NASHVILLE – Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas.
Now, we're on to New Year's Eve.
But first, the Dallas Cowboys.
The Titans better find a way to get out of their current funk or things are going to get even uglier this season.
With the Thursday night game, I'm knocking out this mailbag early and moving on.
Here we go …
Here's the link to submit questions: CLICK HERE
Len Cooke from Jacksonville, Florida
Question: Another tough loss. One good thing; there's no quit in the Titans. The guys are playing hard to the point where sometimes they put themselves out of position. Our defense played pretty good; the offense not so much. Willis is uncertain and not in control of anything. His passing is terrible. Ryan is in no danger from this guy. Play calling is suspect again. The last series should have been Henry and Willis doing the old college option play. At least he can run. The interception was terrible and a pass play never should have been called. I know this is all hindsight and these plays are easy to second guess after the game.
Since the Dallas game is irrelevant, should we rest all the starters, let this one go and be our best for Jax? It may look bad, but Vrabel has never been concerned with how things look. Our starters would have 2 weeks off. If we can't put a competitive team on the field then, we deserve to sit home in Jan. What do you think Jim?
Jim: Good to hear from you, Len. I do think you're going to see some Titans held out of the Dallas game. But let's face it – this is already a depleted roster playing a lot of back-ups. The most important game coming up, though, is the Jacksonville game, and some guys could use the time to heal up and get as close to 100 percent as possible. I'm curious myself to see who the guys sitting out on Thursday night will end up being.
Bobby Dreke from Page County, Maryland
Question: Mike Vrabel has to eat humble pie for the rest of the year now. Ever since saying that this is how we're going to win football games ,we've looked terrible. It's obvious they have done very little to develop Malik Willis and the offense is terrible. Now Mike Vrabel needs to realize how much better it would feel to be comfortably ahead instead of having to win in the last second every week. The bend don't break pass defense has been broken most of the year. When it's always close , you'll win some and you'll lose some. I hope Vrabel isn't like Mularkey and makes much needed coaching staff changes in the offseason.
Jim: Hey Bobby. Well, things haven't looked good. I will say this Titans team is a shell of what it used to be, as injured have ravaged the Titans once again. But, that can't be the only excuse. The team hasn't played well, so everyone has to accept blame. If you've read regularly – and I know I hear from you regularly Bobby – you know I've said from Day 1 Malik was a project who needed time to develop. He hasn't had time, and you're seeing that. As for the staff, Vrabel has said he's not making any changes in-season so we'll have to wait and see what happens at the end of the season.
Tobe Wolfe from Johnson City, Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim! Saturday's game was not only my first Titans game but my first NFL game. It was my Christmas present. Getting the W would have been the cherry on top of my Nashville Christmas adventure. Well, I didn't get that but this is what I did get: I got to be there for the coldest kick off in franchise history. I got to be around all those fans that love the Titans just as much as I do. (They would have to, to be out there in that cold with me!) I got to see King Henry do his thing and rush 48 yards for a TD. I got to see the future of this team as our rookie QB broke tackles and fought for every inch of his 14 yard TD. I got to see Gibbens get his first interception. I got to see Autry get a sack. I got to see Tart bat down the ball.
I know this is not the best the Titans can be, but I love this team and I loved almost every second of my first Titans game. I will always remember this experience.
Jim: Hey Tobe. What a great attitude you have! And, props for sticking it out in the cold. The Titans have some great, die-hard fans, there's no doubt about it.
Robert Hernandez Jr. from Centennial, Colorado
Question: Hi Jim. I seem to have noticed since Derrick Henry started wearing arm sleeves, he seems to be fumbling the ball more often. Are the sleeves composed of a rubbery material like the wide receivers gloves or are they more silky smooth which would make it easier for defensive players to punch the ball out?
Jim: Hey Robert. As you mentioned, Derrick had the sleeves on at the start of the game Saturday, and then took them off after the fumble. Said he wanted to try something different. I think that ball was simply punched out by a Texans defender, and not sure it had anything to do with the sleeve. But Derrick is frustrated, and he's not taking any chances.
