Barett - Austin, TX, US: Tim, congratulations on a very good season for you and the rest of the front four. I'm very curious to hear your opinion on what kinds of things Bill Kollar has done differently than Jethro Franklin. One of the key things I saw early one was getting your arms up. Although it wasn't as much later in the season it was clearly a change in the technique you guys were being coached up with. Can you explain what specifically he did to solidify the D-Line against the run. Early in the season the DT's were getting run out of their gaps. How did this get corrrected technically and what lead to such a stout run defense in only a matter of weeks?
Tim Bulman (1:02:56PM): Hi everyone, thanks for joining me for this live chat. I'm looking forward to answering your questions.
Barett, thanks for the question. First off, every coach is different. The things that Bill focused on were the things that you control as a player - mainly, your effort, your preparation and accountability. There is no one to blame for those things other than yourself.
Bill lets you know exactly when you haven't met his standards, and his standards are very high. There is a big focus on improving getting our hands up if we cannot reach the passer. Throughout practice, camps and OTAs, we ran drills every day focusing on batting balls down, which I think correlated directly to the game.
In terms of our run defense, we broke down our assignments and each player focused on being responsible for his role on each particular play only.
John - league city, TX, US: What do you think of Brian Cushing?
Tim Bulman (1:04:38PM): I think he is a first-year guy who does a lot of veteran things. He makes plays like a veteran. He carries himself in the locker room like a veteran. He's punctual, he's responsible and he's not distracted by many of the things that rookies get distracted by in their first years. This was only the tip of the iceberg for him, considering he played the entire year banged up and still produced the way that he did.
Joseph Odom - Texas City, TX, US: What do you think yall could do different to stop Vince Young from making those big running plays? Take that away and yall win MNF!
Tim Bulman (1:08:53PM):
Vince Young is a great runner. He's definitely a focus point for us (and I'm sure many teams), and we try to contain and keep him in the pocket as much as possible. There is no one reason why teams win and lose a game. There are always several contributing factors. But I do agree that if he got no rushing yards, we would have been in a much better position in MNF.
Mike Brisiel - houston, TX, US: What was it like wearing an addidas windsuit and a gold chain growing up on the streets of southy?
Tim Bulman (1:09:49PM):
I'm sorry that you're mistaken, Mr. Brisiel. I grew up on the streets of Milton, Mass. That's a town just south of Boston. Adidas windsuits and gold chains are not in my repertoire of clothing. I know it can be hard to remember where people are from and what they wear since you're juggling mayoral duties in a small township in Arkansas:)
John - Spring, TX, US: What's the best part of playing in the NFL?
Tim Bulman (1:15:01PM): There are so many great aspects of playing in the NFL. A great part of playing is being around my teammates and friends. But my favorite part is when I'm able to play in front of 70,000 Texans fans and make a play that gets everyone cheering for something that I did. It's a surreal experience.
john maciag - spring, TX, US: does the information on helmut to helmut contact that is currently out, concern you and your teammates
Tim Bulman (1:17:38PM): Good question. Anytime that your body, especially your head, is involved in several-dozen collisions per game, it's definitely concerning to know the long-term effects and it's good to understand what the risks involved with playing. I think every player in the NFL understands these risks and obviously still accepts them if they're still playing in the NFL.
Carlos Zambrano Jr. - Harlingen, TX, US: Do you think the Texans will have a better season for 2010. And what are the chances for the Texans beating the cowboys for the 2010 season.
Tim Bulman (1:20:28PM): We have to be better. I think everyone here realizes that. We've been 8-8. We've been 9-7. Now we want to be in the playoffs. I feel like nobody is satisfied around the organization with not making the playoffs. In order to do that, we'll have to be better. As far as beating the Cowboys, we do have the homefield advantage next year and we return a lot of great players. So I'm glad that I'm a Texan.
Cameron - Waller, TX, US: I wanted to know if all the team was in the locker room watching the Bengals and Jets on the final day of the season?
Tim Bulman (1:22:31PM): Hi. I actually had a little party for that game at my apartment with family friends and teammates. We became the biggest Bengals fans for a quarter, even though they really didn't show much promise. It was exciting, but for our playoff hopes to hinge on another team, that was definitely an uneasy feeling.
Coco Weet - Houston, TX, US: Hi Tim, how have you been spending your offseason? Any highlights so far?
Tim Bulman (1:24:41PM): Well, I had my right labrum repaired in my shoulder, so I'm wearing a sling now for one more week. I'm back with the trainers and rehab has been going really well. So, no real highlights other than the fact that I was able to raise my arm 45 degrees today and eat with my right hand. It's all about the little things this offseason:)
John - Houston, TX, US: As a season ticket holder there are several players that I'd love to meet and get autographs from. What tips can you pass on to fans to get autographs and meet players?
