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Saturday, February 19, 2011
Mailbag: You won't believe what's inside

By Paul Kuharsky
ESPN.com

Dave from Japan writes: Dude, I'm sorta bummed out about the Jags. We're leaking assistant coaches. Wayne [Weaver] looks nervous, but not about assistant coaches. Vic [Ketchman] left. Can you give us Jags fans a few encouraging words?

Paul Kuharsky: Has to be the first time in league history that someone leaving the publications area of the front office gets put into the formula people are using to say a team is sinking. You lost two assistants, and the guy you got may be better than them, who knows? Relax.


Alan Mills from Springfield, Ohio writes: Former Colts and Bills quarterback Art Schlichter latest arrest is only discussed on Ohio State's forum. Why is not on here as he played longer for the Colts then he did for Ohio State? I would really like to have an answer to that. It just puzzles me why Ohio State has to be the only organization having to deal with this.

Paul Kuharsky: Blogger’s choice, pretty much. I don’t think my readers feel connected to or concerned with him, so I choose not to go there. It would be different if they were still the Baltimore Colts, since he was a first-round selection in Maryland just before the relocation.


Tom in Brentwood, TN writes: What is up with the Chris Palmer hire? Couldn't they find some up and comer or someone that doesn't have any affiliation with the Titans. This move is going to set the Titans bad even farther than where they've been. If you're planning on going backwards for a while, I would rather have someone with a fresh perspective and an upside down the road. Seems to me, it's going to be the same ole same ole, just under a different regime.

Paul Kuharsky: Palmer’s not an exciting name. He’s got some duds on his résumé. But he has done some good work too and is said to be a good teacher, which is a major consideration for Mike Munchak. I know the inclination is to prejudge. But we have to wait and see what he does in order to deliver a verdict. It’s like with a draft pick -- you can’t declare a hit or miss until you have some work to measure.


Fred Dykes from Johnson City, TN writes: Kelvin Hayden is scheduled to make $9 million for the Colts next year. That is almost what you would pay a shutdown corner, and he is not one. I say they should cut their ties with him, or see if he will re-do his contract. [Justin] Tryon could handle his spot if needed. What do you think about Hayden's situation?

Paul Kuharsky: That’s a lot of money, but it’s also his cap number and not his salary. He’s due a $6.105 million salary and a $250,000 bonus. You’d be making a huge jump from him to Tryon. Being good as a fill-in and situational guy is a lot different than being good as a full-timer. I think they need a cornerback pool with Hayden, Jerraud Powers, Jacob Lacey, Tryon, a healthy Kevin Thomas and maybe a draft pick.


Ty from Texas writes: I have heard that if there is a lock out then it is a full work stoppage and there would be no games. Why couldn't the league just use replacement players as they did years before?

Paul Kuharsky: Because of the very nature of a lockout. They’d be locking out players. They couldn’t choose to lock some out and sign others they would let in. The replacement players were used during a strike. Big difference if it’s the owners stopping games or the players stopping games.


Detlef from Newport Beach, CA writes: Hi Paul, it seems like you do not give any love to the Texans. They have not made the playoffs, but most sports fans would tell you when they play the Texans, it's gonna be a good fight. I think getting Wade Phillips is huge and will improve our playoff chances significantly. What about you?

Paul Kuharsky: You got me, I am a complete hater.

No. What exactly should they be getting love for? I’m not in the business of passing out love to bad teams. You’re not going to find a lot of cheerleading or sympathy for pathetic play here.

Phillips, their new defensive coordinator, should help, but they have major, major holes on defense that will be hard to fill in one year. And how many years in a row do you want people to buy the this-is-the-breakout-year talk? Better to reduce expectations.

If you missed this week’s column, it was about new secondary coach Vance Joseph.


Shawn from Arizona writes: It seems like Munchak would like to install the West Coast offense. With the biggest offseason question for the Titans being QB, how does this style of offense change our approach with acquiring both a veteran QB and one through the draft? It sounds like Kevin Kolb would be #1 on the list, followed by Matt Flynn perhaps -- who do you see in the draft fitting that offense?

Paul Kuharsky: I’ve not heard him say he wants to run a West Coast offense.

We don’t know if Munchak coveted Packers quarterbacks coach Tom Clements as offensive coordinator. If that was the hire, people were speculating that would be the direction. That’s a big jump to say that’s the direction Munchak wants without Clements, who we don’t even know he asked to talk to.

Munchak can’t pick the offense and then find the quarterback for it. The pool of candidates is small enough without narrowing it further. He needs to pick the quarterback, then shape the offense.


Kingpin from Grinnell, IA writes: PK - Love your work, but gotta call you out on this comment from the mailbag - "Football is usually not baseball, where you unload a guy for picks." Baseball draft picks cannot be traded; think you meant basketball. Keep up the (usually) excellent work! – Kingpin

Paul Kuharsky: Point taken. I did mean baseball, but I know in baseball you unload the star for prospects as opposed to picks. That’s the comparison I intended. Sorry I was not more clear.


Joe from Blackwater, VA writes: Paul, love the blog. Check it too many times a day! Haven't seen anything at all about CJ though in some time. Any word on the Titans getting him a new contract since they reworked it last year to make him happy?

Paul Kuharsky: Thanks much.

Chris Johnson’s renegotiation was in July. So the Titans can’t do anything else for a full year from that. Hopefully the labor issue will be resolved and we’ll be talking about it then.