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Houston Texans

Nick Scurfield Question & Answer

Jordan - Houston, TX, US: Has Brian Cushing put accusations of steroid use to rest after passing numerous drug tests and continuing to play at a high level in the NFL?

Nick Scurfield:

Last question. Yes, I think that discussion is definitely in the past. Cushing has never failed a drug test in his life. He's always been known as a relentless worker and ferocious player. He's living up to that reputation with 18 tackles through two games... don't forget to vote for him for rookie of the week!

Thanks for all of the great questions for today's live chat. Sorry if I didn't get to your question, but I've got to run. Check back with us at the same time next week.

Tom - Clutch City, TX, US: Did you notice anything different about the defense after the sideline fight? It seemed like it pumped up our defense! They played a much better second half.

Nick Scurfield: The tension in that stadium was palpable. From up in the press box, it almost felt like the fans were about to jump out of the crowd and start a fight with our players and the referees. But the defense made big plays in the clutch- stopping the Titans on a fourth-and-six, then forcing a three-and-out on the next series in the fourth quarter. And the offense sure looked poised late in such a hostile environment

bob - Conroe, TX, US: WHAT??? you cant tell that his quickness and speed have fallen off? what is kyle and everyone looking at?

Nick Scurfield:

Nobody has made a statement saying that Slaton's playing above his ideal weight, so that's what I was going off of. The biggest concern with Slaton right now is that he has fumbled three times in two games... Kubiak said he's got to get that problem fixed. He had a great game against the Jags at Reliant Stadium last season; maybe this is the week he turns it around

Jerry Arredondo - Pharr, TX, US: It was an awesome game on sunday good job texans. How can the texans fix the run defense cause I think they are last in the league on stoping the run.

Nick Scurfield: Right you are - last in the league at running the ball and at stopping the run. Very troubling stats, and that's why Kubiak has looked so unhappy in his two press conferences since the game. Kubiak has said can see the answers on film - a lot of it is going to come down to executing assignments better

Luis Berrueta - Houston, TX, US: What is the possibility of us getting a punishing back in the 2010 Draft?

Nick Scurfield: Still got a ways to go until next year's draft. Chris Brown has looked pretty good in short-yardage situations so far..

Steve Thomas - US, TX, Dallas:

is jacque reeves going to play this week?? i thought he was coming back last week

Nick Scurfield:

Time for one or two more questions... There was a chance Reeves would play in Week 2, but he probably wouldn't have seen more than a few snaps on special teams. From Kubiak's comments yesterday, it sounds like Reeves has a good chance to get back in action against the Jags.

bob - Conroe, TX, US: honestly, steve slaton is a little over weight for his style of running right?

Nick Scurfield: Steve says that he's around his playing weight from last year. I'll ask him his exact weight this week. Kyle Shanahan has said that he doesn't care what Slaton's weight is as long as his quickness and speed are there, and at this point nobody has said that those two attributes aren't there for Slaton any more

Chad - Mount Vernon, TX, US: Thanks for answering that last question Nick. One more from me: Why do you think DelJuan Robinson isn't getting more playing time? I know he had that calf injury issue in week 1 but when he's on the field he looks like our best DT and its puzzling to me why he's not given more playing time. It seems whether he's lining up at 3 technique or NT he's the best DT we have for either spot.

Nick Scurfield:

Not sure of his final stats in the game, but I know he played and can remember at least one tackle. But when you miss a game like he did in Week 1, that sets you back. I'll see if we can ask Kubiak or some other coaches about him this week

rafael - laredo, TX, US: Do you think there has been a big change in the defense? What do you think this defense is still missing?

Nick Scurfield:

You can tell there's a more aggressive mentality among the players. Players say it's fun playing for Frank Bush. The defense is missing some continuity - several key parts missed all or some of the preseason. There's also some consistency missing, as Kubiak has indicated when discussing missed assignments that are characteristic of young players

John Platzer - San Antonio, TX, US: What is the weather expected for gametime Sunday? Will the roof be open or closed?

Nick Scurfield: Preliminary roof report is closed (you can check it on The temperature is predicted to be in the mid-80s with a 30 percent chance of rain. Heavy rains this morning in Houston...

Tracy - Houston, TN, US: In your opinion, do professionals have to be completely embarrassed and afraid for there jobs before they come out and play to their abilities. I'm not saying every game will be a win, but the level of intensity and effort seemed unbelievably different between weeks 1 and 2. What accounts for this?

Nick Scurfield: Week 1 was a wake-up call for the Texans. They got called out all week afterward about being a finesse team, and they responded with a big win in an extremely physical game. Not sure what accounts for Week 1, but it's safe to say that the light switch is now firmly in the "ON" mode moving forward

ERIC MONTE - Houston, TX, US: Coach talked about maybe bringing more eight man fronts to help stop the run. How much 8 man do you really think we will bring against Jones Drew considering the young guys we have in secondary? Not to mention the blown coverages. 8 man fronts scare me!