David Dodson from Crossville, Tennessee
Question: Jim, I have just a few questions that could help me understand why our Titan team is headed in the wrong direction. Could you tell me why the defenders on our defense shoulder tackle on most plays? I counted multiple missed tackles against the Texans where our players completely gave up on taking down receivers and ball carriers by not taking out the legs of those players. And why are our defensive backs not watching for the ball on 90% of the plays down the field? Are the coaches teaching them to only watch the WR's hands and not look for the ball at all? Kind of embarrassing when the announcers in the game put out a better strategy to defeat our defense than our coaches can correct for. I don't blame Henry for losing the game for us because he was 75% of the offense. Rushing stats mean nothing though when you lose the game to the worst team in the NFL. Hopefully something will click with our team or we will quickly be on the outside looking in.
Jim: Hey David. Tackling has been suspect at times. Some of the reasons it has been: A lot of back-ups are playing, the Titans haven't been able to practice much at full speed of late because of injuries, the team hasn't had many padded in recent months. Yes, I know those are all excuses, but all of it is true and all of it has contributed to the problem. The technique obviously needs to improve on pass defense as well. The team also needs to get Kristian Fulton and Amani Hooker back.
Lindsay Pace from Chattanooga, Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim, thanks for everything but I will get right to it. It feels like we are in trouble long term, for awhile the Jags were at the bottom of the league but they used that to rebuild their team and it's finally starting to come together for them. Well the Texans are basically there now and the Colts not far behind. My concern is that in the near the future the Jags, Colts and Texans will all be newly rebuilt teams with players from trades and top draft picks, are the Titans looking at spending a few years on the bottom of the division? I want a Super Bowl win and I want it now, but how do we make sure we are even in the conversation in the next few years. I love our boys when we are winning or losing but I sure hope we start winning.
Jim: Hi Lindsay. I understand your concern. The Jaguars are obviously on a good trek, and the Titans have a lot of question marks moving forward. Same with the Colts and Texans. What the Titans need to do is get things fixed and topple the Jaguars this year, get into the playoffs, and worry about the future in the offseason.
Patrick Spray from Mason, Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim, hope ya had a good Christmas. So……… the Texans huh? Ouch. Given the mountain of injuries, obvious needs in the offseason, and a nose dive at this end of the season…….what do you think I'll see attending the Cowboys game? My brother (diehard cowboys fan) got us tickets. What's the chance we see Dobbs in certain schemes? Other than a very slim chance to make the playoffs, what would you like to see ending this season?
Jim: We'll have to wait and see on this. Dobbs is still getting his footing since he just got here. I'm expecting a lot of guys to get the night off to heal up and get mentally and physically ready for the Jaguars. Could that extend to Malik, who is technically the team's starting QB right now with Ryan Tannehill hurt? We'll see. A lot TBD right now.
Roger Piccirillo from Bridgeport Connecticut
Question: Hey Jim, hope all is well with you and yours. I just don't understand how they can come into this season thinking that if they had to play Malik he could function as an NFL quarterback what could they possibly have seen from him to make them believe that. Okay he's a project I get that but why wouldn't they have a veteran who can run a NFL offense. It seems like Vrabel idea progress is Malik being able to make the calls and get everybody lined up give me a break this is the NFL any quarterback at this level can do that. Over the years I've seen undrafted rookies come in and play and look more prepared than Willis. In three starts he has three interceptions and no passing touchdowns with one rushing touchdown and two out of the three games were against the worst team in the NFL and he's one and one against them and still hasn't thrown for a hundred yards in a single start you know they don't trust them cuz they won't let them throw the ball so if you don't trust him why is he the starter. I'm not going to tell you that woodside was a star in the making but he could run the offense and they wouldn't have to be afraid to let him throw the ball this was another bad draft pick this nonsense that he was such a steal it's just that nonsense he's not an NFL quarterback and never will be, but you better get used to seeing him because he's just the type of quarterback that coach Vrabel running his offense. And I myself believe Tannehill will play in week 18 and get us into the playoffs he's one tough dude. Thanks for the opportunity to share have a good week.
