Mailbag: Once around, plus tweets

Ben in the UK writes: What's your opinion on Larry Coyer and the Colts defense in schematic terms? We all heard about how he would be looking to utilise more blitz-heavy schemes with mixed personnel, deviating slightly at times from the Cover 2 whilst remaining loyal to what our players are best at. I didn't see that happening last year. Is this due to Coyer 'going native' within the organisation or is it due to the primary playmaker on defense (Sanders) being out with injury and thus limiting the freedom of action? Any chance we'll see a more varied defense next year?

Paul Kuharsky: Bob Sanders was hardly the only loss. Clint Session, Jerraud Powers, Kelvin Hayden and Melvin Bullitt were gone for long stretches, and inexperienced guys were all over the secondary. They clearly didn’t want to risk blitzing much with the chances to get beat over the top. I think we’ll see more variations, building on Coyer’s first year. But the overriding philosophy is going to remain "don’t give up big plays."

Wil in Provo, Utah, writes: Hey do you think the Texans are going to trade Mario Williams or Antonio Smith?

Paul Kuharsky: No. Even if those two and J.J. Watt were ends, they’d just finally be deep somewhere. Now with Williams officially a linebacker, Smith and Watt are the ends and they are set.

Josh in Neptune Beach, Fla., writes: The Jaguars future looks very bright but the immediate future looks dim. This 2011 team reminds me of the young promise in the post-Coughlin 2003-2005 teams. We all know Shack Harris destroyed that promise. When Gene Smith gutted the team in 2009 it hit the reset button. We are now at the most critical point on his tenure as our GM. Once again the Jaguars have young, ascending talent mixed with older stalwarts. The window to the Super Bowl is beginning to open. Shack Harris's horrible drafting and free agency moves slammed it shut too soon. What Gene does in the next couple of years will go a long way to what ultimately becomes of the Jaguars for the better part of this decade. As someone who watched the rise and fall of the Harris team, what are your thoughts on the Gene Smith two years in?

Paul Kuharsky: I like the tone he’s set a lot and his willingness to sweep people out. His high picks look good. Mid- and late-round guys haven’t done too much yet. It was good to see them jump out for Aaron Kampman. I thought trading up for Blaine Gabbert was bold.

I expect more FA surprises this year. They are in far better hands than they were. But he’s still got a lot of work to do.

Chaz in Nashville writes: Can you tell us generally or precisely why the Titans interior offensive line is going to be better this year? (besides "Munch said so") They looked awful last year and, with the same personnel, how are they going to suddenly get better? They haven't been able to meet with anyone to be coached any differently. I know CJ had some decision making issues but there were not many holes or running lanes appearing very often. Just because Munchak is a HOF interior lineman doesn't mean he deserves a pass on this issue.

Paul Kuharsky: It’s a question I share with you.

Another year together, another year of good coaching (from a second Hall of Famer now with Bruce Matthews taking over the O-line) and fewer health concerns for Leroy Harris and Eugene Amano would be the main ingredients, they say.

I need to see it.

Mike Munchak has hardly had a pass on it. At one of his very first big public appearances, at Sportsfest in Nashville, I asked him that on stage in front of several hundred fans.

Shane Nesler in Brentwood, Tenn., writes: You really hate the Cowboys don't you?

Paul Kuharsky: Actually I am quite indifferent. Is this because I don’t love the helmet as much as I should?

Onto the Twitter portion of things. I asked for quickie questions Friday:

adambeaugh: Who is a below the radar FS pickup the #Jaguarscould grab in Free Agency.

PK: Stretch: Jon McGraw from KC.

ColtsNCrab: prediction on colts record?

PK: Win the division by three. But hard to go too solidly before free agency.

whyterick: If a short season occurs don't the colts hold a huge advantage over majority of NFL, with 15 IR players rested?

PK: I don't know of any key guys who need September to recover. They have advantages, but that's not on the list.

Playmaker2312: chances Blaine gabbert plays over 50% of the games this yr? #Jaguars

PK: A 50% chance of topping 50%. How's that for a cop out?

willoneil: over under on quarters played this season by locker 20?

PK: Over.

MTBurch33: Which player or players will determine the success or failure of the #texans defense this season?

PK: Barwin/Reed and the safeties.


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