Nick Scurfield (1:03:31PM): Thanks for dropping by for my weekly live chat. I'll be here for about an hour. Before I get to the first question, a friendly reminder that you can meet a Texans player this evening at the team store nearest you. Rookie DE Connor Barwin will be at the Go Texan Store at Reliant Stadium to sign autographs from 6-7 p.m. At the same time, DT DelJuan Robinson will be at the Houston Texans Pro Shop at the Woodlands Mall.
Now, on to the chat...
kody - the Colony, TX, US: Will houston texans go to the playoffs.
Nick Scurfield (1:04:59PM): They're still mathematically alive with a 6-7 record. The Broncos (8-5) and the Jaguars (7-6) currently have the two Wild Card spots in the AFC.
Nate - Stockton, CA, US: i seen some one said somthing about retro uni. i have an idea. white helments, black logo with battle red mask & logo outline. With our battle red uni.(I went to Bellaire) & it just seems to fit the H-Town. what you think? some off field play. Go Texans!
Nick Scurfield (1:07:31PM): I like the creativity. For this idea & any other similar ideas, please e-mail email@example.com.
Ed M - Buford, GA, US: I was very impressed off the win we had this past weekend but here is the problem we only do that when we really have something on the line or against a worse team than us. Ill take the win but whats your option on the win?
Nick Scurfield (1:10:37PM):
I thought it was the most impressive start-to-finish performacne by the Texans' defense all season. Kubiak called the offense's first half the most explosive half of football he's ever been around as a coach - and that's saying something. The Texans still have a shot at the first winning record in team history. Their playoff hopes are slim, but all they can do is focus on winning one game at a time and see where that takes them.
William - FT Huachuca, AZ, US: I just want to say I told you so to all the people that want Kubiak fired. This is the youngest team in the NFL, they are coming together as a team and the weak are being weeded out. It is only a matter of time before we are a DOMINANT team. Good things happen to good people, you just have to wait your turn. Bob McNair and Gary Kubiak are good people. Don't you agree Nick?
Nick Scurfield (1:14:17PM):
They're great people. The players rallied behind Kubiak after he made an impassioned speech to them on Saturday night. It's clear that he has the players' support, and that the collection of talent in Houston is capable of big things if they can put the pieces together like they did on Sunday.
toby - montgomery, TX, US: hey, can you give us some possible ways that we can still make the playoffs? I.E. we know jacksonville needs to lose 8 games and the jets own the tie breaker against us. but what if we end up tied with others. what needs to happen for us to end up in the dance? thanks...
Nick Scurfield (1:18:53PM): It's complicated because there are so many different scenarios and it's impossible to predict which teams will end up with 6, 7, 8 or 9 losses out of the 7-6/6-7 bunch of teams that the Texans are in. Heck, even the 9-4 Bengals could drop their last three to finish 9-7. The only AFC teams the Texans would definitively have a tiebreaker over (if the Texans win out) are the Bengals, Dolphins and Patriots. But there are different tiebreaker rules if a playoff spot comes down to 2 teams than there are if it comes down to 3 or more. I'll post a blog entry about this today after my live chat.
Jason - Houston, TX, US: With this running game basically in shambles, who can the Texans rely on from this point on? Considering the fact they are still battling for a Wild Card position.
Nick Scurfield (1:21:05PM): Kubiak said that he was impressed with Arian Foster after the last game and that Foster would continue to get more involved. Sounds like they're going to continue to use 3 running backs, though, with Foster, Chris Brown and Ryan Moats.
David - Greenspoint, TX, US: so has to lose for us to get in the dance
Nick Scurfield (1:23:42PM): A few teams. The Jaguars would have to lose 2 of their last 3 for the Texans to pass them. The Titans have to lose 1. The Broncos have to lose at least 2. Assuming the Bengals win the AFC North, the Ravens would have to lose 2. Most importantly, the Texans have to win. Like I said, I'll delve into this more in a blog post after the chat.
Joshua - Pasadena, TX, US: If the Texans don't finish with a 9-7 record, do you think Kubiak could be fired?
Nick Scurfield (1:28:47PM): I think that Bob McNair will have to be the one to answer that question after the season. McNair said a couple of weeks ago that he felt the Texans' best chance of becoming a winning team was with Kubiak at the helm, and that change is very disruptive. He said that the last five games of the season would be critical.
Donald "DJEDI" Joseph - Houston, TX, US: Do you think we'll get another running back in the draft or free agency next year?
Nick Scurfield (1:32:22PM): We won't know until next year, but the depth obvously thinned out at RB this year with Slaton's injury, which came after he had struggled with fumbles this season. The Texans were looking at RBs in last year's draft but decided to wait until afterward to sign Arian Foster and Jeremiah Johnson. Don't forget about Johnson, a very productive back at Oregon who's still on the Texans' injured reserve list. And Foster has a chance to prove himself over these next 3 games.
Chriss - Eagle Lake, TX, US: First off Gary Kubiak deserves to stay, It's not his fault our kicker can't kick, offensive lineman are hurt and Slaton fumbled the first half of the season. I would really like to hear who the Kubiak haters want to bring in, we'd have to start all over!
Nick Scurfield (1:36:00PM):
You're echoing a sentiment that's similar to what some players have been saying lately. Bernard Pollard, for one, said after the game that the coaches put them in position to make plays, and it's up to the players to execute. Mario Williams said after the game that he "loves Kubiak to death" and doesn't want another coach around.
m - spring, TX, US: 60 minutes of perfect football! 1.do u think kubiak will com back? 2. do u think texans will make the playoffs? 3. wat did u think about the heisman awards?i though suh or mccoy would win 4. do u think will b able to draftt suh? and can he b an OL?
