Nick Scurfield (1:06:19PM):
Thanks for stopping by for my weekly live chat. I'll be here for about an hour.
Should be an exciting weekend with the Texans in postseason contention in Week 17 for the first time ever. Now, let's get right down to business.
Lance Zuckero - Spring, TX, US: What is Steven Jackson's (Rams) contact status? Is there any chance of the Texans trading for an impact running back like Jackson? After watching Jackson carry Texans on his back for extra yards almost every play I'm impressed, he would complement the passing game very well here in Houston.
Nick Scurfield (1:10:09PM):
I don't know, sorry, but I imagine the Rams will do everything they can to keep him around long-term. He's a great player. Also, big trades aren't nearly as common in the NFL as they are in leagues like the NBA and MLB.
kennedy - conroe, TX, US: with the running game a COMPLETE failure, has that made the top of the off season list? fyi i told you at the beginning of the year steve slaton was over weight for his style of running and you gave me the year book answer on " being able to take the pounding" he was what i thought he was..... lol... tell rick smith to sign d. ryans and OD. and NOW...thanks.
Nick Scurfield (1:15:50PM): I wouldn't call it a complete failure- lots of struggles this season, but the Texans did just run for 126 yards against a top-15 rushing defense on Sunday. Slaton himself said in the offseason that he thought extra weight would help him over the course of a season. Let's see how he comes back next year when he's recovered from the neck injury.
toby - montgomery, TX, US: hey, the playoff buzz in the air in week 17 sure feels nice. have you heard anything on what the players are doing after the game? i.e. watching the late games together in the locker room?...it seems like they will be score board watching together i know i would... also what is the feeling like amongst the organization about the odds of us making the dance? thanks.
Nick Scurfield (2:32:48AM): Toby- haven't heard anything yet. I'll defintely ask the players that tomorrow when they report for practice. The feeling around here is that everyone is excited to have a game with playoff implications on the last weekend of the season.
Chris Rodriguez - Houston, TX, US: I'd like to know is why doesn't coach get the ball to Casey? Why hasn't he been used much? Coach is wasting his talent.
Nick Scurfield (1:19:57PM): Kubiak said on his radio show yesterday that Casey's time is coming. He's done a good job on special teams and in his limited snaps on offense. The Texans have gone away from some of their 2 TE sets since they only have 2 TEs - Dreessen and Casey - left on the active roster. And Dreessen has been solid in the last two games.
Eric - Memphis, TN, US: After we make the playoffs, do you think Dunta, Demeco, and Daniels will be more likely to resign?
Nick Scurfield (1:22:38PM): Well, everybody likes to play for a winner. We'll have to wait and see. If there's no new labor deal in place this offseason, DeMeco and O.D. will be restricted free agents.
Marcio Teixeira - Camaragibe/PE, BR: It is not confirmed but what means being ready to make the best season of all time in Houston?
Nick Scurfield (1:24:58PM): If the Texans win Sunday, they'll finish 9-7 and with a winning record for the first time in team history. The players and coaches are excited about playing in a season finale that counts for more than pride. They were very focused in practice last week, and it'll take a similar focus to beat a Patriots team that looks ready to go on a roll after an impressive win over the Jaguars.
tim - charlotte, NC, US: what has to happen for houston to make the playoffs?
Nick Scurfield (1:30:14PM): The Texans have to beat the Patriots and have two of three teams lose among the Jets, Ravens and Broncos. The Ravens play at Oakland, the Broncos are at home against the Chiefs and the Jets play in primetime at home against the Bengals.
benard pollard - houston, TX, US: hi should i get a big contract after this season since i pretty much changed this defense since week 3? good i thought so too...
Nick Scurfield (1:32:27PM): What's up, Bernard. You're right- the Texans' defense has improved more dramatically than any defense in the league since you came into the starting lineup, and your hard-hitting style and vocal leadership in the secondary has made a difference. You've certainly made the most of the second chance provided by the Texans.
Michael Barton - Porter, TX, US: Why cant the texans play 2 halves of a football game??
Nick Scurfield (1:34:22PM): It's puzzling. It'd be nice to see them win every half 27-3 like they did in the first half last week, but it's unrealistic to expect a 54-6 blowout in the NFL on a consistent basis. I'll take one outstanding first half followed by making just enough plays to win in the second half over a loss any day.
raymond manning - houston, TX, US: Do u think its highly unlikely that we see baltimore lose against oakland and denver lose against kansas city..honestly i think our only chance is cinci over the jets and oak over baltimore..there is no way denver loses at home to kansas city..what do u think?
