NASHVILLE – Happy Memorial Day weekend everyone.
Hope everyone is staying healthy and safe.
The calendar keeps flipping, and we keep edging closer to the NFL season everyone hopes will start on time.
Let's pass some more time by diving into this weekend's Titans mailbag …
Here's the link to ask questions: CLICK HERE.
Aaron Bulfin from Beerburrum, Queensland, Australia
Question: Hi Jim. First time writing to you. Just would like to say I really enjoy you keeping us informed in the quiet time of the offseason, especially this one. I found the courage to re-watch the AFC Championship game, and I tell you what, there was so much in this game to be excited about for the future. The ability that the offense displayed to move the ball early in the game, and the pressure the defense placed on Mahomes and the receivers in the first half. The great thing is that we still have most of the same players on the roster which will only provide stability and continuity in a shortened offseason, especially the offense. Here's my question though: When will 'experts and analysts' take this team and organization seriously? And has it always been this way? We have three playoff wins in the last few seasons, which is the same amount as KC and three more than Baltimore, but yet the season was considered a 'fluke' and we aren't even the pick to take the AFC South title this coming season, yet we don't have the same turnover of players on both sides of the ball as the rest of the division. Apologies for the large paragraph, and appreciate you taking the time to respond. Thank you,
Jim: Hey Aaron. I appreciate you writing in, and I understand your frustration. And yes, the Titans have always been fighting for respect. It was like that during the 1999 Super Bowl season, and it's been like that over time. Being a smaller market team, I think it just comes with the territory. With that said, I'm not big into the "no respect" theme, and I don't get worked up over a lack of national attention. It's a year to year league, and teams have to prove it every year. I remember how the Jaguars were a popular Super Bowl pick in 2018 after they went to the AFC Championship Game during the 2017 season. Well, they went 5-11 the following season. The Titans have some key players to replace in 2020, and they're going to need some guys to step up. What they need to do is earn respect by winning, and it can be done. Folks had no choice but to love them during the playoff run in January.
Luis Daniel Mariñelarena from León, Guanajuato
Question: I think the Titans have an excellent defense and I think that the hiring of Javedeon Clowney is no longer necessary. In your opinion don't you think they could use the money to continue covering positions where they are most needed, for example a good Quarterback to replace Ryan in case of injury. What is your opinion about it Jim I consider that you are a great analyst of American football, greetings from Mexico and we go with all Titans.
Jim: Hello Luis. I appreciate the vote of confidence. 😊
The team still has some cap room, and some additions will still be made.
Here's what I think will happen at the QB spot: Logan Woodside and Cole McDonald will duel for the back-up spot, and if neither guy establishes himself then the team could add a veteran. No matter what happens with Clowney, there will be enough money for some other signings.
Thomas Yates from Lillamay, Tennessee
Question: Hello Jim. Hope all is well and it's good to know that camp can begin. Is there an update on the long-term contract for Derrick Henry? It would be a great status to have him be a Titan for the long haul!
Jim: Hey Thomas. Nothing new on Henry. The GM suggested a month or so ago if something happens with Henry regarding a long-term deal, it probably wouldn't transpire until closer to training camp.
Cody McKinyen from Oak Ridge, Tennessee
Question: Hi Jim, I've been reading a lot of people hate on Ryan Tannehill, and hopefully it makes you as confused as it does me. Why do so few seem to remember Ryan Tannehill in the seasons past BEFORE his injuries? He's had two 4,000-yard seasons and had possibly the best rookie season by a Dolphin in franchise history, leading Marino in passes completed, attempted and yards (282/484, 3,294). Since being drafted in 2012, his completion percentage has dipped only twice from the previous season (excluding 2017), his TD:INT ratio has gone from almost 1:1, to 2:1, and he helped get the DOLPHINS a playoff berth in 2016. The numbers are there to show he's geared to being a good qb in our scheme and also improve on his own numbers from last year, if he can get a full season in. Sorry for the long read, but why is it people can't see his prior successes and only focus on his possibility of failure? Is the NFL really that ready to deem him the next Alex Smith? Thanks Jim!
Jim: Hey Cody. I've always felt Ryan Tannehill was underrated and stuck in a tough position in Miami a lot of seasons. But in some ways, because of his inconsistencies and injuries, he's earned the rep, too. I think Ryan proved last year he's capable of playing at a high level while leading a team to wins. His challenge now is to do it again, and again, and again. And if he does that, well, he'll ditch the hate.
Jefferey Fradsham Crewe, Virginia
Question: Hey there Jim, glad you have dodged the bug. I am a long time Oiler/Titans fan, had season tickets in 1978 for a few years. I am not about to try to predict the 2020 season, but I really feel that the Titans team will be exciting to watch! Thank you in advance, Amy, Jon, and Mike and all the players! Go Blue!
Jim: Thanks for spreading the good vibes!
Ayush Patel from Gallatin, Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim, what's the update on Jadeveon Clowney?
Jim: Hey Ayush. I really think the Titans have turned their attention to signing Dez Bryant at this point 😉…
(THIS IS A JOKE!)
Robert Conlon from Baltimore, Maryland
Question: Hello Mr. Wyatt, 3 quick questions. First, do you see Ryan Succop being invited to camp, or another team's camp? Is there a motto for the 2020 Titans - I think they made good on last year's "going from good to great" with the way they played in January (albeit with a detour to "bad" through 6 games). Last, when teams play 17 games starting in '21 is there any word on who teams will play for that extra game, and will that game be at a neutral site for every team?
Jim: Hey Robert. Let's go rapid fire:
1- I'm expecting returning kicker Greg Joseph and undrafted free agent Tucker McCann to battle for the job. But I think Succop is on standby, and him coming back isn't beyond the realm of possibility.
2- A new slogan? How about "From Quarantine to Gettin' That Bling"? Um, this is probably better for the marketing folks…
3- Judging from what Packers president Mark Murphy said earlier this offseason, I think things will even out from year to year. According to Murphy, the plan would involve having all teams in one conference play nine home games while the other conference plays eight homes. The AFC and NFC would then alternate every year on which conference got the ninth home game. Stay tuned here…
Barry Gentry from Nashville, Tennessee
Question: How often does the NFL provide you with the Covid19 updates as to a true starting date? Daily, weekly? Do "you" personally see us starting in the fall?
Jim: Hey Barry. Well, I'm getting more optimistic each week. The NFL has provided updates from time to time, and just this past week some teams were allowed to have 75 employees in facilities (still no coaches and players, though). Will the season start on time? Well, nothing is certain right now and there's nothing concrete one way or the other. But like I said at the start, I'm a lot more encouraged as I type this today than I was this time last month.
Have a great weekend everyone and stay safe!