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June 8, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Paul Kuharsky

Buzzmaster
  (11:53 AM)

Hey everyone, Paul's running about 10 minutes late this morning. Don't worry, though, he's on his way and said he'd explain when he gets here.

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:10 PM)

Greetings folks. Apologies for the late arrival. Had the second worst soda-spill incident in my history (1996 Houston episode still ranks No. 1, you all remember that.) Basically poured a giant Coke Zero into the console between the driver and passenger seats of my car. Good times. But enough about me...

Skeleton (Chattanooga)

Since we are the least popular division in the world can we start lashing out at the popular kids now? Maybe by winning a super bowl? I hate the Texans but it looks like they're our best shot right now. How big a lead do they have on the next best team?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:11 PM)

Hard to say what it will be performance wise. Talent-wise, they have a pretty good lead, I think.

Chris (Upper Carolina)

Let's just get it out the way right now...Fish and Shrimp for dinner tonight or do I go Rib-eye?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:11 PM)

Why decide so early? Are you hitting the early bird special?

Justin (jax)

Can the jaguars make the playoffs in 2012?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:11 PM)

Possible? Yes. Probable? No.

John (Houston)

What drafted player for Houston looked best in OTAs? (I know it's only OTAs, but still)

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:12 PM)

I didn't see every one of them, so I can't say.

Tommy (Columbus,OH)

PK,Coming in to this season the colts have two positions they are relatively thin at, and that is cornerback and runningback. Do you think they will make an attempt to pick up a veteran like Cedric Benson to boost their RB depth, and maybe a Randall Gay for Cornerback?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:13 PM)

I think they could be looking at corners into and throughout the season. They sound happy with the backs right now, and they aren't thin in terms of numbers. Donald Brown, Delone Carter and Vick Ballard could be a sufficient three pack. We'll see.

CJ (returning to 2K)

Do you really believe I am only the 3rd best running back in the AFC South?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:14 PM)

Right now, yes. But I'd also say the top two are top five in the league. So there is no shame ranking behind them.

juan(houston) [via mobile]

With Wade Phillips history 2nd season history with his last teams, do you see the Texans defense falling off too much to where we don't make the playoffs? I personally think we will be just as good, or even better..but even if the defense were to fall that we would still be a top 7 defense, at least. And with schaub, foster and hopefully Andre..we would make the playoffs nonetheless...what are your thoughts on it?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:14 PM)

I think if they don't win the division, they will have serious explaining to do.

Chris (Upper Carolina)

Your NFL darkhorse this year?(And btw, I'm a planner).

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:15 PM)

I feel like Buffalo and/or Chicago could break through.

Refugio Lopez (McAllen, tx)

How do you feel about Tommie Campbell being the third corner for titans this year?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:16 PM)

I'm anxious to see it. He has a lot of potential. Make-up speed. And a big opportunity. Yes, Walker, they believe he can play well as the third guy.

Edward Marlowe (Murray, KY)

The Colts obviously were relieved when Wayne decided to stay put. Are they hungry for any of the FA receivers available? The newly unemployed Ochocinco? Edwards? I don't see much help behind Reggie, especially with an unhealthy Collie and departed Garcon.

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:17 PM)

What's the appeal of Ocho when he couldn't make it work in New England, with a great QB and a need at WR? There are no difference-makers on the street at this stage.

Barack (Michelle's choke hold)

Do you think the Texans will pick up a veteran WR? Who are the candidates? Did they not like Sims-Walker?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:18 PM)

The Texans are clearly ready to go young after Andre Johnson and Kevin Walter.

Tyler (Montana)

Who do you see as the interior D-Line starters for the Titans. I like the versatility and youth that Casey and Klug bring, I think Martin will help as well. Smith has lots of bulk, but I have to think they finally call it quits with the Marks experiment.

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:18 PM)

Right now it's Casey and Marks, which makes sense on first down.

Blueman (Indy)

Just saw I'll Have Another will not run Belmont.Dissapointed?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:19 PM)

Who's not?

