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Stampede Blue Tweetbag: Castonzo, Schedule, Draft, and More!

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

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Answering your twitter questions about the Colts:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p><a href="">@Coltsfanwilson</a> Khaled Homes = Start Center? When X Nixon, UFA, never played Guard in his life, was chosen over Holmes to play @ KC. Really?</p>&mdash; hmmm (@yesper8231) <a href="">April 25, 2014</a></blockquote>

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First off, let me just say that the center position was once again the one I got the most questions about.  And let me also add that I echo your concerns about the position.  I have stated numerous times how I have serious doubts about counting on Khaled Holmes to just step in and start because, well, if he couldn't get more playing time last year with that offensive line, then that raises red flags for me.  Keep in mind, however, that Ryan Grigson doesn't necessarily like playing rookie linemen (even though he was forced to in Hugh Thornton) and Holmes missed all of training camp with an injury, putting him behind in attempting to learn and adjust to the NFL level.  It's quite possible that the management and coaching staff really wanted to ease him into it and that essentially meant a redshirt season last year.  As we know, just because a guy redshirts or doesn't play his first year, it doesn't automatically mean that he's a bad player.  For all we know, Khaled Holmes could step in and play well, solidifying himself as the center of the future.  I'm absolutely, 100% all for giving him a shot.  Where I have doubts is in the fact that the Colts are counting so heavily on him -  the only move they made to address the position was signing Phil Costa, and now he's retired.  The issue I have is not starting Khaled Holmes.  The problem I have is that they're counting so heavily on it working out.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p><a href="">@Coltsfanwilson</a> you&#39;re Grigson you&#39;re on the clock pick 59, who are you taking and why?</p>&mdash; UK Colts Fan (@UKColtsFans) <a href="">April 25, 2014</a></blockquote>

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Let me begin this with a plug to come back on April 30th to see Brad Wells' selection in the SB Nation mock for the Colts.  He let me know who he chose and we discussed it a bit, and it's a very solid pick.  But I won't reveal that here; instead I'll talk about who I would take at pick number 59 if I were Ryan Grigson.  The three positions I can see the Colts going with here are wide receiver, safety, or center.  If it were me, I'd take a safety.  I do think the Colts need to add another center and they do need to look at getting a long-term option at receiver and this is certainly a very deep draft at the position, but I think the most pressing need is safety and there should be some good players still available.  Guys like Washington State's Deone Buccannon, Northern Illinois's Jimmie Ward, and Florida State's Terrence Brooks should definitely draw looks from the Colts if they're still there, and I think they would have to be very intriguing options.  I'll look more at potential safeties for the Colts in the second round later this week and be sure to check back for Brad's selection, but if it were up to me, I'd be going with a safety.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p><a href="">@Coltsfanwilson</a> Although Reggie will be #1 on the depth chart, does that necessarily mean that he will play as many snaps as he used to?</p>&mdash; Garrett Stallins (@smileymoth) <a href="">April 25, 2014</a></blockquote>

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Good question.  Due to the nature of Reggie Wayne potentially being a hall of famer and being a fan favorite, many people want to know what's going on with him.  The short answer is that he's doing very well.  He should definitely be back for training camp and for sure the regular season, and he will be the team's number one receiver.  Your question, however, is a valid one.  It's no guarantee that he will play as much as he used to, and in fact if I had to guess I'd say that he won't.  That doesn't mean he won't play a lot or that he won't be the number one guy, but he's 35 years old and recovering from a torn ACL.  Not only do the Colts want to make sure he doesn't rush back too fast, more importantly they need to make sure that he doesn't wear down for the playoffs.  I think this fear is probably nothing too legitimate, but it's still a question and given the fact that the Colts like to run a two tight end offense it will mean only two receivers will be on the field at a time, and with T.Y. Hilton and Hakeem Nicks the Colts have players to rotate in and out.  Reggie Wayne will still be the number one wide receiver and many people probably won't notice a difference in his playing time, but I would expect it to be less than he has in past years.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p><a href="">@Coltsfanwilson</a> W/L prediction for 2014? I know it&#39;s really early.</p>&mdash; Aaron Andrew Hankins (@AAHankins) <a href="">April 25, 2014</a></blockquote>