Nick Scurfield (1:38:30PM): I think anything's possible. A lot had to happen last week for the Texans to be even in this position, and everything went Houston's way except for that Jets game. The best the Texans can do is win and then hope. The Broncos beat the Chiefs 44-13 a few weeks ago, but they've lost three straight since and have lost 7 of 9 overall. And the Chiefs have been competitive in recent weeks. Baltimore will be favored over the Charlie Frye-led Raiders, no doubt, but Oakland did beat the Eagles and Bengals at home earlier this season.
Pat - La Grange, TX, US: Is it me or is Bernard Pollard a stud? What was K.C. thinking? He is third on the team in tackling and made a the biggest difference in my opinion on the defense. Thoughts?
Nick Scurfield (1:39:47PM):
I agree. I think we need a nickname for him. Any suggestions?
As for what Kansas City was thinking by letting go of their leading tackler from 2008, Pollard has hinted that he and the new coaching staff didn't see eye-to-eye this offseason.
Eduardo H - mcallen, TX, US: Lets say we sneak in the playoffs whats your take on the Houston Texans advancing? Explain why you think we could actually do well in the playoffs!
Nick Scurfield (1:42:40PM):
Well, the Texans would play on the road as a Wild Card team, and they played better on the road this season than ever before. Their franchise-best road record included a convincing 28-17 victory over the AFC North champion Bengals. And if the defense continues to play like it has in the last couple of months, the Texans should be in any game that they play.
Joe Wright - Houston, TX, US: What draft number would we have next year if we lost versus the the number if we make it to the playoffs? Which position do you believe we will be looking at for in the first round next year?
Nick Scurfield (1:45:59PM): Shoot- I haven't looked at this yet, but if we were the 6th seed in the AFC, we'd probably end up with a pick in the low 20s (21-22 range) - unless the Texans made the Super Bowl, in which case they'd have the 31st or 32nd pick. But if Houston doesn't make the playoffs, there are so many 7-8 and 8-7 teams right now that it's hard to predict. Interesting question, though.
Colin - Houston, TX, US: with all of the lost games his season by not being able to gain short yardage without fumbling, the texans should think about drafting a big smart phisical back who can run over people, like toby garehart. you could even convert him to the full back position and keep slaton as a big play threat. cause im sure a guy like toby could pass blick too. what do you think?
Nick Scurfield (1:48:37PM): I saw Gerhart run all over my beloved USC Trojans this year, and it was painful to watch. Aside from that game, I like his style. The Texans are going to give Arian Foster and Ryan Moats and extended look this week, and then there's the free agency period before the draft, so it's hard to speculate on the 2010 draft. The Senior Bowl and combine will be here soon enough, though.
Iteaf "hwood82" Graham - Virginia Beach, VA, VA, US: First of all thanks for taking my question and Go Texans!!!!! Matt Schaub is a Pro Bowler regardless what they say tonight at 7pm! My question is this...how do I get in touch with players or player reps? I live way out here in VA and am a die hard Texans fan. If I lived in Houston again I would have season tickets and opportunities to meet the players and possibly get autograpghs for my Texans merchandise. I heard that people can send merchandise to the team to have it signed and sent back...how is this done? Again, GO TEXANS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Nick Scurfield (1:50:27PM):
You're welcome. Thanks for sending in the question. You can send players mail at Reliant Stadium, 2 Reliant Park, Houston, TX 77054. There's no guarantee that what you send will be read or sent back, but you can at least give it a shot. If you want to contact someone from the team about this to see if there's a more sure-fire way, you can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Doug - Orange, TX, US: With play-off implications in sight, and the history of this team in the second half as of late, do you think that kubiak will have the team focus on the task at hand, a winning season by beating the patriots, or looking ahead to playoff games?
Nick Scurfield (1:53:31PM):
Answer to part 1 of the question: Absolutely. Part 2: Absolutely not. Kubiak and the Texans know that they won't even have a chance at the playoffs if they don't beat the Patriots, a franchise that Kubiak has the utmost respect for (he called them the best franchise in football over the last 10 years yesterday at his press conference). They'll put everything they have into this game and then hope to see some favorable results in the afternoon and evening games.
Randy Woodum - Houston, TX, US: Do you think Dunta is here next season
Nick Scurfield (1:55:06PM): I'll have to defer that question to Rick Smith. All I know is that the Texans have had enough confidence in Dunta to stick him on the otehr team's top WR for much of the season, and he's gotten better as the season has progressed.
Adam Bruchas - H-town!!!, TX, US: Nick, Who is the guy who facebooks for the Texans? He is AWESOME! Thanks, BIG Texans Fan!
Nick Scurfield (1:55:29PM):
Sent from the guy who facebooks for the Texans. Sigh...
Marcio Teixeira - Camaragibe/PE, BR: When you posted that blog-post "Playoff picture: Texans need wins, help" you really believe Houston could be in the last week fighting for the playoffs?
