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Nick Scurfield Question & Answer

Nick Scurfield (2:45:41PM): Thanks for joining me for my weekly live chat. Talk about a tough, emotional loss last night. Good thing is the Texans have a new challenge to focus on with the Colts and they're on a short week, so there's not much time to dwell on it. Check out my postgame notebook for some of my observations on last night's game: /news/Story.asp?storyid=5836

tony c - houston, TX, US: Where was Ryan Moats????

Nick Scurfield (1:04:41PM): Moats was active but did not play. He was one of three players, along with Grossman and Antoine Caldwell, to dress but not get on the field. Was a bit surprising after he had been so involved in the last two games, but the coaches obviously saw something in the other backs during practice before and after the bye that led them to decide Brown and Slaton would get all the snaps.


Nick Scurfield (2:46:01PM): Brown has been with the team since the beginning and has made many clutch kicks for the franchise. He's struggling this season and already has more misses than he did in either 2007 or 2008. He's well aware of his miscues and said after the game that he needs to figure out what the problem is and figure it out fast.

rholifield - bessemer, AL, US: I never got a response to my question concerning the status of Earl Cochran as to why the Texans did not pick him up. As you and the rest of the U.S. saw the defense needs help.

Nick Scurfield (1:08:55PM): Sorry if I missed that in a previous week; I try to answer as many of the questions I receive as possible. Cochran was a solid player and a good teammate while he was here but also struggled to stay on the field due to some injuries. The Texans are five-deep at DE right now with Williams, Smith, Barwin, Bulman and Tim Jamison

Will - Houston, TX, US: I was really dissapointed to see that Ryan Moats didnt get many (or any) touches last night, especially seeing how his running sparked us over the past two games. Was he in the proverbial doghouse for his fumble against the Colts, or was it just part of the gameplan to favor C. Brown with more carries?

Nick Scurfield (1:12:25PM): I'm not sure. Moats' huge game at Buffalo earned him the start at Indy two weeks ago, but it was clear from the Texans' first couple of drives that Brown was going to be their go-to guy in the running game last night. Brown had a couple of nice carries against the Titans in Week 2 and players tend to get riled up when going against their former teams, so maybe that factored into the decision.

Dan Horrell - Katy, TX, US: Why was Brown getting all the touches and not Slaton? Why does Kris Brown the kicker still have a locker @ reliant? When will Kubiak be giving the keys to Bill Cowher?

Nick Scurfield (1:14:03PM): Getting a lot of questions about Brown/Slaton/Moats - we will be sure to ask Coach Kubiak about the RB sitaution this afternoon during his press conference (which you can watch live on Texans TV at 3:30 p.m. CT). Brown has had a locker at Reliant longer than any player besides Chester Pitts... he's put in a lot of hard work for the organization, but he knows he needs to get it together to help the Texans win this season.

Sam - Seabrook, TX, US: It's pretty clear that we have to win all but one of our remaining games to have a shot to make the postseason. That said, isn't it comparatively better if we're to lose to the Titans instead of losing to the Colts or Jags over the next two weeks, especially considering the Jags have a shot at a WC berth? Trying to find some silver lining out of last night!

Nick Scurfield (1:16:08PM): Like the optimism. I agree to an extent... you always want to beat the teams who might be ahead of you in the playoff hunt, and a victory over the Jags would have major implications on the wild card race. But it's hard to be happy with a loss, especially in a game that the Texans know they could have won.

Todd - College Station, TX, US: Nick, I know its unlikely we'll see the Texans make a outright change of K. Brown at Kicker, but could we see the team sign a kicker onto the practice squad to provide some competition for the position?

Nick Scurfield (2:46:23PM): We'll see what Kubiak says about Brown during his presser today. Kubiak expressed confidence in Brown after the Indy loss but wasn't asked much about Brown last night after the game. The Texans signed rookie punter this year (Justin Brantly) in the offseason... I'm not qualified to say whether it had any direct effect, but Matt Turk has had a pretty good season.

William Bowman - FT Huachuca, AZ, US: Wow what a tough loss!!! So yeah I think we can say Kris Brown feels like crap today, but my questions is do you think our running game is lacking due to the injuries on the line, or just an overall lack of belief that they can do it? If we ran for 100 yds last night the game is in the bag, heck all of our games are in the bag if we can run even a little better.

