I am sorry to announce we've got a brief delay. Reporting got in the way. I will be back by 3:15.
In the meantime: "The industrial revolution was neither industrial not revolutionary." Discuss.
Apologies. Here I am. Happy New Year, almost.
Kuharsky, do you really think momentum is that important going into the playoffs? The Colts had all the momentum in the world last year, and almost none the year they won the Super Bowl. Is momentum a myth in the NFL playoffs?
Boil it down this way: Would you rather be San Diego right now or Minnesota or New Orleans? I'm going to say San Diego. Momentum is not everything, but it's not nothing either.
Is it time for the Colts to draft an heir to Peyton?
I don't think so. Top flight QBs play a long time.
Will mike heimerdinger get any interviews for head coaching jobs after his miracle turn-around work with vince young this year?
I've proposed he'd be perfect for Chicago if the Bears are looking (and they probably should be). Mort said today Buffalo is likely to give him a look. Bills fans would be thrilled to get a Titans' coordinator after the Gregg Williams' disaster. If he leaves -- major setback for Vince Young.
Paul,I am among the many disappointed colts fans, and i am ready to put it behind, but the comments of pollian and irsay are making it worse. Pollian chat on NFL network mentioned about team wins in a decade important to them, and irsay says that laying showed courage. Do they even have a PR dept?
I am with you. To suggest wins in a decade or regular season streaks -- broken up by a playoff loss -- are more historically important was silly. And courage was a terrible word. Irsay, of them all, was in position to do more to soothe fans and failed.
Do think cinci and NE would "lay down" and pull starters with the intention of losing just to keep woodley and the steelers out the playoffs?
No. If a team mails it in, it's for their rest, not to try to dictate the playoff field. Too many other variable.
Who does the jacksonville cleveland game mean more to? JDR or Mangenious?
JDR still has a slim playoff chance, so JDR.
If the colts go 1 and done again do you still bill polian making a philosphy change, or even being forced to change it?
A reasonable person/ organization would have to re-evaluate, no?
Can colts beat the chargers?? and can they win it all?
Sure, and sure. Can also lose first round. Anything goes, that's why the league is so great.
Would you agree that the Colts' move of sitting those starters, tampered very seriously with the NFL's integrity of the game? I believe it sets a very bad precedent for future games. For example, this weekend some teams might decide to "rest" their players and have a "di-facto", throw in of the game. What about the integrity of the playoffs? Did we the fans get to see the best teams? Thanks for your comments!
You're not obligated to play the people that benefit the playoff field or the league. A coach decides who plays when. How can the league mess with that? They made subs and knew they'd probably lose, but that is not the same as throwing a game.
Even though I agree Mathis and Freeney both made the Pro Bowl, I don't find it fair to everyone else. No, they weren't part of the entire fandom voting which could have gotten them in to it (like some of the Vikings' players... and Cowboys' players from a couple years ago), but there were more deserving players. I think there should be a cap on how many from a team can make the Pro Bowl. If the fans actually get dedicated to putting in ballots, I can see an entire offensive line from a specific team making it. 13 Cowboys made it a couple years ago, and 8 Vikings this year. I don't think all of them deserved spots, and it's ridiculous how the fan voting was so much a part of that. Maybe 5 or 6 per team? Give some chance to other players who are excelling below the radar on some of the "weaker" teams.
Seriously? Name me a better AFC pass rusher this year than Freeney or Mathis. Fan voting is only one third of it. Players and coaches ballots fixed the fans worst foolishness, like Vinatieri being in first.
It looks like the Colts need a new front man. Polian will never be able to connect with fans again after this. Just how much PR damage do you think Polian has done for himself and the franchise?
A great deal more than they expected was possible But it's hardly a death blow.
The standard-of-living debate today is not about whether the industrial revolution made people better off, but about when....er..are you ready for some football!?...
With the season over, what positives can fans walk away with from the 2009 titans?
CJ. VY rebound. McRath looking promising.
I hope you don't mind but I used my extra 15 minutes to discuss the Holy Roman empire being neither Holy or Roman.
