Nick Scurfield (2:50:29PM): I'll get things started with my weekly live chat at 1 p.m. Obviously, no shortage of topics to discuss today with Brian Cushing winning AP NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year and the Texans' season coming to a close a couple of days ago.
Thanks in advance for sending in questions; I'll get to as many as I can today.
Marcio Teixeira - Camaragibe/PE, BR: Hello Nick! The first thing I wanna write here would be "PLAYOFFS!!" but the Bengals don't let me. It was a greatest season, the best one!! Best for me too It was the first season I could attend!
Nick Scurfield (1:03:20PM): Marco- thanks. Great finish to the season, but a disappointing ending with no playoffs. Players and coaches are very optimistic for the future, though.
Tatum Littleton - Bryan, TX, US: Will coach Gary Kubiak be the head coach next year?
Nick Scurfield (1:04:36PM): Yes. Texans owner Bob McNair confirmed this after the Patriots game. From talking to the players in the locker room yesterday as they cleaned out their lockers, they're very glad that Kubiak will be back.
James Gillespie - Houston, TX, US: Congratulations to the Texans on a teriffic season. I have 1 comment and 1 question. With Bengals' train wreck in their season finale vs the Jets and the Indy loss to New York the week before, I believe that both Indianapolis and Cincinnati wanted absolutely NO PART of the Texans in the post season. What is Texans free agent situation regarding key players from this year's team? Is there an impact player/s that may not return for 2010?
Nick Scurfield (2:19:51PM): Chester Pitts, Kevin Walter and Dunta Robinson are among the key players whose contracts are up.
Mike - Houston, TX, US: Should Kubiak come back or should we go elsewhere?
Nick Scurfield (1:08:54PM): He is coming back. McNair said so after the season finale.
John - League City, TX, US: Nick, do you foresee any of our players being named to any of the all-pro teams? Thanks
Nick Scurfield (1:11:10PM): Andre Johnson should be a lock after leading the league in receiving yards for the second consecutive season. Other candidates: DeMeco Ryans (Pro Bowler), Brian Cushing (Pro Bowler, DROY), Mario Williams (Pro Bowler). I would say Matt Schaub (league leader in passing yards), but Peyton Manning and Drew Brees might have something to say about that.
reginald hollifield - birm,ingham,, AL, US: how cdom,e som,e players get hurt all the tim,e they stay and som,e you release? texans played agood gam,e SUnday All m,y friends were pulling for jets to looe. colts should not have given in to let the jets win and we would have been in the playoff.we will be in the playoff next year yes we will.praise to all the coaches and theplayers
Nick Scurfield (1:13:45PM): Thanks for the support all the way from Alabama. Playoffs will definitely be the goal, as they were this year. One or two more wins should be enough to get them in.
Hunter Dobson - Deer Park, TX, US: Will the Texans ever get rfid of Chris Brown because he's lost us 2 games and has had his worst year ever? Will you consider geting Hunter Lorence from the Longhorns?
Nick Scurfield (1:14:41PM): Chris Brown the running back is an unrestricted free agent. Rick Smith and the pro personnel dept. make those decisions. Don't know much about UT's kicker- draft is a long ways away right now.
Glenn Schneider - Bedford, TX, US: Coach Gary Kubiak has got this team pointed in the right direction and yet there are some media types saying that he will be fired. The team has a winning record, almost made the pay-offs, 4 players to the pro-bowl and they play in the most competitive division in the NFL. Shouldn't the coach should be given a new contract to show the free agent players that this is the place to be? I can see the Dallas Palace from where I live and I choose to keep looking further south for a real team to support!
Nick Scurfield (2:20:32PM): McNair gave Kubiak an endorsement after the last game of the season, although there's been no news of a contract extension. Either way, Kubiak signed on for a five-year deal in 2006, and he's looking forward to fulfilling that commitment next season and hopefully bringing the team to new heights.
