Chat with Paul Kuharsky
Kuharsky joined ESPN.com in 2008 after 12 years covering the Oilers/Titans and the NFL for The (Nashville) Tennessean. The New Jersey native and Columbia graduate lives in Nashville with his wife.
Send your questions for Kuharsky now and join him on Thursday at 3 p.m. ET!
Paul Kuharsky (3:01 PM)
Greetings all. Nice to see you here...
Bart (Milligan College, TN)
Ok, Kuharsky...you picked the Packers over the Titans last week. So who wins the Titans/Bears game, and what's the key to the game?
Paul Kuharsky (3:02 PM)
I find it hard to imagine them losing to Grossman. If Orton were playing it would be a different story...
Ben in Nashville, Tennessee
Love your work Paul. You were great writing for the Tennessean & have continued that great work with ESPN. As a New Jersey native can you please explain why it seems as if many "experts" in the northeast are still slow to give the Titans their due respect & have all but conceded the SuperBowl to the Giants? I keep hearing that the Titans don't have the fire power to come back if they get down by double digits early. Isn't one of the keys to their success the fact they just don't give up points period. Also, I hear the schedule argument. Well the Giants have beat a Skins team in week 1 that was still unorganized in their new offense & a Steelers team without two of its offensive stars. The rest of their schedule has been garbage (cowboys included). Not to mention they got pounded by the Browns. I personally think the best two teams are in the AFC (Pitt & Tenn), NY being third. What are your thoughts?
Paul Kuharsky (3:04 PM)
Thanks for the kind words. I think people get too carried away with the respct issue. Who cares? Here your team is having a fantastic season and you are measuring whether enough outsiders are on board. I'd urge you to let it go. The thing the Giants have going for them is experience. Titans can't match them in that for sure...
Joey (Rochester, New York)
If Keith Bulluck isn't able to go do you think the Titans will start Ryan Fowler back at MLB and move Stephen Tulluch over to replace Bulluck?
Paul Kuharsky (3:05 PM)
Yes. What else would they do?
Any thoughts on the Colts win over New England?
Paul Kuharsky (3:06 PM)
I like tense games, but that one was odd. The Colts turned into a team that scaled down and did enough just enough to win. That was hardly the Colts we're used to from the last five seasons. But they got the result which is what matters...
Hey Paul, Has Matt Ryan been everything that the Falcons organization could have asked for to help get away from the Michael Vick saga?
Paul Kuharsky (3:07 PM)
Yes he has. And at this rate he could take Offensive Rookie of the Year over Chris Johnson...
HELLO, SO HOW CAN WE TURN THIS RAIDER FRANCHISE AROUND? IM TIRED OF PEOPLE JUS LAUGHING T THE RAIDERS.. IM REALLY UPSET OF AL DAVIS MOVEA DO YOUT HINK ITS TIME FOR HIM TO STEP DOWN ?
Paul Kuharsky (3:08 PM)
He's not going to step down. If you're waiting for that, you might want to switch teams...
The Titans don't get any respect! Ok, just kidding...but it would be nice to get a couple of these flex games since we only got ONE primetime game off of a playoff season (CLE got 5, no playoffs). I'm thinking PIT for sure, maybe NYJ and the the finale @IND if it means something. Agree?
Paul Kuharsky (3:10 PM)
Thanksgiving counts too... Hard to predict because we don't know what games are protected by CBS and FOX. I think they'll get one or two, especially if they are still undefeated...
Do you picture Braylon Edwards performing better knowing that Brady Quinn will be throwing to him?
Paul Kuharsky (3:11 PM)
Why should it matter which QB is hitting him in the hands?
Edwin (Puerto Rico, PR)
is Jeff Fisher the best coach in the game?
Paul Kuharsky (3:12 PM)
No, the best coaches in the game have won Super Bowls. He's good, very solid, does good work with less talent, gets his message through without being a control freak, is great with the clock and rules.
ok, never mind, my chat was jumbled for a sec
Terry in TN
How is the Titan's VandenBosch's injury situation and what's the best guess at his full return? Keep up the great work, Paul.
