NASHVILLE, Tenn. –** Welcome to December.
And welcome to the stretch run for the Titans, and the NFL.
Five games are left in the regular season, beginning with Sunday's game vs. the Texans.
But first things first. Let's knock out this mailbag…
Dwayne Woodcock from Trenton, On. Canada
Question: Hey Jim. I want to know why the Titans don't get any respect from the national media. I can read NFL.com and rarely find an article about the Titans. Big ticket teams (Cowboys, Pats, Steelers, etc) get all the love. When the Titans are mentioned, it's about how they play x amount of teams with losing records and blah, blah, blah. Last time I checked, the Patriots and Eagles have only beaten one team each that currently have a winning record. Granted, the Pats and Eagles teams are winning games they should by larger margins than my beloved Two-Toned Titans. Regardless, with a 7-4 AFC South leading record and a win over the best defense in the league (Jacksonville), the Titans deserve some positive national media attention. They're winning games they should win and based on history, that's newsworthy.
Jim: Hey Dwayne. Well, probably because it hasn't always been pretty. But I'll take winning ugly over losing pretty any day of the week. The important thing is the Titans are 7-4, with more wins than 21 other teams in the NFL. Only the Patriots and Steelers have more wins in the AFC. The love isn't important now. The team will have to earn it in December, and beyond. The longer the team plays, the more there will be to talk about.
Preston Myles from Pecos Texas
Question: Hi Jim first and foremost thank you for everything you do keeping us updated the team I have two questions
- The run game has been a struggle were on the brink of the playoffs do u think the coaching staff will simplify the running game or scheme so we can get back to running the ball more effectively because we need a running game in the playoffs but we still have to take it one game at a time
- Is there a way I can send a thank you letter to Ms. Amy Adams Strunk to thank her for bringing hope back to titans thanks god bless
Jim: Thanks Preston. The running game definitely needs to be more consistent. The finish to Sunday's game in Indianapolis was impressive, but the start in the run game was hard to watch. It's going to need to be effective in December. As for the owner, send it to 460 Great Circle Road, Nashville, 37228.
Greg Irish from Novato, California
Question: Hey Jim. With the West Coast trip coming up, will the Titans stay in Arizona or in the Bay Area?
Jim: Hey Greg. The plan is to spend the week after the Cardinals game in Arizona, before heading to the Bay Area for the weekend.
Dale Stephens from Memphis, Tennessee
Question: Hello Jim, 1st want to say thank you for keeping us, the fans, informed on our fav team. My question, Is Demarco's health status is it at 100 percent? It seems as he is tip toeing. Also, I think we need a change of pace running back with quickness not Adoree' Jackson. Lastly, Why have we got away from Taywan Taylor? On a plus note our defense is becoming a top defense. What's going with Dodd? Haven't heard anything from him lately. Once again thanks Jim.
Jim: Hey Dale. Appreciate it. DeMarco says he's feel good, and isn't using his health as an excuse. But he's dealt with nagging injuries during the course of the season. He's played through them all. As for Taywan Taylor, I really like him myself. But with Corey Davis back, who do you sit to make room for Taylor? Rishard Matthews and Eric Decker both have more experience. Taywan will get his chances, and he needs to take advantage of them.
Marco Antonio from NEZAHUALCOYOTL, ESTADO DE MÉXICO
Question: Hello Jim Excelente day, a question, does Jaston Fowler align it? For that I think that there if it needs, I remember that with the blockade is very effective, and there is very much successful the combination of Murray and Henrry.
Jim: Hola Marco. Esto es lo que Mike Mularkey dijo después del juego de Colts cuando le pregunté acerca de Jalston: Sí, con los broches de presión y realmente, los equipos especiales, nos sentimos como este es un equipo que tuvimos que coincidir muy bien." le dije que los equipos especiales eran un juego dentro de un juego. Son muy buenos como nosotros somos muy buenos y yo quería conseguir Nate Palmer arriba y (Kevin) Dodd e incluso le permiten conseguir algunos Snaps defensivos y eso es sólo la forma en que funcionó.
