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Mailbag: Texans fans establish early lead

8/3/2008

Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky

Today we shuffle from Cleveland to Canton to visit the Pro Football Hall of Fame before watching the Colts play the Redskins.

Here's the current mailbag scorecard you've all be clamoring for:

Houston fans are in first place, anxious to know about the running backs, playoff hopes, defensive backs and Mario Williams.

Tennessee followers are second (some have followed me from my previous job): Seeking news on Vince Young's progress, Chris Johnson and Albert Haynesworth.

Jacksonville faithful are third: Everyone wants to know if the Jaguars can knock the Colts out of first in the division.

Indianapolis lovers currently rank fourth: Some questions about the receivers, but pretty thin overall. I know you can do better.

Here's where you can reach me to be in the next mailbag installment or to inspire a blog entry.

One more aside: All the July AFC South blog entries are now available under the July archive, which can also be found on the low right part of the AFC South blog page.

Onward...

Rob from parts unknown writes: Paul, I've really appreciated your blog so far, but why put a story about the Jags moving to L.A. NOW??? What good does it do? It's not news until something happens. This is a nothing story. Mr. Weaver has stated there may be a time when he sells the team (I think eventually he will), but not now, so what's your point?

Paul Kuharsky: He's referring to this blog entry. My point was that Jerry Jones is expecting some movement. That strikes me as quite newsworthy. I didn't say the Jags were going anywhere. But like I wrote, any move talk is going to include a mention of them.


Mad Dog Mike in Houston writes: Paul: With your time spent at the Texans camp, what was your view of Mario. Megan Manfill ran a story a week ago saying he still had a chip on his shoulder and wants to prove with his play that he was worth the number one pick the Texans invested. What was your view after seeing him in camp? Thanks.........MM

Paul Kuharsky: He looks very good. I didn't have a chance to lock in on him for long. But from what I saw he's a physical specimen who's carrying himself like a big-time guy who's going to chase down a lot of quarterbacks. I think enduring all that first year abuse from the public and media maybe, ultimately, has served to make him stronger. I did talk with him a bit and hope to have a blog entry on him in the next week.


Xavier in Austin writes: I wanna hear about the Texans Darius Walker, last season at the end when he got his chance to play, boy did he shine. Also wanna hear about steve slaton and wanna see if his numbers can compare to reggie bush. if we got mario and had to wait just another 2 years for a duplicate reggie bush, watch out afc south.

Paul Kuharsky: Chris Brown was out of the practice when I watched the RBs closely. Green looked most comfortable inside. I thought Chris Taylor and Slaton did well, particularly getting outside. Walker had two shaky moments that left me wondering. I detailed some of it here. After I moved on they added Mike Bell, not a good development for Brown as he recovers from early back issues. This team will be more balanced running both inside and out. Others have asked questions about the cut-blocking the offensive line will do. Here's an entry on that, which includes a great video with Mark Schlereth talking about it.


Rico in Raleigh writes: Why are the Jags considered better then the Titans? When history shows since 1999 Titans own the Jags! Jags cant sweep Texans Titans do Jags cant beat Colts Titans split the last 3yrs and prior to that all gms were tuff!Remember the TITANS won the most gms from 1999-2004 just 2 bad yrs There Back!

Paul Kuharsky: Because they had a better record and won a road game in the playoff, it's fair to rate the Jags ahead of the Titans based on last year, even though they split their two games. Neither team made any drastic moves to alter things. In my eyes, history prior to that isn't relevant to where they stand now.


Michael from Fort Campbell writes: Paul "The Hurricane" Kuharsky, Enjoy reading your AFC South updates here in Iraq. Still trying to work it so I can listen you the Wake Up Zone from here (low bandwith and military sensors- they won't let me read your "BLOG"). MAJOR Michael Tunnell (AKA Lawnchair Larry, I brought the lawn chair at the Jim Reed Chevy's live spot in June or ORLANDO from SANGO to the Afternoon Show.)

Paul Kuharsky: It's a thrill to know you're trying to listen and wanting to read. Thanks for your service. Come home safely and hit the mailbag bag any time!


Bradley in Nashville: Hey Paul: I enjoy listening to your show on 104.5. I'm a Titans fan, but how is Anthony Gonzalez looking in Indy? Can he fill in at the #2 receiver position with Harrison questionable? Thanks Bradley

Paul Kuharsky: I think he's capable of helping out if they need him to. But if Harrison is not there Reggie Wayne, Dallas Clark and Joseph Addai could all catch more balls than Gonzalez. Ideally he's playing in the slot and doing a lot of the sort of things Brandon Stokley did when he was with them.


John writes: I created this Google map - I thought you might like to put a link to it on your site or blog.

Paul Kuharsky: Pretty cool tool for people who want to see where exactly summer practices are unfolding. Thanks for sharing.


JP in Little Rock writes: Paul, we miss you on the Tennessean but glad to see you at ESPN. Quick question regarding Titans WR's. Why aren't they going after Anquan Boldin? I understand not drafting a WR high, I really do...but why not go after a proven WR? Give up a first and second round pick..just get VY a proven target!

Paul Kuharsky: It's not their style to make a big play for a big name who'll need a big contract. And I don't see the Cardinals moving Boldin. The Titans, hard as it is for many people to believe, are happy with their receivers. I think the national complaints over the group have gone a little overboard. Tennessee was 10-6 with a group worse than this one last season.


Harrison from Arizona writes: Hey Paul, first I just want to say that I appreciate all the information you gather for us. It's hard to get information about the Titans in Arizona since they don't get the national attention or respect they deserve. Secondly, I named my newest dog after Titans cornerback Cortland Finnegan because he's so much smaller than my other dogs and he's scrappy and never backs down (Cortland is about 8 lbs my other two dogs are 55 and 60 lbs). That being said, how is Cortland doing in training camp so far this year? Do you think we can keep seeing a rise in performance from our most prized 7th round pick to date, or will he start to tail off? Thanks again for your time and information, and although you cover all of the AFC South (the NFL's best division even better than the NFC East) I know you're a Titans fan at heart!

Paul Kuharsky: Thanks much for the ki
nd words. I'm certainly a fan of good stories, and Finnegan is one of those. He'll love that you named your pup after him. He's getting better and is going to be very good. There might be a bigger story about him showing up here sometime soon and there could be a look at the AFC South as well. Stay tuned.