Nick Scurfield (2:01:59PM): Thanks for stopping by today. Taking all questions on the upcoming game vs. Tampa, roster decisions and whatever else might come up. Be here for about an hour... let's get to it.
david white - houston, TX, US: are yall ready for this season. cause yall need to make it to the playoffs
Nick Scurfield (2:03:20PM): The Texans looked as ready as can be in their 23-7 win over the Cowboys on Saturday. Now, most of the starters will rest tomorrow night to give young guys a chance to show what they can do.
angie - sugar land, TX, US: Did Bernard Pollard get cut from the Texans?
Nick Scurfield (2:04:18PM): Most definitely not. He was cut by the Chiefs before the start of last season, but he's become an integral part of the Texans' defense and a leader in the secondary.
Ryan Taylor - Manteca, CA, US: Hey Nick, is there any chance that Barwin will get a start? I just wondered if they were going to ever move Smith inside as a more permanent role as in his years past, thus freeing up the more than capable Barwin to wreak havoc.
Nick Scurfield (2:07:42PM): The coaches have said that Smith feels more comfortable inside at defensive tackle. He's a disruptive player there in passing situations. From talking to Barwin this offseason, he's determined to step up and show that he can be an every-down player and not just a pass rusher. Either way, the Texans expect big things out of both players in 2010. Even if he doesn't start, I think we'll see Barwin make a bigger impact this season.
don bruner - pgh, PA, US: nick,who will be the starting running back slaton or A.foster.saw foster looks good ?
Nick Scurfield (2:10:24PM): Foster. He entered the offseason as a starter and responded with good OTAs, a good training camp and an even better preseason. I'd expect that Slaton, when his toe strain heals, will also still be involved, though. He got some first-team reps in training camp and would have gotten some more reps with the ones against Dallas had he not gotten injured.
David Cardenal - Beaverton, OR, US: I miss Ron Dayne, but less since Arian Foster has stepped up. What ever happened to Ron?
Nick Scurfield (2:11:15PM): That's a good question. To my knowledge, Dayne hasn't signed with anybody since his last season with the Texans in 2007. Great guy off the field, by the way.
Capt. Kirk - Pasadena, TX, US: Have you seen Casey throwing the ball at all in the pre-season. I know he is not in games thus far, but any time in camp?
Nick Scurfield (2:13:27PM): If you meant to ask if I've seen balls getting thrown to James Casey, yes, saw plenty in training camp with Owen Daniels out, and even more in OTAs and mini-camp when Joel Dreessen wasn't yet at 100 percent. Casey had a couple of big catches in the preseason opener, a touchdown catch at New Orleans nullified by penalty and one catch against the Cowboys.
Vishal Bhatt - Columbus, OH, US: Are you guys thinking of signing any veteran players at any positions? There are a lot that are being cut by their former teams lately.
Nick Scurfield (2:16:10PM): There'll be a ton of players cut around the league later this week as teams have to trim their rosters from 75 to 53. The Texans will be keeping their eye on the waiver wire, definitely, but the same can be said for every team in the league. First things first, they've got to make their own cuts, which will not be an easy thing to do.
Sergio - Houston, TX, US: How much % of the carries is Arian Foster going to be getting? And who will be the backup
Nick Scurfield (2:21:02PM): You'd have to ask Gary Kubiak on that one. The best I can tell you is that Kubiak had planned to play Foster and Slaton in the first three quarters against Dallas, with Foster being the starter. Slaton's first carry came on the first play of the second quarter, and he had another one on that same drive before having to leave the game with an injury. So it's unclear what the split would have been had Slaton been able to stay in the game.
Anestacio - Cypress, TX, US: How with the Texans approach the Colts game offensively & defensively? Specifically, how will the Texans contain Manning/Clark & keep Freeny/Mathis guessing on Defense?
Nick Scurfield (2:23:25PM): Teams keep their game plans close to the vest, but you know the Texans will want to attack Peyton Manning with their pass rush. Mario Williams sacked Manning in both meetings with the Colts last season. And the best defense against Indy, of course, is a good offense. If the Texans can establish a running game with Arian Foster and company, it'll go a long way in keeping Manning off the field.
Clint Ramey - Deer Park, TX, US: I read this morning on Pro Football.com that Cushing does not have to leave the facilities during his 4 game not playing. They said he could not practice but could attend meetings. Is this true?
Nick Scurfield (2:25:38PM):
It's my understanding that Cushing cannot be at the facility. Santonio Holmes' situation, as discussed in that PFT item, is different than Cushing's because they were suspended for different issues.
Sergio - Houston, TX, US: Will Jacoby be the #2 receiver come Sep.12?
Nick Scurfield (2:27:18PM): Kubiak said a week ago that he considers Jones to be his No. 3. But he also said that he considers the team to have three starting wide receivers in Jones, Kevin Walter and Andre Johnson. Walter and Jones will both see the field a lot this season.
David Cardenal - Beaverton, OR, US: Once the kicker position is settled, and one of the guys is waived, who is most likely to pick them up? Kubiak seems convinced that whoever he cuts will be kicking in the league this season. But for who?
