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August 1, 2:13 PM ET
Chat with Paul Kuharsky

Paul Kuharsky
  (3:59 PM)

Hello AFC South fans...

JD (Houston)

Has anyone drafted better in the AFC South since Kubiak and GM Rick Smith took over the Texans 3 drafts ago? 06 for example: Mario Williams, Eric Winston, Owen Daniels, Demeco Ryans etc..

Paul Kuharsky
  (4:02 PM)

The Texans have drafted quite well in that span. But the Colts do as well finding fits for their system as any team in the league, and they've got five consecutive division titles to prove it. There are no significant veteran free agents on this team from 2007 or 2008...

Matthew (Holly Springs, NC)

Are the Colts clear cut favorites to win the division or do the Jags have something to say about it?

Paul Kuharsky
  (4:03 PM)

I don' t know what characterizes "clear cut" and the Colts' run will end some time. But I sure have trouble picking against the Indy at this time...

Scott (Indy)

I move to make this chat a "no Favre zone".

Paul Kuharsky
  (4:03 PM)

Seconded. I pledge not to select any Favre questions, how is that?

Supdawg (Nashville, TN)

What are the chances of the Titans having the #1 defense in the NFL this year?

Paul Kuharsky
  (4:05 PM)

Technically, one in 32. They moved from 32nd to fifth, I could see them in the top three barring injuries. They have a lot of continuity and only one spot that is a real question mark -- left end...

SprungOnSports (Long Island)

Is this the make or break year for Matt Leinart? How can the Cards compete without him, and is it too early to call him a bust?

Paul Kuharsky
  (4:05 PM)

Third year is way too early for a make or break year for a QB who was drafted as high as Leinart...

John (Pittsburgh)

Who is the best running back in the division?

Paul Kuharsky
  (4:07 PM)

I'd have to say Fred Taylor, who is now well known for not being well known...

Mad Mike (Houston)

Paul: The AFC South was arguably the best division in Football last year. How do you see the division playing out this year and can you see all four teams at or above .500 again? Thanks...............MM

Paul Kuharsky
  (4:08 PM)

Mike, you are such a regular I'm recognizing you already. I think it's possible again. But the AFC South played against two dud divisions last season. Will be harder...

Dan (Nutley, NJ)

Who puts up the best receiving numbers for the Titans this year? Will it be a wide receiver?

Paul Kuharsky
  (4:09 PM)

I think it will be Justin Gage. Titans don't have Moss or TO, but they have functional guys and a better group then the one that was part of a 10-6 team last season...

Tom (Chicagoland)

Which veteran player on each team is in the most danger of getting cut? Could the Reynaldo Hill Experience finally end with the Titans?

Paul Kuharsky
  (4:11 PM)

Great question. Please send it to the mailbag so I can give you a thorough answer after looking over rosters. I think Reynaldo is still safe. They see him as experienced depth. I suspect you don't like him?

David (Gainesville, FL)

"But the AFC South played against two dud divisions last season. Will be harder..." Jaguars played steelers twice and chargers, and a decent tampa bay team (without David), all three games were wins... you can't call that dud...

Paul Kuharsky
  (4:12 PM)

AFC West last year -- KC and Oakland very beatable. NFC South last year -- CAR, NO and ATL very beatable. Beat the beatables and you were 5-3 at worst...

Andy (Indianapolis)

Are you kidding me? Fred Taylor? The best running back in the division? What about Addai? Obviously I'm a huge Colts homer, but I would like to hear your reasoning for this answer.

Paul Kuharsky
  (4:14 PM)

I like Addai very much. Even a Colts fan has to admire Taylor's success and toughness over time. In my eyes he really makes Jacksonville go. That role belongs to Manning on your team.

Jason (Bmore)

This isn't really an "AFC South" question, but I can't believe people really think the Jaguars can succeed with an unproven QB and no WRs to throw to.

Paul Kuharsky
  (4:15 PM)

Garrard has to do it again. Talked to him last week. He knows he will throw more than three picks. Looked very poised in practices...

