PHOENIX – I'm currently out of town at the NFL owners meetings, but my thoughts are with my hometown following the senseless shooting at Covenant School in Nashville on Monday.
The news was heartbreaking to hear, and I'm so terribly sad for all the families impacted.
I have two children of my own. My wife is a school teacher, and so is my daughter.
Students and teachers shouldn't have to worry about someone walking in the doors of their schools with a gun, looking to shoot innocent people. Sadly, part of their school year focuses on active shooter training, learning how to protect their kids, and themselves.
My wife's school, located just a few blocks from where Monday's murderer lived, was on lockdown twice on Monday. Kids across the city and country were once again left worried about their own safety, wondering if their school could be next.
What a shame. And, shame on us as a country for allowing this to happen over and over and over again in our schools without really doing something to help prevent it.
I know you didn't come here to read all this, so I'll get to football.
Here's the latest mailbag:
And here's the link to submit questions: CLICK HERE
Jarin Sloan from Miles City, Montana.
Question: Hey Jim, with my birthday Tuesday I had a couple questions. Do you see Titans with a worse record than last year? I've heard talk we don't get 4 wins. I like the online signings but have seen talks we go with best option with draft pick. Any thoughts on if we go offense or defense? Any picks you like? Thank you Jim and have a blessed day!!
Jim: Happy Birthday, Jarin! You really think I'm going to be a party pooper and say I think the Titans are going to have a worse record than last year's 7-10 mark? I haven't heard anyone predicting four wins, and at this point of the offseason, it's ridiculous someone would go there. You need to distance yourself from the Debbie Downers. I'll be realistic – the Titans still have some work to do with the roster. The roster as it stands right now is really thin at receiver and at offensive live, and plenty of questions remain on whether certain key players will be on the roster. It's too early to predict offense or defense with the first pick, at No. 11. Heck, so much depends on what happens at picks 1-10.
Joshua Thomas from Hermitage, Tennessee
Question: Hey, Jim. It's been a little while since I wrote to the mailbag, and was curious about roster scouting. Have Carthon, Vrabel, and/or Craig been scouting the XFL for special teams players (particularly kickers)? There's a couple kickers that have been REALLY solid thus far in the XFL, while only being in their mid-20s, and it leaves me wondering if either of them could be in the mix to become our answer at kicker we've been looking for(with mixed results) since Succop's departure.
Jim: Hey Joshua. The team definitely scouts XFL players. As for the kicker position specifically, Mike Vrabel said on Monday he expects Caleb Shudak to have competition for the job. He also didn't rule out the team bringing back Randy Bullock.
Christie Jenkins from Lafayette, Tennessee
Question: Hello Jim. I have been a Titans fan since they moved from Houston. I finally got a home team to get behind and support. I love Mike Vrabel as our coach and think Ran was a great hire and together. I do believe they will get us that trophy we have been longing for. My thing is what are we doing with the cap space? Is it for big Jeff I surely hope so. We need to get the big man signed to a long term deal. Thank you Jim for all you do for us. Titan up.
Jim: Hi Christie. I get the sense the team and Jeffery Simmons are getting along well as talks continue. Stay tuned here.
Daniel Smith from Mesa, Arizona
Question: So, first time writer here but read every one submitted, and a damn good job doing it. I hope the Titans don't trade you too for crying the BEEP out loud.
Trade Derrick Henry after 3 consecutive 1,500 yard seasons, one of which was a 2,000 yard display of dominance, so excuse me for saying "that don't look like a decline in any skills or physicallly. Yea he's getting up there but his age shouldn't necessarily be a determining factor right. Productivity is where it counts right. Now that is a determinant factor coaches and GM's may be familiar with…. Or maybe our coaches don't know that (support) cuz Derrick Henry is still playing like he's in his prime. So we should jump to on the train cuz it's next destination…Real chance at getting to Super Bowl. We don't need to tinker or pull another AJ Brown with our RB1. No doubt he is what keeps this team tuff and physical as the guys see him working his ass off on YouTube and translating that spectacularly on Sundays. Has he lost a step no but is he getting the open lanes like he was…No. Anyone who underestimates the importance of at least functional offensive line, isn't paying close enough attention to a bigger picture as far as execution up front. I'm kinda ranting cuz I'm worked up with these trade #22 rumors. It's a little insulting to The King to have his name mentioned all off-season that he could be traded. For what? An experiment at RB? Senseless. I'd be really disappointed borderline/p'd off if our front office blows it again. 2 players, playing in their prime… top 2 producers the last few years they played together… and we trade them. Tuff to be a Titan fan when front office continuously sabotages us with these ridiculous trades. I'm sticking with them nonetheless. They're in my heart and there no changing that. So Titans stop breaking my heart. Please… I'm running out of time me here. One last thought and I'll just name one. Some of the greatest backs played great beyond their supposed prime. Emmitt Smith comes to mind. Played till 35ish and averaged over 1,000 over his last 6 years and in his 30's. It looks like we have an Emmitt Smith level Hall of Famer on our hands and it's stats that show that. If he starts averaging under 3.5 yards a game, missing a lot of games etc then maybe. Running back do have bad games. Usually a few in a season. How many 100 yard games King have. Tops over last 5 or so years.
