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Titans Mailbag: Jim Wyatt Answers Questions from Fans


NASHVILLE, Tenn. --  Week One is in the books, and yeah, it's time to turn the page. 

The Titans will return to action on Sunday vs the Texans at Nissan Stadium.

But first things first. It's time for another mailbag. 

Max Finkenzeller from Bavaria, Germany

Question: Hey Jim. With the loss of Delanie Walker, the other guys on offense have to step up. Who do you think has to step up the most? And not really a question, but since I expect a lot of questions and request this week about how bad we are doing and how Vrabel has to be fired right now I simply want to say this: It only has been the first game of the season! We saw some good things and some bad things. But questioning the Head Coach after one regular Season Loss? Come on guys, you "Fans" can do better than that!

Jim: Hey Max. Well, it's going to take everyone. At the tight end positon specifically, Jonnu Smith will see his workload increase, and he'll get a lot more chances. I like what I've seen from him, and I know he feels he's ready. Tight end MyCole Pruitt, signed off Houston's practice squad, is a pretty good-looking prospect as well, and he'll join Luke Stocker, Anthony Firkser and Smith in the room. But I think more is on the receivers as well. Everyone knows the days of waiting on Walker to bail the team out are over. As for the "sky is falling" crowd, it was a week full of one-liners on Twitter. It's Week One. I'll flip it – the Titans looked like Super Bowl contenders in a Week One win at Tampa Bay on 2015, and that team then finished 3-13. It's a long season.

Dennis Whelan from Zephyrhills, Florida

Question: Hey Jim I have been a great fan of the Titans since they drafted Marcus Mariota and also of you for all the info you bring to us the fans. I am very impressed with the entire organization beginning with Amy Adams Strunk and all of the brass. They seem so focused on building a team of very talented men, but also men of great character. My question is: What happened to the play calling in game 1? I thought this was a rerun of a 2017 game. I expected MUCH more imagination. Looking forward to your response and more diversified play calling. I hope you share this with the coaching staff. Dennis Whelan

Jim: Hey Dennis. I appreciate it. I didn't necessarily have a problem with the play-calling. I did have a problem with some of the plays not working, or being executed correctly. The Mariota-to-Luke Stocker pass should have been a TD if the ball was thrown ahead of him, which would have allowed him to run under it. Taywan Taylor admitted he should have caught the early pass in the end zone. Derrick Henry's 62-yard run for a touchdown was well executed, but a questionable holding call wiped it out. That's 21 points right there in a game when the starting QB didn't finish. Again, it's Week One. This offense is a work in progress.

Jason from Tampa Bay, Florida

Question: Hey Jim, a Titans fan in Tampa Bay here. I hope this makes the mail bag. Thanks for all the great Titans coverage! Week 1 was a huge let down for sure. I was in a foul mood well into Monday because of that loss. Now that emotions have tampered, I can see it's unfair to judge the team and new system on that game. Horrible weather delays, and even worse refereeing, ruined that game for the Titans. I did see enough positives from that game which still gives me hope for improvements in week 2. However the biggest issue I keep seeing time and time again is timing with the QBs and Corey Davis. I like that he was more involved in this game, but too often when a pass falls in dead space and no receiver is in sight, it's usually intended for Davis. I understand it's a new system, but will they ever get on the same page?? 

So my question is... Do you think the Titans should and/or will bring in a veteran WR, say Dez Bryant or Jordan Matthews? Even more now with Delaine Walker on IR, the Titans need more talent from ball catchers. More than just talent, I think one of those guys could help groom Corey Davis some more. It's getting old seeing the Titans bring in talented rookie Wrs that never pan out due to poor mentorship. What's are your thoughts on this? Thanks Jim! Titan up! – Jason

Jim: _Appreciate it Jason. Marcus and Corey will get on the same page, but it takes time. I watched the Falcons in the season opener, and Matt Ryan and Julio Jones had some communication issues. It happens, and in time everyone hopes it will be smoother week in and week out. As for veteran receivers, I never rule anything out with the GM, although I wouldn't bet on someone like Dez coming aboard. I've been getting questions on him all offseason, and he's not here yet. The problem with adding a veteran is you slow down the development of the young guys who were drafted. The only way they're going to get better is by playing, even if you have to deal with some growing pains.   _ 

Jim Mills from Toledo, Ohio

Question: Hey Jim. Do the Titans enjoy losing? Is there a reason that the head coaches continue to (last year and now again this year) under-utilize Derrick Henry. Henry was much better than Murray last year and offers much more big-play ability than Dion Lewis this year. Hence the 67 yard TD run by Henry that was called back on the holding penalty. But hey if the Titans are content to throw away their season again this year, tell the coach Great Job! Keep it up!

Jim: Hey Jim. I asked around, and shockingly, no one seems to enjoy losing. As for Henry, he's going to play. But after watching Lewis in Week One, there's no doubt in my mind he's going to be on the field a lot. He's a heck of a player himself. One interesting stat that surfaced this week on Lewis: He has 891 total scrimmage yards from the last 8 weeks of the 2017 season to present, dating back to his days in New England. He ranks fifth among NFL running backs during that time, behind Todd Gurley (1,216), Alvin Kamara (1,043), Melvin Gordan (986) and Le'Veon Bell (967). I get another question later on Henry that you'll want to keep reading for the answer.

Dwayne Woodcock from Trenton, Ontario

Question: Hey Jim. Quick question for you!! Houston is coming this week. Jags week 3 and Eagles week 4. Do you consider this a must win game? I shudder to think that a loss to Houston really sets up 0-4 as a distinct possibility. Teams starting 0-4 rarely make the playoffs. This game against Houston feels like a season defining game to me. Am I wrong? Appreciate it!!