Roger (Nashville)

Based upon Bud's comments during the Peyton Manning chase about how badly he wanted a Super Bowl before it's too late, what has he done since that demonstrates that commitment? Thanks, Roger

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:19 PM)

What was available for him to do? It's not like they missed out on Manning and could have moved on to Tom Brady. Bud signed off on Steve Hutchinson and Kamerion Wimbley.

Edward Marlowe (Murray, KY)

So it seems Kampman was a salary cap casualty for the Jags. Do we have any idea where he could land? Any chance he stays in the AFC South?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:21 PM)

He wasn't a cap casualty. They could afford him and owed him nothing until Week 1. He's got a bad knee. Nobody is jumping on an older guy with a bad knee who was just let go by a team that has a need at his position.

Eddie (ATL/JAX)

do you think Andre Branch could be comparable to Jason Piere-Paul, in a way that alot of teams acknowledged that they really only had 1 good college year.. possibly with the same type of NFL output aswell

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:21 PM)

Branch is a great athlete. JPP is an other-wordly athlete.

Jake Locker (The Bench)

Why would the Titans draft me at #8 and leave me behind a broken down Matt Hasselbeck? This is a marriage! Don't I deserve a chance after they french kissed Peyton Manning behind my back?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:23 PM)

How does Hasselbeck rate as broken down? How is chasing Manning a bad thing? I think you're confused. If you're that confused I don't know if I want you starting.

John (Houston)

Is it just me or are you ready for September already?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:23 PM)

I'm always content letting the calendar progress naturally.

Dave R (Houston)

Who do you see emerging as the #3 WR in Houston?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:23 PM)

Keshawn Martin.

James (Nashville, TN)

I know you have a lack of faith in the Titans because you feel they did not upgrade their pass rush enough but I think they did enough. It's not like they need to improve from 31st in the league to top 10. Improving to about 18th in the league would be pretty good in my opinion. What do you think?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:25 PM)

I think being 18th in pass rush against Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Matthew Stafford, Philip Rivers, Ben Roethlisberger and Jay Cutler could mean you're 1-5 in those games.

Tony (Richmond, CA)

Is Matt Schaub capable of leading the Texans to the Super Bowl? Or will something go wrong, as it always seems to with his guy, causing Houston to fall short of its lofty expectation?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:25 PM)

He's a great QB for what they do and they can win with him.

Edward Marlowe (Murray, KY)

Who do you expect the Titans to start at WR this year? Britt, Washington, Wright? I thought Damian Williams and Hawkins did an excellent job stepping up in the absence of Britt, as did Cook. Where do they fall in the passing scheme if the Titans decide to go three-wide?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:26 PM)

Britt is No. 1, Washington is No. 2, Wright is No. 3, Williams is No. 4 but will certainly get snaps.

Chris (Upper Carolina)

I know you love baseball, but you have had to like football. Has covering it as a journalist (all aspects from interviews to dealing with us in a chat room) increased or decreased your enjoyment of it?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:28 PM)

I enjoy it a great deal. Watching Monday Night Football while not "working" is a different deal than the Sunday games I write about, certainly.

Michael (Indiana)

Who has the better rookie year? Fleener or Allen?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:28 PM)

Well, pass catchers will always be viewed as more successful as blockers. Fleener will catch more passes.

Refugio Lopez (McAllen, tx)

Do you like the idea of Verner playing the same position as finnegan played last year? Will he be as effective in the nickel?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:29 PM)

I think he can be very effective. I certainly like him inside in nickel more than Ryan Mouton.

Justin (Nashville)

As a pro bowler and one of the top statistical punt/kick returners in the league, you would think Marc Mariani would be a lock, but I hear otherwise. What are the chances he gets cut because of the depth at receiver?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:30 PM)

I think he's in trouble. He's not such a great returner, he had one very solid year. And kick returners are less important now than ever with the increase in touchbacks. He's not a very good receiver because he lacks speed, and I can't see how he'd rank higher than sixth if everyone is healthy.

