Mailbag: Division stuff you care about

Tony from Greensburg, Ind., writes: I loved the interview with Polian. I thought you asked some very good questions that many fans wanted answers to. But I would have liked to have seen some tough questions about Bob Sanders. I know he is a major concern with many fans. The guy has missed more games than he has played. What is the strategy to keeping him on the active roster? He is taking up valuable roster space. What are your thoughts?

Paul Kuharsky: I don’t see how the roster spot is hurting them right now. They have to deactivate eight guys a game. As long as they don’t have a ninth injured guy who can’t play, they can deactivate Sanders each week and miss nothing. If they feel that’s a fair trade-off for missing a body during the practice week, well, they can judge that far better than we can, no? With Donald Brown and Mike Hart hurt, they still had the roster flexibility to add a player they need -- they just brought in running back Javarris James.

I understand people are angry at Sanders for getting hurt repeatedly and at Polian for not cutting him. I don’t understand what there was to grill Polian about on the topic or why you’d prefer a rash decision that would leave them with no chance of having someone like Sanders late in the season or in the playoffs, which remains a possibility now.

Ted in San Francisco, Calif., writes: Texans worked out Aaron Schobel, which makes me conclude he would have been willing to come out of retirement. Texans later signed Mark Anderson, showing they had need at DE. Anderson has such a worse track record than Schobel that I think it's fair to conclude that the Texans balked at paying Schobel. He may have been overweight, but they should hire him for what he can do in January. The Chronicle media are shy of this angle. Am I wrong in calling out the Texans for not spending?

Paul Kuharsky: We don’t know what happened and what didn’t happen. I can’t recall anything that’s made me think the Texans are cheap. Bob McNair is first class. If Gary Kubiak and Rick Smith told him “this guy can be the difference for us,” I think they would have signed him. I don’t believe they felt that way.

I wish he decided he wanted to keep playing when it ended in Buffalo and that they signed him then. But you can’t foresee the injury to Connor Barwin and I can, philosophically, understand not wanting to stunt his development.

Cody Russell in Hendersonville, Tenn., writes: So the 2010 Best of Nashville Readers poll came out, and they polled for best Titan player. Here are the rankings 1. Chris Johnson; 2. Vince Young; 3. Cortland Finnegan. I was curious to know how you would have voted?

Paul Kuharsky: I’d say Johnson No. 1, Finnegan No. 2 and third would be between Michael Griffin and Jason Jones. Michael Roos would round out my five.

Stephen in Jacksonville, Fla., writes: Who's blocking is usually more critical to the success of the running game: the tight end or the fullback?

Paul Kuharsky: Well it depends on what personnel you are deploying and the design of the plays. An inside play, it’s probably the fullback; outside it can be the tight end.

It’s not an easy A or B answer to me.

Jerome in Jacksonville, Fla., writes: Do you happen to have Ditka's address? I'd like to mail him a pic of the pretty full stadium on Sunday versus Colts. Instructions included: [Not appropriate for print.] If you haven't heard, Ditka made an either A) Misinformed comment or B) Horribly delivered and unoriginal joke. "There will be only 25,000 fans" (paraphrasing)

Paul Kuharsky: I heard, live. I know people in North Florida are upset with him. I don’t have a pipeline. I did what I could by writing this.

Matt Barron in Indianapolis writes: Paul, longtime reader, first time writer. As a Colts fan and an avid reader of all things AFC South, I've always enjoyed the fact you have a vote in ESPN's Power Rankings. My question this week is your comment listed with the Colts. A drop for them was both expected and deserved. But I was a little surprised you chose to mention the red zone turnovers in particular. Granted, losing the ball in that situation is something you never want to happen and isn't really the best way to win football games, but personally I think given the current climate the Colts' offense is doing great… On the other side of the coin is the defense, and to me that's where the real problems of that game were. The energy they used to show seemed non-existent, no pressure on Garrard, no pressure on receivers, no pressure on Maurice Jones-Drew. That seems like a far more alarming issue than a couple unlucky turnovers, especially with the mounting injuries.

Paul Kuharsky: Good to hear from you.

Seems unreasonable to hit me on one sentence. I could write about absolutely anything there. Odds that I write a line about the one thing you think I should have written about are pretty slim, don’t you think?

Certainly the defense is the big issue right now. But don’t turn it over those two times and they would have bailed the defense out. And I didn’t find them unlucky -- Gerald Alexander delivered a giant hit to Brody Eldridge and Reggie Wayne seemed to be a little greedy stretching for extra when he fumbled.

Jordy in Boston writes: What's the ratio of "Your rankings are spot on. I agree with your opinions." to "You're a moron who should be fired and are totally biased against my team." emails you get weekly? I'm guessing 0:837,892.

Paul Kuharsky: That’s about right.