AFC South: Yancey Thigpen
Paul Kuharsky: I can’t look over the last 10 years, but these Colts aren’t looking for intimidation out of their corners. Like most teams they are looking for coverage.
Put Marlin Jackson back in the mix healthy and they are pretty solid at cornerback. Kelvin Hayden, Jackson, Jerraud Powers and Jacob Lacey are a pretty good foursome. They aren’t asked to cover one-on-one for a long time very often. Still, I’d say it’s the best group in the division.
People often seem to forget that even bad quarterbacks complete passes on somebody in an NFL game.
And the Colts gave up fewer pass plays of 30 yards or more than any team in the league. Intimidating enough for you or not, the corners are a big piece of that, don’t you think?
Stephen Shumock from Jackson, MS writes: Have you considered a few other things? There's one other piece of the blue print other teams should follow to beat the Colts. They need the Colts' #1 receiver to be injured, their #2 (Anthony Gonzalez) to be on IR, their all-pro DE to be hurt, their all-pro safety to be on IR, and their #1 and #2 CB's on IR and their #4 CB to be injured. Let's face it no other QB or team makes it to the Super Bowl with those injuries. I have no clue how Peyton Manning and Jim Caldwell did it. I will say one other thing, for all Peyton's lack of success in the post-season, he did win the one Super Bowl in the season in which the defense showed up for him. If the Patriots' defense give up one more score in two of the Super Bowls, does that make Brady a "failure" like Manning? If the 49ers had given up one more score which nullified the significance of the catch, is Montana not as great?
Paul Kuharsky: The Colts overcame an awful lot of that to go 16-3, so why all of a sudden should we use all that as an excuse?
They were in position to win the Super Bowl or at least force OT and failed to do so. To analyze why or how it impacts Manning’s legacy or the Colts’ legacy is hardly unreasonable.
I don’t rate Manning a failure for this game at all, but he and Reggie Wayne failed on the pick and there is no way you can say otherwise.
Rick M either from Mobile or via mobile writes: Great article… Reggie Wayne quit on his team and everyone except you will not call him out...Dungy mentioned it on TV… Wayne catches the TD at the end and Peyton has almost 400 hundred yards passing and 2 td with chance to win… Wayne quit… Run the film over and over in slow motion and watch Reggie Wayne’s effort... Pitiful... He quit on his team… Peyton will never ever trust him again...Watch for him to be traded… best to you.
Paul Kuharsky: Wayne insisted his knee wasn’t an issue. His effort on those two plays was. Was he moping because he didn’t like the approach? Was there some incident earlier? I don’t know. I don’t know if and when we will know. But I don’t expect him to be traded. I expect it’ll be resolved behind the scenes. It’s worth noting that Manning worked hard all season to stoke Wayne’s ego, noting how much he impacted coverage for Pierre Garcon and Austin Collie when they were productive and Wayne wasn’t.
Jonathan in Ft Wayne, IN writes: Paul, Thanks for a great season of coverage, but I want to hit on what I know is an over-talked about subject now with Peyton and his legacy. I am a Colts fan and a Peyton fan, but I actually take all of this critical talk about him being a choker positively. While I agree it’s hard to truly determine a GOAT, only truly great players are criticized as harshly as Manning has been for a mistake because of how uncommon it is for these players make them. I think back to Roger Federer when he lost the French Open and Wimbledon back-to-back to Nadal and everyone thought something was wrong and he was done, to only then go on and win the US Open (and more subsequently). Or even Woods (pre-scandal), who struggled to not win a major for awhile when tinkering with his swing and everybody thought something was wrong, to then win multiple ones, including one on essentially only one knee. So, while I agree the general idea of conversation is a struggle involving a GOAT, people only criticize players as harshly as they are Manning when they are truly one of the elite.
Paul Kuharsky: Thank you for reading, Jonathan, and for the kind words. Hadn’t really heard many people with that take, and so it gets play in the mailbag. Some truth in it. But maybe a little simplistic too?