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You're right - it's way too early.  But because we all need a break from mock drafts, I'm sure, and because it's actual football to talk about, I'll answer this one.  It will be a very tough start to the season for the Colts, with a Sunday night national game in Denver and then a Monday night national game against the Eagles.  Don't give me the crap about the Colts having the easiest schedule - that's based on last year's records, and really it has everything to do with the division and not the other teams.  By the time it's all said and done next year, I'll guarantee you that the Colts won't have had the easiest schedule.  I think the Colts should win 11 or 12 games in the regular season this year and win the AFC South.  There are some tough games, sure, but the Colts are expected to be a Super Bowl contender.  It is absolutely fair to expect an 11-5 or 12-4 season from the Colts in 2014, and I expect them to get there.  Your'e right - it's too early, and I'll look more in depth at the schedule as we get closer to the season.  But for now, 11 or 12 wins is reasonable and expected.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p><a href="">@Coltsfanwilson</a> Would you pick up the fifth year option for Anthony Castonzo (CBS sports claim it will cost roughly $7.4 million)?</p>&mdash; Colts Comments (@Colts_Comments) <a href="">April 25, 2014</a></blockquote>

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Yes, I would pick it up.  They have until May 3 to do so, and I fully expect them to.  There's really no downside to picking up the option, other than having to pay the money.  But it's money that I'd be absolutely willing to spend on Anthony Castonzo, and they'll also need to work out a long-term deal with him.  He has been a very solid starter for the Colts ever since he was drafted and he has done a great job protecting Andrew Luck's blindside.  Left tackle is an underrated spot of importance, and the Colts can't just let theirs walk.  Castonzo is a good player and the Colts also can't afford to open up another spot on the offensive line.  If they're serious about improving the offensive line (and why wouldn't they be?), then re-signing Anthony Castonzo will be a priority, and picking up his option makes a ton of sense.  I'd do it and not look back.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p><a href="">@Coltsfanwilson</a> who do you see as a legit back up behind Luck after Hesselbeck?</p>&mdash; Keem DragNeel (@straight_keemo) <a href="">April 25, 2014</a></blockquote>

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The answer to this question has a lot to do with when Matt Hasselbeck is done.  It most likely will be after this year, but it's hard to tell.  The reason the answer has a lot to do with when he retires is because in that year's draft the Colts might look to add a quarterback.  Right now, however, Hasselbeck's replacement would seem to be Chandler Harnish.  He has been in training camp with the Colts for the past two seasons and will be there again this August, and he has potential.  In his first year he looked really good, but last year he didn't.  This year's training camp could be big for him - if he impresses, I would expect him to get the first look as Andrew Luck's backup if Hasselbeck retires after this year.  If not, then I'd expect the Colts to sign or draft someone looking to fill that role.  You don't want to invest too much in the spot, but you also can't take it too lightly either, as Bill Polian found out the hard way (although, while this is another conversation, I actually don't think he mishandled the backup quarterback position that badly).

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p><a href="">@Coltsfanwilson</a> with the signing and recent praise of Lance Louis along do you think the colts have any doubt Donald Thomas is 100% healthy?</p>&mdash; Jordan Harris (@Harris2732) <a href="">April 25, 2014</a></blockquote>

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I'm glad you mentioned Lance Louis, because many people have forgotten about him.  He's a guy, however, that could have a significant impact along the offensive line this season.  At very least he's very valuable depth, and perhaps he could be more.  It'll be interesting to watch, but certainly don't forget about him.  As for Donald Thomas, he's not yet 100% healthy.  He's still recovering from a torn quad, and to top it off he also tore his biceps.  The most important thing with Thomas is patience.  The hope is that he will be ready to go, but he's not yet ready and still recovering from the injury.  In that regard, Louis could be even more valuable in potentially stepping in until Thomas is ready if he's not yet recovered.  At this point, however, the expectation is for Thomas to be there, while at the same time acknowledging that he's not yet fully recovered so leaving room open for him not being ready by season's start.  As a direct answer to your question, however, I don't think the signing of Lance Louis had anything to do with Donald Thomas but rather was a result of Grigson seeing the need to improve the offensive line and seeing Louis as a good option to help do so.