Mike Sullivan from Eugene, Oregon
Question: Greetings from Eugene Jim. I've been a big fan of Marcus's for years, not just for his athleticism but for the young man he's become. He's a great example for young men everywhere. I remember reading earlier in the season that he'd changed his footwork when passing and wondered if that's been affecting his throwing motion thus affecting his accuracy. High throws, interceptions, passing stats, etc. Also he seems to be much more effective in the shotgun than behind center so why aren't the coaches using that formation more.
Thanks Jim and Happy Holidays. Mike
Jim: Hey Mike. Happy Holidays to you as well. Marcus is still working through some things, and coaches are working to make him comfortable. I think you'll see him continue to be used in shotgun and behind center moving forward. Marcus said he's studied his interceptions, and he said the majority of the turnovers have been a result of bad throws, and his mechanics. "Not pushing off my back foot," he said this week. "I tend to get inaccurate if I am not using my legs, and I think the last few interceptions have been the fact of not being able to push off my back foot and get everything behind my throws. … That's things I have to correct out here." I have a hunch he's going to get things work out and finish strong in December.
Craig De'Cuir from Houston, Texas
Question: When are the titans going to let the beast (Henry) loose? I know Murray is a great competitor but he's not getting it done. Plus what's going on with the run blocking and the play calling?
Jim: Hey Craig. Henry was a beast during the fourth quarter against the Colts. Coach Mularkey said this week the team has "two starters," and he plans to use them both. I'm curious to see how this one plays out moving forward myself.
Kenny Gore from Horse Cave, Kentucky
Question: Hey Jim. Great to be writing after ANOTHER WIN!!! 7-4 Man it has been a LONG time since we have seen that in TN!! Clean sweep of the Colts!! Man, it has been a while!!
I noticed recently that LOTS of the mail here has been negative from fans. I have been guilty myself in the past. I think we as fans have forgotten several things about this team.
- We are less than 2yrs removed from having the #1 pick in the draft. To be sitting in position to have a playoff spot right now is rather amazing.
- Marcus may be in his 3rd year, however, he has only started (37) barely over 2 career seasons. He is still very young at the position; and is still learning to play winning football in the NFL. I am proud of who he is as a person; and the example he displays for young fans to follow. His plays HAS been AMAZING at times; and could be better at times. These are NORMAL things for young NFL QBs. Even Manning struggled w/ picks.... NOT only in his rookie year. In his 4th year Manning threw 26TD/23INTs. I suggest not giving up on a young guy who is 100% EVERYTHING you would want a Franchise QB to be; especially less than 2 career games into his tenure!
- We have a LOT of young guys starting at KEY positions; on BOTH sides of the ball. Rookies making big contributions: Davis/Taylor- WR, Jonnu Smith -TE, Jayon Brown- ILB, & Adoree- CB/PR/KR/RB. That's not to mention guys who are in thier 2nd year: Byard, Conklin, Henry, Johnson- NT.... There may be more!
All of this to say: We are a very YOUNG team still learning the NFL game, lifestyle, & how to play together; let alone win doing it..... Robinson/Mularkey have nearly rebuilt this roster from the top down. It may not always be pretty, but as young as our roster is; we should not expect it to always be pretty. As long as we are winning; fans should be happy. I understand wanting it to look better; and wanting more consistent play. I am very much guilty of complaints myself. However, after some study this weekend; I realize this team is still finding its' way. We are so young at SO MANY positions; we should expect struggles. Rookies make mistakes. 2nd year players make mistakes. It has ALWAYS been that way. Even vets make mistakes. However, it is much more understandable with as many young guys as we have...... If we make the playoffs this year (And we are on track to do so); it will be an incredible achievement. If we win this division it will be a BIG step toward incredible progress.
Thanks for allowing my rambling. After all the negative I thought some perspective from a LONG TIME fan MAY help..... I doubt it; but can't hurt....LOL. I have seen this team struggle for years. For the 1st time in a long time; there is a light at the end of the tunnel. In the past; there was a guy with a hammer waiting!! Good luck fielding questions this week about a "Bad Win" in Indy.
P.S........ There is no "Bad Win" in Indy IMO!!!!!!!!!!
Jim: Hey Kenny. Thanks for the email. I'm going to let you send us out with that one ...
Have a great weekend everyone!
TitansOnline.com looks back at the all-time series against the Houston Texans. (AP Photos, Donn Jones)