Jim: Thanks for taking the time, Roger.
James Beam from Eastvale, California
Question: Thanks for all you do Jim. Diehard longtime fan here. I realize we've had a ton of injuries but can we all stop pretending Willis is any good at football? We should have (and still should) have gone with Logan. Get him back in the building!
Jim: Logan is now with the Falcons, on their 53-man roster. A lot of folks made jokes and celebrated when he departed. This is kind of where we are with the season, sadly. Some of those same folks – and I'm not saying you were one of them James – now wishes the team had him.
Colt McKenzie from Weston, Ohio
Question: Hi Jim. Huge Titans fan, first time writing you, I have been a fan since Eddie was drafted after his Heisman year at Ohio State, but im just wondering when does Vrabel finally pull the plug on this offense we run, it got us to a AFC championship, but it's not built to be sustained and i think we need to rebuild this offense, but Every fan right now is all saying the same thing, VRABEL FIRE DOWNING he's killing us! His play calling is the worst he hasn't been any good, we fired our GM after never having a losing season , but we will not fire a O.C that has not been good at his job, J-Rob did a better job than Downing has, Downing turned our corvette offense into a station wagon, slow and predictable, We take henry off the field on 3rd downs, what's your take on this situation as you actually get to see the team practice and live all the time, are we as fans wrong or do we have a valid point that this offense is stagnant and we need to change with the times? Thanks and Merry Christmas and Happy New Years!
Jim: Good to hear from you, Colt. Well, Todd Downing has been the most popular topic in this mailbag all season. Again, we'll see what happens after the season.
Steve Furry from Cape Canaveral, Florida
Question: Hi Jim. Hope you and your family had a Great Christmas. Looking forward to coming to the game Thursday. This will be a special game for me and my wife Sherry. She is a Big time Cowboys fan so it is going to be interesting. At least one of us is going to come away from the game being happy. Lol. Is there any pre game tailgate party's you can recommend?
Jim I have go no questions about the team just a small statement. I am a Titan forever no matter what their record is. I think they are doing the best they can for whom they have available to play. I still believe we can beat the Jags in a few weeks and make the playoffs. Everyone just needs to support them!
As always Jim appreciate you for your service you provide us with good and bad news. You are an outstanding journalist. Hope to see ya at the game.
We just got hit with the winter blast in Florida. We went from shorts and flip flops to jeans/jackets/coats. Only thing we have left to do before game is try and buy some thermal underwear and warm winter socks which will be hard to find down here. Lol. Happy New Year Jim and Titans Family!
Jim: Hey Steve. Good to hear from you.
I haven't heard about all the pre-game activities yet. I should find out later today about the anthem, 12th Titan and more.
As for tailgates and other stuff going on, CLICK HERE leading up to the game, as it will be updated.
Hope you have a better time than your wife at the game. 😊
But I have a feeling she's going to have a lot of Cowboys friends to hang out with.
The good news for both of you guys is the artic blast is going to be gone by Thursday night and the temperature won't be too bad. Safe travels.
Dennis Utterback from Louisville, Kentucky
Five straight losses it doesn't surprise me , because
the Titans created they're own disaster. They got rid
of a lot of good players and got a bunch of broken
down low budget players. This team or any other team
cannot win with players like these. Last year the Titans
were a number one seed and this year almost at rock
bottom in the division. They just as well be at rock
bottom losing to a one and twelve team. From last
years record to this year record we should be
moving forward, not backwards. I'm surprised that we
won as many games as we did seriously. I hope Amy
takes a hard look at this team in the offseason and
make some major changes starting with the
coordinators. We need some offensive linemen, wide
receivers and new players for the secondary. Last but not least this team is pathetic. They look like going into a
new stadium. I want have that to worry about most of them will be gone by the time the stadium is completed including Derrick. Good!
Jim: Hi Dennis. I actually thought this was going to be a poem the way you started off and formatted…
Al Anderson from Waldorf, Maryland
Question: Do ownership have plans to clean house......it seems that this coaching staff has reached their peak....why waste the football years with our hall of fame running back with high school level play calling....
