Hi folks. Hope everyone is well. Glad you're here.
Johnson looked terrific on the last drive against the Jags. And I'm not just saying that by his numbers alone but just much more decisive and hitting the hole with more authority.... Do you think the light is back on for him or that was just a sample of Jags D not caring and Johnson desperate to make his bottom line look better.
I never thought the light was off. He's got the exact same number of yards through six games this season than he did lass season.
The Jags cut Gerald Alexander again - is their secondary really so bad that there's no difference between their starters and free agents they can pick up off the street?
He's not being replace by a free agent off the street. He's being replaced by the guy they felt beat him in camp, who subsequently got hurt.
You that Mark Howard that he's a lot closer to completing death rule of "3", than I am. I'm in great shape!
One instance where I am not really for naming names.
Whats the status of Kerry Collins? How did her hurt his finger?
Practice now, injury report to follow. He said he'd practice. He banged his finger on a helmet.
Who will be affected more by injuries next week: Indy who seemed to have lost Collie and Clark, or Houston with Ryans being out for the season?
Well the Colts have been showing for some time they can plug and play next man up. Don't know that Houston has proven it to nearly the same degree.
I don't see how you can sit Verner when McCourtey comes back. Your thoughts?
I don't see it either. I think Fisher's bought himself room by emphasizing how close they were in the competition. He can now say given that McCourty barely won and the way Verner is playing, we stay with what's working...
With all the talk about the hits and tackles this week, there have been countless discussions and media reports on it. In most of them a common theme is, players are stronger and faster now, so they hit harder and therefore more rules need to be made to protect the players. Are you telling me that players today are hitting harder then Lawrence Taylor and Dick Butkus?
So Paul who do you think could be the first player in the AFC South to be suspended by this joke of a rule?
I am not anticipating a rash of suspensions. Name me three hits in the division this season that were technically illegal in the helmet-to-helmet of a defenseless receiver way.
Probably easier to ask this way, which Colts aren't out for the next 3+ weeks?
Not a lot of info coming this week except from players/ agents. No official reports as part of bye week. I have no idea about Collie. Worry about Addai.
Paul: Are the titans for real this year? I loved the way they looked against the Jags best overall performance for them this year but I still have an uneasy feeling the other shoe is going to drop again.
I think that was at least half Jags. I wouldn't put too much into that win.
how is it that fili moala got popped for a dui/public intoxication at the beginning of the season and the colts did nothing. but mcafee gets arrested for public intoxication (and wasn't driving) and gets suspended for a game? makes no sense to me. where's the consistency?
Maybe it's got to do with past transgressions we do not know about. But you should definitely call Polian's show Monday and ask. They've said they won't be commenting further to the press and I believe them.
Now aside from a pass interference call the Titans could very well be 5-1 but thats past so based on your preseason prediction do you believe they will still finish 8-8?
Or 9-7. I don't think they win 10, no. And I don't play the "aside from a pass interference call they would be." A) It was pass interference. And B)They won the games they won and lost the games they lost.
In honor of McAfee I'll be enjoying a cold one during this week's chat. Just saw Schefter tweet Collie will be out a few weeks after undergoing hand surgery. Did that happen in the game, and what have you heard on the injury?
I am behind on that. Crazy stretch for them. I would presume it's from the game. It's not like they are hitting in a couple practices heading to the bye.
Doesn't look like the Titans have missed Justin Gage at all with Damien Williams playing like he has.
If they take snaps away from Britt for Gage, they're crazy.
Demeco Ryans is such a huge part of the leadership on the defense. How can that be replaced and by whom?
More Brian Cushing, more Bernard Pollard. Williams doesn't have the personality for it. Maybe Antonio Smith. They all have to lead first and foremost with production.
Did the Colts just have a bad game against the Jags when they lost? Because the team that the Titans beat on Monday doesnt' look like they could beat UT.
Teams don't play the exact same ever week. The Jags who beat the Colt and the Jags who lost to the Titans weren't the same team. You can't use them to compare Indy and Tennessee.
Has Coach Cecil spoken on the subject of hard hitting suspensions yet?
I talked to him about it yesterday. Said basically: "I am all for player safety."
I know it's impossible to replace somebody like Dallas with one guy so do you expect to see more of a Tamme/Eldridge platoon at TE, more 3 and 4 receiver sets with White/Gonzo or some combination thereof?
Combo. But Tamme is the next man up guy. I figure we'll see Wayne, Garcon and Gonzalez on the field together a lot.
How is it the NFL can make rules that prevent the defense from doing something but the offense can do it (i.e. hands to the face)?
The offense initiates and has the ball, the defense is trying to stop it and take it away. It makes since to protect people as they go to get the ball or while they have it.
Seriously-- I have to go! I wish Paris Hilton was my owner.
You are a bit too big for her.