Nick Scurfield (2:46:43PM): Yeah- Brown took the loss extremely hard and took the blame for it after the game. "It's all on me" was his quote. Here's to hoping he can get it turned around. Injuries on the offensive line have been a factor this year, sure - Chester Pitts was on the verge of a Pro Bowl season and Mike Brisiel was one of the Texans' most underrated performers. But Studdard and Chris White have done well in their absence. The Texans just lost some continuity due to the lineup changes - all five guys started all 16 games last season, a huge plus in the zone blocking scheme.

Karl Hurd - Eagle Lake, TX, US: Kicker Chris Brown has missed a number of FG's this year, don't you think it's time we brought in some new talent to challenge for the job ??

Nick Scurfield (1:25:25PM): He has six misses through 10 games this season. Four in 2007 and four in 2008, some of the best seasons of his career. It's hard to figure out considering how clutch he has been in the past. He just signed a new contract before the 2009 season, so you know the team has a lot of confidence in his long-term ability

Ashley - Porter, TX, US: Hey Nick, I have two queestions: One do you know if Jacoby Jones will be playing this sunday against the colts? And my second question what was up with the refs last night calling all those personal fouls on us when the titans started three fights with us and they didnt get any calls on them?

Nick Scurfield (1:29:07PM): No, no word on Jacoby yet. He did practice more as the week progressed last week and his status last night came down to a game-time decision, so there's hope, but we''ll have to see what Kubiak says and how much Jones practices this week. The Texans had almost 50 more penalty yards than the Titans last night, but it was a physical game. Lots of after-the-whistle intensity from both sides. That's what you expect when the Texans and Titans play

JPFORD - Housotn, TX, US: What can we do about (K)ris Brown?????? As reliable as he has been, it seems he cannot be dependable in the cluth. Whats your take?

Nick Scurfield (2:47:14PM): My take is that since I've been covering the team in 2007, this is the first time I've seen anything like this from him. All I've known Brown to be is dependable from up close and long range (has been one of the league's best from 50 over past couple of seasons). He made clutch kicks to beat the Dolphins, to beat the Packers, to force overtime at Jacksonville alst season. I know he re-worked his mechanics a couple of years ago with Joe Marciano, and Marciano said this offseason that he was "in the zone." So it's a head scratcher, but I think that if Brown gets a chance to redeem himself, he'll make good on it and come through.

Karl Hurd - Eagle Lake, TX, US: Do you think it's time to get another "power" back to help Slaton. I really like Moats, but Kubiak doesnt like to involve him that much. I recall once when Cedric Benson, Fred Taylor, even formally Houston Texan Mike Bell (now with the Saint's) were still available. What Kubiak sees in practice with RB Chris Brown isn't showing up on Sundays.

Nick Scurfield (1:33:16PM): The Texans have four RBs on the active roster right now. Arian Foster, who was just called up from the practice squad, is a guy who showed at Tennessee that he's capable of making plays between the tackles. In Brown's defense, he did have several effective carries last night to help get the Texans in second-and-medium or second-and-short situations.

Jensen - College Station, TX, US: What was going on with Dunta Robinson? Hakeem Nicks was making him look like he had never played a game before

Nick Scurfield (1:34:55PM): I believe you're referring to Kenny Britt, the rookie from Rutgers who scored a TD last night. Nicks plays for New York. Dunta was clearly vexed after the game - he wasn't happy about the dropped INT and said the team did a lot of uncharacteristic things

Ed M - Buford, GA, US: Its so hard to deal will all of these heart braking loses!!We will not make playoffs if you keep having stupid issues like that everyone has done there job BUT KRIS BROWN they should bench him just like they did Slaton.

Nick Scurfield (1:37:20PM): Well, they can't bench Kris Brown- he's the only kicker on the roster. I'm with you on the tough losses, though- the Texans are two losses at the one-yard line and two missed field goals away from possibly being 9-1. But the games ended the way they did, and here we are in Week 12 with the Texans still at 5-5 and one game out of the wild card

Damien - Round Rock, TX, US: There seems to be a lack of a sense of urgency when we made those drives to get into field goal position. Does the coaching staff see a need to start calling offensive plays that go for the "kill" rather than just inching into field goal range?

