Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

December 27, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Paul Kuharsky

Paul Kuharsky
  (11:58 AM)

Welcome all. Thanks for coming. Hope you had a great Christmas and a fantastic new year awaits. Let's dive in.

KarmaPolice (nashville)

If Norv Turner is available, do the Titans make a move or roll the dice with Loggains?

Paul Kuharsky
  (11:59 AM)

I expect if Mike Munchak remains in place that he will try to hire Tom Moore or an outsider of Norv Turner's caliber. I have a feeling Turner winds up trying to save Mark Sanchez for Rex Ryan.

Al (Wausau, WI)

Belated Merry Christmas to you and your family, Paul! What do you think happened to the Texans against the Vikings on Sunday? Were they just flat, or are there other problems they have that must be resolved in time for the playoffs?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:00 PM)

Well they couldn't move the ball. It was a big dud. But good teams play duds against mediocre or bad teams once in a while. They have better talent that the Colts. They should win. They have to resolve the run game and third down, and they have to get pass pressure from people other that J.J. Watt.

Clint (Houston)

In the past few years, teams which have gained the 1st seed have not faired well in their quest for a Super Bowl. Obviously home field advantage is a big deal, but do you think that a loss to the Colts and the loss of a 1st seed could be beneficial and actually push the Texans to perform in the playoffs? Or do you think it is vital that Houston gains the 1st seed to have a chance of advancing to the Super Bowl?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:02 PM)

If a loss to Minnesota isn't beneficial and doesn't push them to a win in Indy, why would a loss in Indy be beneficial and push them to a win in first round? A bye hasn't proven a big deal in recent years. There still isn't a team in the league that wouldn't want it.

Jordan (Denver)

Hey Paul,If you had to guess, who do you think will be the coach of the Jags in 2013.

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:02 PM)

Mike Mularkey.

Tyler (Tallahassee)

Win or lose Sunday are the Jaguars cleaning house on monday and does that cleaning involve getting a new HC,QB and RB?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:03 PM)

New GM. I can't see how Shad Khan doesn't make that move. New GM brings new front office and, eventually, scouting staff. Mike Mularkey is a much bigger question. I've heard he's safe.

Clint (Houston)

Also, if the texans don't reach their Super Bowl goal, or at least reacht the AFC championship, which direction do they need to take next year? Managerial changes? Small adjustments? The team isn't getting any younger and all of the stars it's producing wont stay around and take a hit to stay under the cap for the rest of the team; some may, but not all. It's a tough call with a team thats on the border; how shopuld it be approached?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:05 PM)

Managerial changes? For a team that goes 12-4 or 13-3? No. It's not a tough call at all. You strengthen weaknesses -- pass rush, OL and corner depth. You hope Schaub learns much from playoff experience. And you stick with your plan.

Buck (Houston)

How can the Texans be so flat for big games? How does Kubes keep his job?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:05 PM)

They have 12 wins!

Scott (Nashville)

If not Locker, then who do you think is the future for the Titans? What do you think their most pressing need is?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:06 PM)

If not Locker, clearly the future of the Titans at QB is not on the roster right now. Most pressing needs are safety and interior OL. Pass rush too.

Blake (Houston)

PK, what's your rating of Vontae Davis over the past few games?Seems like he has settled in a little bit.

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:06 PM)

Has gotten better for sure.

David (Houston, Tx) [via mobile]

If you were the HC for the COLTS. Would you start or rest your players, considering there's no change in your playoff seed? Thanks and Happy New Year Paul

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:07 PM)

I wouldn't push to get an injured guy like Samson Satele back in. But I wouldn't sit Luck or anything like that. Then you see how the game goes. If we're in position to tie it at the end, I'd go for two to ensure no OT.

Joseph- Abilene, TX [via mobile]

I loved the beginning of the season & seeing the Texans #1 in most power rankings. Now #10? Still the best record in the AFC, how bad has Texan stock fallen?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:08 PM)

People always overreact to the latest thing -- a bad loss, a good win. That's what power rankings tends to reflect. A snapshot of right now, not a look at the entire season.

Mike (MD)

Do you think Munchak deserves to be fired given the poor development of Locker and the team's inability to win division games? And what are the odds that Adams lets him go?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:09 PM)

Locker is most responsible for the failures of Locker. I believe in personal accountability above all. Munchak and staff have done a bad job this season. But they have a bad roster. I'm not certain Adams would do better with a replacement. I think it's 50-50 right now. Can improve a bit with a win, drop a bit with a loss Sunday.

