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An afternoon as a mailman

8/9/2009

Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky

Tony Pierce in Muncie, Ind., writes: Paul, Please remind everyone that the birth of the Colts as we now know them did not occur under Tony Dungy and that his departure while sad does not automatically mean they will miss the playoffs. Bill Polian is the mastermind here and this team actually started down this path of dominance under Jim Mora. Mora took this team to the playoffs twice going 13-3 and 10-6 until the year Edgerrin James went down and then it was 6-10. Jim Mora failed to fire the D coordinator which led to his release and the hiring of Tony Dungy. Yes Dungy continued the winning and helped to build the team to what it is, but they are built to win and Jim Caldwell would have to completely incompetent to mess this up.
Paul Kuharsky: You're right, Tony. The three staples for a successful team are GM, coach and quarterback and while Polian is more than a GM, he and Peyton Manning are in place and that should ensure stability. Also, it's not like Caldwell is some outsider with a dramatically different philosophy.


Rahul in Houston, Texas, writes: I've been hearing that Rex Grossman has looked better than Schaub and Orlovsky in the opening days of training camp. While I know Schaub's job is safe, the comp between Rex and Dan has to be favoring Grossman at this point. What have you been hearing and seeing?

Paul Kuharsky: I've not been seeing anything yet; I won't be in Houston until Aug. 18.

Orlovsky got three years for $8.5 million. That's a pretty good investment. I don't have the guarantee in front of me, but they like him enough to set the market for backup quarterbacks with that contract. I believe it would take a very poor camp from him and a great preseason from Grossman for them to flip the two on the depth chart.


Robert Vega in Melbourne, Fla., writes: Paul, regarding the Titans wearing the Oilers logo, I think it's an insult to the fans. None of the current Titans fans bled Columbia Blue and filled the House of Pain (with the exception of those who sold out their city to follow the team to Tenn). The majority of the Luv ya Blue fans are now Texans fans and it's a slap in the face to see those jerseys in another city. While it's been a while, the wounds that Bud Adams inflicted on the city of Houston still hurt. While I have since moved away, I still keep an Oilers helmet in my living room, but I will take it down on the days the NFL allows the Titans to desecrate those beloved uniforms.

Paul Kuharsky: I understand your feelings on the matter. But like it or not, it's not about the cities, it's about the owner.

It's Bud Adams' team, and it's team's history.

Nashville and Tennessee aren't pretending they were Oilers fans in 1960. It's not neat and tidy. But this is how it is, with the Browns as the lone exception that left their history behind.


Andrew from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., writes: What's puzzling about Del Rio wanting to get Greg Jones more carries? Did you watch him in college? See: Greg Jones laying out Dexter Reid. The clip is years old, but anyone in their right mind would try to utilize a back with that kind of power. He would have had more carries the past few years if the Jags didn't have to give proper time to both Maurice and Fred.

Paul Kuharsky: College was six years ago. That's a lifetime. You know how many quality backs have come into the league since then?

I'm interested to see. But I am hardly alone in wondering why JDR has such an affection for Jones as a runner.


Garrison from Indianapolis wants to know why so many people in the media say the Colts are so much different with a healthy Bob Sanders when history shows they can win without him.

Paul Kuharsky: The big perception from the broad view isn't always on target. Hopefully part of what we provide here with a narrower focus is a better sense of such things. Bob Sanders is great, but their defense is just fine if Melvin Bullitt's in there.


Thomas Marshall from Richmond, Va., writes: Leave it to you Paul......You always seem to find something negative to say about the Jaguars. This time even before the season starts. But your Titans ohhh....In your eyes they walk on water, turn water into wine. Learn how to be an un-bias reporter....

Paul Kuharsky: I urge you to get back to me after you look at all the entries I did from Jacksonville in the last week and let me know if you truly see some negative slant running through them. I'll be checking the mailbag.

I said I like the Oklahoma drill, particularly for the tradition and the excitement connected to it. I'm allowed to have a personal opinion on it beyond that, too.

Perhaps you're a little sensitive?

A team coming off a 13-3 season and a team coming off a 5-11 one have vastly different issues. Ask the Titans or their fans if they think I give them walk-on-water press.


Kevin N in Houston, Texas, is a first-year Texans' season-ticket holder and wants to know if I think at the end of the season he will be extremely happy.

Paul Kuharsky: I think they will be better, but I still don't know if it will be enough to get into the playoffs. If the Titans and Colts are healthy, I suspect Houston's playoff berth would have to come from third place in the division. To me, that would mean they'd have to be better than Baltimore, Miami, the Jets and the Bills. They play three of those four -- the Dolphins, the Jets and the Bills. Good head-to-head results could do wonders. But Baltimore with Derrick Mason back could be an especially tough hurdle.


Scott from Memphis, Tenn., writes: I was at Titans camp on Sunday and Monday and I noticed that Jared Cook was taking snaps mostly at wide receiver. Is this a move the team is thinking seriously of making or are they just giving him reps while Britt and Mark Jones are out?

Paul Kuharsky: Cook is a tight end who's going to line up in wide receiver spots at times. Bo Scaife and Frank Wycheck and others have done so in the past, too, though Cook can take it to a new extreme. But there is no position change involved.


Jason Gould in Chicago, Ill., writes: Whaddya Think PK? Britt will have an average career stat wise because he plays for a team where the backs move the chains and the defense dominates the other side of the ball. Anything over 40 catches for 700 yards and 4 TD's wil
l be a bonus. If Nicks produces those numbers for the Giants he will be an underachiever. Yes I know that the Giants have a similar offense/defense but the key difference is that the Titans win when the QB throws for under 200 yards where as the Giants often don't.

Paul Kuharsky: Mason's averages from 2000 to 2004 with the Titans: 81 catches, 1,101 yards, 6.8 touchdowns.

I don't see Britt as a Mason-like receiver. But Mason showed a receiver can put up significant numbers in Jeff Fisher's scheme. If Britt's good, why couldn't we expect something similar or better in his prime?