Nick Scurfield (1:39:50PM): I'll have to respectfully disagree with you on not having a sense of urgency. The way that Schaub has led the Texans into field goal range in the two-minute drill the last two games has been quite impressive. The Texans had less than 2 minutes and no timeouts with about 70 yards to go for a FG at Indy, and they had something like 45 seconds and 2 timeouts to get into FG range last night.

miguel c - South Houston, TX, US: What were they thinking in letting Brown take most of the carries? How do they justify playing Brown ahead of Moats?

Nick Scurfield (1:41:39PM): We'll hear what Kubiak has to say about that this afternoon. Brown didn't play 2 weeks ago at Indy, but he obviously must have done something in practice to earn his way back on the field. Kubiak said before the bye week that he planned to play all of his RBs and wanted to see how they came out of the bye week and performed in practice.

Stewart Winograd - Omaha, NE, US: I thought the supposed horse-collar tackle by John Busing on Chris Johnson was the worst call of the season and a definite momentum-changer. It looked to me like Busing grabbed him by the numbers, front and back. I thought it was an outstanding play by Busing. Is there something in the horse-collar rules that I am not understanding?

Nick Scurfield (1:45:40PM): My understanding of the horse-collar rule is that a player has to grab the shoulder pads of the ball-carrier, not just the jersey. It was a close call for sure, and it gave the Titans some breathing room when they otherwise would've been pinned deep in their own territory. But the call was what it was, and the Texans still had their chances to stop the Titans.

Ed M - Buford, GA, US: What I would like to know is when we dont male the playoffs here whats going to happen when A. Johnson wants to pack his bags? Then we will have less then what we have now.

Nick Scurfield (1:47:09PM): Johnson went out and said in the media last week that he wants to retire in Houston and that his uncle's words in the ESPN The Magazine article weren't his own

Mort Hines - Kingwood, TX, US: Is there no discipline on this team? Why didn't Coach throw the red flag on the horse collar call. Even the announcers said it clearly was not a horse collar? One last thing, what is wrong with the Kicker Brown? I don't understand your getting paid great money to make the important kicks?

Nick Scurfield (2:47:47PM): Can't challenge a penalty call. Hard to say what's up with Kris; he didn't even know how to explain it after the game. His teammates are behind him, and he's going to be working his tail off to try to figure it out

Darrin - Denton, TX, US: Having lost three games that they were in great position to win (Jags, Colts and Titans) and all within the division, can this team find the consistency to finish better than another 8-8 and third or fourth place in the division?

Nick Scurfield (1:51:22PM): The Texans still have a chance to finish 3-3 in the division if they can win their next two games (vs. Indy, at Jacksonville). That would give them more victories in the AFC South than they've had since 2006

Jim Stratton - Guelph, CA: Just a thought on the RB situation, so hopefully it will clear the air. My assumption is one of 2 (or both) things... 1) Coach Kubiak figured the Titans were preparing for Slaton or Moats all week, so decided to throw a curveball; 2) the Texans were preparing for a hard, physical game, and Brown is a huge man that could do some ground and pound. Those are my guesses, anyway. My biggest concern at the moment is why the phantom horse collar call isn't more of a concern in the post game talk?!? That was ridiculous! What's the ruling on that sort of situation; are you not able to challenge a foul call?

Nick Scurfield (2:48:05PM): We'll ask Kubiak the horse collar call in the press conference today. I imagine he'll say they've sent the call and other calls in the game into the league, as they do each week. The RB situation also is sure to be a topic of discussion with him this afternoon, but you could be on to something with your thoughts on the physical game

robert - houston, TX, US: since our kicker has messed up our games 2 games in a row do u think he has ruined the season or is there still hope for the texans?

Nick Scurfield (1:54:55PM): There's defintiely still hope. The Texans are one of 3 AFC teams at 5-5 and are just one game out of the wild card. And they have a chance to beat one of the teams ahead of them in the wild cards standings, 6-4 Jacksonville, in two weeks.