Alex (California)

Any chance of a playoff win for the Colts this season? I know the defense has been pretty mediocre and we've had too many turnovers, but there's something about Luck in the fourth quarter that has me having a bit of hope...

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:10 PM)

Once you're in, anything can happen. If they draw Baltimore, it's a winninable game. I'd give them a 35 or 40 percent chance in that game.

Tyler (Central, IL)

Why do you think Coby Fleener has been so quiet this year as a 2nd round draft pick? I know he was hurt, but he hasn't been nearly as impressive as Dwayne Allen. Do you think he'll get better with time?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:10 PM)

Not every rookie comes in and lights it on fire. Yes, Fleener will be a good NFL player in time.

Brian (Cville, VA )

Is it realistic to think that Shad Khan will tell an incoming GM, "part of you accepting this job is to agree to let Tim Tebow come in and compete as a QB". Would this scare away most GMs?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:12 PM)

IN theory, yes. But if I tell you, you can be a NFL GM with Tebow, or you can not be one without him, what would you do? Khan could force Mularkey on a new guy. Would he really force an outside player who's unwanted by two teams on a new GM? I'm not convinced he would.

Will (Houston)

How likely is it in your opinion that the Texans reach the AFC championship game if they have home field advantage?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:12 PM)

Who are they playing in the division round?

Kevin (Knoxville)

I'm thinking that in 2013 the Colts might need four new starters on offense and six new starters on defense in order to take it to the next step. I know it's early, but do you think the free agent budget might be enough for such an overhaul?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:13 PM)

Between the draft and free agency you can get a good share of that. Probably unrealistic to get 10 new starter in one offseason.

Alexandra (Jacksonville, FL)

Do the Jags re-sign Daryl Smith?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:13 PM)

Same answer for all Jaguars' personnel questions: Who's the GM?

Alexandra (Jacksonville, FL)

Is there a real basis for the Tebow to Jax rumors??

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:14 PM)

Khan was interested last time he was free. That's the basis. Is he going to force Tebow on Gene Smith or a new GM and Mike Mularkey or a new coach?

Will (Indy)

Is the Pro Bowl a joke or what these days? Is it always about the best player at their respective position or is it a popularity contest? Is Derrick Johnson over Jerrel Freeman a snub? No Luke Kuechly? Should we even care anymore?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:15 PM)

Jerrell Freeman should be on the All Rookie team. He's not a Pro Bowler. The game is a joke. The team is a semi-joke. But not because Freeman isn't on it.

Chris (Upper Carolina)

Should Pagano have waited until next season to comeback? Could they mess up a good thing doing that?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:17 PM)

If he wasn't very involved while he was away I think that idea could have some credence. But he was involved a lot from a distance. I don't think it's as dramatic a change as many of us on the outside imagine.

JC (Indy)

Do you think Arians will get a lot interest from teams wanting to fill a HC vacancy in the offseason?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:17 PM)

Not a lot. But it only takes one. And they'll be at least one interview, I expect.

Jonboy (Kentucky)

Do you see Bud Adams demanding the Titans go after specific free agent this offseason?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:18 PM)

Bud Adams has no idea who will be free agents this offseason.

Leon King (SE.GA)

Is this the year the Titans admit the "let Bruce/Munch coach 'em up" routine isn't working and actually draft an interior lineman in the first 3 rounds?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:18 PM)

Absolutely.

Brian F. (Jacksonville, FL)

Happy Holidays PK! You're the Jags GM - how do you handle Derek Cox? Seems he is too often injured to franchise (if they can't resign him) but the Jags are so lacking talent it makes it hard to not work to keep him.

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:19 PM)

I'd hope he'd give me the chance to top any offer he gets elsewhere, and I'd top anything with in reason. But if my colleagues could set the market for me, that could be wonderful.

Alexandra (Jacksonville, FL)

My brother wants to know why you never attend Jag games.

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:20 PM)

My bosses aren't wild about 2-13 teams. They tend to get far less coverage than playoff teams. Fact of life.

Brian (Cville, VA )

Earlier in the year you thought all 4 starters in the AFC South would be the starters for their respective teams next year. This stance seems to have softened. Are Gabbert and Locker basically who they're going to be?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:20 PM)

I gave Gabbert two years of playing. Locker deserve the same. I think three of four are the same. With Henne or a new guy starting in Jacksonville.

