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From the NFL Combine: This Tuesday's Titans Mailbag


INDIANAPOLIS – The NFL Combine is now under way, and here on Tuesday, Titans general manager Jon Robinson and head coach Mike Vrabel are scheduled to speak to reporters.

There will be plenty of questions for both Vrabel and Robinson.

Meanwhile, the questions continue to roll into the Titans mailbag.

Let's kick off another Tuesday edition now…

Tony Malgiero from El Paso, Texas
Hey Jim, how are you? Hope you're excited for the coming offseason, I know I am. This isn't a topic I haven't seen covered before, but I feel we have 3 extremely good inside linebackers, Rashaan Evans, Jayon Brown, and David Long. Do me a favor and keep us updated if you ever see those 3 on the field at the same time during the offseason. I like the idea of the best players being on the field vs trying to make players fit a formation. Until/unless the team adds another pass rusher, I think this could be one of the better options for the defense. Something like a 4-3 in base defense and a 3-3 in nickel with Landry, Casey, and Simmons with their hands in the dirt and the 3 off ball linebackers ready to cover or blitz. Anyway, thanks for the great coverage of the team you provide. It's hard for us out of towners to get information sometimes, but you always do such a great job for us and we really appreciate it.

Jim: Hey Tony. I'm doing great, thanks. Made the trip to Indy late yesterday and am ready to roll. You're right on that being a talented threesome, and considering they were used together in some packages in 2019, I expect to see it more moving forward. Rashaan and Jayon took another big step in their development in the fall, which was no surprise. And I think David Long really surprised some folks with how much he progressed as a rookie. He played fast, and he tackled well. He showed great instincts. I think all three will play a big role in 2020, although I still give the ILB starting edge to Evans and Brown.

Binar Qaradakhi from Lavergne, Tennessee
Hey Jim, what a great season, I mean I didn't even expect yall going this far from the playoffs. But I'm just wondering, what is going to happen to Henry? I mean is he done with the Titans or ya'll will re-sign him?

Jim: Hey Binar. I expect Derrick to be back with the Titans, it's just a matter of how (long-term deal or a tag?), and when…

Jefferey Fradsham from Crewe, Virginia
Hey, Jim. Happy Combine. I am really looking forward to the jewels that JRob and Mike dig up for us this year. I have spent the evening watching 2019 highlights. If this team can win the division, get a couple home playoff games and a first-round bye, 2020 will be our year. The Titans are a good team. Of course, signing our free agents will be also very important.

Jim: Hey Jeffery. It's a different feel this year as we approach the draft. The Titans are scheduled to pick 29th, and there's so much TBD with free agency, and the team's own players scheduled to hit the market. As for the overall state of the team, well, the Titans were a good team in 2019. A pretty darn good one. But the 2020 team will have to prove itself again, and what happened in 2019 will have no bearing in what happens this fall. Ask the Rams, a Super Bowl team during the 2018 season that didn't make the playoffs in 2019. The Titans need to keep building and keep getting better. What happens in free agency and the draft will certainly help shape the squad.

Kevin House from Nashville, Tennessee
Jim I'm sure this story is getting old but Is it realistic to think the titans have a shot at signing Tom Brady? I know everybody is drinking the Ryan Tannehill kool-aid but if you have a chance to sign the GOAT don't you do it!

Jim: Hey Kevin. I've said this multiple times in the mailbag in the last week or so, and I'll repeat it again: I'm not going to disrespect Tannehill by talking about Brady. Another reason I'm not going to talk about Brady: I like my job too much. As a team employee, if I'm talking about Brady to the Titans, then that could be considered tampering since he's currently under contract with another team. In my former job, as a beat reporter with The Tennessean, I would have found out and told you by now if there was anything to the Brady buzz. It's now up to others to get to the bottom of it, and right now national reporters Jeff Darlington and Adam Schefter are serving as the biggest voices on this story.

Liam Kloeppel from Mt. Juliet, Tennessee
Is Derrick Henry going to be traded?

Jim: No.