David (Gainesville, FL)

let me asnwer for Andy... how about Fred is behind only jim brown and berry sanders for career ypc and high on the list for average ypg

Paul Kuharsky
  (4:15 PM)

You're hired...

Casey (Idaho)

Why is it that the titans get no love in the media when it comes to ranking teams and predicting who will get in the playoffs? Does it have to do with the smaller market they play in? They have virtually the same team as last year. The D is still tough, Vince will be better. The receivers will be better. In case no one remembers they gave san diego, who is everyone's favorite this year, some pretty tough competition in the playoffs last year; and really should have beat them in the regular season. It seems to me that if a few guys have break out years they could be in title contention.

Paul Kuharsky
  (4:18 PM)

I'm not big on the whole no-love-from-the-media angle. I'm in the media. I was hired to cover four teams. Three of them are small market. Here's their media attention, right? The Titans were very fortunate to not get the Colts' starting team and best effort in the finale. They are a contender for a Wild Card berth. I've heard more about them than Pittsburgh, and I think the Steelers are better...

RAY GORDON REID OXFORD MS 38655

QUESTION TO PUAL KUHARSKY AT 4.20 PM HI PAUL KUHARSKY NFC WEST SEATTLE OR SAN FRANCISVCO

Paul Kuharsky
  (4:18 PM)

Seattle. Trying to stick to AFC South here...

Jason (Indy)

How is our franchise and HOF QB doing? I havent heard anything lately...

Paul Kuharsky
  (4:19 PM)

He was spotted today. Polian talked about him Sunday. Infection's out. Range of motion work is underway. I'd guess closer to six weeks than four, however, based on Santi's recovery...

NATE (WV)

IS STEVE SLATON EVER GOING TO START SOR THE TEXANS?

Paul Kuharsky
  (4:21 PM)

It's a little early to say. He may prove to be a third-down type, but could have a long career in that sort of role. Let's see him in some games...

Ryan (Pittsburgh)

Paul what kind of year do you see Vince Young having this season? I know he's won a fair amount in his first two years, but he has to start developing some semblance of a decent passing game pretty soon doesn't he?

Paul Kuharsky
  (4:22 PM)

He'll be better, but I think it will be slow progress. He may never be a great numbers guy, but if he wins without great stats that's fine with all concerned. Was that way for McNair in a lot of seasons and on a lot of Sundays...

JD (Houston)

Which AFC South team did the best overall this offseason to put themselves in the position to improve the most?

Paul Kuharsky
  (4:24 PM)

Houston probably improves the most because of healed up guys, new players and Alex Gibbs. But it's still going to be hard for the Texans to move up a spot, better yet two...

Jason (Bmore)

The ESPN blog for the AFC South, probably written by you, indicated that Alge has had a great camp thus far, and should get alot of catches. It's safe to say that a QB such as Vince usually makes the TE their favorite target, no? Great pickup by the Titans.

Paul Kuharsky
  (4:25 PM)

He's looked good the practices I've been at. Made a great, spinning, one-handed catch yesterday. A good get for sure. Titans' leading pass-catcher hasn't been a TE since Wycheck in 2000...

Eileen (Baltimore)

Paul, is Indy going to be able to get past SD this year?

Paul Kuharsky
  (4:26 PM)

As of now, and I reserve the right to change my mind during the preseason, I like SD to win the AFC and the SB...

jori (battle creek, IA)

everyone knows Andre Johnson is a beast.... but is this the year he moves up into the likes of Moss and TO?

Paul Kuharsky
  (4:28 PM)

I think to make that move you have to do it for a couple years. How about he establishes himself firmly on the next tier with guys like Reggie Wayne and Chad Johnson? That would put him on course...

Lane (Kukuihaele, HI)

If there is a game that you must win, which of the four AFC South coaches do you choose to prepare your team for that game?

Paul Kuharsky
  (4:30 PM)

Excellent question. It's Dungy or Fisher. They've both come up short when they should lhave done better in the playoffs. But Dungy's done better and win his SB. He'd be my choice even with the playoff disappointments. Hard to divide these coaches from their talent in making such a selction, and I'd like Dungy's people...

