Mailbag: On Texans' D, Jaguars WRs and CJ

Marc T in Houston, Texas, writes: Given that some Texans defensive players got a hold of Wade Phillips' defensive playbook and have been doing some player minicamps, when the lockout is lifted how prepared can we pray the defense is on Wade's scheme? I know you lose a lot from not having coaches present, but with DeMeco (who has a pretty good football IQ) running the defense portion and working with the other guys while having to watch some of the time because of his Achilles, can we hope that maybe the defense will be at square two by training camp rather than square one?

Paul Kuharsky: Wade Phillips has said repeatedly that with a full camp he thinks he can get guys up to speed. Certainly a head start led by DeMeco Ryans will be an advantage for them.

I think it’ll be a more complex defense at the end of the season than at the beginning. That would have been the case, but perhaps to a lesser degree, under any circumstance. I don’t think having to do less or be more straightforward is always automatically a bad thing.

Ryan from parts unknown writes: Hey Paul, check the blog at least twice a day. I've been wondering why no one sees the Jags pursuing a receiver in the Free Agency. I understand why Plax, Ocho, TO and Moss are scary for such a young team but what about say a Braylon Edwards? All talks look like the Jets are going to part ways with him, and he'd certainly be able to stretch the field, even if he's got inconsistent hands. Think it'd be a good investment?

Paul Kuharsky: Appreciate the clicks, Ryan.

It would be great to see the Jaguars be aggressive here, but I’m expecting the big additions to come on defense. I think they like Mike Thomas and Jason Hill a lot and have high hopes for a healthy Jarett Dillard. Remember that Marcedes Lewis and Maurice Jones-Drew qualify as top pass-catchers at their positions.

While a good deep threat would help spread out a defense and help everyone, David Garrard is not a good reader of deep plays or a good deep ball guy. They will have to get that guy for Blaine Gabbert, but I suspect they look for him in the draft next year.

Bill Smith of Nashville, Tenn., writes: Paul, please let the Titans' brass know that all the reasonable and sane fans want them to PAY THE MAN! We in Titans land have become accustomed to not having bona fide HOF talented players on a regular basis. But when we finally get one, stop dancing and lock him up. You can't win a SB with 53 ham n' eggers, you must have at least a few stars. No one expects Bud to morph into Dan Schneider, but we need to keep our building blocks happy, don't you agree? THX!

Paul Kuharsky: I wrote recently I think they should spend to keep Chris Johnson.

And I believe the Titans want to re-sign him, just not at the enormous price he's spoken of. Which means they’ll negotiate and see where they come out.

But where is this idea that they are dragging their feet or are dancing or are reluctant to step up coming from? I’ve heard it from several other readers as well. Players are locked out, and teams can’t deal with them. The Titans aren’t dragging their feet. They are a frozen operation like every other team.

And when things open back up, I would think they'd ask CJ and his agent for a little time to deal with things that need to be dealt with more quickly, not that they necessarily rank as a higher priority.

Dick Sklar from Moscow, Russia writes: I think it is pathetic that articles like the one on Kenny Britt get published. If there was no lockout, this would never see the light of day. How many ESPN guys have made mistakes at such a low social level? Why don't you write about them? This is absolute garbage!!

Paul Kuharsky: HE TURNED HIMSELF INTO POLICE! That’s a story, lockout or no lockout. A public figure turning himself into police is always news. If an ESPN guy was turning himself into police, it would also be news.

Richard Nelson from Lombard, Ill., writes: Leaving Matt Forte out of your top ten RB makes your list a joke to me. He has only been in the league 3 years and was hurt one of them and still almost has 5000 yards of offense. Given a better offensive line and health his second year who knows where his numbers would be. I realize it is hard to rank players that all run in different offensive systems is hard to do. I believe Forte is easily a top ten back.

Paul Kuharsky: Boy that’s a lot of conditional stuff you’re listing there. If he wasn’t hurt, if he had a better line. I’m not playing the if game or thinking about what might have been. I’m dealing with what did happen, what was and what is.

He’s not a top 10 back to me.


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