Will the Texans go to camp next summer with Slaton, Moats and Foster all battling for PT?
Probably, but also with a new guy. And it should wind up Slaton and a new guy.
Will teams be able to take advantage of a 2010 uncapped year potentially and front load bonuses (in case a cap comes back later)?
There has always been a consensus that once the caps goes, it won't be back. But yes, there are all kind of questions like that we won't know about until things start to unfold.
If you were Coach Caldwell and your team is play against the worst team in the NFL and you clinched all that you need, who would you start? Manning or Painter?
Manning has to start. His consecutive starts record goes on the "good record" side of the franchise's record ledger.
Spare me Mike Leach stuff. We're talking NFL with focus on AFC South.
PK,Why is it such a heinous crime to yell at a ref, or question a call during a press conference when it's completely legal to throw a red challenge flag and question a call publically in front of 75k fans and a national TV audience? What is your opinion on the Chuck Cecil fining?
You don't see a difference in throwing a flag and initiating a process and cursing out an authority?
Would Gage and Washington both under long term contracts, what do the Titans do with Kenny Britt? Does he replace Gage Washington to the slot like Pitsburg?
The have the freedom to rotate the three through the two spots or play more three-wide. All healthy, I'd venture that their snaps would come out about the same. Britt's the guy who needs to be on the field the most now and gong forward.
I think the texans really need a big force at DT. Is it worth trying to get one in the draft, or should we test free agency. It seems we never have luck at that position
I am more concerned with FS, CB and RB I think...
You said McRath looks promising? Is he the next Keith Bulluck? Starting OLB next year? or is he just a decent depth guy? I didn't see him make alot of plays in his limited action this year....
I think he's a starter next year. And they'll be looking for another new starting OLB too.
If the Texans don't make the playoffs again, how long will Johnson continue to play the good soldier and teammate, or decide he really wants to be on a winning team?
He's not playing the part, that's him. He'll stay himself.
What percent chance I break Dickersons record?
Carnac says: 8 percent. That's a ton of yards.
Do you think the Colts will keep both Stover and Vinitari on the play off roster? AV looked pretty shaky last weekend.
Hard to keep both active.
Are we going anywhere tonite?
You will be invited to sleep on my lap. And it could be extra early. But you can wake me up banging pots and pans if you like.
Cursing aside. If a coach publically criticizes an official during an interview or press conference he will most likely get fined. But he can throw a red challenge flag and it's part of the game. What's the difference?
The difference is: the officiating department is part of the league, and the league has rules that allow for the flag but not the callouts. I think coaches should be able to criticize refs in a postgame environment. I don't think you are entitled to curse them out during a game. If a coach can, than a player can, then there is chaos.
What do you think of Jason McCourty , Cornerback and 6th round pick out of Rutgers for the Titans...Do you think that he is capable of being a starter in the future? And what position do you think is #1 for TN to address in the offseason? I would say DE
They cannot presume he is starter quality next year. They need options. If he is starter quality, then great. Right now I say CB, Returner, OLD, DE are top four. Need to see what they do with free agents though.
Why does Dinger get all the credit Fish and Dinger worked with KC last year while I got VY ready yet they get all the credit for the development of VY when in reality I did all the work to get him ready.
You're kind of an understudy. A top coordinator is coaching his quarterbacks and you are following the program.
McCarthy's comments yesterday seemed like he would play his starters if healthy against the Cards to keep momentum. Believe him?
He's never lied to me before...
Next camp we will race again for a coke but I am not giving as big a head start. Deal?
Definitely. Between now and then, I ain't got no home.
What do you think of Kenny Britt as a future #1 Receiver? And who does he remind you of?He reminds me of a Brandon Marshall , my dad likes to say he reminds him of Michael Irvin
I think he's a current No. 1 receiver. But on a team where that doesn't mean quite as much as it does on most.
Other than the Colts, who will make the playoffs in the AFC south?
I expect no one.
Overall, Do you think the AFC or the NFC playoff teams are better? And will the tougher competition for the one you pick help or hinder their super bowl representative?
