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Tuesday Mailbag: Jim Wyatt Answers Questions From Titans Fans After Win Over the Saints


NASHVILLE – The winning streak is now six games for the Tennessee Titans.

Ten games in, the Titans have the No.1 seed in the AFC.

But there's no time to let up now.

The Titans have to keep rolling, and the trek continues this Sunday against the Houston Texans at Nissan Stadium.

There's plenty to talk about, so let's keep the conversation going.

Here's the link to ask questions: CLICK HERE.

James Dugger from Fort Worth, Texas
I've been a fan of the Titans my entire life. My dad actually grew up in Houston and then our family moved to Nashville in '97. He was able to do the first ever chapel service for the Tennessee Oilers in Memphis when they played the Raiders.
My question is a simple one: Where would you say the Titans have improved the most this season at the midway point compared to last year?
Our offense has taken a dip in overall point production, but I think that we have definitely improved overall on that side of the ball. Even without Henry, we were still able to score 21 points on offense.
Obviously, the easy answer is the defense, but I want to know what you think.

Jim: Hey James. It's definitely the defense – more specifically, the pass rush. The fact the Titans have 27 sacks already is incredible, with Harold Landry (10) and Jeffery Simmons (7.5) leading the way. Keep in mind they only had 19 sacks all of last season, and four of those came in the season finale. There were a lot of games last season where the pass rush wasn't much of a factor. Now, it seems to be a factor in every game.

Cody Willoughby from Nashville, Tennessee
What up JW!?
I wanted to start out by sending my thoughts and prayers to AJ Brown. I saw his message about depression and anxiety. I struggle with those as well. To see someone on the outside that has been so successful and is living out his dream playing profession football puts into context how bad mental health can get. Us as fans sometimes think these guys are not regular people just like us. They have their struggles and battles too. His willingness to open up and let people in his life a little bit really says a lot about who he is and just how down to earth and real he is. I respect the heck out of the guy not only what he can do on the field but who he is as a person.
Now observations from the game:
Marcus Johnson have a game big dawg!! Way to step up and show your playmaking ability. I do think our offense needs to step up as a collective unit though. Defense came to play again and was happy to see Kristian Fulton back at it. I will say that Chris Jackson seems to be a liability and I think teams moving forward will go after him when he is on the field. What you think JW?
Hey 8-2, first in the AFC. I ain't complaining but we can never be satisfied. Love ya Jim!

Jim: Hey Cody! I thought that was very brave of A.J. I've been pleased to see the support he's gotten from the fan base as well.
As for the game, Marcus definitely stepped up. He was the team's most consistent receiver in training camp, and he proved why on Sunday. Chris Jackson had a bad day, there's no way around it. But he's had more good days than bad ones this season. I think he'll bounce back.

John Clark from Hampton, Virginia
Hey Jim and Titans fans! It wasn't a pretty win but we got the W I'm still proud of our team. People are complaining about the refs roughing the passer call but I feel we was also on the side of some questionable calls regardless I still think we would've won the game. AP looks good but I think our team is starting to look fatigued I'll be glad when we get that by week. We need Julio Jones on the field with AJ Brown. I pray our defense can improve better on defending the pass and our whole team step up and keep the momentum in the playoffs run! #TITANUP

Jim: Hey John. The roughing the passer call was weak, there's no doubt about it. But you're right – the Titans didn't win because of that call. They won because they were the better team on Sunday.

David Higton from The Midlands, UK
Hi Jim. I usually just read these questions and replies, but recently I've been driven to ask a question myself. I, like most Titan fans, have become really concerned about the amount of injuries this season. I'm wondering if anything in the off season changed, like practice methods etc. Or is it down to some extraordinarily bad luck? It's getting ridiculous. I know some players deciding not to practice as much this off season couldn't have helped. What's your take on this?

Jim: Hey David. Thanks for writing in. Some of it is definitely bad luck. I get the sense a lot of folks are looking for someone to blame, but torn ACLs and broken bones and a lot of other injuries can't be prevented. Sure, the Titans have had a lot of hamstring and soft tissue injuries, but they're not necessarily unique to Tennessee. Believe me, the team's training staff and strength and conditioning staff know what they're doing, and they're doing everything they can to prevent them. I will say the offseason schedule is different for players across the league – there is less time at the facility with OTAs and minicamp, which means guys are on their own more. So, I can't help but wonder if that has contributed to some of these.

James Campbell from Murfreesboro, Tennessee
It has been suggested that a good nickname for the defensive line would be "Titanoboa"!
A Titanoboa is an extinct snake which grew to 25 ft in length and was 2500 lbs at that size. Nothing to mess with and could really wrap up. What do you think?

