Overdue edition: AFC South mailbag

November, 14, 2008
11/14/08
5:55
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky

Bet you think you've got better questions than these.

Oh yeah?

Prove it here.

Brian in Indianapolis writes: Thanks for "spanning the globe" in the AFC South. I really like the reads for each team. I especially loved the reads today. The article about the warm-ups gave me chills. It was a realization of the passing of the torch, however, with Marvin no longer participating in the passing sequence with Peyton. Makes a Colts fan like me a little sad. I love Marvin. I'm tired of critics putting him down, and I hope he finds a way to go out...back on top.

Paul Kuharsky: Hardly anyone goes out on top, or close to it. Jerome Bettis' story was so good because it was so rare.

You should email Phil Richards about that story, I am sure he would appreciate the feedback. It was a great read and I am glad I could help steer you to it. We at The AFC South Blog aim to be THE stop for info, links, commentary, analysis and anything else we can think of or you can suggest.

Jahon in San Diego writes: Do you believe the Texans are going to clean house this offseason? The Chronicle reporters are talking about drafting a QB in the first and talks about firings are one for two in Houston as well. What is your take on it all? Have you heard anything regarding this? Thanks for going into depth on the Texans, its hard to find any information on them. The "Talking Heads" never mention them and both ESPN and CNNSI draw a blank when it comes to articles about the Texans. Really, its only you and the chron.com that us misplaced Texans fans have to rely on. Thanks, Jahon

Paul Kuharsky: It's too early to say for sure. I think they can do enough that Gary Kubiak will survive, but the quick turnarounds going on in Miami, Baltimore and Atlanta have to make Bob McNair at least take pause. The Texans probably make a change at defensive coordinator. I think they really need to pour picks and free agents into the defense. I could see them sticking with Matt Schaub if he gets healthy and has a reasonable finish. But there will have to be a lot of action elsewhere to calm the city down and convince people they are moving in the right direction.

Aryan in Baltimore writes: Hey how's it going. I was wondering what the chances are that wide receiver Matt Jones will win his appeal, and following this, will him filing appeal mean he will play more games before his (probable and inevitable)suspension. -Thanks, Aryan Vahedi

Paul Kuharsky: I think it's ridiculous they haven't ruled on the appeal yet. If he 'wins' it'll be reduced, not erased. I've heard it's unlikely to even be reduced, but that was a while ago already. And now he could miss Sunday with a thigh injury.

Matt in the Nashville-area writes: I don't know if you've taken a look at the Pro Bowl vote on nfl.com yet, but I thought you would find this interesting. Bo Scaife, the Titans leading receiver and one of the leading TE's in the league, is not even a choice that fans can vote for in the Pro Bowl. Alge Crumpler is the only TE listed for the Titans. I tried sending a letter to nfl.com about this, but obviously they care very little that Matt from Nashville thinks Bo Scaife deserves to at least be on the ballot. I don't know if there's any way to fix this now, since other players have been receiving votes for a few weeks now. I also find it funny that nfl.com does not even list the players' stats next to their names. I guess the Pro Bowl truly is filled with the most popular players, as opposed to the best players. While I realize that this is not nfl.com, and that you do not work for nfl.com, I was just hoping to get this at least some recognition in one form or another. Thanks.

Paul Kuharsky: Sorry you missed this, but here's the explanation.

Unknown in FT Washington, MD or FT in Washington, MD writes: Do you that both of Tennessee's running backs will gain a thousand yards a piece this year?

Paul Kuharsky: No. LenDale White's on pace for only about 750, it would be awfully tough for him to get there.

Adam in Alexandria, VA writes: Hey Paul, I know you're a busy man, but I thought I would throw another question your way. I was curious about the extent to which coaches scout officiating crews and to what extent (if any) they tinker with gameplans depending on a crew's tendencies to call or not call various infractions. Specifically, I am curious to see how the Titans' DB's will play the Colts' WRs tonight. I didn't see the game, but it is my understanding that the Packers bumped the WRs a good deal and that in some cases they might have been flagged for PI or illegal contact, but the refs let them play. I know you wrote several weeks ago about the Cots' displeasure with a lack of holding calls and the drop in such calls recently. Are crews also placing less emphasis on contact downfield after it was such a point of emphasis in '05 & '06? I can't remember the Titans being flagged once for PI, yet I can recall several cases where it appeared that their receivers (McCareins in particular on several occasions) were held or interfered with. Is there anything to this in your opinion? Cheers, Adam

Paul Kuharsky: Some teams really make a big deal out of it, others not so much.

When I was at The Tennessean I did a story about how the Titans had fared in game officiated by certain referees. Kevin Mawae told me when he was with the Jets he got a weekly scouting report on the officiating crew. But it seems Jeff Fisher wants his guys playing the technique they are taught every week, not thinking they can cut or a corner here or need to be more careful there. Colts president Bill Polian 'discusses' elements of officiating a lot, and it could have a bearing on how their games are called sometimes.

