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Stampede Blue Tweetbag: Talking LaRon Landry, Ricky Jean Francois, and More

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Stampede Blue's Josh Wilson answers questions about the Colts submitted via twitter.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Answering your twitter questions about the Colts:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" lang="en"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/Coltsfanwilson">@Coltsfanwilson</a> With the potential loss of Wayne for two weeks. Will we see more Moncrief or Nicks?</p>&mdash; X-35C (@X_35C_BACE) <a href="https://twitter.com/X_35C_BACE/status/524373854907408384">October 21, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

What you're alluding to is the report from RTV6's Mike Chappell last night, that Reggie Wayne's elbow injury isn't considered to be serious but that he very well might miss "a game or two."  We wrote about the report and the implications of it last night so I'd encourage giving that a read, but in short: yes, if Reggie does miss any time we will see more of Nicks and Moncrief.  Hakeem Nicks will obviously get the first shot at filling in, but based on what I've seen from him this year I'm not convinced he can handle it well enough for the Colts not to continue to increase Donte Moncrief's snap counts.  He already played more snaps than Nicks on Sunday, and I've said before that the more I see Nicks the more I want to see Moncrief.  I think that, if Reggie does miss time, Nicks will get plenty of opportunities to replace him, but so will Moncrief, and if Nicks continues to play the way he has then Moncrief will continue to take more and more of Nicks' snaps.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" lang="en"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/Coltsfanwilson">@Coltsfanwilson</a> i think this team is really turning into a good running and stop the run team. Thoughts on them finally being smashmouth</p>&mdash; Ryan Noblitt (@RyanNoblitt) <a href="https://twitter.com/RyanNoblitt/status/524374270001283072">October 21, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

When Chuck Pagano was hired as Colts head coach, this past Sunday's win over the Bengals was the vision of the kind of game he wanted to play.  This was exactly what Pagano has dreamed of since taking over.  Indy's defense completely dominated the Bengals, holding them to zero points, forcing eleven punts, allowing just one third down conversion, recording four sacks, and allowing just 135 total yards.  It was as well as the Colts defense has played in a long, long time.  Furthermore, the Colts ran the ball 34 times for 171 yards and a touchdown, averaging 5.0 yards per carry.  Andrew Luck threw for 344 yards and two scores.  This was almost the exact picture of what Pagano has wanted to build in Indianapolis.  It wasn't perfect, but it was darn close and the Colts were great in almost every area.  Pagano has long said that he wants to dominate in all three areas of the game, and on Sunday the Colts did.  Pagano is a defensive coach, and on Sunday his defense was completely dominant.  Pagano wants to be able to run the ball, and the Colts did as well on Sunday as they have in a while.  This is the monster that Pagano wanted to build, and while he's quick to point out that there's still a lot of work to do, I'll be quick to point out that there's still a lot to like from Sunday's win.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" lang="en"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/Coltsfanwilson">@Coltsfanwilson</a> if he keeps playing at such a high level, do you think Castonzo&#39;s name will be in the mix for a Pro-bowl?</p>&mdash; Jordan Harris (@Harris2732) <a href="https://twitter.com/Harris2732/status/524374661941825536">October 21, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

The Pro Bowl has become more of a popularity contest in recent years, and it's even harder to determine offensive linemen for the Pro Bowl, but if we're looking at how Antony Castonzo has played through the first seven weeks of the season, I think he has to be in the discussion, yes.  Notice we're not talking about the left side of the line as a problem at all this year, and Castonzo is a big reason why.  He has been the Colts' best linemen for a few years now, and this year he's playing even better than he did last year, I think.  He might not be the best left tackle in football, but he's definitely a very good one deserving consideration for the Pro Bowl if he keeps this play up.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" lang="en"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/Coltsfanwilson">@Coltsfanwilson</a> is Jonnathon Harrison the long term plan for Center or will 2015 draft/FA continue to look. Playing quite well thus far.</p>&mdash; Kyle (@KRJindy) <a href="https://twitter.com/KRJindy/status/524374848949088256">October 21, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

