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October 17, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Paul Kuharsky

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:02 PM)

Greetings people. I appreciate your interest and participation. Thanks for coming. Let's hit it.

Chris (Nashville)

Has Pollard's play surprised you? It seems like he has done a better job on defense than most people figured he would.

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:03 PM)

Yeah, he's been better than I expected. Coverage has been his weakness in the past. He's covered well and they've done a great job not getting him in difficult situations.

Mike Munchak (TN)

Whats the status of my QB Jake? When can I play him again?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:03 PM)

Probably Nov. 3 at the Rams.

Chris (Nashville)

Paul, a lot has been made of running CJ up the middle and to the outside. My issue is there is little to no creativity with their runs, with VY he would get shovel passes, swing passes, reverses etc. now its a simple hand-off next to the QB every time, how can a run-based team be so predictable?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:04 PM)

It's an issue. But Munchak didn't spend the offseason talking about a creative running game, right? He spent the offseason talking of being physical and getting the tough yard. That's about attitude and want-to more and physical will than it is about scheming.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Who is the Best Titans Quarterback that you have ever seen?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:05 PM)

Titans or Titans organization? Titans is unquestionably Steve McNair. Organization is Warren Moon, who was before my time covering the league but I saw play plenty on TV.

Matt (California)

When Jake Locker returns to play, do you expect the Titans to get back on the winning track? And what about Ryan Fitzpatrick is causing the offense to be so defective?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:07 PM)

Fitzpatrick is not making good decisions or throwing the ball particularly well. With Locker they will be better, but how quickly he gets back to where he was in the first half of the Jets game is a big question.

Scott (SD)

49ers fan here (sorry Titans fans for invading your chat), but the Titans are a team that matches up well with SF, in my opinion. In fact, they worry me a lot. SF likes to be the big bully on the block and push teams around, but Tennessee has a tough and nasty defense, and I don't think they'll allow that to happen. Thoughts on them being built similarly?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:07 PM)

Built similarly for sure. But not as well. And they are not coached as well.

Darrell (Nashville, TN)

Paul-The Titans continue to make excuses for the offensive line needing time to gel. How long is too long? Seven weeks into the regular season, a month of pre-season, mini camps, OTAs. Isn't it time to say enough with the excuses and "needing time to gel"?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:08 PM)

Sure, but what would you have them say or do? There is one move they can make -- subbing Brian Schwenke for Rob Turner -- and they are doing it. The gelling has taken far too long. The tackles haven't been as good as they expected and those guys weren't supposed to be questions.

Hanson (DC)

General football question,why do so many times on 3rd and 7 do we see so many 4 yd passes? I know the idea is easy completion and let player make a play but it seems it fails more often than not.

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:09 PM)

The coverage is intended to take away anything 7 yards or deeper. So they throw underneath to a guy who's left open, and they give that guy a chance to break a tackle/ make a play.

john (nashville)

have you seen much of schwenke in practice? is he a step up right now? or just more upside?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:10 PM)

Media doesn't see practice here any more. What I saw of him in OTAs and for the brief time before he was hurt was good. YouTube him at Cal. It's eye-opening.

Allen (Carolinas)

Hello PK, would just like to compilment you in your work here at ESPN. I especially enjoy work Tuesday post " What the Titans are Thinking". Onto my question, How should the Titans start the game Sunday? Pound up the middle, stretch run, or 3wide and try to exploit the 9ers DBs

TR_Cyrus (California)

Does the coaching staff push Greene to play this week so he can take some pressure off Fitzpatrick? Seems like Loggains needs to make a more deliberate effort of hiding Fitz.

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:12 PM)

They aren't pushing anyone. Everyone is pushing to get back. He's either ready or he's not.

HG (Oboro KY)

Quote from Munch on Britt today, ?He needs to play more. He needs to get 20 snaps,??Shoudn't the appropriate quote be, "At some point he may EARN 20 Snaps or More." Is this getting ridiculous?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:13 PM)

He played two snaps last week. How is it getting ridiculous? They've reacted appropriately to his struggles, using him less and less. Let's not complain about Munchak saying Britt needs to get 20 snaps. Let's complain if he gets 20 snaps and stinks.

mark (niagara falls)

pk, thanks for all your hard work. i'm curious as to what you have both heard and observed re: the two titans coaches who are working in new positions (ragone & parlavevecchio)

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:15 PM)

Well it was a natural move for Ragone based on him having been a quarterback. Seems to me he did well with Locker. Parlavecchio is an incredible energy guy, and Fokou and Brown have both improved. I think they could be better with McCarthy in the lineup this week.

