clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Colts Q&A with Jake: Pagano’s Future, Marlon Mack and More

New, comments

You guys sent Jake tons of Colts questions last week, and he’s got answers.

NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Pittsburgh Steelers Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Answering your Indianapolis Colts questions from this week!

Posted by Jake Arthur NFL on Thursday, August 24, 2017

Video was posted on Thursday, August 24, just before the Colts’ preseason Week 3 victory. So, take that into account when hearing my answers. Going forward, these will sync up in a more timely manner.

Training camp is done and it’s the final week of the preseason. When it comes to the Colts, we’ve got more questions than answers in a lot of areas, which is obvious here because you guys made it rain questions last week.

Let’s get to it.

Mark Crowder (Twitter, @marccrowd)

“It seems like Al Woods and Johnathan Hankins just disappeared against Dallas. Is that what the tape” showed?

I’d like to say that the tape didn’t indicate that, but for the most part, it did. If there’s any silver lining, it’s that at least much of the time, Dallas’ starting offensive line was on the field. There were a couple times where Woods and Hankins were able to clog things up in the trenches, but it was beyond the line of scrimmage. That's a sign of Dallas' line being able to get push on them even if they weren't opening holes in those instances. Woods did bat down one of Kellen Moore’s passes, however. The bigger issue for the Colts’ defense appeared to be with the linebackers not containing the edge almost ever.

#FreeMarlonMack (Twitter, @NateKent_)

“Do you think Marlon Mack takes over as the starter by year’s end?”

I doubt that he starts, but I definitely think that his role could increase by year’s end. If you recall 2006 when Joseph Addai was a rookie and Dominic Rhodes was the starter, Rhodes was the starter during the entire regular season even though Addai was much more productive and ran for over 1,000 yards. I’m not saying the Colts will feed Mack to that extent (mainly because of Robert Turbin), but I do think that Mack will begin to get featured more as the season develops.

Hondu Knight (Twitter, @Hondu)

*UPDATE: The Buffalo Bills traded Reggie Ragland to the Kansas City Chiefs today (Monday).

“If Reggie Ragland doesn't fit in Buffalo as far as scheme goes (according to some reports), do you think we'd try to trade for him?”

In Buffalo’s new 4-3 defense, it requires their middle linebacker to have more range in space than Ragland possesses. They also already have a starting strong side linebacker in Lorenzo Alexander. Ragland would likely be a better fit in the Colts base 3-4 defense, which is similar to the defense that Ragland was originally drafted into under Rex Ryan.

I would not expect a trade to be imminent for the Colts since the NFL’s roster cut-downs are coming up on September 2. That’s almost 1,200 players that are due to hit free agency, several of which will be linebackers. If they don’t find someone from that fray to fill the void, then a trade makes sense. The hot rumor flying around is Phillip Dorsett for Ragland. If the Colts brought Ragland in, he compares a bit to Antonio Morrison and Jon Bostic. He is more of an in-the-box run defender than a coverage guy.

Philipe Costa (Twitter, @costaphilipe)

“Most people expect Chuck Pagano to be fired during or after the season. Is there any member of the coaching staff that you see staying even with a change?

This change of position for T.J. Green, is it actually a change of position or more like... ’We like versatile guys and we wanna see what you can do?’”

Hypothetically, if Pagano was fired, a couple of good candidates to stay on would be offensive line coach Joe Philbin and special teams coordinator Tom McMahon. With general manager Chris Ballard around this entire coaching staff already, he’ll be evaluating them all as well, not just Pagano. Philbin hasn’t been given the best tools to work with, but he’s done alright with what he’s had. McMahon has always had the Colts’ special teams humming.

For Green, I think it’s more of the latter. How I see it is this: Green has physical abilities that allow him to potentially be serviceable at multiple positions in the secondary. The Colts have issues all over the secondary. If they can tap his potential and find him a spot or two where he stands out, they’ll be psyched.

MK (Twitter, @MKSports_)

“Has Chuck Pagano had an above-average roster at any point in his coaching tenure?”

With the Colts, no. He has has Andrew Luck and some other standout talent, but the Colts have never had a collective above-average roster with Pagano as the coach. I don’t think that’s an excuse for him because a lot of other coaches around the league have made it work, but we’ve now seen how low the team goes without Luck under center or healthy in general. If you look at the 2014 and 2015 rosters and magically make everybody healthy, those were probably Pagano’s best rosters and even those were still pretty rough.

Mark Bishop (Twitter, @colsfanfrm94)

“I am wondering if Chris Ballard is letting Chuck Pagano dig his own grave by not interfering with the roster like they all said Ryan Grigson did”

I don’t think Ballard is that type of guy. Not that he’s looking out for Pagano, but more that he wants to do his best at all times. If the Colts are doing something stupid, it reflects on him. I imagine the Colts have a plan in place unbeknownst to us. A few things may not make sense to us on the outside that is perfectly clear to them according to whatever their plan is. I do believe that they’re working as a cohesive team. But I also think that Ballard probably does have an eye on Pagano, evaluating him at all times.

Dave Roller (Facebook)

“What is the timeshare looking like between Frank Gore, Robert Turbin and Marlon Mack? Playing in an established keeper league in its ninth season…”

How I pictured it this offseason would be that Gore would be the primary back, getting the majority of the first a second-down snaps. Turbin would be the next in line, taking over short-yardage, goal line and many third-down duties. I’m sure Turbin will also get his own offensive drives at times within the rhythm of the offense. I then think that Mack will do a little bit of everything -- one, for evaluation’s sake; two, because he is very, very talented; three, because he can do just about everything if he continues to prove himself in pass protection. If you had to numerate it, let’s say it breaks down to Gore-50%, Turbin-30% and Mack-20%. That could all change a bit if Mack continues to look like an absolute stud.

*Questions have been edited for clarification.