Brendan in Irving, Texas, writes: How effective would Brian Cushing's be filling in for the role of Conner Barwin on passing downs? The defense will play nickel in a high percentage of passing downs anyways, so would you experience a smaller drop off keeping Diles at OLB on passing downs and rushing Cushing, or keep Cushing at OLB and rushing one of the recently signed free agents?
Paul Kuharsky: Why take one of the league’s best players at his position and move him when he returns? I wouldn’t even consider it and I don’t think they will either. Barwin was promising but it’s not like he was playing some sick level of football that will be impossible to fill in for. Cushing is harder to replace by a lot.
EK from “MY CUBE” writes: Hey Paul, I don’t know if you remember but we had a little discussion about Daryl Smith and Brian Cushing last week on chat. You said that Cushing was better than Smith and Smith wasn't much of a play maker: 11 tackles, a forced fumble, an interception, one pass defensed and one QB hit. To me, that sounds like a play maker, but you're the professional. Oh, by the way, he was this week's AFC Defensive Player of the week. In the meanwhile, Cushing is serving a 4 game suspension for a steroid masking agent. I normally enjoy your articles and agree with your opinions but I think your view is a little skewed on this one. Have a great weekend.
Paul Kuharsky: I don’t think I said Smith wasn’t a playmaker. I probably said he wasn’t a playmaker and on the level of Cushing, and he isn’t.
One big game and you think my opinion is completely altered? It’s no different than the Texans fan who thinks off the win over the Colts that Houston should be installed as the Super Bowl favorite.
I like Smith. I don’t think he’s the top outside backer in the league.
Carly in Madison, Wis., writes: On behalf of (most) of the Jaguars fans, thanks for your article on the ticket situation. We appreciate the time you put in to do a little research on the subject and present a fair and, most importantly, accurate assessment of what's going on in Northern Florida.
Paul Kuharsky: Glad you liked it. Nice to hear from you.
Anthony in Hermitage, Tenn., writes: Why do you feel like that you are never wrong on any issue regarding football or anything else for that matter?
Paul Kuharsky: I’m wrong plenty, chief.
For example, I thought the Titans would be able to field punts without issues last year. Wrong. I thought the Raiders would give the Titans a good game last week, maybe even pull the upset. Incorrect. I thought a book I read recently, "Mr. Peanut," was going to be great. I didn’t really get it or like it. I even write posts like this one sometimes.
I also believed in Santa Claus as a child.
Justin in Garland, Texas, writes: Paul, First of all I wanted to say thanks for the blog and chats. Your wit and sarcasm are something I enjoy greatly. Secondly, I'm a Colts fan so I drove to Houston for the game this past Sunday. I believe that to be the loudest I've ever heard Reliant Stadium. Would you agree? Or is it too hard to gauge in the press area??
Paul Kuharsky: I appreciate that, Justin, thanks.
It seemed quite loud. But the press box at Reliant Stadium is basically hermetically sealed, so you can only sense so much.
d1amond12 in Chapel Hill, Tenn., writes: Kuharsky, every starting QB in the NFL has a certain level of entitlement. Get over your beef with VY and become a good reporter. At 27-13 VY is certainly ENTITLED to more loyalty from his head coach. And a better head coach (you reporters love a 5-6 playoff coach in 16 years so much because you know how to get the interview from him, you have a working relationship with him. NOT because he is a great coach.) Bench either Manning, C. Palmer, Brady, Roethlisberger, or any other number of QB's for an interception or an injury and you will see entitlement. Before you cry suicide, remember the facts are that he did not answer his cell phone and was at a friend’s house eating chicken wings, that is the truth of the matter. Wow, you certainly sound level-headed and reasonable.
Paul Kuharsky: I hate to rehash, but you force me to.
Young wasn’t benched for an interception or an injury. He was benched because he asked out of a game because he was struggling with boos and a tough game.
The night Young “disappeared,” the whole scare was set off by HIS mom and/or HIS manager.
Why is it a crime that I am not sold on Young as a reliable long-term starter?
Victor in Houston, Texas, writes: Paul, your bias towards the Titans and against the Texans is a bit disturbing. I get the fact that the Texans haven't beaten Indy often, but how good have the Titans been or even the Jaguars over the past 8 years?
Paul Kuharsky: Please, please, please, can we cite examples when we write in with this nonsense?
I’m not accepting your premise in any way. And take note that Titans won the AFC South in 2008.
Titans since 2002: 71-57 with four playoff appearances.
Texans since 2002: 49-79 with zero playoff appearances.
Significant difference, no?