Allen (Carolinas)

Hello PK, would just like to compilment you in your work here at ESPN. I especially enjoy your Tuesday post " What the Titans are Thinking". Onto my question, How should the Titans start the game Sunday? Pound up the middle, stretch run, or 3wide and try to exploit the 9ers DBs

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:15 PM)

Thank you. I'd like to see them spread it out and try to run out of that. That they haven't done that suggests a real lack of faith in the line to me.

Matt (california)

The Titans have made huge defensive adjustments this season. Do you credit all of that to bringing back Greg Williams or has Jerry Gray stepped up his game?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:16 PM)

Williams has been a huge part of it. Gray has changed, but he's changed largely because of being reunited with Williams. Players are playing far better, and players get a good piece of the credit for that too.

Jack (Jackson)

Is the release of Preston a small vote of confidence in Britt or would the ship him out on a rail and sign a free agent if they got decent value for a trade?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:18 PM)

Carrying a sixth receiver was a luxury. And if all you're LBs are beat up, you can't afford a luxury. Really has nothing to do with Britt, who ranks well ahead of Preston.

Tom (TN)

Thru 6 games Chance Warmack has been ____. Andy Levitre has been ___.

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:19 PM)

Thru 6 games Chance Warmack has been about what they expected, a solid player with rookie moments that hurt the team. Andy Levitre has been just OK, which is less than they expected and paid for, obviously.

HG (Oboro KY)

Can you quickly summarize your beef with Titans coaches and staff. I've heard you reference on Midday, but wasn't quite sure of the circumstances..

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:21 PM)

I don't have a beef with them. I get along with them, respect them and appreciate the relationships I've been able to build with most of them. Munchak decided to close practice to the media. I have a huge beef with that and he lost some benefit of the doubt with me. That's more because, in conversations about it, he showed an alarming lack of understanding of how the media works. And I think an NFL head coach can't be so naive on such matters.

wallace (antioch)

How bad does RF HAVE TO PLAY RF have to play before the play rusty smith

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:22 PM)

I don't think they'd play Rusty Smith unless he's mopping up or Ryan Fitzpatrick gets hurt.

Curtis (Franklin)

Whats the status of Shonn Greene for sunday? Do you think he will get extensive work if he does play? Seems like the 49ers have had issues against teams that play a power run style..

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:23 PM)

If he plays, still TBD, i think it would be hard for him to get more than 12, 15 carries tops. [Munchak said late in the day he hopes he can get 15-20.]

Shaun ferguson (Pennsylvania )

Who do you see as cap casualties next year Wimbley? Johnson ? Stewart? None have been playing well and have high salaries for next year

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:24 PM)

Cap casualties suggest to me a guy you'd want to keep but can't keep because you can't fit their number. Those guys are just overpaid. Wimbley will be gone for sure. Too early to say on the other two.

Rick Ross (New York)

Favorite Springsteen song? Favorite episode of Breaking Bad? Predictions for Schwenke on Sunday?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:25 PM)

I love Jackson Cage and think The River is the most overlooked album. That Ozymandias (sp?) was just loaded with stuff. Ridiculously good TV. I think Schwenke will probably have a tough time considering the ILBs, but not as tough a time as Turner would have had.

xrayvsn (murfreesboro, tn)

In hindsight, would you think that the Titans would have preferred to use the ability to get Mariana off the IR list and back playing instead of Walter?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:26 PM)

I think they simply could have deactivated him for three or four weeks and then turned to him.

Mark (Texas)

Not to pull away too much from the Titans talk, but what is your take on the QB situation in Houston? Should Kubiak rely on a healthy Schaub, who hasn't shown much recently when he was healthy, or take a look at what Yates/Keenum can bring to the offense and perhaps ignite a fire that appears to have gone out in the previous few weeks?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:26 PM)

I'd probably try Keenum this week. If he's bad, you can end that talk and learn what you need to know.

Seth (Nashville)

Hey, Paul. First-timer here. Judging from the stuff I've read (which isn't much), Turner is currently injured. Do you think the switch to Schwenke was going to happen regardless and the injury simply accelerated it or do you think it is less of a willingness from the team and more due to the injury?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:27 PM)

This isn't an injury switch.

xrayvsn (murfreesboro, tn)

It is a shame you guys decided to break down division into separate bloggers. I really miss hearing how the Texans fans automatically assumed they have the division one by week 1, that the Titans are not in their class, and already were asking questions of homefield advantage for the championship game. Do you hear from them anymore?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:28 PM)

I hear from Texans fans the least of the three I left behind. I think they were thrilled to lose me. With someone new, at least there was a chance it would take time before they got called out for the large percentage of whiners among them. And I said they'd win the division and be good. (Which, by the way, I said the last two years too.)

