<
>

Mailbag: The best you came with

GMAC from Nashville writes: Offering our 20th pick for [Dwight] Freeney? Are you kidding me? I hope Ruston Webster doesn't read you. You didn't even mention the botched trade, when we sent our first to the Rams for Kevin Carter in 2001. He made the probowl one year and was gone after his fourth... and he was 28 at the time. You think he wanted to play here? C'mon man. I'd rather have a top 20 prospect, who is committed to the team that drafted him than watch Freeney (32), who probably bleeds colt blue, be injured for most of the duration of his contract here. A third at most. I won't make this any longer because you probably won't respond anyway. Keep up the good work.

Paul Kuharsky: Yeah, I won’t respond. I am known for hiding.

People are overly protective of draft picks. Who’s this great pass rusher they will get at 20? Will he be as good as Michael Griffin’s been as a safety after being the 19th pick?

They need a special pass-rusher. Freeney is one. There aren’t many, if any, in this draft. They are gone by 20. Seven of the last 21 defensive ends drafted BEFORE 20th rate as busts at this point to me.

I said start off by offering a second-rounder.

Kevin Carter wasn’t great, but he was a pretty effective player for the Titans. Absolutely he wanted to play for the Titans. Why wouldn’t he have?

Ron from Murfreesboro, Tenn., writes: Any chance the Titans pursue the Saint's Carl Nicks. He's a great player at a position of need for the Titans. Not sure what his price range would be like. If we go out and get him then I think we can focus the rest of the offseason on improving the defense. What are some other offensive line candidates the team will look at both in free agency and the draft?

Paul Kuharsky: Nicks will be the costliest guard in the league. Someone other than the Titans will very likely be writing those checks. A mid-range free agent or draft pick is most likely. Can’t tell you names.

Garrett from Missoula, Mont., writes: If Peyton Manning goes to Miami, what are the chances Reggie Wayne joins him? It seems like a perfect fit with Miami's roster and the history Wayne has there, especially if Manning goes.

Paul Kuharsky: With or without Manning, I would think Miami would be a favorite to land Wayne. He could be great for another QB too.

Larry Dorsch from Pittsburgh writes: Where do you see Tommie Campbell "fitting it" with the Titans?

Paul Kuharsky: He will compete for third corner. He will be the third, fourth or fifth corner and a key special-teamer.

Amy Hamilton from Indianapolis writes: It makes no difference how long we had to prepare. It is profoundly depressing. Sure, it's only a game. I keep telling myself that to no avail. There is no comparison to Favre or Montana. Peyton revolutionized the game and put us on the map. I really don't care if Andrew Luck is the right choice - you stick with Peyton until he's ready to be done. Maybe we Hoosiers are unusual in that respect.

Paul Kuharsky: Revolutionized the game? A bit strong, I think. He’s a fantastic player and unique. Others can’t do what he does (or did) in terms of altering plays at the line. But for that to be a revolution, we’d have to see more guys starting to do it. And they aren’t.

And Joe Montana won four Super Bowls. I know it’s about the team, not just the quarterback, but you needn't be dismissive of Montana in order to be complimentary of Manning.

It was not my sense that most Hoosiers said the Colts had to stick with Manning given the circumstances, just that he deserved to go out gracefully.

Aaron from Jacksonville, Fla., writes: Hey Paul, why is everyone thinking that Miami is "close to a championship" and ideal for Manning? Do they not remember that just last season the Dolphins won only 6 games and also fired their head coach? Sure coaching may be a FACTOR but you have to figure the fault lies with the players as well. Just curious.

Paul Kuharsky; I am with you. I think they are being over-rated – in large part because, while I like Joe Philbin, I know nothing of how he will be as a head coach.

Gavin from Fairmont, W.Va., writes: I am a long time Colts fan and come often to your blog. I keep seeing that Luck is the most NFL ready QB, and I wanted to know your thoughts on this. Doesn’t that, being the most NFL ready QB, mean he has little to no room to improve so you are basically getting what you see.

Paul Kuharsky: No, it doesn’t mean that at all. NFL-ready means ready to play in the NFL. It means he’ll be better at the beginning.

It doesn’t mean has maxed out or won’t have room to learn and get better.