I think the top teams in the AFC are better. I think the NFC field is deeper.
Hey Paul I was going through my phone contacts and I realized you were not in it. I was going to invite you to my New Year's Eve party but once again you've left me in the dark. So if you could go ahead and RSVP me that'd be great.
Cool. How can I get that to you?
Was it my imagination or did Lavelle Hawkins make some plays down the stretch? Think that prevents the Titans from taking a late round flier on WR next year?
Probably not. Time to replace Paul Williams on the practice squad.
Paulie my boy what do you say to replacing Ryan Seacrest for my Rockin' New Year's Eve? If you are interested I can pull some strings.
I accept. But I am sleepy. Can we tape early?
Do you think Charlie Johnson is playing well enough to hold up in the playoffs? He has playe dmuch better than expected this year.
Seems like. I think he's worked real hard at it and surpassed expectations. Still a spot they need to look at for 2010.
The list of FA Qb's is abysmal to say the least. I dont think JDR or Weaver can afford to rebuild with a rookie QB. Do you think they would entertain a trade for Quinn?
Also abysmal. You want to hang your hat on him?
Out of Bulluck, Scaife, KVB, Harper, Len Dale White, Mawae and Kerry Collins, who has the greatest chance of being around with the Titans in 2010?
My gut right now says Harper and Bulluck not back. KVB, Mawae and Collins depend on their prices. Scaife depends on the market for him. White not back.
Will K.C. be back and if not who would be a good back up for VY. Happy New Year
I don't love him as a backup, but I don't know that you'll find a veteran more capable of taking over if VY is hurt or things go sour.
You said I was sitting on your lap tonite. Now you you are making plans with Peyton Manning? I feel left out.
You don't want to be on my lap at his party?
Hey Paul looking forward to pre-draft season? Incessant draft questions by desperate fans that only want you to provide them with tiny glimmers of hope?
Don't like the draft. Not able to follow college game very closely. Certainly can't help those folks much now.
Thinking about pulling the starters to be sure we're healthy next year. Plus that gives us a 7-9 record instead of 8-8. Higher draft pick baby!
Genius. And would give you five losing seasons in 15 seasons instead of nine non-winning seasons in 15.
The most disapointing unit on the Jags to me is the OL. I thought the defense would be bad at the beginning of the year but I thought the Jags would be better with the return of Manuwai and Meester. Are they going to address this in the draft next year ?
I think Meester will be gone and they will draft there. Maybe a guard too.
Gary Brackett or London Fletcher: Which linebacker is more underrated?
Fletcher I think. Brackett's great at what he does, but couldn't fit in some other systems.
Who is the colts biggest loss in the offseason this upcoming year?
Bethea if he is unrestricted of gets a huge offer sheet.
Paul, I'm not sure the need to groom a replacement for Manning is an argument about replacement more than it is about depth. If the Jets game showed anything it is that losing Manning is catastrophic. When Brady went down Cassel managed to perform while surrounded by the talent. Manning has, thankfully, led a relatively healthy NFL career. I think, at this late stage in Manning's career, for the Colts to continue on without looking at a solid QB for depth is a gamble.
Every team has a couple irreplaceable guys. Instead of trying to cover yourself for if they go down, you basically concede a season if they do and get a nice draft pick.
Amano seems to stick out as the weak point on the Titans line. Any chance they draft a replacement? Will Harris still take over for Mawae next year?
Tougher and tougher to keep Harris on the bench, I think.
I know you say you don't follow college football, but do you at least have a favorite team? What's your Alma Mater? Do you watch their games?
I was at Columbia when the Lions broke the record for the longest losing streak in college football history, and for the party when we broke that by beating Princeton. I root for them, for Temple where my wife went, and for Vandy which is close to home now. Not an illustrious trio there.
You all were grilling me yesterday about what I bought the O-Line. What do you think it is?
I was not grilling on that. Just listening. I am not as excited about that element of this as most people. But what's better that a flat screen or a four-wheeler, and not as good as a car?
