Nick Scurfield (1:06:10PM): Thanks for joining me for today's live chat. Sorry for the delay... Happy Holidays to you all. Let's get it started.
Cody Griggs - Williamston, NC, US: Will there be a coaching change after this season? If so, what kind of effect do you think it will have on the future of the franchise?
Nick Scurfield (1:08:38PM): Hi, Cody. That's not for me to speculate on. Bob McNair has said he will make his evaluations after the season. Here's an interesting article on coaching changes from veteran NFL writer Rick Gosselin in the Dallas Morning News that I came across this morning: http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/spt/stories/122209dnspogosselin.3bba7.html
chris r. - orlando fl., FL, US: nick,do you think the houston texans will go for a RB like dwyer or dixon on the draft. or are we going to suffer next year w/ the run game ones again?
Nick Scurfield (1:11:44PM): I'm from Mississippi so I'm a fan of Anthony Dixon, but the draft is too far away right now. In all his years as a coach, Kubiak has almost always had an outstanding running offense. You can bet he and his staff will put an emphasis on improving the running game this offseason.
Nate - Stockton, CA, US: DO YOU SEE WHAT I SEE? ARE WE STILL IN THE PICTURE? DO WE STILL BELIEVE? WELL I KNOW WHAT I'M ASKING SANTA FOR CHRISTMAS,DO YOU? MERRY CHRISTMAS!BE SAFE ! AND REMEMBER TO HAVE FUN! GO TEXANS !
Nick Scurfield (1:13:32PM): Merry Christmas to you, too. Yes, the Texans are still alive and kicking the playoff race and are playing meaningful December games. They need help, sure, but crazier things have happend. Here's a breakdown of the Texans' playoff hopes that I just put up on HT.com: /news/Story.asp?story_id=5947
Pat - La Grange, TX, US: Nick, I need to know what's going on with Daunta Robinson! His play making ability is non existant, I really like him but zero interceptions speaks volumes. What are your thoughts on Mr. Robinson? Thanks and keep up the great work!
Nick Scurfield (1:16:05PM): Thanks. I think that Dunta is a fiery guy who brings it every play. He doesn't have any INTs this season, and he was smarting over the one he dropped on Monday night, but he brings a hard-hitting mentality to the secondary.
ashley mangum - Houston, TX, US: When are the Texans holding the Houston Invitational Open try-outs in 2010? Thank you
Nick Scurfield (1:19:46PM): I don't know if the Texans will have open tryouts for the team, but you can send a tape in to the Texans' scouting department at 2 Reliant Park, Houston, TX 77054.
Sam Kingery - Lincoln, NE, US: Who would you take on your team if you were a coach? Andre Johnson or Jerry Rice?
Nick Scurfield (1:22:21PM): If I have to choose, I'll cop out and say I'd take Andre now because he's about 20 years younger.
Marcos Juarez - Houston, TX, US: Do you think Andre Johnson has the potential to be one of the greatest wide receivers of all time, if so please explain?
Nick Scurfield (1:44:28PM): Yes, and his position coach, Larry Kirksey (who coached Jerry Rice, TO and Jimmy Smith), has told me as much - with the key being that Andre can stay healthy. Andre is on pace for one of the top-10 seasons by a receiver in NFL history. He's also on track to become the only WR besides Jerry Rice to lead the league in receiving yards in back-to-back seasons since 1970. Check out my blog- I did a post about Johnson's 2009 season yesterday.
Justin G - Halifax, NS, CA: What position do the Texans target in the draft? There are not many holes as the defense seems to be improving lately.
Nick Scurfield (1:29:23PM): All the way from Nova Scotia... thanks for writing in, Justin. You're right about the defense --- they're ranked 12th in the league this season, and 3rd since Week 4. Draft is going to depend on how the season ends and what the Texans do in free agency...
Tarrej - Missouri City, TX, US: The Texans since their inception have neglected the most important positions on the field and that's the O-line. It should be obvious at this point why we can't run the ball this season (O-line turnover from injuries). What are Kubes plans for addressing a mediocore center in Myers and 2 guards that aren't stout against big D tackles? And will TE Hill end up at tackle like Duane Brown?