Jim: I've heard a lot of suggested nicknames, and this is one of them. All these nicknames are getting me tickled

Bryce Fulton from Dyersburg, Tennessee
Do you think Derrick Henry would still likely be able to play at least one more game before the season is over?

Jim: Hey Bryce. It's way too early to say. Everyone heals differently. He's just two weeks removed from surgery right now.

Russell Sicard from Lockport, New York
Hey Jim! Great win against the Saints. It was ugly but a win is a win! Once again however Chris Jackson was exposed as a huge liability to the defense and team overall. The team has to find someone to replace this guy. I know that's easier said than done done but this guy is horrible, there must be someone on a practice squad somewhere they can pick up.

Jim: Chris struggled on Sunday, there's no doubt about it. But he's been good most of the season. And, not making excuses for him, but keep in mind he was limited in practices all week because of an injury.

Timothy Toepfer from Spring Hill, Tennessee
Help the Titans recognize my wife. Today I want to honor my best friend and life partner for the past 36 years, my wife Debbie. 2021 has been the worst year in my life both personally and professionally with physical issues, suffering from depression and anxiety disorder and a job change, along with a young man we considered a second son brutally murdered last December 29th by a police officer in Modesto, Ca. It's been a nightmare of a year. This wonderful person has stuck by me without complaint. I Took a job making $9k less per year working harder than ever before. Without saying a word to help close the gap, she started getting up daily at 4:00am and going in early and staying late to pick up OT to make ends meet. Never complaining, never negative, supporting me no matter the challenges we've faced. While friends, jobs, others have turned their back on me and treated me like I have the plague, she has stood tall. We've raised three great kids and through it all have each other no matter how bad it's gotten. Love ❤️ you Debbie…

Jim: Sounds like you've got a great life partner, Timothy! Debbie is a do-er!

Roman Jones from Brentwood, Tennessee
Hey Jim, it seems like the running back committee is starting to find its new leader in D'Onta Foreman, is there any progress on how the rotation will be going forward or is it more on a game-to-game basis. Thanks!

Jim: Hey Roman. I think it's more game-to-game, and I agree – Foreman is starting to stand out. But I think opportunities will depend on production moving forward. The Titans have face two of the NFL's best run defenses in the past two weeks against the Rams and Saints, so I'm interested how the run game will fare moving forward.

Mike Temple from Birmingham, Alabama
Hello Jim. Thanks for your great work. First, I want to say congratulations to the team for their 6 game win streak as well as being 7-0 against 2020 playoff teams - very impressive, even historic results. The team has had to overcome so many injuries this year, it's a real tribute to the outstanding job done by our coaches this year! The only negative from my vantage point in the south end zone is the number of visitor fans showing up for the Bills, Chiefs, and Saints games. My question is - do the Titans share any info on who owns the tickets on the visitor side of the field? I'm curious as to whether meaningful numbers of tickets are owned by travel/entertainment companies outside TN routinely shopping the tickets purely for a profit, or are they owned by local, regular Titan season ticket holders? If those tickets are owned by local residents, then they're certainly missing out on a great season. Thanks for any light you can shed on this frustrating phenomenon, Mike

Jim: Hey Mike. I'd be lying if I said I didn't notice this myself. There were too many Saints fans there on Sunday. But, and I've said this before, Nashville is a destination city and everyone wants to come here. I got home from the Titans game on Sunday night and turned on the Chiefs at Raiders game, and the lower bowl had a ton of red in it. That's the draw of Las Vegas. I don't know the breakdown on those tickets at Nissan Stadium. I'm sure some season ticket holders are selling their personal tickets to make a profit. That's their right, of course. But I'm like you – if you're a Titans fan, this is why you buy tickets, to see the team playing well, and winning. Nissan Stadium is back to being a blast, for Titans fans, that is. And the ones there each Sunday are being rewarded for it.

Simon Pimpkin from Bradenton, Florida
Long-time fan here. Me and a few friends went to all the "Oilers" home games when they played that first season in Memphis. I look as forward to Tuesdays and Saturdays almost as much as game day due to the mailbag. Just a comment here. I was so glad ESPN did a piece on the Tanne-Roll. Up until that point, I thought Ryan was doing an impression of Peter Pan leaping!!

Jim: Appreciate you reading, Simon. That was a funny feature. By the way, do you catch Ben Jones doing a finger roll of his own on Sunday?

Bobby Jones from Charlotte, North Carolina
I'm very excited about the future of this team. Man, it was a blow to lose the king. Please keep us updated on his status. I believe AD will settle in. He just needs to run lower and have patience. Love the role model he is and what he and his family has already done with charity and the city of Nashville. This team is built on more than stats. There is a fighting spirit in Nashville and the Titans have always had it. I have faith that our guys can beat any team in the nfl and from what I see the team believes it to. I love my team. The dynasty starts here. Thanks Jim

Jim: Good to hear from you, Bobby.

