Week 1 Mailbag


What’s up, Colts fans? The regular season. It’s here. Finally.

The team set off a bit of a firestorm within the fan base on Saturday, when they announced the release of one of their top defensive players, John Simon. I was initially confused by the move, but if you think it over, the move makes sense. If you say you’re going to build with youth and create depth, then you don’t keep a John Simon around at the expense of reps for guys like Autry, Turay, and Basham. John Simon is a good player, no doubt, but he is not going to be the difference between you making the playoffs or missing the playoffs. This wasn’t a “now” move by Ballard. It was a long term one. We’ll see how it plays out.

Let’s see what’s on your minds…

1. How many losses do we need for a shot at drafting Nick Bosa? – Seth

It’s barely September, so things will change drastically by the time we get to the combine and draft, but right now Bosa is considered the top pass rusher in the college game. In his season debut against Oregon State, Bosa wrecked the Beavers with 2 sacks, 2 tackles for loss, and a fumble recovery for a TD.

Absolutely knowing nothing about the future, right now I’d say 10 losses could garner the Colts a legit chance to grab Bosa – especially if Ballard’s willing to deal, which he’s shown he has.

2. Who is going to be the breakout player this year? – Nate

Probably some random 6th round pick of the Patriots who will end up making several huge catches as they win yet another AFCCG.

Wait, you meant for the Colts? Right, right.

I’m going to go with Malik Hooker. I’m not sure if I’m choosing him so much because I truly believe it, or because I think the team truly needs it. Maybe both.

Bottom line: this defense is going to struggle. They’re going to need every bit of Hooker’s play-making magic to help them out. The injury history is a concern, but I think he does it.

3. What do you expect out of Frank Reich? – Amy Louise

I expect him to say “please” and “thank you” while at the dinner table.

There was a lot made out of the other guy backing out of his commitment to coach the Colts. A lot of people really wanted that guy. I wasn’t among them:

Why am I sharing that? Because I saw an awful lot of “JOSH MCDANIELS IS GAWD!” stuff quickly followed up by “I NEVER WANTED THAT SNAKE ANYWAY!” from the same people, and I am not one of them.

Reich is the subject here, though, and I’m a fan.

What to expect:

A guy who will work his rear end off.

A guy who will make decisions based on the team, rather than emotion.

A guy who will not make excuses, and not base his philosophy on stupid things like chopping wood and sharpening iron.

A guy with a wealth of knowledge on the offensive side of the ball.

What we don’t know:

His ability to react to the opponent adjusting to his game plans. This is especially key on defense. Will he allow Eberflus to make those calls, or will he want a say? Reich strikes me as a “buck stops here” type, so I expect his fingerprints all over this team, regardless of which side of the ball we’re talking.

His ability to manage a game. When to call a timeout or when to challenge a call, things like that. Actually, I think it’s less “when to” and more “when not to.” His predecessor was awful at these things. It shouldn’t take much to be better.

Don’t expect any miracles this season. Remember, experience aside, Reich *is* a rookie head coach with a pretty young roster. There will be growing pains. When all’s said and done though, I suspect the Colts will be satisfied with Reich being the man calling the shots.

4. Is Mack going to be healthy to start against the Bengals? – Jason

The team is practicing today (Monday), and Mack is not participating. According to the team website’s depth chart – which is woefully outdated – Mack is RB1 and Robert Turbin is RB2.

At this moment, I wouldn’t expect Mack to even be active, let alone start against the Bengals. Expect Jordan Wilkins and Christine Michael to shoulder the burden. I’m ok with sitting Mack week 1. I feel like they can beat the Bengals without him. We’ll see.

5. Why won’t Luck just accept the fact that he’s going bald? How many seasons till he shaves his head? – Ryan

As someone without a lot of hair, I can see this from multiple sides. On one hand, I feel like he should hold on to what he’s got. Never give in. On the other, sometimes people need to admit defeat. I don’t feel like Andrew’s at the latter stage yet, so there will be no head shaving unless he joins a cult on his next visit to Europe.

Personally, I think Andrew should grow a mullet. It would work. Tell me it wouldn’t.

Thanks for the questions.


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