Tim Bulman (1:27:10PM):
After a bad game is probably not the best time to ask for autographs, but I'll give you an autograph whenever. I need all the fan support I can get. It's about the people. You can always send items to us at: Two Reliant Park, Houston, Texas 77054. Usually, players are good about getting back to fans, but I can really only speak for myself.
Evan - seguin, TX, US: Whats it like to run out of the tunnel before the game? It seems like it would be such a rush! Thanks for answering.
Tim Bulman (1:30:05PM): It's definitely a huge rush, especially when the flame pots shoot into the air. In the tunnel, I think it's really peaceful. It's like a calm before the storm. Every player knows what they're getting into. We're about to fight our tails off for each other and the fans. It's great to hear the fans rumbling because we know that you guys have our backs.
Barrett - Austin, TX, US: Tim, Thanks again, Can you speak a bit more on your role personally playing more in the middle this past season and how you think that has effected the overall performance of the Defense. It must give you and your fellow defensive teammates great confidence to think about all the impressive run offenses you went up against and how utterly ineffective they all were after the first 4 weeks. Secondly, can you speak about Amobi's maturation as a run defender as well? Thirdly, could you offer some insight into #90 preparation and study. His physical gifts seem to suit him as a power rusher more and less as trying to beat the RT with speed around the back edge of the pocket. Thanks!
Tim Bulman (1:35:35PM): First, my role definitely changed from a third down rusher in 2008 to a reliable backup for all four spots on the defensive line in 2009. I definitely did more run defense this year than in the past. Secondly, Amobi became a much better player this year under Coach Kollar, who really pushed him to give his absolute max effort on every play. It really showed in his production and on film. Finally, Mario is a really smart player and he has a great understanding week-to-week about game plans, who he's playing and how to defeat them.
Bryan - Waupaca, WI, US: Tim, I was wondering what you and some other players think about this years Pro Bowl being before the SuperBowl, because the general fan vibe I'm getting is anger.
Tim Bulman (1:39:18PM): I think the Pro Bowl was great the way it was before. I felt like it was a big reward for players and their families to go over to Hawaii. It is a big celebration after the Super Bowl for the great players in the league. As far as Miami, I guess we'll see how it goes. But it seems like a lot of players are opting not to play this year. By the way, shameless plug, but we have a few players down there that you can follow on HoustonTexans.com's Pro Bowl coverage.
Heidi Jhawk - Houston, TX, US: Being from Boston, are you big fan of tea? Or maybe you could just recommend a good bar/restaurant for when I make it out there.
Tim Bulman (1:40:37PM): I'm not sure it's because I'm from Boston, but I do enjoy an occasional cup of chamomile tea. It soothes the body after a long day.
John - league city, TX, US: what do you think is still lacking in the defense (i think forcing more TOs) and how good do you think this unit can be next year? thanks
Tim Bulman (1:46:08PM): I think forcing more turnovers will definitely produce more wins. I think we really started to gel last season after Week 4. I think next year our goal is to be the top defense in the NFL. Our work in the offseason and preseason will push us toward that goal.
John - Houston, TX, US: What time should I arrive to your Super Bowl party? Can't blame me for trying!
Tim Bulman (1:47:11PM):
I am not having one. I was counting on someone else to provide the food and beverages. Are you having one?
Ashley Johnson - Houston, TX, US: Hey Tim I was wondering what is your plan/goal for the upcoming season? And how do you prepare for a game?
Tim Bulman (1:52:32PM): My goal for this year is to show everyone that watches that I'm a quality player. I don't want to have any bad games. I want to make more tackles, more sacks, more big plays. I want to show people that I can play for a long time and that I improve every year. I prepare for every game by listening to a lot of soft music to relax and get focused. I go out to the field two hours before kickoff to warm up for 15 minutes and get a good sweat going. I go back to the locker room and tape my hands. Then I'm ready to roll.
Mary - Houston, TX, US: What kind of music do you listen to before a big game? What gets you pumped up?
Tim Bulman (1:56:06PM): I like all the standard stuff like Eminem, Metallica and Tool, but I have found more success by reflecting to songs by (surprisingly) Coldplay. Haha. They sing about a lot of stuff that makes me think.
Robert C - Spring, TX, US: Who is your pick towin the Super Bowl?
Tim Bulman (1:58:20PM): It's tough to say. I think the Saints can compete with the Colts' scoring power. My prediction is: Colts 33, Saints 31.
Joe - Katy, TX, US: Tim: Did you graduate from BC? If so, what is your major & do you plan to go into that field after your NFL career?
Tim Bulman (2:05:14PM):
This will be my last question for today. Thanks for all of the support. It's been fun.
I did graduate from Boston College with a major in communications. I'm not sure if I want to get into the media once my playing career is finished. I have a commercial real estate business that I've been running for two years with my brother, and it has been doing well. I probably will continue with that, or I'll visit Monster.com:) Here's my company website: http://www.incrementaldevelopment.net/