Paul Kuharsky (3:13 PM)
Hard to say. It's just going to be a game to game thing until he's all the way back. No rush as his replacements have done very well...
Does Bill Belichick have a chance at the COY given all the injuries and tough division?
Paul Kuharsky (3:15 PM)
I'd say Smith, Zorn, Harbaugh, Sparano and Fisher would all rank ahead of him at this point. One of the new guys will win it...
Any comments on this Mike Peterson/Del Rio situation?
Paul Kuharsky (3:17 PM)
I think they are very close to going over the edge and that Del Rio is working hard to put on a show this week. Locker shuffling is for high school. But if Peterson was insubordinate, he's getting what he deserves I suppose. Wrote a column-length blog entry on the Jags' problems today...
Last week the Titans finally used Chris Johnson as a receiver but out of the backfield. Do you think they will start to line him up at receiver. I mean, he has exceptional speed. Why not take a couple of shots deep?
Paul Kuharsky (3:18 PM)
Why? Because they are struggling so badly with things as they are? I think it's something we'll see when the time is right. But it has not been something they've needed to do so far...
Is it possible that Rafael Little takes Chris Henry's spot on the roster? What a waste of a 2nd round pick.
Paul Kuharsky (3:19 PM)
Next season, yes, entirely possible. I thiknh he will have the opportunity to beat out Henry at camp. Not possible now. And even if it was, what does it matter which one is deactivated?
Adam (Washington, DC)
Any concern over the increasing numbers of touches that Chris Johnson is getting? It seems that the Titans would be better off keeping him in the 20 touch range instead of the 30 he got against Green Bay. I don't want to see him hit the Matt Forte rookie wall.
Paul Kuharsky (3:20 PM)
I would think they are monitoring that and want to beware of overdoing it again...
Anton, North Carolina
Hey is Shaun Rogers playing tonight do you know?
Speaking of Receivers. Justin Gage has been a disappointment this year. In the past few games he has had several costly drops that would be highlighted even more if the Titans have lost those games.
Paul Kuharsky (3:21 PM)
I agree. Brandon Jones has made some clutch third down catches too, to help offset it...
Come on now Paul. Your starting to sound like the rest of the people from the Northeast. You picked against the Titans last week and it sounds like you would pick against them this week if Orton were playing. Will you be taking the Lions when we play them? Its not really about the respect. Your right who cares, all we do is continue to win. It is about the coverage though. If Mexico's team (Dallas) was 8-0 that would be all you see on ESPN.
Paul Kuharsky (3:25 PM)
I said I thought they would lose. What's so terrible about that? They could have easily lost that game, no? With Orton playing I thought they would lose one of GB or CHI. I think they are a very good team. I don't think they are good enough to go 16-0. Conspiracy? I have as much say in what you see on the network as you do. And the Cowboys have what, 10 times more fans than the Titans? That's probably a modest estimate, don't you think?
Do you think the Titans would/should look at KGB? The Titans are an injury away from William Hayes and Jacob Ford being the starters.
Paul Kuharsky (3:26 PM)
Those two guys are way better than KGB at this point. They have a great line, they don't need to sort through castoffs...
As far as coverage goes, I think assigning a blogger per division was a great idea for ESPN.com. Don't know if there's an applicable way to shift that over to TV (AFC South Live? Probably not). Whatever, I watch NFL Network most of the time anyway...
Paul Kuharsky (3:27 PM)
Thanks. I don't think you'd want my mug on TV that much!
Steve (Syracuse, NY)
Any shot that the Titans take a look at Deangelo Hall? Harper has been less than inspiring (Donald Driver anyone), or is the lockerroom trouble going to keep the titans away?