Santa Claus (North Pole)

Got home and realized I've got one gift left in my bag. The problem is the tag fell off. It's a playoff win. Convince me who needs it the most.

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:21 PM)

Matt Schaub needs it pretty badly.

Dan (Springfield)

Early this year I asked if you thought the Titans should be concerned about TV blackouts next year and you said no. Do you still think it won't be an issue after having seen this season play out?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:22 PM)

Yeah. All but like 5,000 are sold as season tickets, and I don't see people surrendering something they paid PSL fees for the right to buy.

John (Christmas City, PA)

Paul, while I understand that you and many other pundits do not think Tim Tebow can succeed as an NFL quarterback, I disagree. Granted, I am just a fan. However, I think that the lack of blue-chip QBs in this draft coupled with the woeful situation at QB for the Jaguars at least merits Tebow a chance. I think the fanbase deserves to see what he's capable of.

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:23 PM)

The fan base deserves the front office's best efforts to field a winning team. If they don't think Tebow can be a part of that, so be it. They don't owe the fans a publicity stunt.

Derrick Morgan (Criminal Minds)

I know I'm a fictional character, but I'd have to be better than my namesake on the Titans, right? Turn me loose on those "unsub" QBs!

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:23 PM)

Morgan is playing better than people think, it's just not showing up in sacks. Honest.

Andy (New York)

What do you think is the Texan's #1 weakness they need to fix before the playoffs? Is it the run game, pass game, or mediocre secondary?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:24 PM)

A better pass rush can fix that secondary. Run game is No. 1 concern.

Scott (Northglenn, CO)

Does Cecil Shorts have the skills to be a #1 WR, or is his ceiling a strong number 2 vertical WR?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:25 PM)

A No. 1 guy demands coverage. He can demand coverage. Who's his QB going to be?

Scott (Northglenn, CO)

Up to this point, who has had the better career - Wayne or Andre?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:27 PM)

It's a really tough question. They are really close. Maybe I'd give Reggie a slight edge since he's a bit further along and has a Super Bowl win. Johnson certain more explosive.

Brian (Cville, VA )

If you're the Jags GM, has Knighton shown you enough to show he needs to be kept around? Do you pay him like a starting DT (considering he isn't one now on a bad team)? Will someone pay him like that?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:27 PM)

I wouldn't. They (Jaguars or anyone) shouldn't. He's a third at best right now, it sure seems.

Rufus (Jax)

Was Tebow ever given an honest look at competing (other than the 13 games he started in Denver) for the starting job - from trainging camp through the start of the season? Does mental ability to handle pressure in a tight game (last 2 minutes) make up for lack of mechanics?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:28 PM)

Everyone is given a fair look. If the Jets thought he could help them win, they'd use him. They want to win, they have jobs to preserve.

Zach Coleman (Houston TX)

will the Colts sit their starters since they have clinched the number 5 seed?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:29 PM)

You have 22 starters on offense and defense. You can't sit them all. You can sit select guys. They have said they won't ease up.

Al (San Antonio) [via mobile]

Do you think that JJ watt would get the sack record?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:29 PM)

I do. I think the Colts line is completely overmatched against him.

Kevin (Knoxville)

Luck and RGIII have both lead their teams to playoff worthy records. Do you think RGIII will get ROY simply because he has better stats? Or are there other issues that will weigh in the voters' decisions?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:30 PM)

There is one other factor for sure: Russell Wilson.

Mo (Boston)

Do you think it was a mistake to look within the organization when Fisher was fired? In the blowouts this year, it appears that Munchak has no clue what the opponent is doing, and has been outcoached a good deal. Do you think he appears overwhelmed jumping from coaching an OL to an entire NFL team?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:31 PM)

He's not overwhelmed. He's very smart and he knows football well beyond the offensive line. That said, he's clearly not done a good job this year. His staff is weak. If he stays, he needs to do some serious upgrading.

Jeffro (Indianapolis)

How do the Colts not need the gift from the fat man more than the Texans? We deserve it after making believers out of the Nation. Our transition did not even take a year

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:32 PM)

You're not a championship caliber team. Making the playoffs was a wonderful feat. Anything you do there is gravy.