Jim: Ownership has already made a big move. The focus now is on the end of this season, and to try and win the AFC South for the third year in a row. As bad as things have been, it's still doable.
Johnny Long from Bowling Green, Kentucky
Question: Fire Todd Downing news is the only thing I want for Christmas. Vrabel is the guy, can rally the players, and is a great coach. However, he needs a great OC and Todd Downing isn't even average. We went from a top tier offense to bottom of the league. The past 2 years have been nothing but a regression. Titans fans deserve better than terrible offensive schemes and wasting prime years of a hall of fame running back. I was at the game and the amount of fans calling for Todd Downing to be fired should be recognized by ownership. I will no longer spend money on anything Titans related as long as Todd Downing is the OC.
Jim: Believe me, I could fill up the entire mailbag with emails like this. I'm not including them all because I want to include more topics, and it's getting redundant. To those who are sending them in and you don't see them in here, I hope you understand. … As for the OC, I've said in here in the past I understand the frustration. I'd be lying if I said I haven't wondered about some decisions/play calls myself. I have also said in here it's not all the OC's fault. Look at what he was working with on Saturday – a QB who needs a lot more time to develop, three offensive linemen who began the season as backups, some receivers who've had a hard time getting separation, etc. Again, I get it on some of the complaints. But let's face it, the OC isn't exactly working with a roster of All-Pros either.
Scott Haynes from Whitby, Ontario, Canada
Question: Hi Jim and thanks for this forum to vent.
I'm 57 years old and a fan since the mid-70's. Up here just East of Toronto, I can count on one hand how many die hard Oiler/Titans fans there are in my area.
My favourite team in the CFL, the Edmonton Eskimos lost Warren Moon and Hugh Campbell to the Oilers way back when and my passion grew even stronger.
I'm so frustrated it's beyond words...im pissed off for days when the Titans lose and when they lose in this fashion, it's even worse.
Why does Todd Downing have a job in this league...oh, because we haven't fired him yet.
Similar to the OT loss to the Bengals in the playoffs last year, we are at midfield with almost 2 minutes left, 3 time outs and a fresh set of downs.
And... a future hall of fame RB who's over 100 yards rushing for the game and has gashed the Texans his whole career.
And Downing decides to go hurry up?
I'm speechless...why the urgency with an inexperienced QB?
Putting Willis into that type of situation is beyond ridiculous at this point in his career.
I will always bleed blue for this franchise but I'm starting to feel like a Super Bowl may never come to Nashville in my lifetime.
Merry Christmas Jim.
Jim: Happy Holidays, Scott. Keep the faith.
Jeffery Raney from Pittsburg, Texas
Question: Hi Jim. I would like to ask who is that #70 mauler who played guard Saturday? Well let me tell you his name is Jordan Roos and what a shame that it took some unfortunate events for the coaches to give this man an opportunity to play. Good job Jordan. I am steadily losing confidence in the whole coaching staff and their ability to lead this team especially on offense. Jim what do you think needs to be done at this point to put this team back on a winning track? I just don't buy into the thought that the talent is just not there. This team does have talent and maybe some changes in coaching assignments will better cultivate that talent.
Jim: Hey Jeffery. I think Jordan Roos is a solid player as well. Heck, he's arguably a better option at guard than Dillon Radunz. As for what could be done to put this team on a winning track, well, guys need to get healthy and geared up for the finale. And then, the Titans are going to have to figure out a way to play a lot better on offense, and create turnovers and be disruptive on defense. When the season is over, it's going to be an important offseason with a lot of big decisions.
Barrett Sutton from Nashville, Tennessee
Question: Jim I don't think anyone else in the world could do this mailbag and maintain a good attitude. Your perseverance and sense of humor lift my spirits. Thank you! Merry Christmas.
