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Nick Scurfield Question & Answer

Nick Scurfield (1:00:42PM): Thanks for stopping by today for my weekly live chat. The Texans had their last practice before the bye week today and are now off for some much-needed rest. I'll get started with the first question in just a second.


Nick Scurfield (1:02:50PM): I did a blog post on what Kubiak said about Larry Johnson yesterday (check out the link here: /blog/index.asp?postid=781). Kubiak said the team will evaluate him just like any other free agent, but did not say that the Texans were interested in him specifically.

Eric Peterson - Houston, TX, US: When Ryan Moats lost the ball on the 1 yard line and the colts recovered the ball why was it a touch back? The colts player picked up the football on the goal line but went back into the field of play and went out of bounds at the 2 yard line. How come it was a touch back and not the colts ball on the 2 yard line. Can you tell me the rule. Thank you Eric

Nick Scurfield (1:04:27PM): I believe that the rule is since the play was blown dead, the call can still be overturned upon review but can not be advanced if it's determined the other team recovered it. So it's awarded to the team where the ball is recovered. I'd have to check the rule book to be certain, though.


Nick Scurfield (1:06:22PM): Johnson had back-to-back 1,700-yard seasons in 2005 and 2006, but his production has dropped since then. Could be the amount of carries he had, could be the situation he was in. Kubiak said today that there was "nothing new" to discuss on Johnson, and owner Bob McNair said the Texans' evaluation of Johnson would "be the same situation that we would employ with any prospect."

Dave - Missouri CIty, TX, US: Will the Texans take a chance on Larry Johnson? This is a guy that could bring some clout to the running game. Second half push needs to be done on the ground as well as through Matt Schaub!!

Nick Scurfield (1:07:13PM): The Texans have said they'll take a hard look at him, like they would with any player of his caliber who goes on the free agent market.

James - Spring, TX, US: Nick, how interested are Texans in the possibly signing Larry Johnson? And, what other options do we have considering our running game has be non-existent.

Nick Scurfield (1:08:57PM): See above answers, please. We'll have the full transcript of Bob McNair's quotes about Johnson up on this afternoon- McNair answered several questions about Johnson's off-field concerns. General gist of it was that he has had some issues, and that'd factor into the evaluation. Aside from the 3 RBs on the roster, the Texans also have Arian Foster and Chris Henry on the practice squad.

Texan Thungc - merced, CA, US: Nick, who will start as a RB, after bye week?

Nick Scurfield (1:11:14PM): That hasn't been announced. In his press conference yesterday, Kubiak said that Moats deserved the chance to start on Sunday after his game at Buffalo and that he didn't do anything in the game to hurt himself. Slaton was used primarily in third-down situations. Kubiak said that pass protection from the backs needs to improve and that both of them need to get better for the team to be successsful.

Steven Wilkerson - Pearland, TX, US: Nick, this past game was a good example with the all the penalties and our offense not turning on till the secound half. In my opinion I feel that there pregame is not effecient enough to get these guys relaxed and warmed up, to get a good start going. Are we looking at that at all?

Nick Scurfield (2:09:53PM): The way the offense started was definitely a concern. Thankfully, the defense kept them in the game, and the offense got rolling in the second quarter. Kubiak addressed this in his press conference yesterday, saying that the team lacked some focus early in the game from some key players. They talked about it in their meeting on Monday morning and hope that they'll get it fixed.

Wes - The Woodlands, TX, US: Is there a problem with Dreessen or Hill? why were they not utilized more in the Colts game? then they bring in several TE's for tryouts, can you update us on what's going on @ this position in the post Owen Daniels era?

Nick Scurfield (1:16:13PM): The Texans said last week that they weren't going to try to replace Daniels' production with just one player. They tried to spread his plays around to several players, so guys like Kevin Walter and David Anderson got more balls thrown their way. Dreessen does a lot as a blocker and the team's long snapper, and it's important to keep in mind that it was Hill's first action as a pro. They were happy with the 6-7 snaps he got. Casey is expected to be a factor when he returns from injury.

Kenny Piguee - Brea, CA, US: The Texans really had a shot to win (or at least go to overtime) with Indy...what are the chances theyll beat them at home?

Nick Scurfield (1:17:20PM): They went into the game believing they could win, and they came mighty close despite a poor start and 13 penalties. If they can correct the mistakes, they can play with anybody. And having the support of the home crowd never hurts.

protoTexans (KirK) - Pasadena, TX, US: Regardless of the fumble by Moats on the one, You would think that Schaub would have enough snap just to call any play, even a spike play, instead of looking around with his hands out waiting for the 2min warning... It looked as bad as it turned out..... Will Kubes ever give Schaub enough pull in the huddle to actually do something other than have to wait to be told?