Scott (Northglenn, CO)

I know you're a Titans man these days, but any comments on the PM/Irsay squabble? Do you think he was taking shots at PM?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:30 PM)

I don't think it's some ingenious plan to put pressure on Manning that could influence the game. Mean what you say and say what you mean. His initial comments were foolishly chosen. His clarifications as what he should have said in the first place.

Curtis (Franklin)

Anquan Boldin is such a physical receiver but he doesnt have the speed he used to. He has struggled against physical corners this season (ie Seattle) Might Tommy Campbell get a look at him this weekend? He has the kind of size and length to give Boldin fits

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:30 PM)

Alterraun Verner is giving everyone fits. It would be incredibly dumb to play Campbell barring injuries.

Curtis (Franklin)

Raynaud has been terrible both in his decision making and his play...and he hasnt given them anything at RB. I think he doesn't have much value at this point. Any chance of change at returner? Its starting to get rediculous.

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:31 PM)

He's played one snap at RB. He's not a RB, he's a returner. And, right now, not a very good one. I don't think they are contemplating a change. Damian Williams is capable.

Curtis (Franklin)

What do you attribute to the lack of TE production this year? Scheme, QB, talent?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:32 PM)

Walker is producing. Not sure why they aren't looking at Stevens and Thompson in the passing game. But I'm fine with them targeting receivers if they are getting open and catching the ball.

John (Nashville)

When will Preston clear waivers ?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:33 PM)

If he clears waivers, it's today. If he's claimed, we find out about it today.

Charles (Michigan)

If the NFL draft occurred today, what position would the Titans need to draft in the first round?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:34 PM)

Good question. Could be offensive tackle. Could be defensive end. Could be cornerback as we don't know what happens with Verner's contract expiring.

Tom (TN)

Who is the MVP of the AFCS thru 6 weeks?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:35 PM)

Top of my head answer is Andrew Luck. No candidates in Jax or Hou based on their struggles. No clear cut guy in Ten as the best guy on the team.

Brian (jackson)

McCarthy seemed lost & not up to speed when he came into the game last Sunday. Think he'll be fine this Sunday ?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:35 PM)

I do.

Jack (Jackson)

Pitoitua has been more athletic than I imagined him to be. Has he outplayed his expectations?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:36 PM)

Absolutely. He's been really solid. A run-stopper who leads the team in sacks.

Carlisle (Montreal)

In the SI article on CJ, the writer talks about how Sylvester Croom has told CJ to cut in instead of always heading to the sideline. Is that maybe a reason CJ seems to be heading up the middle more?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:37 PM)

It's a good question I intend to explore.

peter pan (Neverland)

How close are the Titans to being stuck in no mans land.not good enough to make the playoffs but not bad enough to get high pick to get a game changer they need?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:38 PM)

You can find game-changers in the middle of the draft. Happens all the time. Remember Jevon Kearse?

xrayvsn (murfreesboro, tn)

Will Pollard use this year to leap to another team with a higher payout or do you think he will stay with the Titans?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:39 PM)

Way too early to say. But if it goes like this, I would think he'd want to be back so long as they offered good money.

Getty (Toronto)

I know a team rallying point is over ratted but the fans cheering Schaubs injury and the reaction of his teammates the kind of thing that could get the Texans focused again?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:40 PM)

I don't think lack of focus has been rated as their primary issue. They've had plenty of bad stuff to rally around and they haven't been able to rally around any of it so far.

Getty (Toronto)

Back to the CJ question how much of RBs decisions on when to cut can be coached and how much should be instincts? Seems the really great ones just knew when to make a move.

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:41 PM)

Well a play is designed for him to go somewhere. He is certainly going to react to what he sees and move some on feel. But it sounds as if he's decided too often not to go where the play design tells him to go.

Jake (Chattanooga)

How on earth do you pronounce Moise Fokou's name? All the commentators keep saying Moses but there is only one 's' there.

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:42 PM)

It's Moses in French, pronounced Moses.

Allen (Carolinas)

If Tenn wins sunday v SF what will be your power rankings vote

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:42 PM)

I don't have a power rankings vote. But it would boost them a bit.