This is the time of year to remember that people we love, faith, family ,and realizing that our lives are gifts are all much more important than who wins any football game. That said I will always pull for the Titans and appreciate the great effort this team gives. Our injuries will be fewer next year in all likelihood, so we'll probably finally get that trophy - or not. God bless us one and all
Jim: Appreciate it, Barrett.
Jim Williams from Shelton, Connecticut
Question: Jim 1st of all Happy Holidays for you and your family. Now the venting. This has been a painful 5 weeks watch the collapse of this season. For the front office not to address the issues in personnel is horrific! Our wide receivers are horrific OL is awful but Dallas can pick up TY HILTON off the scrap heap and he comes in and is productive in there win! By the way that guy use to destroy us! Hello front office do your job! What's going on with Will Fuller he's another guy that use to blow our doors in. Couldn't hurt giving him a look. Our poor drafting is finally surfaced! Any way I'm 🙏 seasons still has hope. OC has to go! Can we please give Tim Kelly a shot what is there to lose! This offense is like the NY Giants offense years ago 3 into the line and punt! Happy Holidays!
Jim: Happy Holidays, Jim.
Dawn Sadler from Memphis, Tennessee
Question: Hello Jim.. hope you had a Merry Christmas. Thank you as always for taking our questions and comments each week. I have a comment. I love this team sooo much and it is just heartbreaking to watch what is currently happening. I believe we had all the ingredients to make a run for for the lombardi last year and a little this year. There is a great concern for the offense and play calling. i know you dont like to hear everyone complaining about Todd Downing but i do believe that there is an issue with him and the fan base has a right to bring up legtimate concerns. We watch every game whether in Nissan stadium or on the television screen and it is not fair to continue to put the fans through this agony of ineffective play calling. Not sure what the thinking is on this man but it is sonething that needs to be addressed immediately. This team needs to stop settling for mediocracy and shoot for greatness. The fans have waited too long. Thank you for the time.
Jim: Thanks for taking the time, Dawn.
Jeff Martin from Friendswood, Texas
Question: Can we bring Greg Joseph back? This guy is hitting 60 plus yarders and we have bullock...
What is your take on 4 trips to the 40 yard line coming up with 0 points? The opponents 40 JIM.
Leading league in 3 and out. Vrabel mentions execution weekly. Do you really believe playcalling doesnt matter?
Jim: I think it's all frustrating for a lot of fans.
Michael Miles from LaVergne Tennessee
Question: Jim hope you had a good, restful Christmas. One quick question. Do we still have a chance of making the playoff. My wife my son and I sat in the freezing cold to watch the worst game we have seen in some time. Everyone on the offense had a sorry game. The defense had a up and down game. We will be at the game Thursday night but only because we have relatives from Dallas coming in for the game.
Jim: Hi Michael. Yes, the Titans have a chance to make the playoffs. No matter what happens against the Cowboys, the Titans win the division – and will host a playoff game – if the team beats the Jaguars. … I hope your wife and son have thawed out by now…
Octavio De neira from Barcelona, Spain
Question: Hola Jim. Solo escribo para enviar mis saludos al equipo, sin importar las lesiones y los problemas siguen peleando como titanes que son y sin perder la mira el súper bowl.
Diles que siempre hay un titán del otro lado del mundo viéndolos de madrugada y apoyándolos, orgulloso y contento de ser un titán. Y a nuestros fans mas apoyo al equipo cuando juegan en casa, que son el jugador # 12 del equipo, cuando las cosas se ponen difíciles es cuando ellos tienen que jugar su papel.
Felices fiestas y titans up.
Salúdame a mis chiquitos ( el equipo completo) aquí estaré hasta el último minuto alentándolos.
Jim: Gracias por las amables palabras y el aliento, Octavio. Agradezco el apoyo, al igual que todo el equipo.
Rick Foltz from Harrisburg, North Carolina
Question: Happy Holidays Jim. Can you please Stop the Bleeding. I have been watching this team for 40 years and never remember playing so many practice squad players then the last two seasons. First off Willis will be no starting QB in this league, he just doesn't have it. I think this team is entering rebuilding mode. Online, receivers, DB's to start. Ok I'm done with my rant. My question is what responsibilities does Jim Schwartz have with the team? Anyway we could see him on the sidelines again? Thanks for everything.