Was listening to the zone this morning while you were on and then all of a sudden I get a tweet from you pointing to a detailed article. Clearly someone other than you tweeted. So the question begs....who is that really behind those tweets and articles?
Interweb magic allows me to set a post to go live when I want it to, and all posts result in automatic tweets and Facebook status updates. Glad you are both playing attention and listening.
What's your opinion on the Jags Quarterback situation? Who probably will start this weekend? I hear you on Prisco all the time by the way.
They've got terrible options. Hope for Edwards but expect Bouman. How could they go that long without drafting a guy to at least be a developmental backup?
Better all around WR. Santonio Holmes or Roddy White?
I think I lean White.
Given the rash of injuries to the small-but-speedy Colts roster, do you anticipate a change of draft/free-agent strategy to get larger guys next year? I doubt they will if they make the playoffs moderately healthy, but if they miss the playoffs, or go out early due to a banged up roster, I could see them making size (and presumably on-field durability) a priority next year.
Are bigger guys automatically more durable? I don't know if that's true. Justin Gage is hurt and he's a lot bigger than Austin Collie, for example. And small and fast is the Colts' way. They are pretty stubborn about how they do things. They are not gong to draft size if it means giving up speed.
I was surprised at DelRio's comments regarding the consecutive run plays in the 4th qtr. Do coaches and offensive coordinatior not routinely communicate during the game?
I was surprised as well. He can pass the buck sometimes. And certainly he's got an open line to suggest things. He's the boss, but apparently the buck doesn't stop with him.
Titans are 4th in scoring O and 3rd in scoring D. Those are stupefying statistics.
And still they found a way to lose to a bad Denver team.
Rashean gets flagged for facemask, I'm fine with it. Later in the game, Finnegan tries to tackle MJD by the helmet, no call. That I'm not okay with. Finnegan continues to get rewarded for being a cheap player.
So much crying and so many people certain the refs play favorites.
Especially now that David Gararrd out against the KC, do you think it is possible for the Jags to pull off a win? Or will their lack of a leader on offense hurt them too much?
I think he's lacking in leadership when he's out there. You lead, first, by producing. He didn't hit a pass longer than 10 yards while he was playing. Leadership isn't the reason they probably don't win.
Is Cortland Finnegan as good as people (including me) think he is?
Right now he's pretty average, I think.
Owen Daniels looked pretty good last week, how do you see him performing the rest of the year?
That was encouraging and you hope he can build on it. But there is no telling for sure.
It looks like the Titans will face off against Kevin Kolb at QB on Sunday. Would the Titans rather be facing a rhythm passer like Kolb or a more dynamic QB like M Vick?
If they throw and read defenses similarly, I think teams generally prefer a pocket guy. Because they don't have to fear getting hurt by his running.
hey Paul, could you tell us which unit from each team is the weakest right now? which is the strongest?
Jaguars -- SafetiesTitans -- Probably receiversTexans -- SecondaryColts -- Running back if Addai and Brown are both out
Can the Titans defense continue to live off of red-zone stops? Long drives saved at the goal line are kind of scary.
Less ground to cover. So it's possible they are just a lot better in tighter quarters.
You did good on predicting the Bengals, Broncos, and the Bears would not be as good as advertised. You still think there's a possiblity that the Jets implode?
Possible. More likely I missed on that one like I missed on SF being good. Thank you for recognizing the hits.
Did you push McAfee into the canal?
I was not in Indiana, officer.
Can you ask Critic in TN why he said "all of a sudden"? First, the expression is "all the sudden". Second, virtually everything in life happens "all the sudden". Was he expecting a slow and deliberate tweet that appeared over time?
You are incorrect. It's is "all of a sudden."
Jeff Saturday: Isn't that Faith Hill over there?Peyton Manning: We need to get someone up to block Faith Hill!
I like that picture. Thanks for playing.
You still believe Gene has the team moving in the right direction? I certainly do not!
I think he's a good talent evaluator who's not had enough time to stock up yet and probably needs a chance to hire a coach.
As a loyal Jags fan, the Titans game was hard to swallow. Can we count on either some personnel change or perhaps a first round qb for 2011 to turn this team around.
Absolutely there is a first-round quarterback coming.
Hello Chief - are you sold on Mariani yet ?
Solid returner. But I am not in love with his work at the end of the Denver game.
Why did the Jaguars bring in Patrick Ramsey and not Trevor Harris, the kid that was in training camp and Preseason? He knows the system, right?
Because Harris isn't good. Knowing the system does you no good if you have insufficient physical skills.
Any word on Dallas Clark? "Indefinitely" doesnt exactly bode well for the Colts' chances given how crucial he is to exploiting defensive personnel.
There isn't going to be a minute-to-minute update on these guys. Don't know if his second or third opinion will be reported today or not.