Alberto Aguirre - Houston, TX, US: It's time for a new quarter back, kicker, coach and the defensive line needs more pressure if they ever want to get to the play offs without every game being an emotional roller coaster. When I watch them play Im anticipating an interception, fumble or missed goal and that's not how a NFL team should be viewed.

Nick Scurfield (1:56:46PM): Schaub had his sixth 300-yard passing game of the season last night and his fifth game with a 100 passer rating - both team records. He's third in the NFL in passing yards this season. Vince Young is obviously a tough guy to bring down, but would've been nice to see some more pressure or a sack from the DL yesterday.

Austin - Houston, TX, US: Nick, What did Dunta Robinson say to the media in response to questions about his dropped interception? That play really kept the Texans "D" on the field a lot longer than they needed to be.

Nick Scurfield (1:59:52PM): Here's Dunta said the team did a lot of uncharacteristic things in the loss, for example him dropping the interception, which he said usually doesn't happen. He's the Texans' career interceptions leader, so I'd have to agree with him on that.

Lou jones - Houston, TX, US: I am not a defensive line coach, but it sure seemed to me that we let Young run all over us because we kept making the same mistake. We kept trying to circle behind him believing we would get a sack from behind by collapsing the pocket, All he had to do each time was take 1 step forward and we weren't going to catch him from behind. In reality my opinion would be that if the defensive line would have worked on staying in from of him and making him beat us with his arm, we would have had a much better chance. It may be much harder than it sounds, but what we were doing sure wasn't working. Am I missing something?

Nick Scurfield (2:01:24PM): Let's give him credit- he was accurate and showed nice touch on some throws in the game. I went to USC, though, and was at the 2006 Rose Bowl... it almost seemed like deja vu. He's a great talent and a challenge to scheme against with Chris Johnson by his side.

Shane - League City, TX, US: Hey Nick. With all the pressure on Schaub last night, would it have been wise to call more screens / draws? I don't remember any being called.

Nick Scurfield (2:02:38PM): The Texans tried a screen to Slaton on third-and-goal from the 8 late in the third quarter. The Titans blew it up and it fell incomplete. Can't remember off-hand if there were other screens in the game

Nick Scurfield (2:04:43PM): Ton of questions flowing in and I hate to leave 'em unanswered, so I'm going to stick around for a little while longer. Feel free to keep on sending in your queries... I'll get to as many as I can. If you see me go to rapid-fire answer mode, you'll know why.

RM - Ridgewood, NJ, US: After last night I can't even think straight but I'll try rapid response questions... Any possibility of seeing Vonta Leach get a few carries RedZone or goal line? Also, will we get to see more Anthony Hill? From what I see he looks like a really strong solid TE. Last, do you find Kris Brown's set up and execution of a 1 sidestep rather than 2 to be a bit dated? Seems to cause old fashioned straight on kicks that are off. Thanks.

Nick Scurfield (2:08:09PM): 1. Based on previous games, doubtful, but I wouldn't totally rule it out. 2) His first game was 2 games ago at Indy... I'd expect to see him gradually get more PT if he plays well. 3) Brown re-worked his mechanics 2 years ago with Marciano and it allowed him to have 2 of the best seasons in his career in '07 and '08, so I don't think it's that. But I'm no kicking expert, so I could be wrong

jack - houston, TX, US: 4 out of 5 losses we have ( jags, cards, colts, titans) we had a chance to send them all into overtime but chris brown the back couldnt get 1 yard and the kicker kris brown cant kick so im thinking we shouldnt rely on them anymore

Nick Scurfield (2:10:07PM): Irony in the names, yes, but their teammates stated that they believe in both players after all 4 losses of which you speak. One of the big things I heard from pla yers in the locker room last night (and after all of the other games.. and I'm paraphrasing this): "Yeah, he didn't make the play so he's going to be hard on himself, but we shouldn't have put him in that position. We could have made a lot of other plays earlier in the game..."

Bel - Brownsville, TX, US: Hi Nick just wanted to start off by saying i love the Texans no matter what and as a true fan i'll always have hope that they'll make the playoffs whether its this year or next but my concern is this will Andre Johnson be here or will he dicide its time to move on.

Nick Scurfield (2:48:26PM): Thanks for the note. Andre said last week that, despite the ESPN The Magazine report, he wants to retire in Houston. He reached out to GM Rick Smith after the article came out to make sure that Smith knew Johnson wasn't going to try to force a trade, as the article implied.