Nick Scurfield (1:39:38PM):
Suh is being talked about as a viable #1 overall pick, so he'll be out of the Texans' range. I don't see why anybody would change his position - some pundits are describing him as the best DL prospect this decade. I thought if a RB would win, it might be Gerhart based on #s. But 1) I can't argue that Ingram wasn't deserving, and 2) It's hard not to be happy for him after watching that emotional acceptance speech.
Donald "DJEDI" Joseph - Houston, TX, US: I think we should all just be thankful if we have a winning season, and shoot for the playoff's next year. We need to many people to lose for us to get in and you know that nobody has love for the Texans but the fans.
Nick Scurfield (1:42:28PM): Getting the first winning season in team history is something the Texans can control. Making the playoffs isn't, but all they can do is play hard, win games and hope for the best.
Nate - stockton, CA, US: I DONT KNOW ABOUT EVERYBODY ELSE, BUT I FILL GOOD THAT THE YOUNGEST TEAM IN THE LEAGUE IS TALKING PLAYOFF IN LESS THAN 10 YEARS AFTER THE OILERS DO WE FORGEET SO SOON
Nick Scurfield (1:44:32PM):
Nate (a faithful live chat participant) --- Always appreciate your enthusiasm & optimism all the way from Stockton.
DerecT - Dubuque, IA, US: Do you think Kris Brown has seen his last days in a Texans uniform?
Nick Scurfield (1:46:58PM):
It sounds like Kubiak is behind Brown based on his comments from yesterday in his press conference. "We need him kicking well for us to be successful"... /news/Story.asp?story_id=5916
Ronald - Brownfield, TX, US: Hey Nick with the texans struggling to run the ball all year do you think the Texans will be looking for big physical linemen from colleges that are predominately running offenses first and pass second? Our offensive line is smaller than some of the other teams in the league.
Nick Scurfield (1:49:59PM): I wouldn't see the Texans changing their philosophy, if that's what you're asking. Kubiak has been using the zone blocking system for years. With its emphasis on cut blocking and linemen getting to the second level, the scheme seems to be a good fit for more athletic linemen. But I'm sure that there will be plenty of re-evaluation of the running game after the season if the Texans continue to struggle to run the ball
Paul - New Orleans, LA, US: Who do you see getting the most carries or touches this week, Moats or Foster?
Nick Scurfield (1:54:55PM): Kubiak said yesterday that he plans to get Foster more involved after Foster's performance against the Seahawks. Foster had 13 carries and 4 catches in the game. Moats had 10 carries and 1 catch. Moats was more productive as a runner, but Foster made some big plays as a receiver. Chris Brown is in that mix as well.
Barrett - Austin, TX, US: Nick, Do the texans have any sort of strategy in place to increase awareness around the league for Brian Cushing and his Defensive Rookie of the Year candidacy? Houston has a hard time getting national press due to our mediocre track record. Do you have any insight into persons involved with that process (the election of the rookie of the year award)? And if so, what are their feelings about 56?
Nick Scurfield (1:59:25PM): The AP Defensive Rookie of the Year award is voted on by Associated Press writers from around the country. I've spoken with people like Vic Carucci of NFL.com who agree that Cushing is right up there as one of the leading candidates. John Clayton recently mentioned him as a leading candidate in a column on ESPN.com. The Texans' top-notch PR staff, which has been voted the best in the NFL twice in 7 seasons, handles the promotion of that from the team end.
Jim - Guelph, CA: Hey Nick, I saw an article that quoted your Twitter account as saying that Steve Slaton isn't likely to be back as the starting RB with the Texans next year... is this true? Are they replacing him through either the draft or free agency like was mentioned in the write up?? If so, I'm disappointed because I don't think a bad half year and an injury should make him lose his job. When he's been on his game, he's good. Sure, not as explosive as last year, but if he lost a few pounds, I'm sure he could get his form back. What're your thoughts on that whole situation?
Nick Scurfield (2:01:52PM): Please send me the link to that article (firstname.lastname@example.org). I've never reported that. Kubiak said when Slaton went on IR with the neck injury that it was not career-threatening and that Steve would be back and healthy for next season.
Will F - US, TX, Houston: Is Arian Foster going to start against the Rams and do you think I should pick him up in my fantasy league???
Nick Scurfield (2:06:55PM): No announcement has been made about that yet. I'm sure we'll hear from Kubiak about the RB situation plenty during the week once the team resumes practicing tomorrow. As for the fantasy angle, I imagine Foster would be worth a look depending on what else is out there on the waiver wire. He got 13 carries in his first time to play offense in the NFL, showed he's a viable weapon in the passing game, and Kubiak said they'll probably get him more involved moving forward.
Jim - guelph, CA: Hey Nick... I can't find the article anymore!!! I read it before leaving my house this morning and I can't find it online anymore... I searched something about Slaton through a search engine and it was one of the links that popped up... I will have more time to look for it tomorrow and I assure you that if I can find it, I'll email you the link! I thought it seemed weird because it didn't sound like your normally positive self!
Nick Scurfield (2:10:33PM): OK, thanks for the clarification. I'm not sure where it would have come from because I never said anything of the sort on Twitter or anywhere else.
Nick Scurfield (2:08:42PM): That's all the time I've got today. Got a lot of questions about the Texans' playoff chances- I'll post a detailed look at the AFC playoff picture in my blog later this afternoon. Thanks for stopping by with all of the great questions, and have a good week.