Fisher brings up a good point. Where will the Titans fall in the draft with tiebreakers to the other 8-8 teams?
It's based on strength of victory, which won't be known until all are done with their winning and losing.
The jags are in quite the pickle: Keeping Del Rio could cause more blackouts yet firing him could prove to be the wrong decision.. What are your thoughts on this conundrum?
I think his team overachieved and, inconsistencies aside, he's safe.
Welp, there's about 15 minutes left in this chat, and we're ahead of the game, time to call it a day.
Who's taking over? Finley?
would your rather have brady and moss, or rivers and jackson for the playoffs?
Hard to go vs. Brady and Moss there, but that's closer than most people would think.
Dude, Seifert is throwing this huge bash tonight. You will be there, right? Zima's on me.
There isn't a coach in the NFL who wants to try and berate me from the sidelines.
I bet Cecil would take his chances.
Is Rod Hood still under contract with the Titans for next year? Could he start next year until a draft pick is ready to take over? I think Eric Berry would look fabulous in 2 tone blue!
He is not. He also isn't the second coming of Champ Bailey because he played three good games. The Titans will be no where close to the right range to draft Eric Berry. He's a top five guy.
can the patriots win on the road in the playoffs?
Sure they can.
As a writer reporter who sees a lot of C. Johnson are Chiefs fans getting a glimer of that tallent with Jamaal Charles. Are these guys changing the leagues view of sprinters being good RB's and work load etc.?
I think it's strictly a case by case basis, and I'm not grouping anyone with CJ right now, he's on his own island.
Will titans go after any big names in FA
Big name pleas already? Big names aren't usually problem solves. Did you do cartwheels over Chris Hope or David Thornton. I doubt it. Did they help turn the tide for the Titans? Sure did. Root for good fits who have their best ball in front of them, not big names.
What would have been so wrong if after the game I said I thought it was a bad decision to take out the starters? (Did you see me on the sideline talking to the staff? Do you think I was asking to go back in?).
It would have been perceived, fairly or not, as you questioning authority.
Who do you see Gene Smith tabbing as his first pick in next years draft?
Best available, unless it's an OT, in which case he has to trade out.
What are the steelers chances at making the playoffs?And if they do what are there chances at makin a return to the superbowl?
I don't think they are getting in, and if they do I can't see them repeating.
I just wanted to put out that I fully support Coach Caldwell's post. It took a lot of courage for him to do that.
Yeah, he should get a Purple Heart or Congressional Medal of Honor or at least be part of the next Kennedy Center Honors.
If A.Thomas isn't back in NE, I would think he would make a lot of sense in TN....
If he isn't back in NE it's partly because he's been a dog. Is Ten in the market for a dog? And isn't he a 3-4 backer?
When Mellencamp was butchering "Born in the USA" did you want him to stop as much as I did?
It was a rough moment for a lot of us, yes.
I'm a little late to the chat so if you can't get to my questions here maybe you can hit them in the mailbag. Feel free to answer the one you think deserves the most attention.It seems Jaguars fans have asked all manor of questions regarding the draft, playoffs, personnel, etc. In your opinion is there an important question fans have overlooked at this point in the season?Rasheen Mathis said the Cleveland game is job interview, implying some on the team may be out of a job if they don't have a good "interview". Who's most at risk besides the obvious Reggie Nelson.
Well it's been a 16-game interview, it's not all on this game. Who's futures are up in the air? I'd say Garrard for sure, Nelson, an older guy like Henderson, the interior offensive linemen.
Now that Reinfeldt has been in office for a few years, how would grade his drafting ability? Hasn't missed on a top pick and has found excellent players late.
Good not great. Griffin isn't a lock to be good long-term. Paul Williams and Chris Henry were disastrous.
I think the question to the Jaguars isn't whether they'll retain JDR but rather whether JDR's staff will remain in tact. This team is low on talent and what the staff did, on the whole, is impressive. Is Koetter gone and do you think JDR will deviate from his annual coaching carousel?