Adrian Lopez from Caracas, Venezuela
Hola Jim. Te escribo por segunda vez la primera fue a mitad de temporada te felicito por la excelente cobertura de mis queridos TITANES...que gran temporada!!! soy fanático desde la mudanza a tennesse y los espectaculares George y Air McNair, soporte bullying de mi esposa durante las temporadas de 2-14 y 3-13 pero este año fue de redención y victoria con el viaje a play offs y el Rey Henry destrozando defensivas... Mi pregunta para ti es Vaccaro, Walker y Wake regresan a Nashville cual es su status contractual? y una segunda pregunta es puedes evaluar y comparar las carreras de winston y mariota habiendo sido selecciones 1 y 2 en el draft quien se ha tenido mas exito?? winston se mantiene con tampa pero mariota llevo titans a play offs son carreras muy parejas al igual que sus selecciones?? gracias por tu respuesta... Go Titans Forever...

Jim: Hola Adrian. Al principio, ¡gracias por sus amables palabras! Fue una temporada divertida sin duda. Vaccaro, Walker y Wake están bajo contrato para 2020 para los Titanes. ¿Eso garantiza que los tres volverán? No. He estado lo suficiente como para saber que la temporada baja es cuando se discuten algunos contratos, así que estad atentos. En cuanto a la comparación Winston, Mariota, bueno, es difícil de decir. Y no quiero basarlo en las estadísticas. Marcus tuvo algunos buenos momentos en Tennessee, y sus números son buenos. Llevó a su equipo a los playoffs. Pero terminó su tiempo en Tennessee como respaldo. Jameis es un pistolero con un gran brazo y mucho talento. También ha tenido algunos jugadores muy buenos para lanzar la pelota. Estoy más interesado en mirar hacia el futuro, y ver lo que sucede con ellos, que mirar hacia atrás.

Kenneth Yearout from Granite City, Illinois
Hey Jim. Just wanted to say thanks for the information over the season and thanks for answering questions as you do. I have written in about my concerns over the treatment of Mariota. You have responded and I truly appreciate that. I will keep this short and then I will move onto other things. Why does it seem like Mariota is just an afterthought to everyone? From what we have seen, he poured his heart into the game and team. He didn't have a lot of consistency and that hurt him immensely in my opinion. But why is it almost like everyone out there just is not really all that concerned or thinking anything of him? He is young and has skill. I hope that he finds a good place that sits well for him and will follow his career. Being an Oregonian and watching him grow as my Ducks also grew was really special. Anyway, I was just curious on your take on that. Now, onto the future of the team. What do you think will be done to add cap space for the team? Will Tannehill stay? Will the team be searching for a franchise QB at this point? Wide receiver wise, will we get a little more help for Brown? Out of all the receivers he seemed to have the most consistent and strong performance over the season. But how will cap space affect the situation? Adam Humphries, any word on him? What about Delanie Walker? Any potential heir apparent out of the other tight ends? Lots of questions I know, really most of it comes to cap space in my opinion. But how much of that will really affect the team going forward this season? I doubt you have all the answers, but hey I wanted to ask! Thanks again for the honest answers.

Jim: Hey Kenneth. The treatment of Mariota? OK, you asked for an honest answer. Marcus has been treated very well from the day he arrived. And he's one of the most beloved guys ever to put on a Titans uniform. I can't think of a single person who doesn't like or respect him. But Marcus lost his starting job because he wasn't playing well enough to keep it, so the next guy stepped up, Ryan Tannehill, and the former starter, Marcus, became the back-up. Now his contract is scheduled to expire, and I expect him to go elsewhere. It's the business. I'll also say this: Marcus handled the situation extremely well – a lot better than many of his loyal supporters, to be honest. He never made excuses, he tried to stay out of the spotlight, he supported his teammates, and he never griped or moped. And I'm not picking on you Kenneth, but I continue to get emails saying Marcus got a raw deal, he was mistreated, he deserved better, the team failed him, etc. Were things perfect for him here? No. But in the NFL, it's never perfect. Marcus is a grown man. The NFL is big business. He'll get chance to earn himself a spot somewhere else, but if he doesn't play better than he did at the end of his tenure in Tennessee, well, he's going to have a hard time. I'm pulling for him, and I hope he pulls a Tannehill somewhere else, preferably in the NFC. As for all those other questions about the team and free agency, it's still early. Not only do I not have the answers yet, GM Jon Robinson and HC Mike Vrabel don't have them either.

Have a great week everyone!

Check out Titans players over the years at the NFL Scouting Combine. (AP Photos)

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