Nick Scurfield (1:19:25PM): The Texans have a code they can relay to Schaub when they feel they need to get a play off in a hurry. But Kubiak said yesterday that they didn't think the fumble was an issue until after they were coming out of the two-minute warning. His rationale at the time was that the team would be in second-and-goal, and he wanted to give the ball to Peyton Manning with as little time as possible left in the half.

Clint Ramey - Deer Park, TX, US: Is Larry Johnson in town?

Nick Scurfield (1:20:01PM): You'd have to ask Larry Johnson or his agent. Don't know; sorry...

Eric - Memphis, TN, US: Hey--big Texans fan here, love the class of the orginization-- How was the player reaction to the loss? They played their hearts out and came up just short.

Nick Scurfield (1:22:55PM): Eric- you summed it up. It was a gloomy scene in the locker room afterward. Andre Johnson said he didn't even know what to say, and Dunta Robinson said it was definitely the toughest loss since he had been with the Texans. Those are two team leaders who have been around for a while, so that should be a good indication of the team's reaction. It hurt.

Wes - The Woodlands, TX, US: Anything you can shed on Mario Williams shoulder status? How is Cushing foot healing, is he also playing in pain?

Nick Scurfield (1:25:01PM): The team has described Mario's injury as a bruised shoulder. They're hoping that the bye week will help both he and Cushing heal. Kubiak said a week or two ago that he's hopeful Cushing can resume practicing with regularity after the bye- he's been sitting out a good share of the practices in recent weeks to allow him to be ready for gamedays

najat - spring, TX, US: who do u think was under mor pressure for the tying kick? turk or brown? im thinking turk becuz maybe his hands were so shaking and nervous he couldnt get the ball in the rite spot for him to kick it throug. your thoughs?

Nick Scurfield (1:26:55PM): The holder's job is often overlooked, so I'm glad you brought that up. I'd have to go with Brown, though, since he's the final and biggest piece to the puzzle in that equation. But he's been in that situation before and come through many times... said he went through his routine and felt good about the kick, but it just went wide left.

Ramon Ramos - Houston, TX, US: Any news on if the Texans are looking at other free agents to pick up? over the next few weeks.....

Nick Scurfield (1:31:17PM): Kubiak or Rick Smith would have to be the ones to tackle that question, and unfortunately we probably won't be hearing from them any time soon since the team is off for the bye. Smith and the pro personnel department are constantly evaluating the roster and looking at ways to make the team better, and they take a look at free agents as they become available or injuries occur on the team.

Dave - Missouri City, TX, US: A lot of us obviously have the same idea, get Larry Johnson. What I'd like to know is when someone with the talent level of Larry Johnson suddenly becomes available, will the Texans be agressive about the evaluation of this player? New England doesn't need another prime player that everyone had a shot at.

Nick Scurfield (2:09:31PM): The Texans are evaluating him, like Kubiak and Bob McNair have said. If Johnson clears waivers, then he would become a free agent. So where he ends up would be determined not just by who wants him, but who he wants to play for.

Steven Wilkerson - Pearland, TX, US: What record do you think the Texans will need to have in order for us to go to the play offs? seeing it looks that either Pitsburge or Cincinati will get one. And the Chargers are 5-3.

Nick Scurfield (2:43:33PM): 10-6 or 11-5 has generally been the cutoff point in recent years. If the Texans go 5-2 to finish the season, they'll get to 10 wins. Looks like it'll be a tight race ahead in the AFC, but like Kubiak told the players before they broke the huddle today, everything that the Texans want to accomplish is in front of them. It starts with their Monday night game on Nov. 23.

Eddie - houston, TX, US: What are the odds for the Texans to go to the Playoffs at this point?

Nick Scurfield (1:38:22PM): If you're looking for Vegas odds, I couldn't tell you. But there are 10 teams in the AFC with 4-4 records or better, and the Texans are one of them.

Dave - Missouri City, TX, US: On the fumble of Moats, the replay shows the ball touching the arm of the guy on the bottom of Moats and he was out of bounds, then all the other stuff happened. This has been brought up by the team raido announcer even today on his 610 radio show. What happens to persuing that discovery?

Nick Scurfield (2:09:16PM): The Texans have filed their report with the league and will wait to hear back from VP of officiating Mike Pereira. Kubiak said yesterday that they thought from looking at it that Bethea (the guy Moats was on top of) was out of bounds and touching the ball. There's an AP photo that suggests that this was the case.

