NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Training camp is technically over for the Titans, but there's still plenty of work to be done to get ready for the regular season.
On Saturday night, the Titans will face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in preseason game No.2.
But you came here for the Titans mailbag, so let's do this …
Jeff Young from Ozark, Arkansas
Question: Hey Jim. I appreciate all your prompt Titans updates. You keep folks like me stay tuned in with latest Titans info. My question: Is there any chance we keep 4 running backs and 6 wide receivers. The #4 running back and #6 receiver slot both seem promising. Thanks! #TitunUp!
Jim: Hey Jeff. I think it's a shot. At running back, I have Akrum Wadley as the fourth guy right now, if the team sticks with four, behind Derrick Henry, Dion Lewis and David Fluellen. I think Wadley has some promise. The receiver spot is tricky, with some questions. Corey Davis, Taywan Taylor and Tajae Sharpe get you to three, and Rishard Matthews makes four when healthy. Then there's a race for the final spots, and a decision on how many to keep. I think six is a possibility, and right now I like Darius Jennings and Nick Williams there. I had Michael Campanaro in the group heading into camp, but he's had trouble staying on the field. He now has to catch up to stay in the mix. And then some undrafted guys are making a push. Will it be four RBs and six WR? Yes, I know that's what you asked me. I'll just say it's possible. Some depends on other positions, and health, of course.
Don Wessels from Nashville, Tennessee
Question: What are the cut down dates for the team?
Jim: The cut down is now from 90 to 53 after the league did away with the 90 cut to 75. Cuts have to be made by September 1 at 3 p.m.
Sam Roseland from Hudson, South Dakota
Question: Hi Jim. How is Akrum Wadley doing in camp? Do you see him making the 53 man roster?
Jim: Hey Sam. Wadley is a popular guy for fans. Don asked about him, too. Wadley is a contender, and he's making himself noticed. I think he has a chance for the 53, but he's going to need to keep performing well. Ideally it would be great to let him develop on the practice squad. The problem with that scenario is the team would have to waive him, and he'd have to clear waivers for a chance to come back on the practice squad. And that doesn't always happen, of course. I hate to bring this up, but back in the day the Titans tried the same thing with running back LeGarrette Blount, and it didn't work. He's had a pretty nice career -- in cities not named Nashville.
Eric King from New Albany, Mississippi
Question: Hey Jim! Pretty good 1st game considering it is just the preseason. I see a lot of good things to look forward to. I have a hypothetical question about our back up QB situation. Once teams start making roster cuts what moves do you see us making at that position? Blaine Gabbert has promise but in my opinion he just don't fit. What do you think the chances are that we'll move on from him and maybe go after Teddy Bridgewater, if the NY Jets cut him? Well I guess that was too but, preciate ur output.
Jim: Hey Eric. I don't see the team making any moves at the position, unless it's waiving Luke Falk to bring him back on the practice squad, and there's a chance he could stick. Blaine Gabbert isn't going anywhere. He's the No.2 behind Marcus Mariota, and I've been impressed with him on camp. He's an upgrade over Matt Cassel.
Bill Kohl from Eastvale, California
Question: Hi Jim. Love your Mail bag and the Titans. I am an Oregon grad. I live is Southern California. Can I watch the Titans Games on Titansonline.com? As far as I know the only other way is to subscribe to NFL Sunday Ticket on DirecTV, but they want $300.00.
Jim: Hey Bill. Unfortunately, the regular season games aren't available on Titans Online. As I mentioned to Tyler from Pennsylvania last week, DirecTV is your best option. I know FOX and CBS allow local fans to stream broadcasts, but that won't help you wanting to see the Titans. NFL Game Pass allows you to watch live out-of-market preseason games, and a replay every game of the season, but I know you're looking for live broadcasts. The good news: two of the games are on ESPN (at Dallas on MNF, at Houston on MNF) and the Jaguars game on Thursday, December 6 is a FOX/NFL Network national game.