Alan (Indianapolis)

Whatever happened to Eric Moulds? is he still in Tennessee? I was a big fan when he was on the Bills

Paul Kuharsky
  (4:31 PM)

Not in Tennessee. Out of the league as far as I know...

Paul Kuharsky
  (4:31 PM)

Someone asked earlier who plays more, Tulloch or Fowler. It'll be Fowler...

SprungOnSports (Long Island)

How has Jerry Porter looked at Jags camp, can he step up and live up to all that money they're giving him?

Paul Kuharsky
  (4:32 PM)

He's out after hamstring surgery. Saw him tossing a ball to himself during scrimmage last week. No drops. Missing all of camp as he heals up...

Aaron (Nashvegas)

Hey Paul, who do you see winning the 4th wideout spot? It seems McCairens, Gage, and B. Jones have been holding down the top three so far. You would think Roydell, but he will msot likely take awhile to regain full strength. With Dinger hopefully spreading it out a little bit more conventionally and direct than Chow did, having dependable wideouts is obviously important.

Paul Kuharsky
  (4:33 PM)

I think if Hawkins can distinguish himself in the games that he can be a unique slot guy and break the top four. But check back with me...

Gus (Carlisle)

Mike Hart impressed in college, and while undersized, he was productive. As a late round pick for the Colts, he seems like the perfect type of player for their team, i.e. undersized but productive. How do you see his role in the team playing out or do you think he will be released and will end up elsewhere?

Paul Kuharsky
  (4:34 PM)

So far I like him better than Kenton Keith. Hart's got a definite chance...

Justin (Dayton)

Hey Paul. Great job with the blog so far this year. Do you see Matt Schaub (injuries aside) becoming the type of productive QB that can lead the Texans to their first actual winning season?

Paul Kuharsky
  (4:35 PM)

I like him as a leader, I like him with Andre, I like him with the new run game. He needs to get rid of the ball quicker. If he stands in and takes shots after throwing it, we'll see Rosenfels as an injury sub...

Matt, IN

What are your thoughts on this "naming the assistant as the next head coach" stuff? Granted it's mostly been in college, but the Colts have made this move with Jim Caldwell and I'm not sure how I feel about it. Tony is going to retire soon, but is it always better to just hire someone from within to be the next guy?

Paul Kuharsky
  (4:37 PM)

Mora in Seattle too. Two different questions really, one about insider vs. outsider, one about naming him in advance. Inside vs. outside is a case by case thing. Inside is smart on a team that's been winning. I guess it's good for stability, but I don't love the idea of advanced naming. Bet Gregg Williams wishes they did it in Washintgon...

Matt (NC)

What is the most interesting storyline of the upcoming preseason games in the AFC South?

Paul Kuharsky
  (4:38 PM)

Texans' running game.

Richard (Knoxville)

What does 4.24 speed look like in real life? Does Johnson really just run away from the defense?

Paul Kuharsky
  (4:38 PM)

Pretty impressive. I did a blog entry about him yesterday if you didn't see it. Looks very legit. Let's see him in a game...

NATE (WV)

IS MARVIN HARRISON STILL A PRODUCTIVE RECIEVER, OR WILL WE SEE HIS JOB TAKEN BY ANTHONY GONZOLES?

Paul Kuharsky
  (4:39 PM)

If he's healthy, Harrison won't be looking over his shoulder. AG is a perfect fit in the slot there...

Tony (St. Louis, MO)

The Colts don't play well as favorites so I'm happy that people are sleeping on them. But the Chargers to win the SB? Their QB is coming off knee surgery and my last image of LT on the sideline with a trenchcoat and visor!

Paul Kuharsky
  (4:41 PM)

So the Colts are fine with Manning, Freeney, Sanders and Harrison not practicing yet, but SD is in trouble because LT was hurt at the end of the year and Rivers had surgery? (LT in a trenchcoat, btw, after he was part of a win in Indy, correct?)

David (Gainesville, FL)

What do you think of Reggie Nelson?

Paul Kuharsky
  (4:42 PM)

He's very good and a big-time candidate for the second year jump. As is Michael Griffin in Nashville...

Robert (San Antonio)

Are your chats designed to cover only the AFC South, or do you just not have a broad knowledge of the entire league?