Nick Scurfield: That's the problem with 8-man fronts - they put your DBs on an island, and the Texans are mighty young in the secondary. The good news is that Dunta and Fred Bennett are continuing to gel and Jacques Reeves has a good chance of coming back this week

CalTex - Houston, TX, US: Are we going to take the other team's superstar out of the game some time, we haven't done it yet, CONCENTRATE ON JONES DREW WILL YOU!!!

Nick Scurfield: What's funny is that if you take away the two huge runs, Chris Johnson would've ended up with something like 14 carries for 50 yards - not all that impressive. Of course, you can't take the two huge runs away because they happened, but the Texans were pretty good at stopping Johnson on plays where they didn't miss assignments. Cushing in particular sniffed out some screens very well. MJD gives the defense a big shot at redemption this week

Jairo - Pasadena, TX, US: Hey how's it going? I think Jacobey Jones can be a lot like Santonio Holmes. He has the same body style and speed. He just needs more playing time. He can be a big threat. What do you think? Thanks!

Nick Scurfield: Jones started on Sunday with the Texans down 2 receivers and came up with a couple of huge plays. Kubiak likes that he came right back and made a tough touchdown catch after dropping a pass in the game. He's got all the physical ability to be a big weapon for this team - he's just got to be more consistent

Paul - Katy, TX, US: The Texans always seem to play the Jaguars wearing the Battle Red Jerseys, and I know they'll be wearing them on this Sunday. What's our record against the Jags in the Battle Red unis?

Nick Scurfield: 4-1 against the Jags, 7-2 overall. The Texans will be in red on red (jerseys and pants), and they're 2-0 in that combo.

Jordan - Houston, TX, US: Will any of the Texans players be suspended for fighting on the sidelines against the Titans sunday? Which players were involved?

Nick Scurfield: Nobody on the Texans was ejected, so a suspension might be surprising. There could be some fines coming down this week, although nothing has been announced. Titans coach Jeff Fisher said yesterday that he thinks Andre Johnson will be fined (I"ll post his comments in my blog later today)... we'll see what happens

Coogsfan - Houston, TX, US: Anthony Aldridge was a great back for the coogs, how's he looking on the practice field so far. Is he now the fastest runningback the Texans have either on the reqular squad or practice squad?

Nick Scurfield: He's only been here about a week, but the coaches liked the look that his speed gave them as they prepared for TEN and Chris Johnson. It's going to take him time to adjust to the Texans' system, but he's a nice change of pace for the defense in practice

Mike - Friendswood, TX, US: S John Busing seems to be getting a lot of playing time recently in the Texans secondary. Is there a chance that he could assume Barber's position as a starter?

Nick Scurfield:

Kubiak said yesterday that they're going to continue to play a rotation among the safeties. Sounds like a starting spot is up for grabs and it'll be interesting to see if someone can play his way into it. Busing played about 25-30 snaps this week and continues to impress.

Chad - Mount Vernon, IA, US: What do you think Coach Kubiak has done wrong in the past when the team comes out and does not play up to its potential? Two examples are the Raiders game last year and the Jets game on opening day this year. What do you think he is doing to improve what, in my opinion, is his biggest weakness as a head coach (inability to get his team ready to play 100% consistently).

Nick Scurfield: The Texans are a young team, and Kubiak is growing as a head coach right along with them. If you listen to the players, they love playing for him and respect the way he runs the team. That opening game was a huge disappointment to everybody, and Kubiak put the blame on himself. The Texans still made mistakes at TEN, but it's safe to say the team was a lot better prepared for that game.

Raymond Manning - houston, TX, US: I personally think the Texans may not lose again until the Colts game before the Bye week...what do u think?

Nick Scurfield: You think we'll lose to the Colts?!? Just kidding - it'd sure be great if we could win our next six, but the team is taking it one game at a time. The players are all very conscious of avoiding a letdown game after that big win at Tennessee, like last year when they beat the Titans at Reliant Stadium and lost at Oakland the next week.

Steven - Houston, TX, US: Coach Kubiak said before the Titans game that we'd see a lot of James Casey this week, but I'm not sure he touched the ball at all on Sunday. What's the plan for working Casey into the Texans' offense?

Nick Scurfield: Well, it looked like that'd be a necessity since Vonta Leach didn't practice until Friday and Casey had taken all the reps at FB before then. With the way Casey played in the preseason, it's easy to forget he's a rookie fifth-round draft pick. He's got plenty of time ahead of him to make an impact, and the coaches are very happy with how he's practiced and played on special teams.

Sam - San Diego, CA, US: What's the injury outlook for Chester Pitts? Will he miss the first game of his Texans career this week?

Nick Scurfield: Since we just got a few more questions about Chester, I'd also like to point out that he had missed only seven offensive snaps in the history of the Texans franchise before he got injured this week. Seven. Pretty incredible... you can bet he'll be back as soon as possible.

josesph - US, TX, sugarland: Nick what's the word on C Pitts? is "THE STREAK" coming to an end?