Justin (Florida)

The Titans seem to have some BIG missed opportunities every singe game. How can this be corrected? If Brown would have picked up the fumble on Sunday, it would have been a different game. We are seeing too much of this. Thought?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:43 PM)

It's what teams that are not that good do.

Jack (Jackson)

Locker was pretty good the games that he played. But I fear we're pretty too many expectations on his return. Is that a reasonable fear or has he truly turned the corner?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:44 PM)

He appeared to have turned the corner. But has to show it over time. And now has to re-establish it when he returns.

Curtis (Franklin)

I know its early, but is sundays game a must win if the titans want a chance to make a run at the playoffs when/if locker gets healthy?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:44 PM)

There is no such thing as a must-win in October.

Clinton (Memphis)

CJless1K just cant cut it anymore. You posted an article yesterday in which a writer explained this. When we cut him (because we need to) who do you think we will draft in his place?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:46 PM)

You want me to name a college running back that the Titans will draft next May?

Getty (Toronto)

What can the Titans do to slow down Vernon Davis? He seems to be the guy that is most likely to give them fits in the passing game?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:46 PM)

Post coming today with Delanie Walker's thoughts on this?

Frank Wycheck (TN)

Do you think I will ever get my picture with Will Ferrell?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:47 PM)

You did not.

mike [via mobile]

Do you see the jags going 0-16?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:48 PM)

I think 0-16 is really hard. Maybe even harder than 16-0. I don't think we're going to see either this year.

Bob (Nashville)

"Missed opportunities" are teams that are not that good ? I'm not saying the Titans are great, but the 3 losses weren't blowouts, and the defense kept them in it.

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:49 PM)

Good teams who are that close to winning find ways to win. At least a good percentage of the time.

Clinton (Memphis)

Why do you not see this year's Titans team as a playoff team? It's one mental play here and there (Moise hit out of bounds against KC, Locker errand throw against Houston). Without those two plays we would be 5-1.

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:52 PM)

See, I don't play those pretend games. They didn't make those plays and they didn't win those games. So you take away a couple plays and see 5-1. I see a team that made those plays and is 3-3 and likely to make the play that loses them a game the way those did.

Carlisle (Montreal)

Why are the Titans reluctant to use CJ like Jamaal Charles? It's obvious CJ is fine as a pass catcher as long as he gets consistent touches.

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:53 PM)

They should use him more like the Chiefs use Charles. But he's nowhere near the pass-catcher Charles is.

Scott (Northglenn, CO)

I've heard the Titans are trying to get a 3rd round pick for Britt, is this accurate? They can't truly think anyone will give them that, what do you think the best compensation is they can relistically hope for? If Gordon is worth a 2nd, Nicks is a 2/3, Britt is a ___.

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:56 PM)

I think he has no worth. He's worth a ninth. Boldin was worth only a sixth. Don't throw out those Gordon and Nicks picks -- that's what the Browns or Giants might THINK those guys are worth. It doesn't matter what they think. It matters what the team trading for them thinks. And no one has traded for them, have they?

Getty (Toronto)

You mentioned earlier you think the 49ers are a better coached team than the Titans.Are you talking preparation or game management or combination?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:57 PM)

Everything. Harbaugh is undoubtedly a superior head coach.

PAUL (Knoxville)

Have you ever been to Neyland Stadium?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:58 PM)

I have. Amazing place to be in the crowd. Press box doesn't give a real feel for that.

Rob (TN)

As a writer, do prefer a team beat like this or the division work?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:58 PM)

I loved the division job. Things change. This one is good too.

Gabe nashville [via mobile]

The schedule eases up a bit following the bye. Do you think the titans can win the division, or make the playoffs as a wildcard?

Paul Kuharsky
  (12:59 PM)

No I don't. And I don't think the schedule gets as easy as many seem to think. Two games against the Jags are nice. Cardinals is a game they should win. Nothing else rates as a gimmie to me.

Greg (Cleveland)

Your predicted outcome of this weeks game against the 49ers?

Paul Kuharsky
  (1:02 PM)

Will be in Friday's Double Coverage post. And like all predictions in an unpredictable league, it's quite meaningless.

Curtis (Franklin)

Why is everybody so obsessed with Rusty Smith? He has a strong arm and is not very accurate...He's like Fitzpatrick with less experience!

Paul Kuharsky
  (1:03 PM)

You are correct.

Paul Kuharsky
  (1:10 PM)

Thanks everyone. Nice of you to come. Always enjoy it.