Paul Kuharsky
  (4:43 PM)

We're trying to stay narrow on the AFC South here. I'll take a question once in a while from beyond the division...

Luke (South Bend, IN)

The Colts' top 3 WR are obviously Harrison, Wayne and Gonzales. Aromashadu seems to have a grip on the fourth spot, so do both Pierre Garcon and Roy Hall make the team? Or do you see Onrea Jones bumping one of them off?

Paul Kuharsky
  (4:44 PM)

Maybe they go a little heavier at WR at least early. I think you have them ordered correctly for right now. I look forward to seeing more of them all...

Luke (South Bend, IN)

Will Mike Pollak or Charlie Johnson start at RG for the Colts? Johnson looked really bad at times last year at tackle, so hopefully he's better inside.

Paul Kuharsky
  (4:45 PM)

I'd be surprised if it's not Pollak. But that's more a gut read and an interpretation of how they operate than it is from any insider info...

Steve (Rochester, NY)

Would Mike Williams have any future with a move to TE or are his problems bigger than that (no pun intended)?

Paul Kuharsky
  (4:46 PM)

The Titans didn't think for a second about moving him. If he can't master the position he's played all his life, what makes you think he's going to dive in to learn something completely new and much more blue collar? Why are people facinated with him?

Joe (Buffalo)

Sorry if this has been asked before, which 6 teams do you have making the playoffs from the AFC?

Paul Kuharsky
  (4:48 PM)

I suspect this will make you happy. Right now i'd go: NE, SD, IND, PIT, JAX, BUF. Big battle for No. 6, I think it could include BUF, TEN, CLE, DEN,and even NYJ. I reserve the right to change all predictions up til late in the preseason...

Chris (Baltimore)

So...who will be getting the majority of the carries in Houston behind all those shop blocks? Or will it be mostly a RBBC?

Paul Kuharsky
  (4:49 PM)

Remains to be seen. Green will get every chance to carry the load out of the gate. I like Chris Taylor a lot and know many think he could be the "no name" to emerge in that scheme...

Jake (Dallas)

Better division this year...AFC South or AFC North?

Paul Kuharsky
  (4:50 PM)

AFC South by a lot I think. Ravens and Bengals are iffy to me...

Luke (South Bend, IN)

Will Wheeler or Session start at SLB to start the year for Indy? Neither of them is really suited for the spot, Wheeler is better in the middle and Session is better on the weak side. Is there another guy on the roster who might fill in there until Hager returns?

Paul Kuharsky
  (4:51 PM)

I think it's Session while Hagler is out unless someone surprises...

Justin (Dayton)

What about Houston's secondary? Losing Dunta Robinson for a long period of time obviously hurt them. Fred Bennett seems like a solid starter, but other than that, there is a bunch of question marks. Do you think it could be the achilles heel of the team?

Paul Kuharsky
  (4:52 PM)

That's the big question there. Antwaan Molden has a chance to help while they are short. Best way to fix it is to hit the QB and fast...

JB (Houston)

What kind of numbers would you project for Mario Williams this year?

Paul Kuharsky
  (4:53 PM)

Anthing less than double digit sacks would rank as a bad year...

Kevin (Ann Arbor, MI)

So enough about Houston...does the Jags defense look to be better off with the new DC?

Paul Kuharsky
  (4:54 PM)

They'll blitz more with Gregg Williams coordinating and I kind of like the idea of Brian Williams at SS considering the quality they have at LB. They need more pass pressure...

Anthony (NYC)

Is there any chance that Chris Henry ends up on the Titans since they're in dire need of a WR? He could be a #1.

Paul Kuharsky
  (4:55 PM)

a) The Titans' need for a WR is greatly exaggerated. b) The kind of guy they need isn't available after March or April. c) No way would they touch Chris Henry after just getting out from under Pacman Jones.

Dan (Nutley, NJ)

How has Kearse looked so far? What should fans expect from him this year?

Paul Kuharsky
  (4:56 PM)

Wrote a bit about him and DEs today. He looks OK. I think it's all about his durability.

Richard (Knoxville)

C'mon Paul, Buffalo?