MNF Live Chat was horrible - Matt was commenting 5x's as much as you - did the Yankees game have anything to do with your lack of eloquent quotes or did the game put you to sleep?
Sorry you didn't like it. Matt's job that night as to do the chat. My job is to do the chat and position myself to write a Rapid Reaction and a column after the game. That entails a bit of time without my nose in the screen.
Looking at the struggling Texans defense: do you think a more experienced defensive coordinator would get more out of the group?
Don't you think all the psycho-babble emphasis on intangibles like players' "confidence" and "leadership" and "psyche" can be overrated a bit?
I do. Play well and you get good in all those categories. Funny how it works.
Paul when will you stop hating the Titans and show a little love? I mean Vince is possibly sitting out this week and we know how you hate him, you think maybe you could jump on the bandwagon temporarily?
I wish you would all get together and decide if I love them or hate them. The VY bandwagon. The Titans' bandwagon? You're unclear. I don't hate him. I don't think he's very good. Big difference.
Much has been said about VY and all the issues that people see as negatives. But what about the positives. His on the field play has improved, and more impressively his demeanor. Lets not forget two years ago he was moping on the sidelines and got benched after and injury against Jax. This time same song, but he doens't mope in fact he stays involved with the game plan and cheers on his team mates. Lets give him credit, he has matured. He still has a way to go, but Im encouraged by what I see out of him.
Hooray. He's behaving like a professional. Let's throw him a party and throw confetti on him. i am not huge at lauding guys for doing what they are supposed to do in exchange for those giant checks.
Garcons one-handed grab was easily the best catch of the season and probably one of the top 5 ever. Kinda ironic that it was Garcon that made said catch... Just sayin.
A lot of guys who make circus catches have trouble with simple ones. That was tremendous.
Despite the quality pass rush from the defensive line the Titans still have been giving up a lot of yards through the air. I don't buy into the fact that QBs have just been throwing it more either, the defense has also been allowing a high completion rate for opposing QBs. (excluding backup QBs, Average of 70%+). Is it breakdowns in the secondary, the blitzes, checkdowns, Romo/Manning/Orton skewing the stats?
They don't care about yards. they care about third downs, and more than anything, points. And they are doing quite well on the points front.
Who do you see taking up the slack for RB in Indy? Brown or Hart
Brown if healthy, but I'm not sure he's healthy.
Whats up with Kelvin Hayden this year? Do you think more freedom to do things like jump routes is in his head? It seems like a tries to jump on a lot of balls he doesnt have a chance at. How about powers stepping up? He was everywhere Sunday night!
Powers was excellent Sunday. Hayden's been disappointing this season. I don't know what's up with him.
Do you think losing McAfee (suspension) will affect the Colts in terms of field position? There are many intangibles to think about like miss handled snaps, short kicks, not enough hang time..etc.
They aren't going to be better without him.
At least we weren't swept at home.
If you are up a run in the forth inning tomorrow night, things start to change, don't they?
Schaub has been getting sacked/hurried/pressured quite a bit. Does Brown's return improve that?
It will help. But LT isn't the only spot that needs to protect better.
Fell into a canal? What a lightweight...
I don't think he fell. I think he took off his short and went in by choice.
Any idea what the colts plans are for a kick returner now that they released moore? i know james is still on the practice squad (or was last i knew). are they thinking about bringing in a free agent?
i don't thin we'll see a new punter or have a hint of the return plan til Wednesday.
I beating you Kuharsky...and I'm proficient with the ellipsis too...
You are talented. I need to do an update post on you.
How many more drafts until Gene gets this team to be a serious contender? I'm thinking two.
Second year of their new QB, they should be on a big upswing. If not, then questions start getting pointed.
Paul I really think you're underestimating the titans this year.. Solid run game with a solid d.. Are we forgetting they won the south two years ago with that same formula? 10-6 or 11-5 in my book
Maybe. But I am guessing you are a fan, and I know I'm not one. So I'm going to go with the less biased opinion on it.
Fine, since you won't answer me Kuharsky, I'm taking Finley out for a walk...scratch that, I might pull a hammy if he strains, Finley's a strong pup!
You can handle him, I promise.
All these hitting rules - where is Terry Tate Office Linebacker when you need him?
Maybe he shows up on SNL this week.
Paul it seems as if you hate him when you write about VY you speak in a very personal tone. You dont think Gerrard is very good either but you are much more professional when you write about him. Its as if VY kicked Finley or something
Garrard understands how to admit his failures and handle himself professionally day to day. Young does not. There is a difference there. We know the Jaguars will go a different direction after this season. There is a difference there.
Should I ever pick against the Titans?
Yes. When you think they will lose, don't worry about hurting their feelings or insulting the city. People want honest game picks. Not PR.