Paul Kuharsky (3:28 PM)
Why does everyone want them to add players? They're undefeated. Harper has been just fine. Top flight wide receivers catch passes every Sunday. Hall couldn't stick with a team that paid him a fortune, but he's going to help in Nashville?
Is Lendale truly ok with his role this year? Do you think he gets back up to his 15-20 touches?
Paul Kuharsky (3:30 PM)
He's probably not that excited about the last two weeks in terms of carries. But the division of labor in the big picture, yeah, he's very cool with it...
JL (Hoboken, NJ)
PK...bolted out of a meeting to make sure I got a few questions in! JK...anyway, I was wondering if the Titans had any plans to integrate Brandon Jones more into their offense (or as much as a WR can be integrated) - he seems to finally be putting his talent together and produce at a consistent level
Paul Kuharsky (3:31 PM)
I like the way he's been playing and I think if he converts a key third down or two per game that would be a steady contribution...
Fair enough. From top to bottom I just feel the Titans are a more talented team that the Bears, but thats my opinion. I by no means think the Titans will go 16-0. Im a huge fan, but also a realist. I do think the Titans should finish 14-2 or 13-3 and obtain home field advantage throughout the playoffs. Which will be key when we play the Steelers for a shot to go to the SB (in my opinion).
Paul Kuharsky (3:32 PM)
I think they'll have homefield throughout. But not at 16-0. There will be a dud against a less than great team. It happens to everyone except last year's Pats...
I was right, wasn't I? The league has no business fining guys like me for even breathing yet letting Matt Jones appeal and play after he was charged with a felony!!
Paul Kuharsky (3:32 PM)
That appeal is taking way too long...
The Titans have faced down the Vikes' run game and the Pack's passing game. What do the Bears bring to the table those other two teams don't?
Paul Kuharsky (3:34 PM)
It's not so simple as just looking at units and saying the Titans are better than the Bears at X, Y, and Z and therefore they will win. What did you say before the Browns-Giants game? Or Jaguars-Bengals? The "wrong" team wins several games a week. That's a huge part of what makes the league so good...
Chris (Ole' Miss)
What are your thoughts of Antonio Johnson signing with the Colts? Good move by Colts? Bad move by Titans? or Who cares?
Paul Kuharsky (3:36 PM)
If the Colts thought Antonio Johnson was going to be a big help, they could have signed him Week 2 after they cut Ed Johnson. I doubt he plays much or helps much this season. The Titans think Vickerson is better, so they did what they thought was right. Not the greatest that you invest all that time in him and don't get to find out if it was worth it, but that's the way it works sometimes...
RE: splitting carries, is it easier for Lendale to deal with it since he usually gets the goal line? Does that help make it more palatable or do they usually just want to play no matter what?
Paul Kuharsky (3:37 PM)
Yeah, I think 10 TDs makes it way easier for him to accept...
JL (Hoboken, NJ)
Paul, I enjoyed the article you linked to about ND Kalu, seems like a real class act. I was wondering, with roster spots as valuable as they are, do teams keep around a guy like Kalu past their "expiration date" simply for their positive locker room influence?
Paul Kuharsky (3:38 PM)
Only if they don't have anyone better. But if he's even with someone else and neither is expected to get better, you'd generally give him the edge. If he's even with a kid with more upside, you can't be sentimental. Texans tend to be, I think...
Paul, it looks to me like the niners are destined to be also rans. Can't score, can't play defense so my question is: will Singletary be back next year? He didn't create this monster.
Paul Kuharsky (3:39 PM)
Have to see the rest of the audition, I think...
Chuck (Austin, Texas)
This is not a fantasy question. Do you think Steve Slaton & Andre Johnson will have success against the Ravens. I mean, the Browns did put 27 points up and the Ravens D, although good, have a tendency to slip up several times a year. Is this a game we win with Sage?
Paul Kuharsky (3:41 PM)
I won't be surprised if Houston pulls the upset. If Slaton does damage, I think it's obviously more likely to happen as a receiver...