Edward Marlowe (Murray, KY)

I still don't understand why the Texans let DeMeco Ryans jet to the Eagles (and for so cheap!). Can you explain this rationale? I've always thought he was more versatile than Cushing and played the middle with authority...almost like Vilma in NO. A brain-trust who could run the defense, even before Phillips arrived in Houston. And Williams gone, too... Can the Texans' defense REALLY be as dominant as it was last year?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:31 PM)

Did you see him last year? He was pretty much a non-factor. He wasn't on the field for even 40 percent of the defensive snaps. He's a great guy and a good player, but they are hardly doomed without him.

brou (duval)

If the jags defense stays idle and the passing game improves what are the chances of the jags taking the afc south title?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:32 PM)

Hard for me to understand what you mean by stays idle. The defense was shredded by injuries last season.

Blueman (Indy)

Do you see any potential at all in any of the Colts corners?(Powers excluded)Anyone you see as at least being around next year as decent nickle corner?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:33 PM)

I have not seem these guys with Chuck Pagano's staff yet, so I can't say. Going to Indy next week and will have a better sense. It's certainly a weak and unproven area beyond Jerraud Powers.

Your car's console (The garage)

I know you consider the spill a mess but I was really thirsty so thanks.

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:34 PM)

Yeah, what a lucky day for you.

Kurtis (Houston, TX)

Should the Texans re-sign Schaub next season or do they test the FA market? and if you know, who are some of the top QB free agents next year?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:34 PM)

I expect they will re-sign him. Top QBs don't become free agents, so there won't be quality alternatives.

Robert Lou'gee (Jacksonville)

Paul, now that the Jag's upgraded their pass rush and WR group in the draft which position do you feel is the next area that should be a focal point in the next draft?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:35 PM)

Probably the pass rush still. Could be O-line depending on how Eben Britton does and whether John Estes or Mike Brewster looks ready to take over for Brad Meester.

Blueman (Indy)

Can we expect to see Jerry Hughes on the field at least this season? Is he still around just because the Colts are so thin at OLB?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:37 PM)

Why would he not still be around? Why cut him before giving him a thorough look in camp? They owe him no money until the season.

Chad Ochocinco (New England)

Paul, I want a Super Bowl. Would I be a good fit in Houston?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:38 PM)

Absolutely not and it won't happen.

Brian F. (Jacksonville, FL)

Will the absence of Kampman as a locker room guy be an impact or is that an over valued "presence"? Additionally, if you look back at the Reggie Hayward injury you have Jaguars team that seems to have bad luck at both the WR and DE positions. Though WR is more self inflicted.

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:39 PM)

Valued presence for sure. But you can't keep a guy to be a presence. You pay guys and fill roster spots for production. And they didn't see him as in line to produce.

Kevin Costner (Chillin' Brah)

Did you guys see me in For Love of the Game, I had some wicked pitches.

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:40 PM)

I love you. But that was not one of your best movies.

Cory (Dayton, OH)

What's your writing process like when you're headed to camps? Do you go in with a certain story idea from the start and then go from there or do you show up to camp with a blank slate and see what impresses you most?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:42 PM)

I go in with a list of requests for interviews and as big a list of topics as I can put together. But I always hope to see stuff that leads me elsewhere, to better places.

Chris (Nashville)

Who do you have in game 7 heat or celtics?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:43 PM)

Will root like hell for the Celtics (a team I have always hated with passion) but don't know what to expect.

Awayne (Indy)

When you have your QB not able to attend OTAs (Luck) how much of the offense can you run,or do you just basicly do positional drills aand basic stuff in OTAs anyway?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:43 PM)

No, you install as you would no matter what. You don't put the team on hold because one guys is absent, no matter who that one guy is.

Tony (Richmond, CA)

Which Texans linebacker needs to step up most with DeMeco Ryans now in Philly? Which of the four has a breakout year in Houston?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:44 PM)

Brian Cushing, Connor Barwin and Brooks Reed have all broken out as far as I am concerned. Hopefully they get good work out of a Bradie James/Daryl Sharpton combo in the fourth spot, which is a situational role that might not be on the field 40 percent of the time.