Nate - Stockton, CA, US: WILL YOU STILL BE HAVING YOUR CHATS? I THINK YOU DID A GREAT SERVICE TO LONG DISTANCE FANS.IT HELPED ME LEARN HOW USE A COMPUTER. THANKS!9-7 CAN YOU BELIEVE IT.A PENNY IS A PROFIT!GO TEXANS!
Nick Scurfield (1:19:22PM): Thanks. I'll keep everybody posted on my live chat schedule beyond today now that the Texans' season is done. Schedule is still to be determined
Nate - Stockton, CA, US: Hey Nick, my laptop is doing its own thang.So I'll try to be brief.First we did it,our first winning season.We showed the rest of the league that running our mouth wasnt go get wins,keeping locker room business in the locker room,and not selling your fans out. Its not any fun without ups and downs.Looking at it that way We had alot fun! My Question is are you ready for next season?This year allready look good.Happy New Year!OH yeah can you let players know real fans want players to play not work on ther pay .Save that for agents and owners because we(fans)have to pay somtimes with money we dont have!A penny is a profit,so remember when your talking about millions,I'm (we are fans) counting pennies to keep the H.D.T.V watching you!REMEMBER GO TEXANS IS 365!
Nick Scurfield (2:19:06PM): The season just ended two days ago and I already can't wait for the next one. How about you? I would love to see what the Texans could've done in the postseason with the roll that the team was on, but it wasn't meant to be. Kubiak mentioned Monday in his press conference that he got a feeling from the players that they were almost ready to get started on next season this week.
Gustavo Cornejo - houston, TX, US: Nick Im trying to see if I could maybe have a walkin try out for a kicking spot. I have played soccer since 5 years of age and have a powerful left leg. Thanksyou for your time Gus Cornejo
Nick Scurfield (1:24:05PM): (If you're being serious) You can try to send in your tape to the Texans' Pro Personnel Department at 2 Reliant Park, Houston, TX 77054.
Jerry N - La Porte, TX, US: Hey hows it goin? just wanted to get your opinion on the season how would you rate it? an do you think we have the best linebacker core in the NFL? cause i sure do. Thanks Nick
Nick Scurfield (1:27:40PM): It's going fine, thanks. Getting to 9-7 for the first time was a positive step in the right direction, even though the Texans obviously wanted badly to be in the playoffs. But to the players and coaches, breaking over the .500 mark means something. I'd say if the Texans don't have the league's best LB corps, they're definitely breaking into in that conversation. Ryans and Cushing are the only pair of LB teammates to be named to the 2010 Pro Bowl.
Marcio Teixeira - Camaragibe/PE, BR: Yeah, a great season. For the next season, any news about the players which will continue in Houston? Players which will come?
Nick Scurfield (1:31:32PM): Not much of anything yet. Dunta Robinson said yesterday that he'd like to stick around in Houston. Free agency starts on March 5, so no new players would be joining the team before then.
Dario Olivares - San Antonio, TX, US: What position do you think the Texans are going to be looking to improve with our first round pick. Some early draft boards are showing the Texans going after Taylor Mays, whats your opinion? Looking forward to next season! GO TEXANS!
Nick Scurfield (1:34:00PM): I think it's too early to project any of that stuff, but Taylor Mays was certainly a big-time college player. I'll refrain from saying much more about him at the risk of sounding biased, since I graduated from USC. The Texans will pick 19th or 20th in the 2010 draft, by the way.
Ronald - Brownfield, TX, US: Hello Nick, I had seen where the Texans had some key players at that are to become free agents Owen Daniels,Demeco Ryans,Bernard Pollard. I hope the Texans do there best to keep these players. If the Texans are going to reach the playoffs and more they will need these key players to advance.They are all special in there roles on both sides of the ball.I think if they lose any of these players its going to hurt the texans chances of getting into the playoffs next year. There just isn't those impact players like them availiable to count on in free agency or the draft. You don't know what your getting in the draft or free agency but you know what you have with your free agents. What are the Texans chances of signing these key free agents? And Not losing them to divisional rivals like the Colts,Titans,ect.