Nick Scurfield (1:35:38PM): I don't know about Hill switching positions. They loved his blocking ability coming out of NC State, but he's got a long way to go in his rehab right now. The Texans drafted Brown in the first round last year and Caldwell in the third round this year. Winston was a third-round pick in 2006, along with Charles Spencer... I think that shows this regime has made the OL a relative priority (4 drafts, 4 OL picked in first 3 rounds). Studdard, White and Caldwell have given them plenty of film to help evaluate to decide whether they can be the guys going forward.
Derec Thompson - Dubuque, IA, US: I read the playoff picture and it looks like the texans can only get in if they are fighting with Steelers for the final spot. The way i saw it when i looked it up was Denver being eliminated between HOU, PITT, DEN, and BAL because they are 0-2 against the other teams in the tie breaker. Explain why they aren't?
Nick Scurfield (1:39:48PM): If all 4 of those teams were tied for one spot, Pittsburgh would be eliminated off the bat because they have a worse division record than the Ravens. Houston would be competing with Denver and Baltimore, and both of them would win tie-breakers over the Texans. Ravens'd win on better conf. record. Broncos would win strength of victory tie-breaker.
Luis Saucedo - Corpus Christi, TX, US: What is the status on Steve Slaton, Duane Brown, Owen Daniels, and Brian Cushing? Sure would love to see all of them back 100% for this last playoff push.
Nick Scurfield (2:09:14PM): Slaton and Daniels are on IR and done for the season. Brown's status is up in the air this week... he's been playing through a knee injury and has a hard time sticking his foot in the ground. Kubiak is hopeful they can get something out of him on Sunday; if not, Rashad Butler would fill in, and he did a good job against the Rams. Cushing is banged up with knee, foot and ribs issues, but Kubiak is optimistic that he can play.
toby - montgomery, TX, US: please explain "strength of victory"
Nick Scurfield (2:09:31PM): To my understanding, strength of victory is the combined winning percentage of all teams that a club has defeated. If you look at the Broncos' wins vs. the Texans' wins (plus their potential wins), the Texans are at a disadvantage there.
toby - montgomery, TX, US: combined winning percentage at the time of the win or present time?
Nick Scurfield (1:52:26PM): That's a good question. My guess would be at the end of the season, but I'll check with somebody at the league to be sure
David Pope - Philadelphia, PA, US: Hey Nick, I say the team is in good shape except for the run and maybe some push in the middle of the D-line. In your opinion what position do you think we target first in either free agency or the draft?
Nick Scurfield (1:59:55PM): David- don't mean to be a buzzkill, but I don't like to speculate on the draft until after the season when I get to go to the Senior Bowl and become familiar with more of the available prospects. As for free agency, we'll have to wait and see what the Texans do with their own guys up for free agency like Ryans, Daniels, Pitts, Walter and Pollard. Some of them will be restricted, some unrestricted... decisions made there will probably affect subsequent moves in the offseason.
toby - montgomery, TX, US: thanks.
Nick Scurfield (2:00:51PM): You're welcome.
Will - US, TX, Beaumont: ho ho ho, nick, what are the texans' Christmas plans and what are the players doing for the holidays?
Nick Scurfield (2:02:48PM): Haven't gotten to talk to any of the players about their holiday plans just yet (they don't start practicing 'til Wednesday). But the players will have Friday off to spend Christmas Day with their families.
Mike - Nanuet, NY, US: What's the RB situation for this week and next week? Will Foster get some work? Merry Christmas
Nick Scurfield (2:05:14PM): Kubiak said that he's definitely going to give Foster a chance this week. He has to have a good week of practice- Kubiak had big plans for Foster at St. Louis, but Foster had a rough day of practice on Thursday and then fumbled on the first series in the game. Merry Christmas to you, too.
Nick Scurfield (2:09:49PM): OK, folks, I've got to run. Thanks for stopping by and for the insightful questions in today's chat. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and see you next week at 1:00.