- Paul Kuharsky, ESPN Staff Writer
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Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky
Installment two of Sunday Monster Mailbag takes us to Indianapolis.
Matt in Indy: Peyton'll start against the Bears, right? I keep having visions of Jim Sorgi running through the tunnel on Sept. 7th and I get a bit queasy. Also, to the Jags fan who is whining about the coverage their team sees: maybe if the Jags, I don't know, won their division and were located in a town people have heard of (and yes, I'm saying that from amongst the cornfields of Central Indiana) people outside of Northern Florida might care about their kitty cats.
Paul Kuharsky: Drop the Rolaids. With no setback, he starts, yes.
Jason in Palm Springs writes: Do you think that the Colts injured players can return to Pro Bowl/Super Bowl form? Early in his career Manning had what some called happy feet (that usually ended in poor plays) as the pressure was increased, will this happen again now that the knee surgery will be in the back of his mind? Dungy's theory of smaller faster defense has shown that durability can be a problem. Do you think that Sanders and Freeney will be able to stay healthy while still being as aggressive as they are thought to be.
Paul Kuharsky: I know I should probably be more cynical. But yes, I think Marvin Harrison, Dwight Freeney and Bob Sanders will all play well again.
I watched Harrison practice on two different trips to Terre Haute and thought he was impressive. I'd worry most about him over the long haul, however.
Sanders and Freeney are not able to play with any less intensity, nor could they resemble themselves if they tried.
I don't think there is any question about Manning once he's completely over this. The big concern with Manning now is with the loss of Saturday. Check out this excellent blog entry from Scouts Inc. on some issues he might face in a game with the knee.
Sergiu in Edmonton writes: How did the new speakers look in the Lucas Oil Stadium? High-quality artificial crowd noise will be coming out of them once the season starts.
Paul Kuharsky: Good one. Hard to gauge noise at a preseason game. And the press box is enclosed.
Peter in Boston writes: Hey Paul, Is there a chance Addai and the Indy run game is going to struggle with the offensive line problems they have? I feel like they didn't run the ball well at the end of last season. Your thoughts?
Paul Kuharsky: The focus has obviously been on protecting Peyton Manning after the knee injury. But getting a real read on anything with the Colts in the preseason is hard based on how they approach the games. We'll have to see if run blocking is an early issue with all the shuffling. The way they plug people in, I won't be surprised if they manage just fine. Scouts hit on the line issue as well.
James from parts unknown writes: Hey Paul, I'm not an Indy fan really at all. What I want to know concerns Peyton's legacy. Everyone who pays attention knows that his consecutive start streak is really important to him. Could you see Manning coming in week one for just a series or two to keep the streak alive then handing over the reigns to Sorgi for the rest of the Game? Brett did it a couple of times a few years ago when he had that thumb problem...I think. Would this surprise you at all and do you think the organization would go for that kind of thing?
Paul Kuharsky: I don't think he would ever consider starting just for the streak. I do expect he'll be healthy enough to start and preserve the streak for the right reasons.
Mark in Indianapolis writes: Paul, I think the AFC South is the most exciting division in football. All of the teams are great, in their own unique ways. A few years ago, this was hardly the case. The superstar Colts were alone in a notoriously under performing division, a little like the Patriots of last year. My question is, how much do you think having a strong team like the Colts in the division while other teams developed contributed to how great they are now, the Jaguars in particular? One reason coaches like to sign great receivers, for example, is because they make all the defensive backs on the team better in practice. How well does this analogy translate into intra-division play? Thanks, and keep up the great
Paul Kuharsky: Appreciate the kind words.
Great question. I address it in an upcoming column -- I go head to head with John Clayton on AFC South vs. NFC East. I'll spoil part of the surprise -- I've got the AFC South. Please look for it.