Nick Scurfield Question & Answer

Reggie T - US, TX, Houston:

so is kevin walter definitely going to play on sunday

Nick Scurfield:

It's not definite, but Kubiak said yesterday that it looks like he should be back and ready to go. Last week, Kubiak said that Walter is the kind of guy who doesn't necessarily have to practice to play well in a game, so things are looking up in that regard.

That's all the time we have today. Thanks for joining me for the live chat and for all of your great questions.


Joe - US, TX, Sugar Land: Nick- what do you think of John Bussing?? He looks pretty good to me!

Nick Scurfield: Busing practiced well throughout the offseason and had a strong preseason to earn a spot on the team. He got more time on the field vs. New York because of Eugene Wilson's injury, and he's a guy who seems to make plays when he gets a chance. Was a pretty good special teams player in Cincinnati as well from what I'm told.


brian robertson - Houston, TX, US: Hello Nick, I wanted to know do you think it was play calling or the Jets defense that kept the more the capable Texans offense from ever getting on track for an entire 60 minutes.

Nick Scurfield:

Got time for a one or two more questions... It was a combination of things. Once the Texans fell behind, they were in a position where the Jets knew they were going to have to throw the ball, and that's exactly what a chaotic defense like that thrives on. Kubiak said something on Sunday to the effect that the Texans were basically against the jets' nickel defense for more than half of the game, and that's a defensive package that you only devote about a third of your practice time to leading up to a game.


Nick - Houston, TX, US: Nick, First off, i wanted to say you're awesome and you do a great job giving us inside information about the team. Why was it soo difficult for us to get our running game going against Jets defense that had two of it's starters suspended for the game? I thought our so-called "high-powered" offense from a year ago would be able to take advantage of a mediocre Jet's D...

Nick Scurfield: Thanks for the kind words. I wouldn't call the Jets' D mediocre- they were 7th in the league against the run last season, and that was before adding Rex Ryan as their head coach. Kubiak has been concerned with the running game since the preseason and is going to continue to search for a way to get the running game on track


Michael J - L.A., CA, US: Nick, How did rookie LB Brian Cushing grade out in his first real game action as an NFL player?

Nick Scurfield: Kubiak said that Cushing was a definite bright spot in the game. He tied for the team lead with 8 tackles and was strong against the run. Cushing wasn't perfect, but Kubiak was impressed, especially since Cushing didn't see a single snap in the preseason


Don Byrnes - Houston, TX, US: Is there any relief in sight? For a team expected to be competive in the division, the Texans seemed either ill-prepared or unwilling to appear in the form of a professional team, much less a division prospectgt

Nick Scurfield: Several players returning from injury are going to help the team. Continuity was something that Kubiak said was a concern to him after the preseason because of guys who missed time on defense and because of players like Myers and Pitts not getting their normal amount of reps in the preseason. The Texans have all 11 starters back from the No. 3 offense of a year ago, so the talent is still here


Herman Ratcliff - Port Arthur, TX, US: WE HAVE OUR 1 LOSS,WHAT WILL THE TEXANS DO TO GET BETTER WITH THE OFFENSE AND DEFENSE?

Nick Scurfield:

The defense has some key parts that haven't been on the field together for long. Cushing and Robinson didn't play in the preseason. Wilson and Reeves missed the first game, and both could play this week depending on their progress. As for the offense, Kubiak said that it was the most disappointing part of the Jets game after watching the film. He's going to look at his game planning and preparation and make sure he has them in a good position to make plays this week. Walter's expected return should help, too


chick - dunlap, TN, US: Why did the coach dismiss Clark Harris #82 from the team? They had a great long snapper and T.E plus a special team player a highly devoted athlete to the sport ! At least sign him on the practice squad ! I hope some nfl team picks him up soon. a fan...

Nick Scurfield: That was on the final roster cuts on Sept. 5. Harris did a great job last year over the last several games. The Texans like that Dreessen gives them another roster spot since he also plays tight end


Erik - Buffalo, NY, US: Do you think that you will make to the playoffs? *Andre Johnson is the best

Nick Scurfield: That's what everybody's working toward. I'll tell Andre you said so- thanks.