Samuel Abdulahi from Nashville, Tennessee
Hey Jim. The Injury Bug is Hitting us extra Hard This Year but still Our Guys are Finding ways to win games without some of our key starters.
My Question is It's Been some Chatter about Phillip Rivers Possibly Returning from Retirement
Do you Think the Titans Would be Interested in Bringing in Rivers in as an Insurance Policy?

Jim: If Philip Rivers wants to come back, I can't imagine he'd want to do it as a back-up.

Steve Fry from Queen Creek, Arizona
Hey Jim. I am a die-hard Titans fan, I even have TTITANS as my car's license plate (TITANS was taken so the extra "T" is for Tennessee) that my wife got me for my b-day last year.
Anyway, I am looking to find a flag that the cheer squad uses on the field, do you know where I can buy one or what size these are ? I love them! and want one!

Jim: Hey Steve. Those flags are mammoth!
But, I've included the link where the team purchased them from. They are 10' by 12'.

Noah Baggett from Clarksville, Tennessee
How long have you been writing?

Jim: Well Noah, I started on this mailbag about an hour ago… Unless you are talking about professionally… I first started writing for the school newspaper, The Daily Beacon, my final semester in college. After graduating, I started working at The Tennessean in 1990 as a part-timer, answering the phone, taking bowling scores, hole-in-ones, high school sports results, etc. I got my first byline in 1991 when I covered The Tennessean Regatta sailboat race. I did a lot of general assignment, high school, college sports, more sailboat races, etc, for the paper for 6-7 years while working nights, weekends (I had a full-time job from 8-4:30 M-F). I began working full-time at The Tennessean in 1997 covering high school sports and more. I started covering the Titans for The Tennessean in 1999 and covered the team for the paper from 1999 until the summer of 2015. I joined the Titans in the summer of 2015, and have been here ever since. Time has sure flown by. By the way, if you're doing the math, thinking I must really be old, I graduated from college when I was 10 years old 😎.…

Joan Dutton from Cerritos, California
Hey Jim hope this finds you and your family doing well! Great win yesterday but all out in the NFL sports experts (I use that term lightly are saying that the Titans basically won yesterday due to poor officiating! call on roughing the passer). I find these people uninformed about football. Today on a popular NFL radio show actually stated that even though the Titans stand alone in the most wins in the AFC, he will never consider them as contenders until they have a ring! For the most part I respect things that he states on his show but not today!! A few weeks ago, you told a fan not to concentrate on what everyone is saying outside the organization but just watch the Titans play. Best advice for me! Listen the Titans have had several bad officiating calls throughout the year but I don't hear our guys complaining, it appears to make them play harder and win games. So for the rest of the season, I am taking your advice and just watch our guys play. All Titan fans need to stay strong and stop listening to all the "white noise" out there and support our guys!! Thanks Jim for making this point and TITAN UP!

Jim: That's the best plan, Joan!

Alan Ray from College Grove, Tennessee
Hey Jim. I hadn't intended to write in but I was watching a Nature documentary the other night and there was this Rhino that came face-to-face with a Safari truck. You didn't need to be Nostradamus to see where this was going. Suddenly and like lightning the Rhino launched straight into the truck's grill and bull-rushed it-driving it helplessly backward much like Jeffery Simmons roller-skated David Edwards for the Sack in the Rams game. Very reminiscent. Through the dust I thought I glimpsed a 73 on the mangled license plate but couldn't be sure.
Naturally that got me thinking about the Titans. The Titans may be one of those rare teams that are greater than their sum of parts. For the moment. They have great talent...just never all at the same time yet, still win. Missing Starters on the O & D-lines. Losing King Henry. A Three-card-Monte, Secondary. A raft of wounded players and a revolving door of new guys coming in mid-season. All that on top of a 4-game schedule that would have made Alexander the Great gulp. They didn't blink. They just suited up and fought their aspirations off. And won. What a remarkable group of football players and coaches it is that make up this Titan's team. As a has been so exciting to witness our underdog Titans handily crushing some of the NFL's best. In fact, it's been wonderful. I haven't spoken to my Therapist since the Jets game. Although, I did lift the receiver a couple times during the Colts game.
Anyway, serious kudos to all the dedicated Coaches (known & unknown) who have worked some real magic to keep this winning machine running through all the adversity and a brutal schedule. Often with only a handful of spare parts. Great teamwork. Okay, that's it. Thanks again, Jim. Titan Up!

Jim: Way to close us out, Alan!

Have a great week everyone!

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