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Saturday, October 16, 2010
Mailbag: Colts questions, CJ injury, more

By Paul Kuharsky
ESPN.com

Will in Nashville writes to ask about Jerry Hughes, citing a recent Bill Polian quote about bringing the first-round defensive end slowly. “When have the Colts' ends ever had to defend the run?" he writes. "If they just started teaching it then Dwight Freeney is horrible at it -- look at the Kansas City tape and every other tape the last seven years. What’s going on here, Paul? Polian afraid that he missed with this guy?"

Paul Kuharsky: It's way too early to decide anything more than what they say is going on is going on. If they want to go slow with him, they can go slow with him. I would think if he’s lighting it up during the week, they’d get him out there, so I presume he’s not. That doesn’t mean he won’t.

Tayler Super writes via Facebook: Joseph Addai is a FA next year and Bill Polian didn’t re-sign a much better Edge when he was a FA a few years back. Donald Brown was picked in the first round by us two years ago and hasn’t showed us any reason why we shouldn’t re-sign Addai. If I’m Polian, what do I do? Re-sign Addai, or take a chance on Brown or ANOTHER RB in this year’s draft?

Paul Kuharsky: Veteran running backs aren’t hot commodities in free agency. I suspect the Colts will be able to get Addai, who’s more valuable to them than he would be to anyone else, back at an affordable price. But Brown has plenty of time still this year to show them if he can be the guy should Addai depart or if they need more than a backup.

Jess Smith in McAllen, Texas, writes: I was wondering why the Texans don't consider using Antwaun Molden in place of Kareem Jackson. Antwaun is a third-year pro who by most accounts has been good when healthy. Even if he plays poorly, it doesn't seem he could play much worse than Kareem has. Nothing against Kareem, I just don't think he's there yet.

Paul Kuharsky: If you’re going to let a kid take his lumps, then it should be the kid you envision as a long-range starter. Jackson is way more that guy than Molden, who always seems hurt. In fact, he’s so not memorable that I forgot to mention him in this piece.

Jeremy Lambert in Winston-Salem, N.C., writes: I know it's still early, and I'm an irrational fan. But I'm more and more skeptical of Jim Caldwell every day. First was last year at the Super Bowl, when as Bob Kravitz put it, he was just "playing not to lose." (Come to think of it, strike one was the sacrificed undefeated record, but that wound up not mattering anyway.) Then this year the inexplicably poor defense. But if it's not one thing, it's another. That late hit by Hayden? Come on! There has been stuff like that every game, and that didn't happen a few years ago. There is a long way to go and maybe I'm just looking to place blame somewhere, but something about Jim Caldwell just rubs me the wrong way.

Paul Kuharsky: For starters, I blame Kelvin Hayden for what Hayden did against Kansas City, not Caldwell. Let’s begin with personal accountability. You think Caldwell is coaching guys that a play like that is OK?

Bill Polian, not Jim Caldwell, decided undefeated was not important.

I understand Caldwell hasn’t looked as good since the Super Bowl. But you know Polian’s not going to be quick to alter course. Caldwell’s the guy. He has plenty of time to rub you the right way, or, I guess, to lose you completely.

I think he’s good, not great, right now. He has the confidence of two crucial people in Polian and Manning, which is no small thing.

Chris from Idaho wrote in a panic after the Titans' Chris Johnson missed Thursday’s practice with thigh soreness. He wants to know if it meant Javon Ringer should get more work and if the injury is an indication that Johnson’s smaller size is catching up to him.

Paul Kuharsky: It was one day off! On the first day of the practice week! Let’s not go crazy.

He ran well against Dallas and is ahead of his pace from last year now. They are still figuring things out, but it’s not the time for a big boost in Ringer carries or to decide CJ’s not holding up after missing one practice for soreness.

Jim in Greenville, S.C., writes: Do you see Shawne Merriman landing with an AFC South team? The Titans' D Line is limping. They don't go after outspoken players commonly, but could they make an exception?

Paul Kuharsky: He’s a 3-4 linebacker and he’s limping. The Titans were nine deep on the line, they lost Derrick Morgan with a torn ACL and now they are eight deep. I don’t think they are limping. There is no reason to even suggest it for Tennessee.

Indy, no. Jacksonville, no. Houston, I say no. But by the time he's healthy, the Texans could be needy at defensive end if they don’t see something soon from Adewale Ogunleye or Mark Anderson. They might try something bold, but I don't expect they will.