Nick Scurfield (1:58:36PM): Haha. I've seen enough crazy things happen in my 3 years covering this team and working in the NFL that I wasn't going to rule it out until it was ruled out for me by the Texans being eliminated. I thought it was a longshot, but yes, I believed there was a chance.
Nick Scurfield (1:59:10PM): Because of my slow start today, I'll be hanging around at least until 2:15 CT. Keep the quesitons coming.
Pat - La Grange, TX, US: With D. Barber out for Sunday, who is left in the safety position?
Nick Scurfield (2:01:13PM): John Busing and Nick Ferguson (Pollard, obviously, is the starter at SS). Barber was just starting to find his stride, too. Kubiak said that he could be an IR candidate and that the Texans might bring in a veteran guy like Brian Russell, who was waived last week.
Barrett - Austin, TX, US: Nick, With Barber out I'm concerned about Busing's angles in our defensive scheme. Ferguson may not have enough in the tank but as a smarter veteran player isn't he a better option on Sunday?
Nick Scurfield (2:02:57PM): Ferguson had a good game on special teams this past week, but Busing has gotten much more playing time on defense lately.
Barrett - Austin, TX, US: Nick, Will Reliant allow the fans to stick around and watch the 3 o'clock games in the stadium as we await our fate?
Nick Scurfield (2:04:28PM): You know, I've been wondering that myself. Send an e-mail to email@example.com with the idea. I'll ask around and report back in my blog. Only thing is, the first 2 games that affect the Texans don't start until 3:15 p.m. and wouldn't end until 6 or 7... that might be pushing it.
Gary kubiak - your back yard, TX, US: if we win this sunday i know i will be coaching here next year... if we dont win, am i gone? ??
Nick Scurfield (2:05:37PM): Coach, I didn't know you followed my live chats. I thought I just saw you in your office a few minutes ago preparing for the Patriots?
Kirk - Pasadena, TX, US: Sorry I am late Nick... lol.. What has happened to James Casey? Am I just missing him or has JD been playing so good that he's not getting a chance? minus of course that drop in the end Zone in St Louis....
Nick Scurfield (2:09:08PM): No problem. Late-comers accepted. Casey has done well with the opportunities he's had. Kubiak said that his time will come eventually. But since that drop in the end zone at STL, Dreessen has been superb. Really took advantage of all the attention that Andre Johnson got from Miami's defense this past week. The coaches named him the team's offensive player of the game, and Kubiak said it might have been his best game as a pro
Michael Geiger - Spring, TX, US: If Baltimore, Denver, Pittsburgh, and the Texans win, and the Jets lose, which two teams would make the wild card there?
Nick Scurfield (2:11:06PM): Baltimore is in with a win. Not sure if the other playoff spot would go to the Broncos or Steelers, but the Texans would be out in that scenario. They need 2 teams ouf ot the Jets, Broncos and Ravens to lose - and they have to beat the Patriots, of course.
James - Pasadena, TX, US: Didnt realize you did the Texans facebook updates, sorry I said you suck after the Monday Night loss :(
Nick Scurfield (2:13:43PM): Haha- no, I don't do them; the person who sent me that question does. We're still cool, James.
dfghdfgdf - houston, TX, US: hay not so much a question but a comment could you tellthe players that in this last game of the season we need to play 2 halves of football and tell them that the mighty patriots cant even hurt if we jump off to a quick start on them and thell them that after the game hope and pray that KC can beat DENVER and the radiers can beat the ravens
Nick Scurfield (2:14:58PM): Got it.
Marcio Teixeira - Camaragibe/PE, BR: Was funny to read that blog-post, seems like to read all the things which had had to happen to my soccer team in brazil don't go to the second division. unfortunately my team fell. Go Houston! Playoffs I believe!
Nick Scurfield (2:15:35PM): I'll have to go back and look at that blog post. When was it from- 3 weeks ago, 4 weeks ago? Thanks for writing in and supporting the team all the way from Brazil.
toby - spring, TX, US: how in the world did we get benard pollard on such a steal. have you heard anything that happened in kc for them to let a possible pro bowler go? it just seems like he made some one mad to let him go like that.
Nick Scurfield (2:18:12PM): Pollard has hinted that he and the new regime didn't see eye-to-eye, but whatever the case, I'm just glad that he's in Houston now and not Kansas City. He's been a big part of the defense and he's a great guy off the field, too, which makes it that much easier to root for him.
Nick Scurfield (2:23:29PM): That's it for me today. Thanks for stopping by with your questions and comments. Stay tuned for what promises to be the most exciting season finale in Texans history on Sunday. Happy New Year.