Nick Scurfield (2:18:47PM): If there's no new Collective Bargaining Agreement in place, then Daniels, Ryans and Pollard all will be restricted free agents this offseason. If there is a new CBA, they could be unrestricted. If they're restricted, the Texans would have the right to match any team's offer for those players.
Mark Alexander - woodland hills, CA, US: how is anderson doing and is he up for free agentcy this year?
Nick Scurfield (1:39:29PM): Saw him walking around in the locker room yesterday. He said he's doing fine and that he didn't think it was anything too serious after that hard hit in the end zone Sunday. And no, he's not up for free agency- he re-signed as a restricted free agent last offseason.
Craig - Houston, TX, US: Hey! i went to the last game and it was awesome! I was really hoping for the jets to lose...but the Bengals didn't even seem to try.(but they didn't have to) But anyway what do you think the chances are of the texans making the playoffs next year without having to depend on any of the other teams?
Nick Scurfield (2:09:48PM): A lot of players were talking about that yesterday. They were hoping for the same result watching the Bengals-Jets game, but it obviously didn't go the Texans' way. They don't want to be in that situation again next season, and they know they won't be if they handle their business. Lesson learned.
juan - Brownsville, TX, US: so i hear kevin walters is a free agent are we going to get him back.
Nick Scurfield (1:43:47PM): He is a free agent, but I'll have to defer to Rick Smith or Kevin Walter to answer that question. Walter has been very productive here and has done everything the coaches asked of him as a receiver and a blocker.
Ross Polk - Lubbock, TX, US: Hey Nick! I want to congratulate the Texans on their best season to date. It has taken long, almost too long, too reach this point. However, in the NFL you must be patient. What, in your mind, are the advantages of a winning season in terms of draft picks? If we win more games, our picks become lower. How is this at all rewarding after sprinting across the season's finish line after limping through the race?
Nick Scurfield (1:46:53PM): I hear your point, but having a winning season makes a difference mentally to a lot of the players. To end the season on a four-game winning streak, capped by a comeback victory over one of the best franchises in football, gives the team that much more confidence heading into next season. And the Texans will still be able to get a quality player with the 19th or 20th pick.
Ross Polk - Lubbock, TX, US: Hey Nick! I was wondering as to why Kyle was thinking of leaving. Sure, calling plays for his dad would be great and all but what if the Redskins have themselves another dismal season? The grumblings would turn on the Shannahans-quick. The Texans are looking much better and with an extra win here and there, they are a playoff-caliber team. Why leave?
Nick Scurfield (1:49:59PM): Kyle loves the organization down here and has a great thing going with the Texans' offense, but it means a whole lot to him to potentially coach with his dad. If Mike gets a job, Kyle will join him. Tough decision for him, but you can't really argue with family.
sam - Tomball, TX, US: How will the Texans address the running game in the offseason?
Nick Scurfield (1:52:04PM): Remains to be seen, but Foster's performance over the last two games was encouraging. Depends on who the offensive coordinator is. Having a healthy O-line and Steve Slaton next season will help... Kubiak remarked how the line could go into next season with essentially 8 starters if Pitts and Brisiel are back after Studdard, White and Caldwell got starting experience this season.
Steve - Mesa, AZ, US: My question is about Foster, where was he all this time I was very surprised and happy with how he was able to run the ball , you think he will be the starter for the next season ? and what is this rumor of no NFL for the 2011? that is nuts
Nick Scurfield (1:54:03PM): He was on the practice squad for much of the season when the Texans had a rotation of Slaton, Brown and Moats. Foster was called up from the p-squad late in the year and emerged in Slaton's absence. There's no telling who'll be the starter next season, but it's nice that Foster was able to finish the season with two consistent weeks that showed why the Texans made it a priority to sign him after the draft.