Nick Scurfield: Yes, it looks like Pitts' streak of starting 114 consecutive games (every game in Texans history) will be ending this week. Kubiak said yesterday that Pitts will have arthroscopic surgery on Wednesday and he will miss "some time." Hasn't been announced how much time just yet - we should know more tomorrow after practice once Kubiak meets with the media

Danny Alanis - Richmond, TX, US: Which weekend do the cheerleaders have the little kids pefrom with them on the field?

Nick Scurfield: There will be an All-Star Cheerleader performance for 13-18 year old girls on Dec. 13 against the Seattle Seahawks. The Junior Cheerleaders, which I believe is what you were referring to, is not taking place this year.

Tom M - Houston, TX, US: Two questions Blown coverage - not one single coach calls timeout? How are they not screaming on the sidelines for a T.O.? Second - I think Kubiak has the worst red-flag challenge record ever. How does he not challenge the catch from Dre that gives us a first down? Are his supporting cast that afraid of wasting a timeout? Even the ANNOUNCERS on t.v. are saying 'yeah great catch throw the flag' and he puts it away. There's a lot of coaching improvements we need also.

Nick Scurfield: On the three big plays by Johnson, Kubiak said that three young players (Barber, McCain and Cushing) were involved on each different one. Johnson was on the opposite side of the field as the Texans' bench on his uncovered TD reception, so that's probably the players' responsibility to see that. If you're talking about the Andre Johnson catch I think you're talking about, I'm pretty sure the Texans had already used a timeout, so they prob. didn't want to be down to their last one with about a quarter left to play in a tight game.

Chase - Pearland, TX, US: What happened to Andre Davis?

Nick Scurfield:

He suffered a concussion in Week 1 against the Jets - got hit so hard it knocked the ball out of his hands on a potential reception. Davis is listed as day-to-day and Kubiak said that his chances of playing in Week 3 "look positive."

Geoffrey Bond - Magnolia, TX, US: Good afternoon Nick, What is causing our lack of running success given our O line is back the same as last year and we had decent success with Slaton. thanks

Nick Scurfield: Getting lots of questions on this- it's one of the most frustrating (and puzzling) things to Kubiak so far. Hard to believe that the Texans are last in the league in rushing through 2 weeks at around 50 yards per game. Continuity on the O-line is another factor - Pitts and Myers missed most of the preseason with injuries. Now that Pitts is out, Studdard will be counted on to step up and fit in with the group.

Will - Durham, NC, US: Steve Slaton has started off incredibly slow this season with only 50 yards on 26 carries through two games. What do you think accounts for Slaton's slow start? I know that there's been a lot of media speculation about his higher playing weight this year, do you think that's a factor?

Nick Scurfield: In the Jets game, the Texans only ran it 13 times, so the running game didn't have much of a chance after they got behind early. The Titans keyed on stopping Slaton in Week 2. They had talked about it all week – Slaton burned them for 100 yards twice last year, and it was a pride thing that they couldn't let it happen again. The Texans stayed committed to the run and it allowed their passing game to flourish, even though they only averaged 2.2 yards per carry. Kubiak said that Slaton can run better, but as far as his weight, Slaton said he's comfortable with it. A few extra pounds could go along way in keeping his durability up over the course of the season.

Paul in Houston - in Houston ... duh, TX, US: Nick, How do the Texans plan on shoring up the run defense? Id have to say that it hass easily been the most disappointing aspect of the team so far. Additionally, how can Demeco's play (quite good) square with the defense (quite bad)? Is there something he can do to improve the run defense?

Nick Scurfield: Kubiak discussed this yesterday in his press conference and said that they could try running more eight-man fronts. He said the players and scheme are in place, but a lot of the big plays have come on busted assignments. Missed assignments are to be expected with the amount of young players the Texans rely upon on their defense, but they're going to have to become more sound in what they're doing.

Manro - Houston, TX, US: Owen Daniels is on my fantasy team. In addition to that, he is a nice guy and a good player. Down the stretch, do you foresee him being as reliable a pass option as he was on Sunday?

Nick Scurfield: True and true. O.D.'s reception and yardage totals have gone up in each of his first 3 seasons, and he's becoming more and more widely recognized as one of the league's top TEs after his Pro Bowl appearance last year. All signs point to yes.

rick - lufkin, TX, US: great job to coaches and players sunday! I am just wandering about our wide receivers. Are we going to be getting Kevin and Andre back soon?

Nick Scurfield:

Thanks for joining me today for the live chat. Before I get to the first question, I wanted to remind everyone that Texans right tackle Eric Winston will be at the Academy Sports + Outdoors at 2404 Southwest Freeway (77098) tonight from 6:30-7:30 p.m.

As for the receivers, Kubiak said yesterday that Walter (hamstring) and Davis (concussion) are both still day-to-day. Things are looking up for both of them to possibly return this week... Walter practiced for most of last week but had a minor setback that ultimately kept him out of the game.

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