Saturday, March 31, 2012
Mailbag: On the preferred path to success
By Paul Kuharsky
Ben in Houston writes: In the chat yesterday someone asked about Coby Fleener to the Texans. I'm not busting your chops at all, but you read it as the Titans (understandably so when you've been speed-reading on a computer screen for awhile), and answered accordingly saying he wouldn't go as the 20th pick. But what do you think about Fleener to the Houston Texans at 26? I know Wright is the name everyone's putting out there, but Fleener is 6' 6", ran a sub-4.5 40, and the Texans love to run two tight sets when they have the personnel. Additionally with his height and speed, I don't see why he couldn't be considered a deep threat or even just a great complement to Andre if you wanted to put him in the slot. I know there is plenty of info I'm not privy to, but I'm interested in what your thoughts are and what additional insight you might be willing to impart. Thanks
Paul Kuharsky: It’s certainly possible. But I suspect one of those receivers -- or someone at another position -- will be judged more worthy of No. 26 than Fleener will be. The Texans have spent a lot of picks on tight ends. If they have Owen Daniels, James Casey (who may be working as a fullback at least some or could get to return to being more of a tight end) and Garrett Graham they could be OK at the spot.
The buzz on Fleener grew at Stanford’s pro day, but there wasn’t too much before that. He certainly looks like he can be a nice outlet for any quarterback and would work nicely in what the Texans do.
vallenii from Florida writes: Is it possible that the NFL would/will consider allowing QB's & WR's early camp access (like MLB does with pitchers and catchers)?
Paul Kuharsky: The players worked hard in negotiations last year to trim down the offseason. I can’t foresee them giving back a big “gain” in the name of certain players reporting early.
Greg in West Nashville writes: Titans GM Ruston Webster's main role is to make decisions to improve the team and he didn't feel Peyton Manning was worth pursuing until Bud Adams made him. Webster wants to shore up the defense. The Giants and Patriots were ranked behind the Titans in defense last year, but they both have elite QB's. Don't you think the Titans are behind the times in their way of thinking and will continue to be an 8-8 franchise?
Paul Kuharsky: Well, Manning chase aside, the Titans went and got their QB last year in Jake Locker. Now it’s a matter of when he takes over.
Defense and run games aren’t the surefire route to success they once were. But that doesn’t mean there are not multiple paths to winning.
My preference is what’s worked lately: Elite QB and weapons paired up with a big pass rush.
The AFC South is now a fullback division, unfortunately, with a philosophical mindset that may be behind the times.
Ian in College Station, Texas, writes: I just read the "Frustrated Texan Fan" article and thought your response was brilliant. You are truly one of the most unbiased writer at ESPN (in my own opinion). Keep up the good work!
Paul Kuharsky: Check’s in the mail, thanks. I need to keep your email handy, there are a lot of people I’d like to point to you.