NASHVILLE – Who's ready for some football?
Reporting date is today, and then the Titans will take the field for training camp on Wednesday.
It's about to get busier.
I'm going to knock out this mailbag before the rush.
Training camp observations will begin tomorrow, the same day I publish out the final position preview.
But first, the mailbag.
Jeff Vaughan from Richmond, Kentucky
Question: Hey Jim, thanks for all you do! Haven't heard a lot about Bud Dupree this offseason, he seemed to get better towards the end of last year, do you see that trend continuing and him making a bigger impact in the pass rush?
Jim: Hey Jeff. I actually focused a bit on Bud in the edge rushers preview. Here's the link: CLICK HERE.
I thought Bud finished the year strong, and he really flashed in the playoff game. During the minicamp, he looked great, and he said he finally feels like himself again. I definitely see him making a bigger impact in 2022.
Grant Hanning from Hendersonville, Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim, I've seen Josh Malone play up here at Station Camp back in the day. Was a very fun player to watch. I heard he joined the Titans not too long ago. Is there a good chance he will make the 53-man roster?
Jim: Hey Grant. As of right now, I think he's earned a spot. But spots aren't earned in May and June. He'll have to go out and get it in training camp. I thought Josh was a pleasant surprise in OTAs and the minicamp. He was consistently good, getting behind defenders, and catching passes. Now he'll have to carry the momentum into camp, joint practices, preseason games, etc. I suspect he'll also have to prove he can help on special teams.
Alberto Armando Téllez Salcedo from Durango, México
Question: Hello Jim, I hear this question every day and with all the teams that are announcing the use of new or old guard helmets, my question is can the Houston Oilers uniform and helmet be used this year, without a doubt? one of the most beautiful of all time, I remember hearing the owner Amy Adams, say at the NFL owners meeting that they were working on it and that it would be soon, here are the teams that have announced and it is rumored that Broncos and Bills will do the same in these next few days. Dallas Cowboys to wear sharp throwback helmet on Thanksgiving, The Giants "Legacy" uniforms join the Carolina Panthers new black helmets, the Houston Texans sharp red new helmet, New Orleans Saints wear black helme , Cincinnati Bengals alternate "White Bengal" helmet and New England Patriots throwback uniforms and Patriot Helmet, Tampa Bay Buccaneers bringing back 'Creamsicle' uniforms. Saludos desde Mexico de un Oiler Titan de toda la vida.
Jim: Hello Alberto. I continue to receive a ton of questions on this. Nothing has changed here. The plan is for the Titans to wear the Oilers Luv Ya' Blue throwbacks – light blue jerseys, white britches, white helmet with a red facemask – in 2023. This won't happen before 2023.
Keith Bridgeforth Jr from San Antonio, Texas
Question: Hey Jim! I've been a fan a while man, since Tennessee had no football team! When they made the move from Houston, I was living in Tennessee with my family as a kid and I was like ok, this is my team right here AND they went to the superbowl shortly after.. man I've been LOCKED IN SINCE! This is my first time writing in but ive been a long time reader! I wanted to ask though, with the new rule change with helmets how teams can have variations now do you think we'll see an all white uniform combo? New all white unis with the throwback white helmet? That'd be an awesome look at a night time game! Thanks for what you do for the fans man! Have a good one! TITANUP
Jim: Hey Keith. Potential we'll see the all-white uniforms, but they won't include the white helmets.
Jim Williams from Lubbock, Texas
Question: Hi Jim. What are the chances that the first team guys will play some in the preseason? Last year, most of the starters didn't play at all in the preseason games. That may have been a big factor in the Titans being blown out by Arizona in the first regular season contest. It might help if the regulars could play just one half or even a quarter of real football before the regular season starts. What do you think?
Jim: We'll see them play some, but not a lot. It's not worth the risk in my opinion. Personally, I don't think the lack of play in the preseason a year ago had a lot to do with last year's season opening loss to the Cardinals. The issues were much bigger than being a little rusty. Another thing to consider: The regular season opener this year is September 11th – 15 days after the preseason finale. Heck, even if the guys played a little more in the preseason finale they'd be rusty again by the opener…
Destry Evans from Etters, Pennsylvania
Question: Hi Jim!! It was great talking with you in New England and Pittsburgh last year. I won some Titans vs Ravens preseason tickets in an auction at a youth football camp. I am wondering if my kids and I should expect to see Treylon Burks and Malik Willis in that game?
Jim: Great talking to you as well, Destry. If all goes according to plan, I'd have to say yes. Give me a shout if you see me in Baltimore!
