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Stampede Blue Tweetbag: A Lot of Roster Questions

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

Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

Answering your twitter questions about the Colts.  You can follow Josh @coltsfanwilson and Stampede Blue @StampedeBlue.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" lang="en"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/Coltsfanwilson">@Coltsfanwilson</a> Can they/will they carry 6 receivers? Will the defense stay aggressive in the regular season?</p>&mdash; John Cimasko (@jersey_johnny) <a href="https://twitter.com/jersey_johnny/statuses/501504004174524416">August 18, 2014</a></blockquote>

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To answer your first question regarding the wide receivers, they certainly can carry six wide receivers, and it would be easy for them to do with T.Y. Hilton, Reggie Wayne, Hakeem Nicks, Donte Moncrief, Griff Whalen, and Da'Rick Rogers as the six receivers.  If they choose to keep five, it would be either Griff or Rogers.  As far as whether they can or not - they certainly can.  But it's the big question of where the biggest need is.  I think they'll have a hard time not keeping six based purely on who the 53 best players are, but there are other positions where an additional roster spot might prove more valuable.  As it stands right now, I still think they'll end up keeping six wideouts, but it's far from a given.

As for your second question, I love the aggressiveness the defense has shown so far.  Love it.  And yes, I think they'll keep it up for at least the first four games.  While I think that's the wrong thing to do against Peyton Manning (as he does great against blitzes), I think the aggressiveness will be something the Colts keep up for as long as Robert Mathis is out in trying to generate pass rush.  It has worked so far in the preseason, and I've been impressed.  To me, the real question is whether they'll continue it after Mathis is back, and while I think they will, I'd expect it to be scaled down a bit.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" lang="en"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/Coltsfanwilson">@Coltsfanwilson</a> we seem to be overstocked at LB. How many will we keep and who is on the bubble ? I like 10 of them</p>&mdash; Rick Stevens (@RickStevens63) <a href="https://twitter.com/RickStevens63/statuses/501528103114784768">August 19, 2014</a></blockquote>

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In my most recent roster prediction, I have them keeping nine linebackers: Jerrell Freeman, D'Qwell Jackson, Josh McNary, Henoc Muamba, Kelvin Sheppard, Bjoern Werner, Erik Walden, Jonathan Newsome, and Andy Studebaker.  There were two other linebackers, however, that I was close to putting on the roster, and they were Cam Johnson and Andrew Jackson, and I could see either or both of them making the team.  Ultimately, as you said, there are a lot of good linebackers on the roster (and we haven't even mentioned Robert Mathis, who will be back after week four), but there are also injury concerns there.  Keeping nine or ten linebackers isn't a stretch at all.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" lang="en"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/Coltsfanwilson">@Coltsfanwilson</a> Will Boomstick get a chance to make a FG in regular season?</p>&mdash; Ryan Stroud (@Rpstroud) <a href="https://twitter.com/Rpstroud/statuses/501528332047900673">August 19, 2014</a></blockquote>

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Well, Chuck Pagano guaranteed that he would hit a game-winning, 60+ yard field goal before the season's over, so there's your answer.  I do have my doubts, however, that he'll get the shot.  I don't have doubts that Pat McAfee would make it, as I know he can hit from 64 yards, I just wonder whether he'll really get a shot.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" lang="en"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/Coltsfanwilson">@Coltsfanwilson</a> fleener and Allen seem off. Any concerns there?</p>&mdash; sbg (@discostu247) <a href="https://twitter.com/discostu247/statuses/501528445273513984">August 19, 2014</a></blockquote>

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With Dwayne Allen, no.  He missed pretty much the entire season last year so it'll take some getting used to, and even then he's done a good job as a blocker and stuff like that.  There's no reason for concern about Allen.  I'll say the same thing about Coby Fleener in terms of his play, as I wouldn't overreact to something like a drop that we saw against the Giants or stuff like that related to his play.  What I do wonder about with Fleener, however, is whether he'll have a big role in this offense or not with all the weapons they have.  I do wonder if he'll take a bit of a back seat this year, and I'll look at this more in depth in an article in the coming days.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" lang="en"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/Coltsfanwilson">@Coltsfanwilson</a> you think the offense finishes in the top 5 this season?</p>&mdash; Alex Riggen (@alriggen) <a href="https://twitter.com/alriggen/statuses/501528642619310080">August 19, 2014</a></blockquote>

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Yes.  There's absolutely no reason for them not to.  With one of the league's best quarterbacks in Andrew Luck, probably the best receiving group in the NFL in T.Y. Hilton, Reggie Wayne, Hakeem Nicks, Donte Moncrief, Griff Whalen, and Da'Rick Rogers, two good and dangerous tight ends in Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener, an improved offensive line, and an improved Trent Richardson (although we're still not sure how much improved) and a healthy Ahmad Bradshaw - yeah, there's no reason this unit shouldn't finish in the top-five in the league in offense.  I'm absolutely expecting it and if it doesn't happen, it'll either be because of injuries.  But I don't expect it to come to that.  This offense should be great this year.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" lang="en"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/Coltsfanwilson">@Coltsfanwilson</a> With practice squads being increase to ten players how do you feel this benefits the Colts and the rest of the league?</p>&mdash; Dann Giszewski (@giszewski) <a href="https://twitter.com/giszewski/statuses/501535695509659648">August 19, 2014</a></blockquote>

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It's huge.  What it means is that 64 more players will get a spot on a practice squad in the NFL, and it means that more people will be discovered from the practice squad.  I don't really see it helping the Colts out much more than any other team, although the Colts certainly do have quite a few options for the practice squad.  Ultimately, however, it'd be a great thing for the NFL to add 64 more spots for players, and it sounds like it will happen very soon.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" lang="en"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/Coltsfanwilson">@Coltsfanwilson</a> Are Holmes, Mewhort, and Thornton going to be able to keep Luck upright? Or is it going to be a below average interior line</p>&mdash; Rushi Patel (@rushpat1) <a href="https://twitter.com/rushpat1/statuses/501539279445577728">August 19, 2014</a></blockquote>

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They should, yeah.  I don't think there's any way that this offensive line will be worse than the unit last year, and so far this preseason I've been pleased with what I've seen from Jack Mewhort, Khaled Holmes, and Hugh Thornton, with each getting varying amounts of playing time.  There are certainly a lot of questions surrounding it and it's unreasonable to expect them to be a top unit, but they should be fine in keeping Andrew Luck upright and throwing the football.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" lang="en"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/Coltsfanwilson">@Coltsfanwilson</a> Did Purifoy earn his roster spot? He looked good out there.</p>&mdash; Dennis Hawkins (@Eltoast0) <a href="https://twitter.com/Eltoast0/statuses/501504090984042496">August 18, 2014</a></blockquote>

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In my most recent roster predictions, I had Loucheiz Purifoy making the team, and it seems very clear that he's the team's fifth cornerback right now.  Vontae Davis, Greg Toler, Darius Butler, and Josh Gordy seem to be the obvious top four, and then Purifoy is the fifth guy right now.  He has been very impressive in preseason and he has helped his case on special teams too - not to mention he's got a lot of potential.  His closest competitor right now seems to be Marcus Burley, who also had a strong camp and preseason so far, but I think as it stands right now Purifoy would be on the roster.