Nick Scurfield (2:29:08PM): You're right- Kubiak has said as much time and again, and I have to say I'd be shocked if he isn't right. I wish I could answer that for you, but I don't know the kicking situations of other teams around the league well enough to give it a guess.
chris sims - Pasadena, TX, US: Nick, how do you feel about ESPN's prediction of the Texans going 6-10 this year. Haven't we improved enough to finally be a playoff contender and not backtrack this season
Nick Scurfield (2:34:05PM): I think that's low, but I'm obviously biased. I'll say this: Every media member I spoke with who came through Texans training camp - ESPN's Chris Mortensen, NFL.com's Gil Brandt and Vic Carucci, etc. - said that the Texans are right on the cusp of making the playoffs, or better. And the team certainly expects to be in the playoffs. Check out my article from yesterday's TEAM Luncheon for more on that.
Capt. Kirk - Pasadena, TX, US: lol.. No Nick I am sorry that I did not be a little more specific... I am still holding out hope that Kubes & Dennison will use Casey in a FB option or a upback in a fake punt situation. I'd hate to see this kids arm goto waste. I know they have a trick or two up thier sleeves for him... Just hoping.. lol.. Thanks agin Nick for a great job...
Nick Scurfield (2:38:18PM): Gotcha- my apologies for the confusion. Rice fans know that Casey does indeed have a nice arm, as you'd expect from a former minor league baseball pitcher. The Texans didn't use him in a throwing situation in any games last season, though, and it'd be a surprise if they did this year. Either way, that doesn't mean his versatility won't come in handy- he can line up at fullback in a pinch and will be a factor on special teams.
remmington hoot - houston, TX, US: i think makeing to of the practice games regular season games is a great idea, but how do the texans feel about it?
Nick Scurfield (2:39:47PM): Texans owner Bob McNair has said that he's in favor of it. Haven't heard from players or coaches on that issue.
Anthony Weeks - las vegas, NE, US: Do you think they will keep the rookie long snapper or will they go snapper by committee with the Tight ends?
Nick Scurfield (2:42:39PM): That's one piece of a 53-man roster puzzle that the Texans are going to have to figure out after the Tampa game. Kubiak said that Jon Weeks would have to be automatic to earn a roster spot, and he'll have another chance to show that he can do that on Thursday. Joel Dreessen and James Casey also are candidates to snap.
remmington - houston, TX, US: how will we keep this new found defense sharp?
Nick Scurfield (2:47:55PM): Second-year defensive coordinator Frank Bush does a great job motivating the players. He's a former player himself who paid his dues as a scout and coach before getting the DC job last year. Players respect him and love playing for him. And you can be sure that leaders like DeMeco Ryans and Bernard Pollard won't let their defensive cohorts settle for anything less than their best.
David Cardenal - Beaverton, OR, US: The reason I ask about the kicking battle is that my friends are Chiefs fans. They got rid of Tynes after he had a horrible season missing multiple short kicks. The following year he went to the Giants and kicked them into a SuperBowl. As a follow up question, what do you feel would be a better story, new kicker puts Texans over the top in close contests, or old kicker finds old form and earns back his captain's patch? Personally, I hope that either way we go, they only get to try PATs.
Nick Scurfield (2:49:24PM): Both would be great stories. It's going to be a difficult, difficult decision for Kubiak between the two players. But I like your attitude... bring on the TDs.
doug - houston, TX, US: Hi Nick..... How Vanilla do you think the Texan offense was vs the Cowboys vs lets say a Banana Split in the regular season?" Some people say we showed too much....what do you think?
Nick Scurfield (2:52:03PM): I don't think so. The coaches know better than that. The Texans simply executed well and played with focus and attention to detail. I think that was the difference in the game more than anything else.
Daniel - Houston, TX, US: Now that there has been news about Wade Smith going to start at LG, would you prefer to see Caldwell or Briesel start at RG? Why?
Nick Scurfield (2:54:32PM): Pick 'em. Either one. Both have worked hard for the job, both have started at right guard for the Texans before and both are stand-up guys. Where they are on the depth chart will be settled after this game.
Jay Jasso - Angleton, TX, US: I went to the open camps and have avidly watched the Texans through preseason, what is your opinion on Kareem? Haven't seen enough to make an educated guess on if we,AGAIN!, found another gem? What I have seen, has been promising, but your able to see these guys on a consistent basis.
Nick Scurfield (2:57:10PM): He's been playing with the starters from day one, and it hasn't been too much for him to handle. Not surprising since he played in a lot of big games at 'Bama and was a quick enough study to start as a frosh for Nick Saban. He wasn't happy about missing a tackle on Roy Williams in the Cowboys game, but the coaches like the progress he has made this preseason.
David Cardenal - Beaverton, OR, US: Will we get a look at Molden against Tampa? I like what I've seen from Kareem Jackson, but I want to see some depth at the DBs.
Nick Scurfield (1:01:12PM): Molden played a little against Dallas, so he should be good to go for this game. Kubiak said that if Kareem Jackson does play on Thursday, it won't be for long. They've got a lot of young corners like Molden, McManis and Mark Parson that they need to evaluate before the start of the season.
Jim - Kingston, CA: Hey Nick! Do the Texans have a team song?? I've been looking through some old team songs from the past and they are great. The Tennessee Oilers theme song was pretty horrible and amazing all in the same breath. Keeping in mind that a song like that wouldn't be so welcomed today, but I'm just curious if there is a current theme song for the team, and if so, where can I find it??
Nick Scurfield (1:04:59PM): Just so happens that I was e-mailed a link this morning to the Clay Walker song that they play at Reliant Stadium at every home game. Enjoy: http://tinyurl.com/2ck6xew
Nick Scurfield (1:05:26PM):
That's all the time for today. Thanks for the questions, everybody. Check back with us on HT.com for updates before, during and after tomorrow night's game.