Eric Z. (Melbourne FL)

The Titans come out week one, drive one, in a 3 reciever set that features Jake Locker at QB, a fully recovered Kenny Britt at the X position, Nate Washington on the outside, Kendall Wright in the slot, Jared Cook at Tight end, and a committed and In shape Chris Johnson in the backfield. Provided Locker is as comfortable with the offense as everyone in Titans camp seems to think he is....is this offense under peoples radars?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:46 PM)

If that's the scenario and Locker can deliver the ball accurately, it should be a productive offense. I'm not sure Britt will be healthy. I am not sure Locker will be the guy or will be delivering it accurately.

Scott (Northglenn, CO)

Who gets signed first - Ocho, TO or Kampmann?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:46 PM)

Ocho first, Kampman second if he gets healthy. Why do people still think TO is going to re-emerge? I'd bet against it.

Scott (Northglenn, CO)

Thoughts on Vonta Leach being voted a top 50 player...I realize he may be the best FB in the game, but is that more important than say, the 7th best QB?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:47 PM)

Nope. That list is a joke for a lot of reasons. Fullbacks being on it is one of them.

Chris (Upper Carolina)

With the signings of DeVan and Hutchinson, and (IMO) nice depth no the O - Line, how great can the Titan line be?With the changes, will the pass protection suffer as the run blocking improves?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:48 PM)

How are you counting on DeVan to be anything? He's depth if he's on the roster, I expect. He's a Howard Mudd guy who Howard Mudd gave up on. Don't group Hutchinson, a starter and leader, and DeVan together.

Dave (Earth)

Any news on Scobee talks/contract?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:49 PM)

When people have news on things like that, they generally share it. Not company policy to wait to be asked about it in a chat.

Kurtis (Houston, TX)

If Saints/Brees deal not working, I bet you see a top QB in free agency next year

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:49 PM)

No way he's not with Saints for long-term.

Chris (Upper Carolina)

Is Locker not seizing the job a knock on him or a compliment to Hasslebeck?Or is it lack of playing?(And btw, I wasn't calling DeVan great!)

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:50 PM)

How is he not seizing the job? These practices are a notch above walk-throughs.

Patrick (Houston)

How are Brandon Harris and Kareem looking? Should we expect a huge fall off without jason allen but presumably Brandon Harris and Kareem getting better?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:52 PM)

Kareem Jackson looked fine. Brandon Harris won't get time unless something happens to Brice McCain. Harris is a slot guy.

KING Kevin (Fandom)

Why are you hating on Locker so much? If you look at his limited playing time his success per snap is 2nd in the NFL only to MVP Aaron Rodgers.

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:53 PM)

Don't hate him. Don't understand how people think his accuracy issues are solved. Saw him make a terrible play at the end of the New Orleans game when you absolutely cannot take a sack and he took one.

Joe (Houston)

Do you think the signing of Ball is to replace Jason Allen to mix in with Jackson or do you think we will get CB help from another player?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:54 PM)

Yes, Ball is in line to be Allen. Good addition, I think.

Elvis (Graceland)

How can you seriously expect ANYTHING from the Titans?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:55 PM)

I expect them to be average.

buzzlightyear (JAX)

Why wouldn't the Jags keep Kamp on the roster, if it didn't cost them anything until week 1? Wasn't Chick's injury worse than Kamp's?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:56 PM)

I would presume they like what they've seen from the rest of their guys and didn't see Kampman recovering well enough in time to have a chance to contribute.

Scott (Northglenn, CO)

How long do you think is the proper amount of time to give a player before evaluating as a bust/success?

Paul Kuharsky
  (1:03 PM)

Depends on position but I need to see something by sometime in the second year, generally.

Chris (Upper Carolina)

Alright PK. You've answered all my questions which tells me you probably don't have a high quality chat going on today. You can take the rest of the day off and pay back your 10 minutes next week. Travel safe!

Paul Kuharsky
  (1:03 PM)

Must have been good questions. Thanks everyone for coming by. Have a great weekend.