT, OT, WR, DE in that order. Honestly, you could interchange several of those in my mind. But I think a stud 3-technique defensive tackle would go a long way for this team. You could definitely use another offensive tackle with Anthony Castonzo reaching the age of 30. The same could be said for wide receiver, too, with T.Y. Hilton turning 29 in November. And pass rush off the edge is always a need, but you do have some young guys who could play there. Man, it would be nice if the Colts had about four first-round picks?
Paul (Fairbanks, AK)
What is your brutally honest opinion of why Basham and Quincy has not been able to take the next step & start for this team? After one week of football – what is the one position that Colts have the biggest need at?
Bowen: I just don’t think Basham has the variety of pass rushing moves needed to impact at this level. At times, you’ve worried about his conditioning and ability to play on run downs, too. Maybe the jump from the MAC level to NFL offensive tackles was too immense for the third-round pick. We saw Basham was a healthy scratch in Week Two and he’s fallen behind new defensive end Al-Quadin Muhammad on the depth chart. With Wilson, I think it’s just been a consistency thing and the emergence of Kenny Moore, too. When Wilson has played, I really think the season opener against the Bengals is the only game where he’s truly not looked good. Outside of that, Wilson has not been a total abomination in games. Clearly, there’s a consistency issue in practice for the 22-year-old cornerback. Wilson is out this week after suffering a concussion in the win over the Washington Football Team. As far as biggest need, I would say edge rusher or wide receiver for the biggest need.
With their limited time with the team, have you seen any flashes or promise with Pipkins, Muhammad, and/or Ward?
Bowen: Tim, unfortunately we don’t get to watch practice during the regular season (outside of stretching and some individual drills). So evaluations on those guys are pretty limited. Here are some of my thoughts on those three though. 1. Pipkins was around the ball a decent amount in the second half of the preseason finale. He just got knocked off the 53-man roster though, because the Colts needed a roster spot for Erik Swoope. I can’t see Pipkins climbing into the top 4 of this depth chart anytime soon, with the team also wanting Chris Milton for special teams. I think those four: Kenny Moore, Nate Hairston, Pierre Desir and Quincy Wilson are pretty entrenched for now, but maybe Wilson’s concussion will open the door for Pipkins, who was inactive last week. 2. Muhammad definitely looks the part. He’s an imposing figure at 6-4 and 250 pounds. Muhammad had a tackle for loss in 20 snaps during the season opener. He then played 46 snaps in Week Two, finishing with 4 tackles and actually logged a handful of plays more than Kemoko Turay. There’s a steep drop to Tarell Basham in that DE pecking order of young guys. 3. Ward has a pretty impressive resume as a second-round pick. He was needed in Week Two in place of Denico Autry (injured) and had a terrific bullrush sack in the 4th quarter, along with a trio of quarterback hurries. I’m curious to see how Ward will fit into the depth alongside Hassan Ridgeway and Grover Stewart. He should play a decent amount Sunday with Autry and Ridgeway out.
Leonardo (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Hi Kevin. We’ve just seen Bridgewater being traded to Saints for 3rd round pick. Based on it, what would be the price tag on Brissett? Regards.
Bowen: We got this question a few weeks back, but I think it’s still relevant. So Bridgewater is 17-11 as a starting quarterback, completing 64.7 percent of his passes with 28 touchdowns and 22 interceptions. He led the Vikings to a playoff appearance in the 2015 season. To me, Bridgewater, even with the catastrophic knee injury, has a higher value than Brissett. Yes, Brissett is a year younger and doesn’t have the major injury on his resume, but he also doesn’t have the same starting experience, with wins to show for it at the Bridgewater level. I would guess Brissett would be more in the 4th round range as a price tag. Maybe a team that suffers a big time QB injury as the season goes along, could panic and make a move for Brissett? I’m still not ready to go there just yet and it would take a desperate team to offer a 4th round pick or better.