Chuck - Cleveland, TX, US: I see in the NFL that there has been a lot of bad calls from the ref's this season. The horsecoller at the end of the game last night but Robinson was blocked in the back on that play right in front of the ref was not called but how can the ref called a horsecoller when the tackle was made by grabing the jersey and not the shoulder pad?

Nick Scurfield (2:48:42PM): It was a controversial call... crowd was very displeased with it last night, that's for sure. Like I said earlier, let's see what Kubiak says about it after the game. Was a nice effort on the play by Busing.

Caveh Masum - Houston, TX, US: Why is it so hard for Houston football to ever be good? Why? WWWWWHYHHHHHYYYYYYY!!!!????!!!????!! Do we live in some black hole of football suckiness???

Nick Scurfield (2:15:25PM): Hey, now. Don't lose hope. There's a lot of footbal left to be played this season.

Ed M - Buford, GA, US: Since the surgery on Robinson he has not been the same does not have alot of INT or anything really why??

Nick Scurfield (2:17:05PM): Dunta had two picks last season and is on pace for just about as many passes defensed this season than he had in 2005 and 2006 (before the injury). He said last year that he wasn't really at 100 percent when he came back, but it doesn't seem to have affected him as much this season. He had been making big plays in the running game over the last several weeks.

Chuck - Cleveland, TX, US: With Owen out the Texans are missing that underneth reciver, why not move Walters to tightend to take Owens spot and have Anderson, Davis and Johnson on the out side to go deep? That way you can get the fastest and best recivers on the field

Nick Scurfield (2:18:56PM): Walter doesn't have TE size - he's 6-3 but listed at only 215 pounds. He's a pretty darned good receiver, too, so I wouldn't want to move him from that spot. If you're talking about doing a 4- or 5-wide set, that's different. Also, Anderson made some big plays over the middle last night and has proven to be a dependable slot receiver in Houston

Ron Anderson - brownfield, TX, US: Why doesn't Schaub use the tight ends more in the passing game. Instead he tries forcing the ball into Johnson who is usually double-team or sometimes triple- teamed? It's frustrating seeing the opposing defense getting to Schaub all the time and our defense hardly ever gets close to sacking the opposing quarteback! Is our defensive line to light in overall size to get any push up the field to even get any pressure on the quarteback? Because watching the game last night the Texans were physically pushed around and dominated by the Titans offensive line.

Nick Scurfield (2:49:12PM): Schaub threw to Owen Daniels a ton before he tore his ACL- Daniels was the leading receiver among all NFL tight ends at the time of his injury. You can see that they've got confidence in Dreessen (big 23-yard catch last night) and James Casey (they went to him twice in third-down situations). Schaub will continue to develop a better rapport with those players and Hill the more they're on the field together.

Dave - Houston, TX, US: Hey, Nick, Where do thay go from here? And do the texans still have a chance to make the playoffs?

Nick Scurfield (2:22:52PM): Andre Johnson and Eric Winston were asked this after the game and said that if the Texans win the rest of their games, they're in.. it's that simple. That's a tall order, but at 5-5 they're one game out of the wild card right now and are by no means out of it.

Jensen - College Station, TX, US: Yes, sorry I must have been distracted when I wrote that. Another question though, I read in the recent article in ESPN the Magazine that Andre Johnson could move teams eventually if the Texan's do not start to improve and become a winning team. Do you know how much longer the team has to step it up and become a winner for that not to happen?

Nick Scurfield (2:24:32PM): Please see above- answered this a couple of times earlier in the chat. Thanks

Kirk - Houston, TX, US: I'm worried if we don't make the playoffs our star players are going to start looking for other teams, this wasn't helped last night hearing that Johnson's manager eluded to this in an interview. If we end 10-6 or 9-9 this year are jobs in jeopardy? These games are doing a number on my blood pressure!

Nick Scurfield (2:49:37PM): This is a win now/what-you-done-for-me-lately league... jobs are on the line every week. The Texans have been moving in the right direction the last couple of seasons - let's see how this one plays out.