Paul Kuharsky
  (4:57 PM)

Somebody comes out of nowhere every year. The Bills had terrible injuries last season and were only three games off a playoff record pace...

Garo, Tennessee

Any chance of Chris Johnson starting over LenDale?

Paul Kuharsky
  (4:59 PM)

Definite chance that things are split up in a way where being the "starter" won't matter a whole lot...

Brian (Indy)

Any word on Wheeler's time table to return? I was really excited to see him in preseason games...

Paul Kuharsky
  (4:59 PM)

They said "a couple weeks..."

Lane (Kukuihaele, HI)

Most people think Buffalo will still be in NOWHERE. Cleveland comes up a playoff berth.

Paul Kuharsky
  (5:00 PM)

Did you want to know what I thought, or what I thought most people thought? Cleveland misses the playoffs. Then has a big year next year...

Supdawg (Nashville, TN)

Do you think Chris Johnson will be the OROY?

Paul Kuharsky
  (5:01 PM)

I'm not ready to go there yet...

Will (Pittsburgh)

Paul, how do you rank the AFC South QB's after Peyton Manning? Thanks.

Paul Kuharsky
  (5:02 PM)

Tough one. The other three are all unproven in my eyes. Garrard has to show he can do it again, Schaub has to stay healthy and VY has to be more consistent. I give Garrard a bit of an edge, then VY on potential, then Schaub. Tightly bunched...

Cheryl (TN)

How good is Paul Williams?

Paul Kuharsky
  (5:03 PM)

Had a nice TD catch today. Getting better.

John (Houston)

What sort of a shot do you give the Texans of pulling the upset in Pittsburgh in week 1?

Paul Kuharsky
  (5:04 PM)

Possible. Like to see some preseason games first. I think the Texans can be OK if they open 1-1 and even 2-3 if they can turn it on from there and play well at home. They must, minimally, split with the Titans...

Ron (Long Island)

Do you think the Giants will make the playoffs?

Paul Kuharsky
  (5:05 PM)

I'm having a lot of trouble stacking the NFC East at this point. I do not think Dallas is a SB guarantee...

Paul Kuharsky
  (5:05 PM)

Time for just a couple more...

Brian (LA)

Is Jim Sorgi destined to be the next Jason Garrett (backing up a HOF for his career) or do you think he will be supplanted this year as backup by Gray?

Paul Kuharsky
  (5:06 PM)

Possible that Gray or Lorenzen pressure him. Maybe they keep three at the start if there is any lingerig question about Peyton. I think it'll be Sorgi as No. 2 again, however...

Josh (Cincinnati)

When healthy what do you think about the Jags receiving corps?

Paul Kuharsky
  (5:08 PM)

Not a team strength. I like what I saw and heard about Mike Walker. Not convinced about Porter, Williamson or Matt Jones. Like Northcutt if he can be what they got him to be, a slot guy...

Garo (Decaturville, TN)

Do you believe Vince Young is unfairly critized or just on par with being a superstar QB in today's times?

Paul Kuharsky
  (5:09 PM)

I think the criticisms of Young have been fair. He's inconsistent and can be immature. Hard to argue the point when people say he's a winner...

Mad Mike (Houston)

Paul: Does Chris Brown make the opening day roster for the Texans? My guess will be no, thanks........MM

Paul Kuharsky
  (5:09 PM)

Didn't see much of Jacoby, I am back to Houston tonight. Brown can easily be cut if the rest of the group is good...

derek (kentucky)

why do you think dallas is not SB guaranteed

Paul Kuharsky
  (5:10 PM)

Because the team everyone says is going to the SB, outside of the Patriots, rarely goes...

Keith (Chicago)

"only three games out", isn't that like saying "only thirty games out" for a baseball team. CLE's ahead of both BUF and PGH.

Paul Kuharsky
  (5:10 PM)

Look back at their injuries. Three games out was very good considering what they were missing...

Paul Kuharsky
  (5:11 PM)

Thanks all for coming. Hit my mailbag on the AFC South blog page, it's under my picture. I try hard to answer them all and love to get your ideas for stuff to write about. Talk again soon...