Rustin Laswell from Terre Haute, Indiana writes: What do the Colts have to accomplish to gain the title of a dynasty by the media and their fellow competitors? They hold so many records and are a very high-class organization. The Colts are in a small market, I understand that, but give credit where credit is due. The media give very little time to small-market teams like the Colts unless they absolutely have to. We are not under the radar, we are held under the broadcasters desk. Hope you feel our pain in Indiana and I hope we see some attention in the future.
Paul Kuharsky: You want to be called a dynasty for winning one title? Were the Braves a dynasty when they won 14 consecutive division crowns? No. Because the only won one World Series.
The idea the media holds the Colts down is ridiculous. Twenty teams in the league would kill for the attention the Colts get.
Henry Milton from Memphis writes about the Titans being their best when they used two tight ends in their base offense with Frank Wycheck and Jackie Harris and wonders if I don’t think they’d be wise to return to it as the best way to surround Vince Young.
Paul Kuharsky: Well, it’s a Chris Johnson offense, not a Vince Young offense.
And Ahmard Hall is a very good fullback.
Put the very good fullback on the field for the fantastic running back and allow the quarterback to throw to the available targets. They can go two tight ends sometimes. They’ve spent picks on Craig Stevens and Jared Cook as the next generations at the position, but I don’t think they are heading your direction.
Kalvis Irbe from Indianapolis writes and asks if I see Reggie Wayne saying he’d want to push for an undefeated season, the team looking at J.P. Losman, and Jim Caldwell showing himself to be more aggressive than Tony Dungy with Larry Coyer as defensive coordinator as signs that they will make a push for 16-0.
Paul Kuharsky: Here’s what I read into not signing Losman -- they didn’t think he was better than Painter. Maybe they go back to him, we’ll see.
I was glad to hear what Wayne said and I agree with him.
But Polian’s philosophy trickles down and has not changed. Caldwell has clearly indicated, at least to insiders, that he will stay the Dungy course on this. I think you’re reading into a lot to think they will go for undefeated.
Sam Myers in Charlottesville, VA writes: I know it's long, but humor me. Thanks so much for your piece on Gene Smith of the Jags, I know it’s your job, but as a fan I really appreciate getting in-depth coverage like this, and your column is pretty much the only place I find it. If you ever find the time, could you do a brief piece on our run defense, they've done a fantastic job this year, with the exception of the second Titans game, which was primarily the result of two big runs; there were several good stops over the course of the game. Consider that without those runs he carried 22 times for 87 yards. In all other games this year we are allowing only 3.5 yards per carry (286 for 1017). I know 220+ yards is embarrassing, but [Johnson] was the only back to have 100 yards rushing this season, and only five other teams went over 100 yards rushing as a team against us...those are impressive stats. Also, our punt coverage is second best in the league. Furthermore, [Justin] Durant just won AFC Defensive Player of the Week. Finally, Derek Harvey has been excellent against the run, he made plays against the Texans. I think he will develop nicely at end, remember he was playing out of position half the year, and he did come on at the end of his rookie season, especially against the Ravens.
Paul Kuharsky: I will try to look into it, but thought using you in this mailbag would give it a little pub in the meantime. Glad you liked the Smith piece.
Richard Brushett from Wichita, KS writes: Simple Question; If the colts do win this weekend and lock up home field advantage and they decided to rest Peyton Manning the final 3 games and the Saints don’t rest Drew Brees how does that effect the MVP Award.
Paul Kuharsky: I expect voters would factor that in, but yes, it could hurt Manning some.
Mark from Huntsville, AL writes: Paul, I admit I don't get it. The Colts and the Saints have been virtually tied for weeks in the Power Rankings with the Saints always getting the nod or the so-called tie breaker. I can live with that. Both teams are very good. I've always seen them as pretty much 1a and 1b. However, last week the Saints barely escape against a dismal Redskins team, while the Colts pretty easily beat a surging Titans team. What in your mind makes the Saints a step above the Colts? I see in your personal rankings that the Colts are the best team in the best division. What gives?
Paul Kuharsky: Here’s what gives -- I don’t really care about winning narrowly or winning big. I don’t look a lot at style, I look a lot at results as they are entered into the win and loss columns. Rarely do I move a team because I didn’t like the way it won. In fact, on a day the Saints appeared destined to lose, they fought and fought and still won. I found that impressive.
But I am on the record -- I think New Orleans is a touch better than Indy and I am highly unlikely to change that opinion as long as they both remain undefeated.