Anyway I'm ranting so probably won't appear for all to chew on. If anyone should chew on it… It should be front office and coaches. Sorry about a couple spicey word there.
Love ya'll, You, and forever our Titans. D1titan
Jim: Hey Daniel. I hope I'm not on the trading block! What do you think the team could get for me? A JUGS machine and maybe a few footballs? … Appreciate you airing out your rant! This Arizona weather sure is nice…
Jim Williams from Lubbock, Texas
Question: Hi Jim. What is the status of Corey Levin, Geoff Swaim, and Chris Conley? Is there any chance that any of these guys will be back with the Titans for the 2023 season? Thanks.
Jim: All three of them remain unrestricted free agents, and all three remain unsigned. Not ruling out the possibility of one or two of them returning.
Landon Keen from Westmoreland, Tennessee
Question: Simple question for you Jim. Why doesn't management ask for a whole team percentage cut instead of asking one person? Football has always been a team theme especially the Titans. Rise as team fall as a team. Vrabel always blames the team as whole which is great! One person doesn't make a team but the team is only as strong as its weakest link.
Jim: Going to let you in on a little secret here, Landon: A lot of guys get asked to take pay cuts. It happens all over the NFL, and it's been happening since I first started covering the Titans back in 1999. A lot of times it just flies under the radar.
David Stowe from York, Pennsylvania
Question: Hey Jim, hope all is well with you and the family. So I'm guessing that we're going to wait until the draft to address the need for some talented wide receiver's which isn't where you find veterans at to help bring along the rookies and yr2 receiver's. We really need to show that it's not a rebuild but a reboot, if we are serious about the reboot theme then let's get OBJ and take care of our offensive line and then get an elite receiver plus another tight end, but we need to prioritize our needs seriously for the upcoming season. I'm done so as always Titanthaf*&kup. Sincerely David Stowe Philadelphia, Pa Diehard Titan peace out
Jim: Good to hear from you, David. I agree the team needs help at receiver. I asked the GM about it when I talked to him the other day, and Mike Vrabel weighed in on the subject as well. I plan to write a story about it in the next day or so.
Renee Greer from Nashville, Tennessee
Question: Hello Jim. Quick question and it is not going to be long and drawn out.
We have let a lot of good players go in it has come back to haunt us. Will we be able to handle keeping J Simmons, Derrick HENRY and K. Byard? You think if they cut the salary of the decision makers would we be a contender for a playoff run. We need to somehow show the players we got you and get it done. Who's the decision makers that decide players have run their course. May God continue to bless you on your journey that we call life and thanks for being there for being a sounding board for us. Titan Up
Jim: Thanks for taking the time, Renee. And, time will tell on all three. I'm optimistic about them being back, but for the longest time last offseason I thought A.J. would be back as well and that one blew up before the draft. Take care.
Scott Spurlock from Leander, Texas
Question: Hey Guy long time no message, But I'm drunk and bored, it's dead time for football news so just thought I'd say howdy from Central Texas.. So when is this free Agency thing gonna change or go away? seem like from my point of view it's just a way to get lawyers involved in the game. Every year players want more money and every year the teams want to save money so they can get players.. the good players get massive contracts that have to be restructured a year or so later if they want to stay where they are... ETC. seems like it's all about Money for the Players and all about Wins for the teams and somewhere in the middle Agents and Lawyers are making big money getting players big contracts and the restructuring those contracts the next year... Seems like a big bamboozle to me.. This year everyone is signing 1 year contracts, I see that as the wave of the future. No player wants to stay anywhere based on loyalty to the team and no team wants to keep a p[layer out of loyalty to the player.. so let s just come up with something better. I've been watching the XFL a lot.. players might be less than NFL quality but knowing they get paid about the same as me and they clearly must be doing it for the love of the game... well makes it easier to relate and understand when they fumble the ball or have a bad game... I really enjoy watching football again even with all this fumbles and screw ups... The NFL is just getting way too pricy and all about the money. For someone like me that's hard to get interested in. But hey to each their own.. I'm still a Titans fan but at this point only out of loyalty to the Adams and the fact the team got it's start in my Birthplace Houston Texas.. Thanks for your tiem.
Jim: Oh man, Scott. Writing into the mailbag under the influence is dangerous. Pretty solid and coherent take after some cold brews, though. Take care.
Have a great week everyone!