NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The preseason is over, and now it's time for the real thing – the regular season.
It's a busy weekend with roster cuts, and I got a lot of questions on potential roster moves. I avoided them in here, because they're under way, and the official announcement from the team won't come until Saturday at 3 CDT.
But we're still packed with questions, including three from Hawaii.
Let's do this …
Bobby Orr from Katy, Texas
Question: Hey Jim. I can't help but be somewhat alarmed by what (I've seen) this preseason. We have made imperative upgrades this off season, but they don't seem to be paying dividends. I understand Dean Pees and Matt LaFleur are playing their cards close to their chest, so that can be a contributing factor. But what concerns me is the complete lack of sync on the offense, the pass rush is anemic, and our secondary looks absolutely flat. I'm referring to our starting teams, as our backups seem to be faring much better. I'm excited to see what coach Mike Vrabel can do this season. But am I just panicking too soon? Or is any of this cause for concern? Titan for life no matter what. Thanks for your time.
Jim: Hey Bobby. I wouldn't hit the panic button. I hear ya, and I've seen some frustration from fans on Twitter. I'll just say you're right on coaches playing things close to the vest. Vrabel said as much on Friday – the team kept it simple. Neither LaFleur nor Pees wants to give anything away in the preseason. The team hasn't been game-planning (maybe slightly vs Pittsburgh). Instead, they've just lined up and played. And a lot of starters didn't see the field all preseason. While the first team offense laid an egg in Pittsburgh, the unit scored touchdowns on two of three drives vs Green Bay and Tampa Bay. I would expect to see things you haven't seen on September 9 in Miami. If all goes well, that would also include a win.
Hayden Landgraf from Columbia, Illinois
Question: Hey Jim. Big fan of the mailbag. I'm curious as to how you truly believe the Titans backfield will shape out this season. I've read many reports saying 50/50 split. Dion also out-touched Derrick in the preseason. Since you are closest to the team, what are your thoughts?
Jim: Hey Hayden. Appreciate it. I'm anxious to find out myself. I believe Henry will end up with the most carries at season's end, but it's truly going to be a week to week thing, depending on matchup, how the opposing defense defends the Titans, and the success of the backs. For a fantasy football owner, it's probably a nightmare scenario because I think they'll take turns doing damage.
Josh Pennington from Huntsville, Alabama
Question: Hey Jim! Thanks as always for your coverage of the team. It's nice to be able to get good, consistent info every week! My question is this: When does the team have to announce the specifics of player injuries? I know an injury report goes out before each regular season game, but when will we know what exactly is up with Evans, Orakpo, Matthews, etc? Obviously Vrabel and Robinson know what they're doing and are keeping things quiet for strategic reasons, but it would be nice as a fan to understand what's really going on with some the star players.
Jim: Hey Josh. Appreciate the question. You're right – the injury report will now come out on Wednesday of each week, and each player's injury is required to be listed. So why has Vrabel handled things like he has from an injury standpoint? I think it's the former player in him. He's trying to protect the players, because he was one for 14 years. I understand the frustration from fans and media about the policy, and the lack of info on the injuries. But I'll also say this: As a guy with a newspaper background, you wouldn't have heard me making an issue about not being told information. My mindset when I worked at The Tennessean was to find out – it's part of a reporter's job.
David Siler from Thousand Oaks, California
Question: Hi Jim. Long-time Oilers fan originally from Houston. Here's my question: I've noticed that throughout OTA's and preseason there have been a number of Titans not participating due to injury. But there has been no details on the severity of the injuries. Is this maybe a carryover the Vrabel's time in New England? The lack of detail or cloak and dagger impression kind of smells of Belichick?
Jim: Hey David. See above answer to Josh. Not sure about Belichick's scent ...
Allen Dayan from Spring Hill, Florida
Question: Do you think Rashaan Evans is trending toward a Kevin Dodd situation? It seems to be following the same pattern.
Jim: Hey Allen. I don't, and I don't really think it's fair to Rashaan to even suggest that at this point. Evans is a hard-working young man, and he unfortunately suffered a setback early in camp. He's working hard to get back. In time, he'll be back, and I firmly believe he's going to be a good one. Dodd had two surgeries on a foot injury, so there's no comparison.