Austin Bailes from Franklin, Tennessee
Question: Hello Jim, just wondering if the pass game doesn't work out with the receivers, could Malik Willis help with gaining yardage with his good route running and speed? Hope all is well.
Jim: I wouldn't count on this, Austin …
Mike Bonham from Cookeville, Tennessee
Question: I never wrote a question like this before. May not be a question really, just on-site. Titans have a great team. Will keep on pulling for then, Ryan is the QB for titans. He might not have a good day every now and then but the Titans family is family. Why I like them. How is Simmons and Cunningham doing. I'm looking forward to seeing what Cunningham has to do this year. I hope Burkes does well. Mike is doing what he feels right. Did everyone forget he was the coach of the year last year. Hope you have a good week. I remember when A.J. was a rookie. Mike
Jim: Good to hear from you, Mike. Simmons and Cunningham are both looking good. Simmons is in great shape, and Cunningham should be even better in his second year in the system.
Eldon English from Knoxville, Tennessee
Question: Since Rob Gronkowski retired, everyone has kind of assumed he'll be back sometime this season. Most people seem to believe it'll be a return to Tampa. However, I've been hearing from a pretty credible source (@TitanUpPod) that Tom may make the call for Vrabel, and get his boy to the Titans. So…Gronk to the Titans?
Jim: This sounds like a plug for @TitanUpPod. Tell Jack (if he's back from West Palm Beach) and Austin that Uncle Jim says hello.
Connor Shoun from Spring Hill, Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim. I got a few questions. I heard the team has an idea to plan for a new stadium is that going to happen? I heard they may do some upgrades in Nissan Stadium? I hope they can build it where they are now because it's in the most perfect place as it is. Last question is how's Burks doing? I have heard he's having issues with asthma is he getting better? Thanks. Titan up!!!
Jim: Hey Connor. We'll find out this fall about a new stadium/potential upgrades. Based on everything I've heard and read, I think the chances are better for a new stadium adjacent to the current one. Sound like renovations to the current stadium would just be too costly. ... Treylon still has asthma, and he's not the first Titan to deal with it. Players hit the field on Wednesday, and I'm expecting him to be out there.
Ryan Kubitz from Brookfield, Illinois
Question: Hi, Jim. I love your work and can't wait to see more. Anyway I have two questions. I have heard rumors around the Titans signing OBJ. I was wondering whether or not the Titans would realistically be able to afford him or not? Also would like to know if you now anything about when he will return to the field? Question 2. Do you think the Titans will still be able to compete against the AFC powerhouses like the Bills and Chiefs? The Titans can play good football but will they still remain as a Super Bowl contender?
Jim: Hey Ryan. I haven't heard the OBJ rumor. Been too focused on the Dez Bryant rumors (old joke). We'll see how things shake out vs the likes of the Bills and Chiefs. The Titans sure competed well against them last year. … The Titans better be focused on the regular season and making the playoffs before thinking about the Super Bowl…
Philip Organ from Lebanon, Tennessee
Question: I was wondering if you saw the Bleacher Report article about Teams with their rate of separation as a WR corps, where it showed the Titans were dead last in the league. I had never seen this type of analysis, and wondered if this type of analytics contributed to AJ and Julio not being back? Also, were there any other hidden stats that brought an overhaul to our WR room? BTW, I grew up in Arkansas, and am a huge Treylon Burks fan as A Razorback thru and thru, he'll grow into being a stout NFL playmaker.
Jim: I didn't see that, but I can tell you it had nothing to do with AJ and Julio not being on the roster.
Ryan Husemann from Lasalle, Illinois
Question: Hey jim, training camp is right around the corner. Im getting my family trip in this week and trying to get anything done that needs done before august. Once August arrives it's all titans ( and oregon ducks) for this guy. Even to the behest of my wife lol. Altho she does sit and listen to me yell and cheer every sunday so i take what i can get. Also i trust the coaches especially jrob and vrabel. You guys all have forgotten more fball than i will ever know. Is the front 4 of the titans being overlooked in your eyes, i think they might be the best d line in the league. I know i kinda dismissed treylon and what he can contribute being a rookie in my last ? That was wrong of me im just not expecting him to be aj. With the real work and ?s to begin to be answered when camp starts i just gotta know, ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL?!?
Jim: It's time, Ryan! And, I am ready for some football – and to see how the d-line shapes up. All of these questions will start to get answered in the coming weeks.
Have a great week everyone!