Bob - Minneapolis
Hi Paul, What's your take on Ryan Torain's numbers in the upcoming Cleveland game. Will he get it done for the Broncos?
Paul Kuharsky (3:42 PM)
I'm as interested as you to see him if he's getting the ball. Browns 28th vs. run...
Marty Schwartz San Ramon, Ca
If the Vikings win Sunday will this put them back on the map and make them a contender?
Paul Kuharsky (3:44 PM)
There could still be nine teams in the NFC with a better record than the Vikes. I don't think they are going to emerge as a contender, but if they win Sunday they certainly stay in the mix...
Ted (Houston, TX)
No question, just a comment on the ridiculous amount of Titan questions being fielded in what seems like everyone of the Tennessee Ti...I mean AFC South chats. I enjoy reading your work, very unbiased and good opinions in what you write, but literally 90% of these questions are Titan based. C'mon now...
Paul Kuharsky (3:45 PM)
I invite you to ask about the Jags, Texans or Colts. I see a non-Titans question, I go out of my way to try to answer it, honest. I suspect Titans fans are curently more excited...
JJ in NY
K. Jenkins and S.Rogers made a nice transition from 4-3 DT to being a NT in 3-4. Do you feel that Albert H. could when he hits the market???
Paul Kuharsky (3:46 PM)
Excellent question. Could he? Sure. Should he? I wouldn't mess around. As good as he is at what he does, why take a different job? There will be teams who want him to do what he already does...
The No Respect Card (Here)
I'm old. Why can't people pick a different card to play?
Paul Kuharsky (3:46 PM)
Pick a card, any card...
JL (Hoboken, NJ)
Let's pretend you're Roger Goodell: What do you do when Michael Vick gets out of jail - suspend him for a few games, a season, lifetime ban, nothing?
Paul Kuharsky (3:47 PM)
Honestly I can't even remember his status in terms of his suspension. I do not think he walks out of prison and onto an NFL roster...
Joey (Rochester, New York)
I know you don't cover the Browns. But I've been saying "IF" they decide to fire Romeo Crennel that the Browns should hire Marty Shottenheimer. He was the last true coach in Cleveland to have success and get them to the playoffs. More important, he brings discipline,character & heart and that is what the Browns have lacked ever since he left. Much less when the Browns came back in 1999. Agree?
Paul Kuharsky (3:48 PM)
Nope. Recycling is not the way to go. Go find the next Sean Payton, Mike McCarthy, Andy Reid, Jim Zorn. Look how well the four new coaches, who are really new coaches, are doing...
I've been hearing rumors that the Titans have been in contact with Joe Horn. Any validity? Or is this just to light a fire under J. Mac and Gage's rears? I can't imagine he would be much of a step up at this point.
Paul Kuharsky (3:50 PM)
If I remember correctly he was one of their emergency list guys, They keep in touch with emergency list guys. There is a long way between checking in and signing somebody...
Whats the over/under for times I get sacked this Sunday?
Paul Kuharsky (3:51 PM)
Either 1.5 or 2.5. you will be getting rid of it in a hurry...
JC (W. Memphis, ARK.)
I know it's kinda early, but how do you see the AFC playoff picture to look like.....Titans should have home field right???
Paul Kuharsky (3:52 PM)
I think they'll secure homefield throughout. That's not been such a great thing in some recent years..
EDDIE ROYAL OR DWAYNE BOWE THIS WEEK
Paul Kuharsky (3:53 PM)
I'll ask a Texans question since I live here...why is their secondary perpetually terrible? A guy like Eugene Wilson comes in off the street w/no training camp and is starting 2 weeks later? Also, why do they seem to lead the league in IR'ed players every year? Zac Diles bit the dust at practice yesterday...
Paul Kuharsky (3:56 PM)
Hard to answer the injury question. A good degree of it is bad luck. They've not addressed the secondary sufficiently and it needs to be a priority. This draft should be pretty D heavy...
JC (W. Memphis, Ark.)
