NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Well, the mood at Saint Thomas Sports Park sure improved from the previous week.
The Titans took care of business against the Texans, and now they're locked in on the Jaguars.
Right now, I'm focused on this mailbag.
Let's go …
Thomas Morris from Hawaii
Question: What is the deal with Rashaan Evans? Why did he not see the field against the Texans?
Jim: Hey Thomas. Rashaan is working his way closer to playing a good deal. I wrote about him this week (click here for more). He played just one special teams snap against the Texans, and this week coach Mike Vrabel said the team is trying to get Evans up to speed mentally and physically before turning him loose. It sounds like he's making progress, and I like what I've seen from him in practices. I think it's just a matter of time before he's more involved.
Mark Lusby from Brentwood, Tennessee
Question: Hi Jim. The special teams unit has scored a touchdown in each of the first two games. How long has it been since Titans special teams scored touchdowns in consecutive weeks?
Jim: Hey Mark. This is a great question. I asked Titans assistant director of media relations Dwight Spradlin about this, and he looked into it before running into a road block. This was his response: "I can't find a case going back to 1999. It's been close—two in a game, or two in a three-week span—but I can't find a case in consecutive games. I haven't had time to research prior to that. The problem is that touchdowns like Dane Cruikshank's show up in any search as an offensive touchdown, not a special teams touchdown. Officially, that's what that was—an offensive (receiving) touchdown. So it's going to take somebody going through old play-by-plays to get a definitive answer.' Hope this helps. It's some good info even if we don't have the exact date.
Bobby Boucher from Jackson's Bayou, Louisiana
Question: Hello Jim. First and foremost I'd like to say kudos to you for your great work. I'm a do or die Titans fan for life, so much so that I have the sword logo tattooed on my neck. I still remember how elated I was when Marcus Mariota was drafted to be our QB as if it just happened yesterday, and while I haven't given up hope that he can be the face of the franchise for another decade or more, I can't be the only one who finds his penchant for injury concerning. My question is: If Mariota misses a moderate to significant amount of playing time this year, in your opinion, would it be time to start thinking about a new QB? I hope it doesn't happen because I really like Marcus, but any players best ability is his availability. P.S. Don't forget, sweating profusely is an early sign of the dehydration.
Jim: Hey Bobby. Appreciate the question. First off, congrats on that trip to the Bourbon Bowl, and for winning the MVP award. Heck of a second half by the Mud Dogs! And believe me, I'm drinking plenty of liquids! As for Mariota, I can't deny this is an important season for him. I'm not going to deal with hypotheticals or what-ifs here. I do expect him to be back in the saddle soon, and I still believe when he plays over an extended stretch he's going to prove he's a good fit in Matt LaFleur's offense.
Otto Manskinen from Heinola, Finland
Question: Hi! What do you think about the Titans receiving corps now when Delanie Walker gone out for season? Should Titans try to sign Josh Gordon or Dez Bryant?
Jim: Hey Otto. I think the receiving corps has a lot of potential, and it's developing before our very eyes. Corey Davis is looking physical and more confident. Did you see him throw the Texans defender off of him on Sunday? Taywan Taylor is a playmaker, and he proved it again on Sunday. Tajae Sharpe made a tough catch, and he's going to be a big contributor as the weeks go on. I expect Rishard Matthews to be more involved. As for Gordon, I'm sure you've seen he signed with the Patriots. As for Bryant, well, and I've said this before, don't bet on it.
Art Perdue from Gallatin, Tennessee
Question: What is the name and background of the quartback on the taxi squad?
Jim: His name is Logan Woodside, and he was signed to the practice squad earlier this month after being released by the Bengals. Woodside starred at Toledo and was a seventh-round pick by the Cincinnati Bengals in the 2018 NFL Draft. At Toledo, Woodside (6-2, 205) is the career record-holder for passing yards (10,514) and touchdowns (93). He had a 29-9 record at the school, and won the MAC Offensive Player of the Year and Vern Smith Award winner in 2017, when he threw for 3,882 yards and 28 touchdowns.
Danny Bragg from Katy, Texas
Question: Since Matt LaFleur has had success turning an okay QB to a good QB (Jared Goff), is it reasonable to think/hope that LaFleur can turn Blaine Gabbert from mediocre to good? We need this to happen because Mariota could be out for a while with a nerve injury.
Jim: Well, I thought Gabbert did a nice job on Sunday, and I think he's adapted well in LaFleur's offense. The more reps he gets and the more he plays, I think he'll settle in more. No disrespect to Matt Cassel, he's already proven to be an upgrade over the team's No.2 QB spot last season.
Jim Thesimp from Nashville, Tennessee
Question: I do not believe we are being told the truth about Marcus Mariota. Looked like he hit his funny bone and was later yanked. The look on his face said it all. Can you dig deeper?