Jim: Thanks Dwayne. It's a big game, but I don't consider it a must-win. Yes, I know the schedule coming up is brutal. But I refer back to the 2006 Titans. That team started 0-6, and it would've made the playoffs if it had just won the Week 17 game. It's early.

Tim Hammond from Seymour

Question: Hey Jim, thanks for keeping us informed about Marcus's injuries. That being said QBs get hurt often in this league. I have often wondered why the Titans don't go after a backup like Josh Dobbs. It could be costly, I understand that. But having that safety valve would be worth an early-round pick. You could plug him right in to the offense and not have to change too much. With the depth problem at the position, have to do something. Do you think JRob would entertain bringing him back to Tennessee?

Jim: Hey Tim. Josh seems to be improving, and that's why the Steelers kept him on the 53-man roster. So he's not available, and I don't see the team trading for a guy who hasn't proven he can get it done in the NFL yet. He's still developing. It's Marcus, and Blaine Gabbert moving forward.

Ed Reynolds from Quartzsite, Arizona

Question: After all the hype of coaches and schemes. It still looks like Exotic nothingness football. I know its early but cannot help but comment on the decision-making by the staff. It feels just like last year. COME ON MAN

Jim: _It's early Ed …. _

Larry of Castilian Springs, Tennessee

Question: Sorry this is my first time emailing you, I don't know the proper protocol. I read that Rashaan Evans didn't visit the Titans as one of the 30 pre-draft slots. Why would they not bring in their guy for an interview?

Jim: Hey Larry. Well, sometimes the guys they bring in are for medicals, or to potentially rule them out. Rashaan didn't visit, but the team spent time with him at his Pro Day at Alabama. Harold Landry did visit, however. I just think the GM was confidence in Evans from what he saw on film, and spending time with him in Tuscaloosa.

Trevon Walker from Nashville, Tennessee

Question:Is it possible for Delanie to make a return near the end of the regular season or the beginning of the playoffs (if we make the playoffs) if he makes a full recovery despite the fact that we put him on IR ? EVERYONE WANTS TO KNOW THIS ! Please ask Vrabel and/or Jon Robinson if you're not sure.

Jim: Hey Trevon. Based on IR rules, he'd be eligible. But I'd say it's a long shot unfortunately. Sorry.

Marco Antonio Alfaro del Ángel from Mexico City, Mexico

Question: Hi Jim, I only want to know if there are at least 1% probabilities that Delanie Walker return for this season, even if it's until December or the hypothetical playoffs. The reason I ask is because Vrabel said in the Monday press conference "We'll see where he is at after surgery and reevaluate his potential return". That gave me a much-needed hope (plus that you specified that any player added to the injury reserve can return later in the season when speaking about his addition to that damned list); however, all other sites that wrote about Walker said that he is lost for the season. I know that you aren't member of the medical staff nor someone fully empowered to make a statement about his returning and that probably there is nothing totally clear yet… but after a miserable Sunday in which in addition to a ton of other unfair things we had to see one of the best players of our team history suffer that dreadful injury in just the 1st game of the season, just have mercy and give me a little bit of hope if there is any reason to have it. We all true Titans fanatics will NEVER forget him as much the time go by, he deserves so much respect and admiration.

Jim: Thanks for email. Leaving this in there to let you show your respect. But the answer to Trevon probably sums it up.

Cynthia Culver from Hughes

Question: Why in the Hell do the Titans not use Derrick Henry? He comes in runs fifty yards for TD penalty brought it back but he never played again insane!!!! 

Jim: Hi Cynthia. He'll play more moving forward, but a lot will be based on how he plays, and how Dion Lewis plays. Here's what Derrick said about Sunday's game against the Dolphins: "I am pissed with my performance. I have to play better as a player. I felt like it was average, below average, and that's not how I want to play. I have to be better as a player. I definitely need to get it going personally. I need to play better this week, be effective in the running game, make plays, and help open everything else up. They have a great defense. I have to run hard, finish runs, and be ready." Those are Derrick's words, not mine. I have a feeling he'll earn more carries moving forward.

Bobby Orr from Katy, Texas

Question: Hey Jim. Bobby here once again. It's always good to read your column. The question I have for you today is this: How are Harold Landry and Rashaan Evans coming along, and can you please enlighten me as to what injury Evans is even recovering from. I don't recall having read or heard anything about it. It's almost always just called "his injury". This is very nonspecific and it makes me wonder if we'll ever see him on the field. Truth be told, our defense was pretty porous on Sunday, but we really didn't do too bad. A sack and two picks and our run defense really tightened up in the third and fourth quarter. Anyways, when Landry and Evans get back on the field, I feel like we're really going to lock teams down. More pressure, means more sacks, and more interceptions. Any information you have would be great. As always, thanks Jim in advance!

Jim: Hey Bobby. The good news is both of those guys practiced this week, and looked good. Expect to see them on the field soon, possibly on Sunday. And they should provide a nice boost.

David Hernandez from Monterrey, Mexico

Question: Why Mariota doesn't continue playing in the game vs Miami? Did you see Aron Rodgers? I'm tired of being an almost team.....

Jim: Hey David. Every injury is different. A quarterback's arm, and ability to grip the football, is important. He couldn't do that on Sunday, so he was pulled from the game. Props to Rodgers. He's a gamer. But Mariota threw two picks in large part because he couldn't grip it and rip it. Would you rather coaches leave him out there and not be effective?

Mark McCullough from S Padre Island, Texas

Question: Now what? This team wears on ya.

Jim: Now what? The Texans on Sunday at Nissan Stadium.

Have a great weekend everyone! looks back at the all-time series against the Houston Texans. (AP Photos, Donn Jones)