Marc Lowther - Regina, AL, CA: What is the situation on Steve Slaton? He had a great rookie year, but this year he looked like a second-string running back. Will he be starting next year or will Arian Foster? I don't see many Texan fans in Canada :(
Nick Scurfield (1:58:07PM): Slaton's season ended early because of a nerve issue in his neck that caused him to experience numbness in the tip of his right thumb. Kubiak said when Slaton was being placed on IR that Slaton would be back and ready to go next season. Sounds like from Kubiak's update on Slaton yesterday that he's getting better and just needs to continue to rest. He's a dangerous weapon as a runner and receiver, so expect to see him making plays again in 2010, one way or another.
D Mack - San Francisco, CA, US: Go Texans! Nick, any update regarding direction Kubs is headed with departure of Lil'Shan, and possibly Papa Gibbs and Ray Rhodes?
Nick Scurfield (2:00:14PM): John McClain had a story up in the Houston Chronicle yesterday with 4 potential candidates to replace Shanahan if Shanahan does in fact leave. Kubiak is giving Alex Gibbs and Ray Rhodes, veteran assistant coaches who are two of the best in the business, a couple of weeks off to get some rest. They'll make those decisions after that.
Sally - Friendswood, TX, US: Hey Nick! I'm so pumped about next season already! Those boys actually brought tears to my eyes on Sunday. I felt like a proud mom, of sorts. LOL Anyway, I don't think that people truly understand the chemistry hit that the O-line took when Pitts and Brizell went down. It took a while for the new players to gel. Sometimes, those injuries hurt more than people realize.
Nick Scurfield (2:17:51PM): Kubiak mentioned yesterday how Chester often handles the defense's 3-technique, so that was a big adjustment. But again, the light-at-the-end-the-tunnel positive of those two guys missing time was that Studdard, White and Caldwell got valuable experience this season, which could give the o-line outstanding depth in 2010.
Dario Olivares - San Antonio, TX, US: Hey Nick, had another question. BTW thanks for taking time out of your day and answering our questions. Been a fan since the get go, had no idea this Q&A was available but I'm hoping that it will be back for next season! Ok my question was, any word on Kyle Shanahan leaving to go work with his dad? If he does how much do you think that is going to impact our offense, I heard Coach Kubiak has a big role in the offensive playcalling. Thanks again!
Nick Scurfield (2:06:30PM): My pleasure. Shanahan will be gone if his dad gets a job to coach an NFL team this offseason. Kubiak plays a huge role in the play-calling and game-planning, and that wouldn't change with a new coordinator. So I wouldn't expect a whole lot to change about the offense. Kubiak said during his press conference yesterday that he's going to have to be on the same page with any new coach who comes in to be the OC.
Sally - Friendswood, TX, US: So sorry! I misspelled Brisiel's name.
Nick Scurfield (2:07:09PM): That's OK. Mike's an easy-going guy; he'll forgive you.
Alfonso - Houston, TX, US: Hello Nick, I have a lot of questions for you today the first one is, what are your feelings on the idea that the Texans got robbed. By the Jets, who only got in the playoffs by winning against teams who rested their starters? Also, how do you feel about next year and what position do you think we need the biggest help at? And what about Foster and Slaton do you think that is our one, two punch for next year?
Nick Scurfield (2:13:03PM): To your first question- the Jets can't control what the other teams do with their players, and the Texans know they could have made it a moot point if they had beaten the Jets in Week 1 at Reliant Stadium. Would've been great for the Texans and the Houston fans if one of the Jets' last two games had ended differently, but it wasn't in the cards. Having to depend on other teams to lose after the season finale wasn't a pleasant experience for many Texans players- they don't want to be in that situation again next season.
Nick Scurfield (2:18:07PM): That's all the time I've got today. Before I go, got to say congratulations to Brian Cushing on winning AP NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, an honor well deserved.
Stay tuned for my offseason live chat schedule, which is sure to change from the weekly in-season routine. Thanks, and have a Happy New Year.