Kirk - Pasadena, TX, US: Hi Nick, Much appreciation from your fan base around here for all of your updates with Th etEXANS. Quick question for you regarding J Casey... Is he going to be listed as a TE/FB or TE/LS as the way Driessen has been? If he is going to be, was gonna pick him ip in my Fantasy League so he could be used either as TE or FB, just curious... lol.. Have OD now & would rather not put him on the bench... lol... Never gonna happen! Thanks again, Kirk (protoTexans) GO TEXANS!!!!

Nick Scurfield: Casey is listed on the depth chart as the third tight end and backup fullback and long snapper- got a lot of reps in the preseason at fullback when Leach missed time and with Boomer Grigsby getting hurt. He only played on special teams in the opener. Not sure about his fantasy eligibility, but I do know that it looks like the Texans got a great value for him in the fifth round of the draft


Barrett - austin, TX, US: Nick, Several of us that pay extra attention to the interior line are befuddled by the fact that Deljuan Robinson hasn't seen signifigant time with the 1's in preseason and yet he seems to be our best all around DT. Can you offer any insight into why he isn't getting more respect from the coaching staff? Also, on the opposite side of the coin, Kubiak has mentioned on at least 3 occasions that he feels that Studdard is "playing like a starter" althoug it has become clear to me that his aggressive play is his best quality but I can't figure out what the coaches are seeing in him from a performance stand point. Can you possibly offer insight into this mystery as well? Thanks

Nick Scurfield: DelJuan has been dealing with a calf injury that kept him out of the season opener. The coaches love his motor and all-out effort. Studdard impressed them in the preseason by stepping up when called upon. They now feel comfortable with him as the backup at both guard positions


roland - cibolo, TX, US: I live in cowgirl country and I hate telling these little girls that it is a rebuilding year every year! The playing that was done on Sunday was just the type of playing that makes me want to say we are rebuilding again!! I know that is a lie because all of the talent we have. Is it going to take 4 loses to get the season going again? What are the players doing to get modivated? ...Crack that whip down on them!...

Nick Scurfield: The players are extremely motivated, and most of them were very surprised and upset by the outcome of the game on Sunday. They know firsthand what starting out 0-4 feels like, and they're intent on getting off to a better start this season. They'll have their first shot at redemption this week


Hunter - Houston, TX, US: I knew the defense would take some time to pull together. Even minor changes can cause minor gaps that other teams can exploit. They have a pass in week one for giving up 420+ yards, but the offense is another story. They looked like the same team we saw in preseason. What can the coaches do that they have not already done? I think this weekend could be ugly, but I'll keep my fingers crossed.

Nick Scurfield: Kubiak said that he didn't have the offense in position to succeed and and took the blame for that. They know they've got to run the ball better and will continue to see if they can fix that problem. Expect to see a more physical effort against the Titans- the Texans know that they'll be in a slugfest, and they've shown that they can win those types of games (13-12 over the Titans last season)


ZackMartinez - Richmond, TX, US: It seems that the O-Line isn't ready for teams who use elaborate and very consistent blitz options on defense. Is it something that the coaches are adressing or do they think that they are, "ready as they'll ever be", when it comes to these schemes. The O-Line seems overwhelmed by such Raven and Steeler like defenses? Tru or False? Thanks...

Nick Scurfield: No doubt that Rex Ryan's Ravens (2008) and Jets (2009) gave the Texans some problems here at Reliant. But in both of those games, the Texans had a chance to win well into the second half... the Baltimore game was 19-13 heading into the fourth quarter last year. A lot of teams around the league have problems with the Ravens and Steelers defenses; that's why they've been so good over the years


mike - beaumont, TX, US: Have you heard anything from Rick Smith on the shoe thing? How could Rick fine that funny? Has anyone other than Demeco stepped up in the locker room to voice accountability

Nick Scurfield: The issue has been addressed internally among the team and between Kubiak, Smith and Dunta. They've discussed it, handled it and moved on. There are quotes from Robinson and Kubiak about the situation that went up yesterday on HT.com.


roy espinoza - houston, TX, US: how do you think the return of kevin walter and jaques reeves will strengthen the TEXANS on both sides of the ball. also what's the status on eugene wilson's return.