Jim Stratton - Guelph, CA: I think that it's unfair to put all the blame on Kris Brown. Yes, he missed 2 field goals, both from 49 out, so something was wrong in his head. Yes, it's troubling that he had TWO WEEKS to forget about the game in Indy, yet he clearly has not... BUT, we have to remember that there were a lot of missed opportunities on both sides of the ball. Andre Johnson, even while making a few great plays last night, dropped the ball at least 5 times. Dunta Robinson missed the pivotal interception that could have changed momentum. Cushing took an uncharacteristic penalty on Young off the field of play. The ref made a terrible horse collar call in the final minutes of the game, resulting in the go ahead field goal. In light of all this, my question is a simple one.... how about we just go out there and redeem ourselves on Sunday, against arguably the best team in the league?!? Personally, I expected the Texans to be 6-5 after week 12 and that is still possible with a win against the Colts! What do you think, Nick? Can we do it?

Nick Scurfield (2:29:41PM): I agree 100 percent, and so did the players I talked to in the locker room yesterday, that it's not fair for anybody to pin this one on Brown. And yes, I think we can do it. We gave the Colts everything they could handle in Week 9 and came up just short. The difference in the Colts and Texans, though, is that they've been finishing games like nobody else. The Texans will have to figure out how to do that to end Indy's undefeated season in six days.

Corbin McCarthy - River Oaks, TX, US: How do you think Houston/Texans fans/Reliant Stadium looked to the rest of the nation? Did it seem that we were a good host for a Monday Night Football game?

Nick Scurfield (2:32:21PM): The fans were great last night. Decked out in red, got there early, booed the opposing team (even local boy Vince Young) early and often and made some serious noise while the Texans were on defense. I haven't re-watched the game on the ESPN broadcast yet, so I haven't heard what the MNF crew said about the atmosphere, but it's hard to imagine that they weren't impressed. I remember last year, Tirico admiringly saying "This is not the crowd of a 3-7 team" during the Texans-Jags MNF game.

Joey T - Austin, TX, US: The Colts game was tough especially due to the extra week of waiting for redemption, any advice on how to get through this long, tough week of trash talking from everybody?

Nick Scurfield (2:34:06PM): Haha... I imagine you'll be getting plenty of it from Titans fans based on your location. My advice would be to just look ahead - team is still 5-5 and can really help itself in the playoff picture with a win on Sunday. And they showed three weeks ago at Indy that they're capable of taking the Colts down to the wire.

Bernadette - Albuquerque, NM, US: I thought Shaub played really well and kept putting us in position to win but Andre Johnson is absolutely a stud. I keep hearing how we'll lose him next year. What are your thoughts on that?

Nick Scurfield (2:50:00PM): Here's the link to the Houston Chronicle article about this from last week. Johnson is pretty clear that he doesn't plan to leave any time soon:

Mike W - The Woodlands, TX, US: Could you ask Coach Kubiak what their game plan was to contain Vince Young? Too many times on 3rd and long, Vince Young was able to get to the outside and run for a first down. A few times it looked as if Texans were being held, but definitely not on all of them.

Nick Scurfield (2:37:25PM): I'll do my best to pass your question along

AJ - league city, TX, US: Most of your responses that I have read about Kris Brown's recent struggles seem to all go back to the fact that he has been in the Texans organization longer than most players.Does that fact alone give him a free pass on not producing & when does his struggles finally out weigh his years of tenure in Houston?

Nick Scurfield (2:51:00PM): In my mind, that should count for something, but the point is that he has been a very productive and accurate kicker for this team, especially in the previous two seasons. So there's a reason the coaches have had confidence in him this season. And it makes me think that he can battle back, because he's shown that he has what it takes to get the job done.

Jim Stratton - Guelph, CA: haha last time I write in, Nick. This isn't even a question so there's no need to respond to it; I just wanted to tell you that you do a great job handling all these questions every week! Keep up the good work! You're a lucky man to have the job that you do! GO TEXANS!!!! :D

Nick Scurfield (2:44:21PM): Thank you. I always like to end on a positive note (in live chats and in life), so I've got to bring the chat to a close on that one. It's my pleasure to be able to answer questions about the team in these chats. We went about 45 mintues long today, but I enjoyed it. Thanks for the questions, and a Happy Thanksgiving holiday to all.

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