Stability is good, but not if an assistant isn't good. I think Koetter is good. Would be a shame to change OCs.
How important is it for the Titans to get a 2nd round pick from someone in next years draft?
At what cost? Sure you'd love to have one. But if it means dropping down in the first and giving up your third and a sixth next year, then you're back in here asking how important for them to get a third.
Shouldn't the Titans get a 3rd rounder for the loss of Fat Al?
That's the expectation.
You said in a chat before the season ended that the jaguars might get 6 wins. They are in line for 8, so ha! You also said that the division would stay th same an the jags would be in the feller, again ha!
Yes, it's incredible that I would miss by two wins on a team that's been a big surprise. How can that happen when the league is so incredibly predictable? Newsflash: Jags can still finish in the cellar.
William Hayes has played better this year. Has he proved those who jeered his 4th round selection wrong? Should we expect him to be starting next year?
I would think we'll see Hayes and Ford in a lot of rush situations. He's not been so great that anyone who dared question his selection qualifies as a fool. But he's a good player.
If you could go ahead and forward peyton's number to me when you get it Paul..I'd appreciate it :) Happy New Year!
Have your people contact my people.
Look dad, I know you and Finley have history but I'd like to think I'd get the lap for Manning's party.
You, little man, will be asleep at home.
Getting hurt lowered my asking price, does that increase my chances of sticking with the Titans or are they ready to just cut me loose?
I suspect B.
Paul, what do you think of Uche Nwaneri? He's a pretty dominant run blocker, but can be porous against the pass at times. Reminds me a lot of that one Steelers interior lineman, and not just because they both have funny Pacific names.
Yeah, they need guys to be more balance on run-pass. It's an issue for him.
I recognize it may be years down the line, but what differences do you see in the philosophy of Chris Polian versus Bill when that transition occurs?
He's completely unproven at that job. I have no idea what to expect except for him to try to mirror the best of his dad.
I have too much experience. Send in Simon.
The call to the pen is underway. But I'm a little late.
Carries for CJ...Over or Under 35 Sunday
A little under.
I posted my 2010 predictions for the AFC North teams. When will you do the same for the AFC South?
PK,You always say a trade needs to benefit both teams involved. With that being said, the Bears O line is very weak. What would you think about the Titans trading one of their offensive linemen (Roos or Stewart) to the Bears for their DT Tommie Harris? Seems like that would benefit both teams.
Who replaces Roos or Stewart, then? Don't see that happening.
Another colts tanking related question. I promise this is the last one. You would think that peyton has the most influence on this team and he clearly wanted to play. Why didnt he lobby behind the closed doors? They would have listened to him. Why not let him a shot at history? I am sure he wanted it!
Maybe they weren't super clear as to the plan ahead of time. Maybe he lobbied and lost. Maybe he was a good soldier form the start.
Running back class of 2008. Best of all time?
I am unwilling to declare anything that's two seasons old the best ever.
Paul, would just like to thank you for your thoughts and insights through the year,and look forward to much more next year.If you could sometime in the near future would love to see an article about the rules of and possiblilities of what may happen with an uncapped season. Thanks for all the good work.
Thanks for reading.
What do you think needs to be addressed first for the Jags: interior offensive line or the secondary? I ask this on the assumption that everyone agrees pass rush is the biggest concern first and foremost.
I'll go interior line. The QB needs time.
Troy Kropog = Daniel Loper or David Stewart?
So far not even Loper, who was an effective/ versatile backup.
Well Paul, I think I made the right call a couple years back.
With all the lying? Yeah, was definitely the way to go. Don't they say quitters never really win? It's enough to make me root for Texas. Maybe.
Any chance Tony Uhgo developes into anything more than a serviceable backup at this point,and if were to leave who's offense would fit the best?
An offense that doesn't run left or play a lot of teams with good blindside pass rushers?
Well folks, thanks for your patience at the start. We've made it. Look for a column post to hit the blog shortly.
Happy New Year and best wishes in 2010!
At least I'm better than Petrino, right?
What a badge of honor that is.