Nick Scurfield: Walter flies under the radar sometimes, but he's a huge weapon as a receiver and run blocker. Has at least 800 yards and 5 TDs in both of the last two seasons. Reeves, who is expected to come back this week as well, was the only Texans corner last season to start all 16 games. It's been a while since Reeves, Dunta, Bennett and Molden were all healthy at the same time. Kubiak described Wilson as day-to-day yesterday- said that Wilson ran with the team, which was an encouraging sign.


John - Houston, TX, US: Why are people blaming Kubiak for the awful offensive play calls. Shanahan took them over full time, do you think Kubiak might be more inclined to step in and change a play call now?

Nick Scurfield: Kubiak was asked about this yesterday and said that Shanahan is still calling the plays. They prepare together and call games together. The Texans were 5-of-5 in the red zone when Shanahan called the plays against the Bears in the 2008 season finale. Kubiak has a lot of confidence in him, and so do the players


Brett - Austin, TX, US: The defense, for the most part, didnt look all bad. We pressured the QB all, which resulted in an interception/fumble return for a touchdown... At least that gives us something to build on, right?

Nick Scurfield:

Kubiak said yesterday that he thought the defense gave the team a chance to win through three quarters. They were making plays against the run and getting after the QB, just couldn't bring him down. If you watched the CBS broadcast, Phil Simms commented repeatedly that the Texans' defense looked more attacking than in years past


LANNY - WEATHERFORD, TX, US: I go to every game,and this year it looks to me like Steve Slayton is not making that one cut and running down hill.He also has gained to much weight and is not as quick,whats up?

Nick Scurfield: Steve put on 8 or so pounds in the offseason to help himself run between the tackles. He only had 9 carries on Sunday, so it's hard to say. Let's see how he does against the Titans, who he had 100 yards against twice last year


Miguel - Richmond, TX, US: what the heck is kubiak doing. he could spread the field out by starting out with the throwing game. then he can start turning to the running game. it's so obvious that 80% of the time on first down he chooses to run. and another 60% of the time on second down. which obviously leaves him with the only option on third down and that is to throw. and guess what they have double coverage on andre. if he doesnt change his "strategy" we'll never be a playoff team

Nick Scurfield: Kubiak is committed to running the ball, always has been. A big part of his offense is the play-action pass, and that's not going to work if the running game isn't going. But what Kubiak has been saying over and over since the preseason is that the Texans can't be throwing it 3 times more than they're running it and expect to win.. puts too much pressure on the o-line and QB


kevin - houston, TX, US: y didnt we try to get the ball to the best wr in the game......and y did the d fence look so confused out there. connor barwin was standing just as much as he was down in a stance

Nick Scurfield:

Kubiak said yesterday that they had a package for Barwin and that the Texans were able to get more guys free to the QB than in the past. Sanchez just stepped up and made plays. Barwin is a former TE who gives them flexibility in their schemes


Sunshine - Houston, TX, US: Why was it that we couldnt get the ball to Andre Johnson?? He's our best player, it seems like we would want the ball in his hands...

Nick Scurfield:

They went to him early on the first drive but he ended up with only 4 catches total. He's a huge part of the game plan and always will be, but not much of anything was working for the offense against the Jets


rick spiker - lufkin, TX, US: What can the coaching staff do to motivate the offence to play with more heart? We did not see a modivated team on Sunday. It was a very diappointing effort for the offence. Are there any moves the team can make on the "O" line? The line looked very week Sunday.Thanks, Rick

Nick Scurfield:

Thanks for joining me for our live chat today. We'll be here for about an hour, so let's get started with this question.

The offensive line was one of the strengths of the team last year, when the Texans had the best rushing season in franchise history. As Kubiak has said, they've played more games together than any other group on the team. Continuity was thrown off a bit with Pitts and Myers missing time in the preseason and should improve in the coming weeks. Remember, Slaton ran for 100 yards twice against the Titans behind this same line in 2008.


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