Malcolm - Philadelphia, PA, US: Hey Nick, thanks for answering all of the questions. Im curious to see what you project the Texans to finish this year. Do you think they are playoff bound?

Nick Scurfield (1:45:29PM): You're welcome; thanks for sending them in. I'm obviously optimistic and biased because I work for the team, but I think the Texans will finish strong. Bob McNair said today that the Texans are a very good team, and when they clean up the mental mistakes, they can become an elite team. I think he's right - especially with the way the defense has come together under Frank Bush.

Wes - The Woodlands, TX, US: Any mention of Brown struggles with Dwight Freeney? The Texans play them again, here in three weeks.

Nick Scurfield (1:47:04PM): Didn't hear any comments from Kubiak about Duane, who overall has been playing quite well this season in pass protection. Freeney seems to give fits to a lot of teams - I believe he's close to tying an NFL record for most consecutive games with a sack, if he hasn't done it already.

Dave - Missouri City, TX, US: No question, just comment: I like the Texans chances of making the playoffs this year. Despite the setbacks,

Nick Scurfield (1:48:03PM): Glad to hear it. Thanks for passing that along.

Dave - Missouri City, TX, US: No question, just comment: I like the Texans chances of making the playoffs this year. Despite the setbacks, there are so many positives from last week's game. Texans did a terrific job of putting the idea into Manning's head that Houston can beat them in three weeks.

Nick Scurfield (1:50:19PM): Oops- here's the full comment. Dave, looks like it cut you off the first time for some reason. Holding Manning and that offense to 20 points is no easy task; what's better is that the defense was upset after the game that they even allowed 20.

Baron - Katy, TX, US: Tennessee has a hint of a streak starting and we play them two weeks from now, do you see the Texas taking a win into the week 11 battle with indy and if so can we convincingly beat indy at home?

Nick Scurfield (1:53:51PM): The Texans have been right there with the Colts in their last three games, so they've shown they can play with them. To get over the hump and beat them for the second time in franchise history, they'll have to do what Manning and the Colts do best: Make the plays in the clutch. First things first, though. The players will be jacked up to play the Titans on the Monday night stage in front of a packed house. And they'll be anxious to get the winning feeling back after having more than 2 weeks since their last game.

Steven Wilkerson - Pearland, TX, US: What adjustments are we doing to prepare for Chris Johnson and Vince Young on Monday night? It seems that with Vince back in the line up our run D is going to have to be spectacular.

Nick Scurfield (1:56:38PM): The good news is that since Week 3, their run defense has been spectacular. Chris Johnson has been outstanding this year, and the Texans know that all too well. But heading into the Colts game, the Texans had the No. 1 rushing defense in the league since Week 4. And they only allowed 70 or so yards to the Colts.

Jim - Texarkana, TX, US: Nick, why did the Texans wear the all-white uniforms last Sunday? I believe they have only won one game wearing the all-white uni's. Time to ditch them, imho.

Nick Scurfield (2:15:52PM): Some of the players suggested it, actually. I've heard a lot of them say the old adage, "Look good, play good." Some of them think the white pants look better than blue pants do with the white jerseys.

Jim - Texarkana, TX, US: Nick, during the games do the Texans have a dedicated person upstairs in the press box or coaches booth looking at replays? The various message boards suggest the Texans should have quick-snapped the ball after Moats fumbled so that the Colts couldn't have challenged the call. I am curious to know if there is such a person or does Kubiak just rely on the coaches and other people upstairs to look at replays.

Nick Scurfield (2:08:36PM): Yesterday in his press conference, Kubiak said that there are six coaches in the booth but that he's only hooked into certain people on the headset. He said he wants to hear everybody's opinion, from the guys on the field to the guys in the booth, but that ultimately it's his decision.

Michael - Katy, TX, US: Why did we not attempt more screen passes in the Colts game, or did I just miss them? In most all of our games I recall us running 2 or 3 of them with at least one of them going for a large gain. In the Colts game I remember seeing one to David Anderson and he got a yard or so but he didn't have much blocking. is it because we were lacking tight ends?

Nick Scurfield (2:16:19PM): I can recall a screen pass to Slaton and a quick pass to Andre Johnson in the left flat. Not sure how the tight end situation affects the amount of screens they call. That'd been an effective part of the Texans' offensive game plan in recent weeks, though.

Nick Scurfield (2:08:14PM): That's all the time I've got this week. Thanks for joining today's live chat and for all the questions- tried to answer as many as I could. We've got plenty of content lined up for the rest of the bye week on, including a sit-down interview with SportsRadio 610's Marc Vandermeer, a midseason review story and a highlight package of the Top 5 plays through nine weeks of the Texans' 2009 season.

Until next time...

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