Jim: Hey Jim. You're being told the truth. Mariota was hit in the elbow, and he's dealing with the lingering effects of the injury. He said he checks his hand each morning when he wakes up. Mariota said the whole hand is affected by the injury "but the numbness and the (tingling) is a couple of fingers. The weakness is the whole hand, and that is what I am working on," he said. Mariota provided this perspective on what he's dealing with as it relates to the injury: "The way they explained it to me is it's like when you strum a guitar string, when that string settles down, that is kind of similar to how my nerve is," he said. "My nerve has kind of been strummed, and it's going to take a while to settle down." So, that's it. The team and Mariota are just waiting for it to calm down.
Nick Reinhart from New Riegel. Ohio
Question: Hey Jim. I've been waiting all week for the NFL to make a decision on the cheap shot on Taylor Lewan and they never suspended the guy or made any ruling on it. With the NFL talking about trying to get rid of these types of things in the game and them deciding to not make any decision when they have the opportunity from New York to tell the refs to take a look at the play and not have done that at all. I was just wondering if you had heard anything about the NFL making any sort of ruling on the play. Thanks
Jim: Hey Nick. The NFL didn't fine Dolphins defensive end Andre Branch for his hit on Lewan, but the league did dock him $10,026 for unsportsmanlike conduct. The hit was bad, but he wasn't fined for hit. Video footage appeared to show Branch yelling "body bag" on the sideline afterward, and I'm assuming the league got him for that or his behavior right after the play.
Shirley Sigler from Nashville, Tennessee
Question: What has happened with Eric Decker? Is he on the Titans roster this year?
Jim: He's not on the roster. In fact, he retired from the NFL after being released by the Patriots. His deal with the Titans was for just one year, and he wasn't re-signed after last year.
Tarn Sandhu from Selma, California
Question: Can I get a TITAN UP for my B-day!(9/20) lol im a huge fan from California and can never see a Titans game. Do the titans have any type of service i can purchase to watch games live? Or am I restricted to listening to Mike Keith? who btw i love hearing call a touchdown play!!! keep up the great work jim!
Jim: Titan Up Tarn! Wish I could tell you about a way to purchase games through the Titans, but DirecTV is your best bet for live games. Listening to Mike Keith is a pretty good play, too!
Steve Boxwell from Corpus Christi, Texas
Question: As many times Marcus Mariota has been hurt I think we should trade him to the Ravens. And get Lamar Jackson, he could really help this team. Unless Marcus can get healed and do better this year will be long with a lot of losses. And you cannot blame the coaches, cause they are not throwing the football. And Marcus will not get a big contract if he does not perform.
Jim: Hey Steve. All I can say to this is: C'Mon Man!
Mike O'Connor from Oakdale, Illinois
Question: You have a stud running back like Derrick Henry but you're playing Dion Lewis. What am I missing????
Jim: The fact they're playing both. Lewis has 30 carries after two games, and Henry has 28.
David Dodson from Crossville, Tennessee
Question: Thanks for all you do Jim! Have a suggestion to help the home fans get into the game a little more. Our announcer could use what every other stadium uses "And that's another Tennessee Titan" crowd "First Down". And on third down instead of thiiiiiiirrrrrrrrrddddddd down how about thiiiiiiirrrrrrdddddd and looooooouuuuudddddddd! Could get the crowd in a little more.
Jim: Hey David. Just going to leave this one here. We'll see if it picks up any steam…
Alan Ray from College Grove, Tennessee
Question: Hi Jim. What a great win against Houston last week! Here is perhaps a little incentive for our next one.
Marcell Dareus: Facing Titans next week would have been "easy win"
Posted by Charean Williams on December 31, 2017, 10:23 PM EDT
For a while, it appeared the Jaguars would face the Titans again next week in the wild-card round of the playoffs. Instead, the Bengals scored on a 49-yard pass on fourth down with 44 seconds remaining to beat the Ravens and send the Bills to Jacksonville instead.
Dareus, though, would have preferred a rematch with the Titans, who beat the Jaguars 15-10 on Sunday.
"I would love to play their sorry a– again," Dareus said, via Michael DiRocco of ESPN. "They shouldn't have showed me that. They shouldn't have showed me how sorry their a– is. That's embarrassing that they would call themselves any kind of an enforcer of a team. Oh, my God. When we suit up next year they better be ready because they already know what kind of a– whooping I'll hand out to them. . . . Dang, I wish we could have played them next week. That would have been an easy win next week, oh my goodness, but we've got Buffalo. I'm excited about it."
Thanks, Jim. Titan up! Alan.
Jim: I remember this -- it was written after the Titans beat the Jaguars for the second time, in December. And I'm sure a few others do as well. I'll just leave this here as a reminder to others
Have a great weekend everyone!
TitansOnline.com looks back at the all-time series against the Jacksonville Jaguars.