KING Kevin (Fandom)

Corey the Squirt Hurter (DC)Paul let's all admit that Luck is a safe prospect with good ability like a Shaub good but not HOF like when RG3 can revolutionize the Position like Cam last year. Just man up in 3 years and say the Colts missed on RG3 going the 'safe' route with LuckPaul Kuharsky (12:52 PM)Revolutionize the position? Cam's not doing it and neither is RG3. Every time we get a good running QB who's got great athleticism we hear he's revolutionizing the position. Know what I want from my QB? Accurate, consistent throws. Give me as much of that as I can get. Luck offers the most of those three. Sorry if people don't like it.RG3 has a better completion % (i.e. more accurate throws) and a better TD to INT ratio (i.e. again more accurate throws)Paul do you still stand by Luck when he's throws are a lot less accurate?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:33 PM)

Cam's revolution has produced 12 wins in two seasons and might get Ron Rivera fired. Are you being serious?

Brian (Cville, VA)

Doesn't the Jags' poor performance in 3rd & 4th quarters show that Mularkey is failing to adjust (or project opponents' adjustments)? This to me, is poor coaching and merits his firing. What say you?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:34 PM)

He's got no one to adjust with.

Mo (Boston)

Which team has a soft spot for you in the division? Is it safe to say since you covered them for over 10 years that you cheer Titans outside of your work?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:36 PM)

I don't cheer for anything in the NFL beyond good story lines and good guys and fast games. When am I watching an AFC South team and not working, anyway? I really root for only these teams: Yankees, US Soccer, Columbia, Vanderbilt.

Leon King (SE.GA)

how does the coordinator (J. Gray) of what will likely be the worst defense in franchise history (Titans/Oilers...assuming that JAX scores at least 10 pts this weekend) keep his job?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:36 PM)

I don't think he does. Did I say somewhere he does?

Mo (Boston)

If Munch stays does Bud make it conditional -- bring in certain coordinators, or at least hire from outside? The Defense looked good till we went to GB and we realized it was just the poor opponents that improved our overall stats. Offense has been anemic for sometime now. Clearly existing coordinators aren't getting it done.

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:37 PM)

I can't imagine Munch could sell himself to Bud without assuring him of staff upgrades. But Bud has no idea who the good coordinators and a assistants out there and available are. Munch would be hiring them.

JC (Indy)

PK, you'll never be able to win with the Tebow crowd. He has a cult of personality that rivals the one Vince Young had.

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:38 PM)

And they both should be playing in Canada to prove themselves.

KING Kevin (Fandom)

Well the comment box messed up. My main question is do you still believe in Luck over RG3 so strongly when RG3 produces wins and better throwing stats (i.e. more accurate throws) than Luck. You said Luck over RG3 cause of accuracy but in year 1 Luck has little accuracy where RG3 thrives on accurate throws.

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:39 PM)

You understand that if you are throwing checkdowns, as RGIII often does, you're going to complete more passes than if you're always throwing downfield like Luck does, right? Yes. I want a pocket passer who can move, and Luck is a prototype for that.

Donald (Camden, AL)

The Colts players have taken a beating this season, they've also played for 12 straight weeks. With that being said do you agree with the fact that they will not rest their starters this Sunday?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:40 PM)

You can't sit all your starters. You have a roster of limited size. And no, I disagree. Mostly because Pagano has SAID they won't be easing up.

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:43 PM)

<a href="http://espn.go.com/blog/afcsouth/post/_/id/45480/afc-south-wrap-the-division-in-2012" target="_blank" >AFC South: The division in 2012</a> All Division team is in there.

DK (Houston)

Do you think the Texans will win the division next year or is it the Colts' again?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:44 PM)

How can I pick next year's results without knowing anything about who will be subtracted or added to the teams? They play this week with a lot at stake, then both have playoff games. Why talk about next year?

Brian (Tampa)

It isn't discussed much nationally, but from being around the Colts, how much has Redding's impact this year been acknowledged?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:45 PM)

More in the locker room than on the field. They need it on the field on defense.

KING Kevin (Fandom)

WHAT?!?! RG3 averages over 2 more yards per attempt than Luck. 66% completetions to 54% that Luck has. 20 TDs and 4 INTs for RG3 compared to 21 TD to 18 INTs. Man with 14 more INTs than RG3, worse completion % and less yards per throw which he should have a ton of going down field as much as you think :Luck does.....Man Luck needs to quit going downfield huh cause he isnt excelling there.

