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Colts Mailbag: Would Jim Harbaugh Fit In Indianapolis?

This week, mailbag readers inquire about Chuck Pagano’s handling of the locker room, the future for Erik Swoope and rookie inside linebacker Anthony Walker.

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INDIANAPOLIS – Each week, readers of can submit their questions to have a chance of them being answered in our weekly mailbag.

Submit your questions here.

Here is the collection of Thursday questions:


Scotty (Indianapolis)

With the recent news of Ben McAdoo's firing in New York, several media outlets have cited that he did not lose his job merely because of the Giants' bad record, but also that he "lost his locker room." Quotes and rumors were flying around about this even before the Eli benching.

That being said, have you heard any grumblings or rumors about Pagano and his standing with the Colts' players? Does he still have the confidence and trust of the locker room?

Bowen: Fair question, Scotty. A question that deserves to be asked for a 3-9 football team. I will say that for all the acceptable/viable reasons to be fed up with Chuck Pagano as a head coach, I’m not going down the road of questioning his team’s effort. These guys are continuing to play for something. They haven’t thrown up the white flag at all, IMO. Now, the players could still be lacking confidence in the coaching staff, but that is not apparent from an effort standpoint. Players have always spoken very highly of Pagano. However, the recent three-year run has to be frustrating for the guys inside that locker room. Maybe they are tried of Pagano’s voice. But that’s hard to prove when you examine the tape and simply judge it off effort given each week.


Brian (Brazil, IN)

What are the chances of Indianapolis Colts head coach getting fired either before the season is over or right after this season and getting a Jim Harbaugh into Indianapolis?

Bowen: I would say slim. It’s looking like Chuck Pagano will coach out the rest of the regular season. I’m not of the belief that a Colts/Harbaugh marriage is everything people seem to think it is/would be. First, I can’t see Harbaugh leaving Michigan after just two seasons, with the program yet to play at a championship-level. The NFL should always be an option for Harbaugh and it’s only a matter of time before he gets Michigan to the top of the Big Ten/into the college football playoff. Plus, I don’t know if an Andrew Luck/Harbaugh reunion would be a match made in heaven. Maybe I’m totally off base with this, but I would pump the breaks on the Colts/Harbaugh hype come January.


Willie (Indianapolis)

What is the deal with Anthony Walker Jr? After watching him play in college I thought he was going to have a shot at starting at ILB.

Bowen: The rookie season for Walker has been pretty much a wash from a defensive standpoint. Walker has yet to play a defensive snap with 4 games to go in the regular season. Walker has been exclusively a special teams player in his six games of action as a rookie. I never expected Walker to seriously challenge for a starting job this year and a hamstring injury hasn’t helped things out. But I am a bit surprised we haven’t seen Walker at all on defense. And, there’s no guarantee he will all of a sudden crack the lineup in the final quarter of the season. It’s clear this defense has belief in Antonio Morrison and Jon Bostic at the inside linebacker spots. This position must be upgraded in 2018, and Walker is looking like he will have some making up to do in regards to reps defensively.


Amanda (Plainfield, IN)

Hi Kevin, I hope you had a great Thanksgiving. I see the Colts just picked up another TE from Kansas City. Do you think this is a precursor to Eric Swoope staying on injured reserve, or just for added depth and competition maybe going into the off-season?

Bowen: As I’m sure you saw Amanda, Erik Swoope is indeed on injured reserve. What a tough blow for a promising younger player. It looked like Swoope was in-line for a huge role this year as the Colts’ No. 2 tight end. This is an area the Colts must double back on in 2018. Do they still think Swoope can be that complementary tight end to Jack Doyle? The Colts are desperate for weapons on offense and Swoope’s absence hasn’t aided that search at all.


Leonardo B. (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)

Hi Kevin. How can we explain the difference between last year Colts Patrick Robinson and this year Eagles Patrick Robinson? Regards.

Bowen: I would say health is a big reason for Robinson’s resurgence. He just never looked healthy in Indy. Robinson played in only 7 games for the Colts last season, going on injured reserve just after Thanksgiving. With Philadelphia this year, Robinson has played in all 12 games. I was a fan of Robinson’s coming to Indy back in late March of 2016. But he just couldn’t stay on the field and was clearly never fully healthy when he did play.

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