Ryan from Pennsylvania writes: After the Titans back to back big wins, is realistic to see the Titans going undefeated? Many people had their two biggest games these past two weeks and in my opinion they passed with flying colors. I mean the Green Bay game was clearly not a pretty one, but as you said every good team needs to find different ways to win, and they did. I see one game on the schedule that frightens me a little, and that is the Steelers game. Though that game is at home, and I think in the end that benefits the Titans. If you don't see them going undefeated, what is a realistic record for them, and is your thoughts about them in the playoffs?

Paul Kuharsky: I hit on the remaining schedule in this post.

I agree with the Titans they have not played their best yet. I also believe they have not played their worst yet and so I expect a dud somewhere along the way.

I actually think they matchup great with Pittsburgh -- Titans D-line can give Steelers O-line fits, though Big Ben is capable of making some clutch throw with people hanging off of him.

Eric Larence from parts unknown writes: Paul - I do not want to dwell on the negatives for the Titans, but what is Vince Young doing? I have noticed that during home games he stands on the opposite side where the rest of the offensive players gather, away from the action and coaches (Tony Dungy does this as well - on another subject). After offensive series Collins goes over everything and looks at coverages Chris Simms is always right there, but never Vince. Isn't that how he learns? To get in the mix?
How is that not being addressed by the Titans?

Paul Kuharsky: I've gotten several mailbag questions on this and will touch on a few elements of it before we finish here.

I feel like the Titans have basically decided they are going to let him do what he feels is right and hope he comes to realize some things on his own. At a certain point, you don't send someone to hold his hand and bring him where he should be. I'm not sure they are devoting a lot of energy to him right now and I don't have a big beef if that's the case.

Josh in Charlotte writes: Hey Paul. What is going on with Ryan Lilja (RG) of the Colts? Is he going to be put on the active roster this year or will he be put on IR because of not being ready? Thx!

Paul Kuharsky: They have three weeks from the point where they "activated" him to decide. I haven't heard much recently but early indications were he was going to be a long shot.

Double A in Muncie, IN writes: Please tell me "The Album" is the coolest nickname for LP Field you've ever heard. Music City...LP vinyl albums...get it? Spread the word now. Unimaginative and easy stuff luck "Woodshed" bores me out of my mind!

Paul Kuharsky: The Album is a great nickname. I have to give credit -- I first heard it from Mark Howard of 104.5 The Zone in Nashville.

Trouble is, anyone under 35 or so has little chance of knowing what an album is, better yet an LP. So it's only good for us old folks.

John in Jenks, OK writes: Paul, Not to beat a dead horse, but I'm curious about the Titans QB situation. Collins is playing great but is a free agent after this year. Fisher has said Simms is "in their long term plans". Young continues to draw criticism for appearing to "sulk" and be a loner on the sidelines during games. So who do YOU think will be starting week 1 next season: Collins, Simms, Young, or someone else? Thanks!

Paul Kuharsky: They don't know so I certainly can't pretend to.

Collins could be back, as I don't expect the market for him to be very strong. I don't think he'll find a better situation if they want him in Nashville. He's been great for the Titans. But if they are unsentimental about it, I think they may conclude there are a lot of guys who can do what he's being asked to do. Simms may be one of them.

Young will definitely get one more chance to seize the job. I don't know that he can.

Jenny from Brentwood writes: Colts question here. Actually - a Peyton Manning question. How much longer do you think Peyton will play? He's 30-something, right? Sometimes it seems like longevity is an issue with quarterbacks, but on the other hand, we've got Garcia, K. Collins, Todd Collins, Gus Frerotte, Kurt Warner....... Most of those have had a few "sit down" years, though. Peyton seems fine, seems to be playing well, etc. So do you think he has 2 years left, 5 years left or 10 years left? What do you think? Also - part two - do you think Peyton will remain part of football in the media vein or through coaching? I think he would make a fabulous coach.

Paul Kuharsky: He's 32. I'd guess he will play for at least six more years. He's got a lot of time left as a top guy.

I don't know about coaching -- a lot of guys after their time in the limelight don't want a coach's lifestyle or hours. He'd be taking a pay cut, working long days and dealing with quarterbacks who wouldn't be able to do a lot of the things he did.

He'd be very good on TV and I am sure the networks will chase him hard when the time comes.

Ben in Christchurch, New Zealand writes: With the issues Mike Peterson is currently going through, are the Jags better as a group at LB with Smith starting in the middle, or with Peterson starting in the middle? Obviously Peterson has had his issues with injuries over the last few years.

Paul Kuharsky: Ben wins a prize for writing from the furthest away. Give him a bumper sticker.

To me it's more about Clint Ingram, who's been underwhelming this season. Are they better right now with Peterson or Ingram on the field? I'd have to say Peterson. But Friday Jack Del Rio said Peterson is now depth and Smith is staying as the starter in the middle.

Garl from parts unknown writes: I'm a Titans fan and enjoying the ride. I only wonder what the win total would be with Vince playing all 9 games. 6-3 7-2? Whats your take?

Paul Kuharsky: Tough one. My guess is they'd have lost three or four of these five: Jacksonville, Baltimore, Indy, Green Bay, Chicago.

Paul Kuharsky | email

ESPN Tennessee Titans reporter

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