Kyle Kelley from Carterville, Illinois
Question: Hey Jim. My question is about the uniforms. Do you know if the primary home uniform will be all navy or will it be white pants? And on the road is it all white or white on blue? Thanks Jim!
Jim: Hey Kyle. As you know, the Titans wore the all navy in the preseason finale. At home, the team has the option, and I expect to see a lot of different combinations. We've seen navy over white (vs the Buccaneers), and the all navy so far. Don't be surprised if you see a white jersey in the mix at home in the heat of September, too. On the road, the team has the option to mix it up as well, and it will. And don't forget about the light blue jerseys, which you'll also see.
Bill Ferrari from Antioch, Tennessee
Question: How about an article about the TWO Titans quarterbacks who were products of Saint Louis High School in Honolulu, Hawaii? Most fans are familiar with Marcus Mariota's outstanding prep football resume there, but little has been said about 2003 Titan Jason Gesser, who quarterbacked St. Louis to two state championships (with a 24-0 record as a starter).
Jim: Hey Bill. Well, this week I've written a lot about the teammates from Saint Louis High – Marcus Mariota and linebacker Kamalei Correa, who joined the Titans on Tuesday via trade. As for Gesser, Mariota actually mentioned him recently when talking about quarterbacks from Hawaii.
Dave Maniaci from Honolulu, Hawaii.
Question: Aloha Jim. I know we have yet to see the RB duo do their thing and it may be a bit premature to give them a nickname but what do you think about Surf and Turf? Dion Lewis is small and shifty like shrimp and Derrick Henry brings the beef. Anyways, trying to keep the Hawaiian theme going with Marcus-The Flyin' Hawaiian and Rishard doing his surfing celebration and I really think our defense will be like an impenetrable wall of water (tsunami). Maybe if the team learns to do a haka? That would be over the top awesome! Looking forward to the possibilities.
Jim: Aloha Dave. Oh dang, that's pretty creative! I'm going to leave this here and see if it sticks! And thanks for the kind words!
Janice Onaka from Kealakekua, HI
Question: My grandson, his parents, and I will be attending the Titans-Colts game on December 30th. We would very much like to know whether Marcus Mariota will be available for autograph signing after the game or at any time during the week.
Jim: Aloha Janice. Marcus won't be able to sign during the week. Your best bet would probably be at the game, either way before or after. But even then it's tough, because he'll be in game day focus.
Jericho Nelson from Rockford, Illinois
Question: As Free Agent Dez Bryant remains unsigned with an NFL Team, and less than one week to the season opener, do you feel that Dez Bryant could be a good fit for the Titans receiving corps? As we have all seen through the past year No. 5 Draft Pick Corey Davis is showing slow progress with a strong connection with Marcus Mariota. Do you feel Dez Bryant could give us a boost?
Jim: Hey Jericho. Thanks for the question. No, I don't. And I can't see it happening.
Dorinda Wilson from Dickson, Tennessee
Question: What is the status of Harry Douglas?
Jim: He's a free agent, still unsigned.
Wayne Abe from Honolulu, Hawaii
Question: Hi Jim, I've been following Marcus Mariota for 5 years. He is a fantastic quarterback. I'm so glad that the Titans finally change the coaching staff. Now I believe that the Titans have a chance to make it to the Super Bowl. The coaching staff did a fantastic job in helping Marcus get the tools he needs.
Mike Vrabel is a really good coach and he has the right idea about play fast and aggressive. I believe playing fast and aggressive is the best way to win in the NFL. Last year team could have won at least 11 games but they slowed down and wasn't aggressive in the end. Against the Jags and K.C. I thought they played the best.
I believe the Titans have a tremendous chance to reach the Super Bowl. Now, it is the job of the coaching staff to put the pieces together and make the Titans the best!! Wishing you the best and the Titans a fantastic seasons. Aloha from the 50th State, Wayne
Jim: Appreciate the well-wishes, and for taking the time.
Have a great weekend everyone!
TitansOnline.com looks back at some of the top photos from the Tennessee Titans' 2018 preseason. (AP Photos)
The Tennessee Titans take on the Minnesota Vikings in Week 4 of the preseason on Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018 at Nissan Stadium. (Photos: Donn Jones, AP)