The Colts really believe that Jonotthan Harrison has the potential to be their center of the future, yes.  I was impressed with him before he even played a snap, but since he's been playing I think he's done better than expected.  The bad snaps and miscommunications have been a big issue that need working out, but hopefully those things have been worked out, as there weren't any problems this past Sunday.  In terms of his blocking, he has been very good.  He had a rough debut, but since then I think he has played well - especially considering the fact that he's an undrafted free agent.  While I thought that benching A.Q. Shipley for Harrison was the wrong move in the moment, I admit that the move has already begun to make sense and to work out.  The Colts think they have their long-term center for quarterback Andrew Luck, and I really think Harrison could be as well.  There's a lot to like from him, but let's also caution the optimism with this: it has been only three games.  So far, however, I think it's hard not to be impressed overall with him and hopeful for the future.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" lang="en"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/Coltsfanwilson">@Coltsfanwilson</a> Do you expect the Colts to make a trade before the trade deadline?</p>&mdash; Steven Pearlstein (@SPearlstein2) <a href="https://twitter.com/SPearlstein2/status/524374893157027841">October 21, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

If you want to read more into my thoughts on this, I wrote last week about the possibility of the Colts making a trade.  Basically, I don't anticipate any moves being made at this moment, nor have I heard anything legitimate yet about a potential trade involving a Colts player, but we also must account for the fact that Ryan Grigson is the team's general manager and he has been known to make trades in the past.  In the NFL, things can change quickly so we absolutely can't rule out the possibility.  All I can say is that currently there isn't anything on the horizon, but things can change.  Let me also note that I would be totally fine with the Colts not making any trades, as Grigson is reportedly trying to stock up draft picks (which is smart).  So, to answer your question - at the moment, I don't expect anything.  But we can't say anything for sure until the October 28th trade deadline.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" lang="en"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/StampedeBlue">@StampedeBlue</a> do art jones and landry reinsert themselves into the starting lineup after injury/suspension?</p>&mdash; David Hill (@thedavidhill) <a href="https://twitter.com/thedavidhill/status/524375595266764800">October 21, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

There was one question that I was asked more than any others, and it was this one - what will/should happen when LaRon Landry returns from his suspension?  And I think that's a very, very interesting question.  I think we all know how Landry played before his suspension, and it was not good.  Landry was bad enough that, when he was suspended, many fans made comments like "only four games?" or "I wish it was longer."  Landry just was not playing well at all early this year and a case could be made that he was playing worse than any of the other starters (and it's not like he played that well last year, either).  Meanwhile, Sergio Brown has done an admirable job filling in for Landry during the suspension - which ends following this Sunday's game against the Steelers.  Brown hasn't been spectacular - that is something driven by fans sick of Landry.  But Brown has been a reliable, consistent player in the secondary who has played solid football, and that is something the Colts desperately lack with Landry.  I don't think there's any question about who the better safety has been this year for the Colts - Sergio Brown has clearly outplayed LaRon Landry.  So that brings us to the question of what the Colts will do following Landry's suspension.  Based on what we've seen, I think it should be to stick with Brown.  But based on what I know of the team and what my gut feeling is, I think they'll likely go back to Landry.  While I don't want to go too far into statements like this, I think the decision the Colts make will show us a bit where they stand - are they truly making decisions based on play and best chance to win or based on what they've invested in guys?  I applaud Ryan Grigson and Chuck Pagano for not forcing Khaled Holmes into the lineup just because they drafted him, and hopefully that thinking carries over to this decision too.  Landry shouldn't be given his starting spot back just because of what the Colts have invested in him.  Ultimately, the Colts have to weigh this question - do they go with Landry, who's talent is better and who's upside is higher when playing well, or do they go with Brown, who has been consistent and solid for the team this year?  If it were me, Sergio Brown would continue to start even when Landry's suspension is up.  But for the Colts, I think the decision will be much harder and much more complicated, and my gut says they'll go back to Landry.  Ultimately, however, we'll just have to wait and see.

I also included this question because I liked the part about Ricky Jean Francois, too.  I don't think many people are talking about this one, but the Colts have another guy returning soon (this Sunday, most likely) who the team has a lot invested in and who's talent is very high but who wasn't great early on, and a guy who has filled in for him who has played very well.  Of course, here I'm talking about Arthur Jones (who has been injured and out since week two) and RJF.  Jean Francois has been very good this year, and he deserves a lot of credit for improving after a bad year last year.  He has stepped up into a much bigger role with Jones' out and has been a huge part of that defensive line.  While I think Brown should continue to replace Landry, I do think that Arthur Jones should definitely retake his starting spot upon his return.  After all, we saw just a game and a half from him.  There's no reason for the Colts to move away from him now, and so I fully expect the Colts to start Jones when he's back and I think that's totally the right decision.  That said, RJF has proven that he deserves significant playing time, and the Colts should continue to work on getting him that playing time and allowing him to continue to make plays.