Yo, Kuharsky, do my Yankees have a chance to pull this one out with Hughes pitching tomorrow? Wanna come over and have an ALCS party? McAfee's bringing the booze...
I am there, bud. Invite you guy Bulluck, too.
What is the best positional group in the division 6 weeks into the season (ex. Colts LBs)?
Can go a lot of ways here. My initial two would be Colts quarterbacks and Titans defensive line.
I wanna throw a welcome back party for Micahel Griffin you in?
Talking to him in about 30 minutes and you will see something tomorrow.
Do people in the pressbox get a free loaf of bread if the Bunny Bread Bunny wins the Kroger Shopping Cart Race? It's not easy being a journalist these days, and free is free.
We do not.
More obnoxious: Fans thinking you "hate" their respective NFL team, or Fran Drescher's voice?
How can it be that as long as you have lived in Nashville you have not been softened by the southern charm? You still have that harsh NJ attitude. Are you wearing a lead suit or something?
I've been called winsome for my video performances. Nashville has calmed me quite a bit, honest. So had fatherhood. You should have known me when I'd only been here a year or two.
Do you think Peyton has been taking notes from Oregon games of late? That was an insane pace he ran against Washington on MNF.
Hard to cover them they can be so fast. Look down to jot a note, miss the next play. Colts should do like Oregon with the uni combos. (Kidding.)
I know...I should not be concerned with this in October...but just wondering what position the Titans might target with their 1st round choice in the draft next year?
WINNER. We have a winner. First draft question of the chat. Ed, tell him what he wins...
What's the deal with everyone bashing you for you're "Titan's non-love"...I don't see it, I read the AFC South Blog daily and I don't get that from you...
Are you available to work on my behalf and spread the word?
Some guy on the radio today said that he heard that Cowher was house hunting in Ponte Vedra, I say unlikely. What about you?
Maybe he likes it there. If true, it's not because he's going to work for Wayne Weaver.
who would win in a fight between you and afc west blogger, bill williamson?
I'd run away so he couldn't beat me up. But why would he want to fight nice old me?
Normally I take Polian's side with things, but Kravitz made a good point: How silly is it that McAfee gets suspended but Moala doesn't? Yes, we don't know if Pat has had any prior disciplinary action by the team, but I suspect if he had it would've leaked long ago.
They've kept things bigger than a previous alcohol-related incident quiet for a good while. That was a great column.
Is Anthony Gonzalez going to play a bigger role than Blair White?
If healthy, absolutely.
Bob Sanders is going to be getting a lot of fines and suspensions with these new rules
Yeah, it's going to be tough to keep him on the field.
You need to wear a lead suit. Maybe it will get rid of that spare tire you're carrying around.
Did you lose 30 pounds when I wasn't watching, slim?
Can we do a power ranking of the different bloggers ESPN has?
You can do whatever you like, Chief!
Fans can put aside their bias. Looking at the Titans schedule... They lose to the teams they are supposed to lose to and beat the teams they are supposed to beat. Figuring it that way... they finish the year with 11 or 12 wins.
We view teams they are supposed to beat and lose to differently. Were they supposed to lose to Denver?
Since you look "healthy" in your pic and should therefore be an expert, rank the AFC South Cities by quality of restaurants
Whats your biggest surprise in the AFC South so far to date?
Arian Foster's production.
Who is this QB you're so certain the Jags will be taking in the draft?
I don't know who he is. They shouldn't yet either. But he's a comin....
Do you think that Reid says Kolb is starting to fool Fisher much like Fisher is trying to fool Reid by saying VY may start (no chance of that methinks).
Neither of these teams could come close to losing because they predicted the starting QB incorrectly.
Pete Kuharsky, after scouting your tape I think we need you to fill in at Punter, KO Specialist, Slot Receiver, Tight End, Safety and to fill in at MLB if necessary. You in?
Sure. Be there in five hours, presuming I can cross the canal successfully.
You should remind everyone of Goodell's chat starting when yours ends: http://chat.nfl.com/front/index/1177?module=HP_spotlight
Apparently the commish is chatting next.
more annoying-- fans complainign you hate the team or fans complaining their team gets nor respect?
Personal Foul, Chris in Grand Rapids, asking about the next year's draft six games into the current season. Penalty will be deferred into the offseason where he will be required to watch all of the NFL Network's Scouting Combine coverage.
Texans DTs have looked terrible this year. Is Okoye officially a bust now, and is there anything the Texans can do short term to shore up the position?
He's just not getting it done. I don't know how you shore things up now.
So you like Fran Drescher's voice?
Love it. It's like symphony music.
Hey man, you must not have checked the latest run of DDD, where I take a trip through Nashville; great bbq, mediteranean, and meat-n-three's.
Missed it. Would love to know where you went.
OK kids, that's a wrap. Good job by you. Read the blog. Please.