Chase Hargis in Brentwood, TN writes: Hey Paul, I’m a huge fan of your blog and check it nearly every day. Anyway, to my question, I’m also a HUGE Titans fan and was wondering if you thought there was any way that the Titans would try to get a big name defensive player such as Peppers this offseason? Now that our offense is so dynamic, I’m more worried about our D for once and with Vanden Bosch possibly being let go we will need a good DE. Also I was curious how likely it is you think we resign players such as Brown, Bulluck, Tulloch, Mawae, Amano, Scaife, and Crumpler? Thanks, Paul, keep up the good work!
Paul Kuharsky: Nearly every day? What do we have to do to get you up to a few times a day?
Constant theme with me: Big name does not equate with great production but does mean big price.
How high were you on Chris Hope and David Thornton when the Titans signed them? They weren’t big names. They were guys with upside who could play. I always defend the Yancey Thigpen and David Givens signings -- they were the best guys available at a sore spot. But they were big names and how did that work out?
If there were questions about how hard Albert Haynesworth would play after a big contract, well Julius Peppers sure seems to be a guy willing to turn it off for stretches. I don’t think he solves the Titans problems and I wouldn’t expect them to chase the most expensive guy on the market. When’s the last time they did that?
|AP Photo/Mark Humphrey|
|Eddie George, right, and Craig Hentrich were among the former teammates to attend Steve McNair's memorial.|
WHITES CREEK, Tenn. -- Lance Schulters arrived at Steve McNair's memorial with another former teammate of the fallen Titans quarterback, Robaire Smith.
The two also saw Samari Rolle and Eddie George.
Those four friends always thought they'd be reunited with McNair for happier times.
"That's our seats right there, playing cards all day on the plane," Schulters said, gesturing the circle they'd comprise. "Steve always won the big hands. All the big pots he won. We just joked about that, like 'Man, this is crazy.'"
Instead, they gathered in this suburb north of Nashville, not to shuffle and deal, but to join more than 5,000 others to mourn McNair, who was shot and killed Saturday in a murder-suicide.
"We might feel indestructible and indispensable on the field, but the reality of it is we're all human, and we all have an end," said Kevin Mawae, Titans center and president of the NFL Players Association. "We just don't know when that end is going to come.
"It's a difficult thing to be here. But we're all NFL players and there are not very many of us and when one of us passes under these circumstances or any circumstances, you mourn the loss of that guy. He was a brother in the locker room to many of us."
More than 30 teammates -- Titans past and present -- attended the memorial, as did the franchise's owner, Bud Adams, Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen and Nashville Mayor Karl Dean.
The list of current and former players also includes Derrick Mason, Samari Rolle, Jevon Kearse, Kevin Carter, Frank Wycheck, Yancey Thigpen, Benji Olson, Blaine Bishop, Kyle Vanden Bosch, Jon Runyan, Josh Evans, Justin Hartwig, Al Del Greco, Erron Kinney, Zach Piller, Craig Hentrich, Gary Walker, Joe Nedney, Chris Sanders, Al Smith, Chris Hope and Vincent Fuller.
Current Titans assistant coaches Dave McGinnis, Mike Munchak and Marcus Robertson (who was also a teammate) are also here, as is the team's starting quarterback, Kerry Collins. McNair was drafted third by the Oilers in 1995; Collins fifth by Carolina.
Jeff Fisher will speak during the memorial and is set to talk with the media after it's over.
George said he gathered with 15 or 20 former teammates to remember McNair Wednesday night at The Palm in downtown Nashville
McNair was killed on July 4, which led different players to different thoughts of future Independence Days.
"Here's an opportunity for us to get together every Fourth of July and celebrate his life," George said.
"I know from this point on, my July 4 will never be the same," Kearse said. "I may not even celebrate July 4 from this point on. Instead it will be on July 9 or something like that."
George wrote a poem -- entitled "Where Do Warriors Go?" -- in recent days as he tried to sort through his feelings about McNair's death.
"It was a great question, and based off of that question, these words just started coming out of me and I tried to put it into form," said George, who read the poem at the memorial service. "It was something that I wanted to send off to him, directly speak to him and send him off in the right way. Maybe one day I can recite it for you.
"It's a special place they go to. I don't know the exact place, and that was the question. In it all, he's done his best, right or wrong, and basically it was a message to say, 'You know what, you're free to go into that life, without any judgment. You've done the best you can do and we're going to hold it down here for you.'"