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:46 PM)

I'm talking about yards in the air, not a 2-yard throw that turns into a 50-yard reception when the guy runs 48 yards with it.

IAN (LINCOLN)

ROMO OR PEYTON

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:46 PM)

You're the first person in world history who's ever thought that was a choice.

Jonathan (jackson ms)

If the Colts and Texans are both playing the same week in the playoffs. Which game would you attend?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:47 PM)

Not sure yet. Depends on who they are playing, where, where other ESPNers are going to go, etc.

ken (durango)

Paul: You can't really think that all RGIII does is check down. If you look at his stats he ranks extremely high when he throws downfield, when he checks down and when he throws middle range passes. he is first in the league in yards per throw. He doesn't just check down, and he doesn't throw picks like Luck does.

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:48 PM)

I didn't say he only checksdown. I said he checks down A LOT more than Luck. He's great. I'm not knocking him. But he will get hurt far more often in his career than Luck does. And I am allowed to prefer Luck.

Zach (Jax)

You once again exclude Anger on your all-division team, what do you have against him?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:52 PM)

Unlike many Jaguars fans, I don't simply regurgitate what Gene Smith and Mike Mularkey tell me. McAfee punted very well and had 42 touchbacks [as a kickoff guy]. How many did Anger have?

Chris (Upper Carolina)

Chat count?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:53 PM)

215.

B (Nashville, TN)

DO you consider anyone in the secondary for the Titans on the "up and coming" list for next year?? or are they all just mediocre?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:54 PM)

I like all the corners excepting Campbell. I don't like any of the safeties.

Paul (Ottawa, Canada)

Vick Ballard has really impressed me the last six weeks or so, can you see him leading a backfield or just being a piece of the puzzle?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:55 PM)

Leading the backfield as a piece of the puzzle. Yes.

John (Goodlettsville)

With all the talk about Munchak possibly losing his job, the Titans not bringing in the right players, etc., ...doesnt a lot of the blame also fall on Renfeldt ?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:56 PM)

Sure. But now Reinfeldt is in a mostly administrative role. He's not making many football decisions. And Ruston Webster has only been on the job for a year.

KING Kevin (Fandom)

Yes Paul you are allowed to prefer Luck to RG3. Just like I am allowed to perfer a Gremlin over a Rolls Royce. But just cause I prefer one thing to another doesnt me that which I prefer is best! NOW THAT IS AN ACCURATE STATEMENT!

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:57 PM)

They can both be great. They and Russell Wilson can all be great. Give me my pick, I'm taking Luck. So are most NFL personnel chiefs.

Donald (Jax)

Why are punting touchbacks important? Isn't net punting average and punts inside the 20 a better matrix?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:59 PM)

Not punting touchbacks. Those are bad. Sorry if it wasn't clear. McAfee adds value as a great kickoff guy. He's got all those touchbacks on kickoffs, ensuring no returns.

Zach (Jax)

I see that stats for myself, you choose McAfee as a punter, bringing up touchbacks for his kickoffs are useless. He was better than McAfee in every way possible. Not to mention Anger punted mainly outdoors which is harder.

Paul Kuharsky
  (1:02 PM)

McAfee also hit far more punts, and kickoffs, that were meaningful. Look, the difference between the division's four punters as punters is not nearly what you are making it out to be. Pro Football Focus, I believe, says Donnie Jones of the Texans is the best.

Billy (Jax)

Looking at ESPN stats, McAfee had 24 inside the 20, 7 touchbacks and 14 faircatches with an avg net of 40.6 Anger had 30 inside the 20, 5 touchbacks, 28 faircatches with a net avg of 42.4. You telling me the MIGHTY ESPN's stats are wrong???

Paul Kuharsky
  (1:04 PM)

I'm telling you if you want selections only off of numbers, go look at that stat sheet. If you want a human to interpret them, then I am here for discussion. I understand Anger has to be the greatest punter in history to justify his draft position. Maybe he will be. This year, given my choice of four, I'd take McAfee. Those numbers are not drastically different. And he kicks off and kicks off well. And he's punted in much bigger situations.

Brian F. (Jacksonville, FL)

It makes me sad that we Jaguars fans have to pine for a punter to be our Pro Bowl selection. That truly is rock bottom. Paul, can we end the chat so I can mourn this season?

Paul Kuharsky
  (1:04 PM)

Done. Thanks.