Jim: Hey Rick. Believe me, I wish I could make it stop. As for Schwartz, he's around on a regular basis. His role is senior defensive assistant. He works with DC Shane Bowen, HC Mike Vrabel and other members of the staff during the week.
Brody Heers from Glasgow, Kentucky
Question: Hey Jim Tennessee Titans fan here. Now I want to ask do you think we should trade for jordan matalan the LT from the eagles while cutting Dupree, woods, lewan, and Cunningham while restructuring ryan tannehill's contract and firing todd downing? Also we should draft d. Jhonson wide receiver from TC U? Not only that but we need to extend jeffery simmons, nate davis, David long, and bonus the king.
Jim: Lots of offseason questions in here, Brody. We'll get to some of these when the season is over. Let's hope it's not in two weeks.
Dylan Nissen from Phoenix, Arizona
Question: Well Jim I can only imagine what the mailbag looks like this week, so let's look at the bright side! We made the playoffs! We just start a week earlier than everyone else. But I hate waiting anyways.
Jim: This is actually the reality.
Jack Walker from Calabasas, California
Question: And that's it... Call it a season, Jim.
Time to pull every starter the last two games and start the physical rehab. The Defense has worked too hard covering for this offense this year. Let Malik, Treylon and the young guys run around and get real world practice in. Sit DHen, don't risk him. I'm perplexed, Jim. The team made a major step backwards this year. And Malik, I'm not sure if he's got it or not. Think back to early VY, at least he started winning right away. I don't envy the off-season for Vrabel. The responsibility for rebuilding the team is now on his shoulders. Well... Here's to a top 20 draft pick.
Jim: At least two games left in the season, Jack, maybe more. I'll call it when it's over. I'm no quitter.
Charlie White from Tampa, Florida
Question: Merry Christmas Jim to you and your family.
Lots of questions in my head but no use rehashing the past. My question is this. I don't see the team winning another game this year; too many injuries to key players. If this happens and the team doesn't win the division, do you foresee a HC change? I don't believe this is Vrabel's fault, but at the end of the day our owner hasn't played games when it comes to her expectations.
Again, I like Vrabel but our roster especially our O-line, needs some help. I'm also a fan of replacing our O-coordinator mainly for the fact of the DUI, but also for the inability to better utilize the talent we do have.
Have a wonderful New Year.
Jim: Hi Charlie. Things aren't looking great, Charlie, but this team is definitely capable of winning another game this year and giving itself a chance in the playoffs. … I don't foresee a HC change no matter what happens, but I'm not making these big decisions either.
Richard Gilbreath from Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Question: Five game losing streak and yet you still wont address the Todd Downing issues. At this point I truly think Vrabel is going to end up walking himself out of a job if he doesnt fire Downing. It will essentially be the exact same ultimatum that Amy gave to Mike Mularkey, and the fact that Vrabel knows thats how Mularkey got fired, I think he is going to make the same mistake. When will anyone start accepting responsibility and acknowledge that Downing is just completely awful, even with statistical proof for three years of him being an offensive coordinator. Also why in the world do we have reporters and journalist asking weather delay questions when we have more pressing issues like Todd Downing and Shane Bowen being bigger liabilities than successful coaches. Focus on putting out a good story, and the fans want to read or hear reporters and journalist asking questions that fans want to hear, not some bogus question about the weather delay. Why no reporter or journalist wants to do this is baffling. I guess being hush hush matters more rather than putting out a story that fans would pay attention to you more about.
Jim: For the record, I did not ask any questions about the weather delay…
Bill Slack from Hixson, Tennessee
Question: The titans should refund every season ticket member their money this year. they have flat out gave up. when you lose to the 1-12-1 texans in a must win game you didn't even care about the fans.
Jim: Don't think this is going to happen, Bill, and I can promise you the team hasn't given up. Did you see Denico Autry out there on Saturday? You think he's given up?
Have a great week everyone!