Anybody in the AFC South to join us in the playoffs??? By the way, do you think you can out run Collins in a 40????
Paul Kuharsky (3:57 PM)
I'd like to try but he's pretty sleek and actually a few years younger than me... I am thinking no on a second AFC South playoff team, but it's certainly still possible.
Dan (Nutley, NJ)
If Jax gives Cincy and Detroit their first wins in back to back weeks, is Del Rio on the hot seat? Are they stuck with him because of the contract, or will they do something drastic?
Paul Kuharsky (3:58 PM)
He will be their coach at the start of 2009 no matter what, I think. Two bad years in a row could change things.
I read in the Tennessean that Kerry Collins had an ankle injury and did not practice. I had not heard of these previously...do you have any status on him?
Paul Kuharsky (3:58 PM)
He will be fine...
what is up with Reggie wayne being questionable, non injury?
Paul Kuharsky (4:00 PM)
Teams don't designate status -- probably, questionable, etc. -- until after Friday's practice. He had a day off or was limited for rest...
What's your take on the future of the QB situation in Nashville? Can Kerry keep it going for another 2 years with Simms possibly taking over for a little while thereafter...or are we going to draft another one sometime soon? Can't imagine Vince sticking around long unless he lights up training camp next year.
Paul Kuharsky (4:01 PM)
I don't know and I dont think they know. I don't think KC will find a better situation. But odds are it's an offseason of uncertainty, waiting to see VY in camp...
Another Texans question: If Sage didn't try to pull and Elway and helicopter over the Colts a few weeks back do you think he would have ever come out of the lineup? I think he's been the best QB on the team since they signed him.
Paul Kuharsky (4:02 PM)
Scahub has been pretty good lately -- against bad teams I know. I don't think he would have lost the job for having landed in the hospital with a viral infection, no....
What's going on with Addai this year? I think Rhodes look better in his 3 games he played then Addai has all year thus far..
Paul Kuharsky (4:04 PM)
Well the line is getting back to itself and Rhodes has had more carries behind the recovered group because of the timing of Addai's injury. It's a concern, though. I wouldn't want him on my fantasy team...
Dan (Nutley, NJ)
How many kickers in the league would you rather have taking a big field goal for you than Bironas? Not many, right?
Paul Kuharsky (4:05 PM)
Not too many, no. He's been pretty consistently clutch. Would like to see him finish GB in regulation...
Why are teams so afraid of Nnamdi Asmougha?
Paul Kuharsky (4:07 PM)
Because he's very good. And because they can't pronounce his name...
Since you think the Titans won't go 16-0, which team do you see ending their streak?
Paul Kuharsky (4:07 PM)
Jags, Jets, Steelers and Colts all dangerous...
Daniel Rogers (Detroit, MI)
I'm a very excited Titans fan who moved to the mitten state, so I'm Titans starved. Anyway, I'm curious as to what your keys to the Titans-Bears game will be for either team will be. Any thoughts? BTW, keep up the great blogging.
Paul Kuharsky (4:08 PM)
If the Titans can contain Forte and Hester, I think they will be fine. Chicago has a chance if Grossman can limit mistakes...
In response to your flex question, the steelers and jets games have been protected by CBS according to the NFL television map site.
Paul Kuharsky (4:09 PM)
Too bad about the Steelers game, that's one that should be prime time...
Paul Kuharsky (4:09 PM)
Well folks, I enjoyed it very much. Thanks for coming. Hope to see you next week. Bring friends...
Why don't the Titans go for more long pass plays? Is it a lack of open receivers or lack of confidence in Collins?
Paul Kuharsky (4:10 PM)
It's not what they are built to do, and their ofense has been working just fine. They take shots, they haven't hit a lot of them...
Do you see the titans taking a chance in signing Javon Walker for the rest of the season with minimum salary, assuming he is cut from the Raiders.
Paul Kuharsky (4:11 PM)
No chance at all...