Jody Ball, United Kingdom
Question: Dear Mr. Jim Wyatt. Every year around this time I get very jealous of all those people that get to attend training camp and see my beloved Titans get ready for the new season! I reserve my one trip (this year as well as the last 3) to Nashville for season home opener! I was just wondering if you can fix it for me to sit in on a (practice) session this year or can put me in touch with someone who I could ask? I will be in Nashville from the evening of September 14th until September 24th. I know this a big ask and a long shot but as I have been told before, but if you don't ask you don't get! Many thanks for your time reading this regardless of the outcome! Keep up the good job in informing me everything titans. Uk's Biggest Titan fan. Jody
Jim: Hey Jody. Hope you have a great trip. I wish I could help here, but practices are now officially closed. The last open practice was on Thursday. During the season all of them are closed as the team prepares for games, in an effort to keep gameplans protected. You're going to see the real thing, though – the home opener vs. the Texans on September 16. So that should be fun! See ya at Nissan Stadium!
Sabarish Chirayil from Seattle, Washington
Question: Hi Jim. A very pumped up Titans fan here from Seattle. Question: Mike Mularkey got the team two winning seasons and taught the team how to win through grit and grind. His Titans developed an identity which translated into wins. I remember how this was a team that used to choke from winning positions in 2015, to a team that learnt how to win the tough ones through the course of the season in 2016 and then in 2017 was tagged an underachiever despite a 9-7 season and play-off win. What identifiable culture changes do you see that Vrabel and Co. bringing? Keep up the good work! Titan Up!! Sabarish
Jim: Hey Sabarish. There's no question Mularkey help change the culture, and he deserves credit. He also improved the results. The problem is I think everyone thought the team – especially the offense – could do more. Vrabel is a no-nonsense guy who has the respect of the guys in the locker room. I like his command, and the way he goes about his business. And he hired an offensive coordinator in Matt LaFleur who should help raise Mariota's game. In time, I think the coaching change will prove to be the right move.
Hunter Phelan from South Pasadena, California
Question: Hi Jim, hope ya had a great summer. Once again thank you for all the great info you provide all us TITAN FANS on a daily basis. My question is how is Marcus looking in the new offense? Can we expect to see significant changes in the schemes or is it just wrinkles here and there and terminology stuff? Im sure you've fielded many questions on the TITANS waring the old OILERS logo and are probably tired of it. Im on the wagon with old Oiler fans USIING the helmets once a year only when we play in Houston. It would be so cool to keep and see the Oiler history in visual way. Could you please throw it in Amy's ear? So excited for the season to get started. go TITANS!!! GOOD LUCK to your DODGERS down the stretch Jim. I have MACHADO AND KERSHAW on my fantasy team and currently fighting for a money finish!!!
Jim: Hey Hunter. Marcus has made great strides from OTAs, minicamp and now into training camp. But it's still a work in progress, no doubt. The offense isn't going to look the same either. You're going to see an offense that's not as predictable, taking shots downfield. And Mariota is going to be more than just a complimentary piece like he was in too many games last year. As for the uniforms, you'll see the Titans light blue on occasion, but I wouldn't expect to see the oil derrick with it. And I appreciate the well-wishes for the Dodgers. It looks like they're going to need all the luck they can get!
Dennis Pfeifer from Lake Havasu City, Arizona
Question: I really like what Jon Robinson has done in his time as GM. He has done a great job of stocking the team with great players which gives the Titans dept for the future and reliable back ups in case of injuries. I have two questions 1) I recently saw on the NFL channel where they were rating QB's. Yes I'm biased but they listed Dak Prescott as #12 and Marcus Mariota as #14. I know we don't get the exposure that the Cowboy's get but please there is no way I would swap Marcus Mariota for Dak Prescot.
Question #2. I have noticed the Titans are more secretive about injuries this year. I was wondering about the severity of Raashan Evans injury. I'm sure this will set him back. He had to be a great player to be the Titans first round pick in the draft. I'm sure being the Titans first round pick in the draft and starting off like this must be frustrating. Corey Davis started off last season the same way and I hope he gets through this and lives up to being the Titans first pick in the draft. Titan up
Jim: Hey Dennis. I'm more concerned with the postseason rankings than the preseason ones. Not sure I agree with where Prescott and Mariota are ranked there, but both had off years so I'm not surprised they're not higher. As for the severity of the injuries, in my old job at The Tennessean my mission was to dig that stuff up. Now with the team, I'm sure not giving any hints away here. I like my job too much. Hope you understand. I can tell you this about Evans, though -- on Thursday he was doing a lot of conditioning work on the field, working with the ropes and kettlebells, and with a ladder, showing off his footwork. So he's definitely improving. Hope that helps some. Have a good one.
Russell Kelly from Kalispell, Montana
Question: It seems Rishard Matthews is always dealing with a health issues since he has been with the Titans. I was wondering how many games he has played vs sat out due to injury? And would we cut him if we thought he wouldn't be ready for season opener? When he is healthy he is good to have on the field.
Jim: Hey Russell. Here's the run down: Rishard has been with the Titans since 2016. He's played in 30 of 32 regular season games in his two seasons with the team.
Bryant Goggins from Nashville, Tennessee
Question: I heard coach Vrabel say that he won't give an injury update until September. That really worried me. I remembered all of the key injuries that the Texans defense had last year when Coach Vrabel was in charge. Do you think that the Vrabel way of coaching might possibly be leading to more injuries?
Jim: Is this a serious question? If so, of course not.
Levi Hendrix from White House, Tennessee
Question: How is Tim Shaw doing? I haven't heard or seen anything about him recently. I hope he's doing ok & hope to see him as the 12th Titan again this year.
Jim: Hey Levi. Tim is an inspiration to us all. He actually stopped by practice a few weeks ago and I had a chance to chat with him. His presence is still felt at the facility. Please keep Tim and his family in your prayers as he continues his courageous fight.
Rome Ford from Columbia, South Carolina
Question: Hey Jim! I know you've probably received 100 emails about Chad Johnson helping out our offense. Is there any chance that Titans could sign Chad Johnson as an assistant wide receiver coach? Because it looks like our defense is solid, but our offense still look like we are struggling. We are ALL hoping to have a BIG season this year. The year of promise. Thank you
Jim: Hey Rome. You're actually the first. And the answer is: Don't bet on it.
Brad S from Camden, Delaware
Question: Any news on Jack Conklin's rehab from his knee injury? How is he progressing and what are the realistic expectations for him this season? Thank you.
Jim: Hey Brad. Jack is making progress. He's been doing a lot of rehab work on the practice field before the rest of the team practices. He remains on the PUP list, and Vrabel hasn't provided any updates on his timetable. But physically he's lost 10 pounds, and he's even stronger in the weight room. Dennis Kelly continues to work with the 1s at right tackle, and when Conklin is finally cleared he'll need to work his way back in from a conditioning and technique standpoint. I understand the countdown to Week One is on, but right now he's just not ready yet.
Robbert van Giffen from Boise, Idaho
Question: Hi Jim. It seems every year athletes change they physical makeup a little bit and sometime people have significantly bulked up or leaned down to improve some aspect of their game. Have there been any guys that you have noticed this year that either added a lot of mass or dropped it?
Jim: I'll roll off a few that come to mind. I just mentioned Conklin. Jurrell Casey looks sturdier, and that should benefit him in the trenches. Derrick Henry has packed on a few pounds of muscle, and Adoree' Jackson looks thicker too. He said his weight is close to the same, but he's a lot stronger as well.
David Copelin from Upper Marlboro, Maryland
Question: Hello Jim. As a true Titans fan, I'm happy with what they did in draft (especially on defense) and look forward to our receivers making a statement this year, especially Tajae Sharpe! My question is about defense, I have heard little about Dane Cruikshank. Are there any plans to start him at corner or safety? I watched film on this guy and he is a true FREAK. What's the verdict on him thus far in camp?
Jim: Hey David. Dane worked at safety during the offseason and at the start of camp, but he's now dealing with a shoulder injury if you haven't seen. He was injured covering a punt at Green Bay. So he's on the road to recovery. Up until that point, he was making really nice strides.
Have a great weekend everyone!
TitansOnline.com looks back at the all-time series against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. (AP Photos)