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Tuesday Mailbag: Jim Wyatt Answers Questions From Titans Fans Before the Buccaneers Come to Town for Joint Practices

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NASHVILLE – The Titans have 13 training camp practices under their belts, along with a preseason game.

Now it's time for joint practices against the Buccaneers.

Before Tampa Bay arrives in town, let's bang out another Titans mailbag.

Here's the link to submit questions: CLICK HERE

Roger Piccirillo from Bridgeport, Connecticut
Question:
Hey Jim. My question is: What do you expect from this year's defense? I hear a lot of talk about a top five defense I think everyone needs to pump the brakes a little bit on this narrative. I do expect the defense to be good but more like just outside of top 10. I do think the front seven could be a top five front but the secondary is going to hold them back they just give up too many back breaking big plays. Just look at the Cincinnati playoff game the past rush was awesome but when they weren't sacking the quarterback he was completing too many easy throws let's not forget he threw for more than 350 yards. With only 20 seconds left in last year's playoff loss on the first play of that drive they completed a 20-yard pass it was just too easy for them to get into field goal range. I do like 26 Fulton I think he's going to be a really good corner in this league and our safety combo are as good as any in the NFL. But I'm worried about the rest of the secondary and today game defenses spend a lot of time in nickel and dime defenses in there lies their weakness I hope I'm wrong. What say you Jim.

Jim: Hey Roger. I think the defense has a chance to be really good. But, the group needs to stay healthy. The front seven could be stout, and I think Bud Dupree is going to make a much bigger impact this fall. I want to see guys on the back end come up with more interceptions. That's where the team could make its biggest strides.

Carol Thomas from Chattanooga, Tennessee
Question:
I understand the veteran players aren't going to see much if any play during preseason but what I DO NOT understand is why they can't at least be present on the sideline if nothing else but to give support to the players that are out there on the field. Is there some contractual reason why they can't be on the sideline to support the preseason players out on the field?? For me it just makes the team look more cohesive and interested in each other's performance. I get that preseason is the time for the coaches to see who they have that can make the team, but the ones that are comfortably already assured a spot should at least appear to be interested in supporting those trying to find a spot.
As for Thursday's game, I hope Malik Willis will start listening to Coach Vrabel when he tells him to throw the ball instead of trying to run with it. Not following the coach's directions could get him hurt out there if he doesn't listen. Willis's O line was a good reminder to the veteran players what happens every time they leave Tannehill scrambling out there on the field. As for the rest I consider them a work in progress and hope that by the time the first regular season game is set to start they will be ready.

Jim: Hi Carol. I think you'll see the veteran players who don't play on the sideline at the home preseason games. But it didn't make sense to travel the 20-something guys to Baltimore for a round-trip flight to sit in a hotel room all day when they could be getting work done in Nashville. The guys who didn't travel were able to work at the facility on Thursday. … As for Malik, believe me, he's doing everything he can to get better. He has a great attitude and the coaches love him.

Ryan Husemann from Lasalle, Illinois
Question:
Hey Jim. Hope all is well with you and your family. My question is about the wr group. How many wr do you believe they will keep and suit up on gameday. Off my head i assume woods burks and nwi are locks. Kyle seems to have had an awesome camp so itd be unlikely from what ive heard that he would be cut or move to practice squad and racey mcmath seems like hes taken that next step in camp and would likely make the squad. Thats five, but i hear roberson and others have looked good. Is there room for all of them or how do you think it shakes out? Honestly i feel like this group has been doing everything you'd wanna see from them during camp. I know nothing and no spot is promised in this league but was wondering what your thoughts on the group are. Have a good week enjoying camp. Talk to ya soon

Jim: Hey Ryan. Appreciate it. I suspect five will be active on game days, although the team could end up keeping another guy on the 53. And, these are my five: Robert Woods, Nick Westbrook-Ikhine, Treylon Burks, Kyle Philips and Racey McMath.

Wendi Miller from Maryville, Tennessee
Question:
For the game on 9/11 will you be recognizing military?

Jim: Hi Wendi. In some capacity, yes. Also, the Salute to Service game will be on November 13 (vs Denver) and a military hero will be honored each home game through Tennessee Farm Bureau Insurance.

Joseph Wainwyatt from League City, Texas
Question:
Jim. First off as always thank you for all the great work you do- I am a huge fan of this mailbag. I always keep things even kill and like to keep things into perspective and realize it's a long season and we take it week to week. It's early. That said, when we have multiple seasons over a 3-4 year span with giving up significant sacks, and the secondary always bottom 5-10 in yards allowed do we assess either the scheme or the position coach effectiveness? I'm a very patient fan but at some point try something different. Don't get me wrong overall we are in the playoffs year in and out, but at some point we have to address the Same weakness. Play calling has emerged as a area we need help. Do you think we are willing to adjust where the trends state we should?

Jim: Hey Joseph. Appreciate it. There's no way for me to answer this any other way but "yes." I say this because coaches are always self-scouting, looking for ways to improve. I think they've spent a large part of the offseason looking for ways to get better, and to not be predictable.

Charles Burnett from Winnabow, North Carolina
Question:
How is Derrick Henry progressing? I know he came back at the end of last year and played, but curious if he is fully recovered to pick up where he left off before going down.

Jim: Hey Charles. Derrick is looking big. And fast. He doesn't look like a guy coming off an injury. But I don't expect to see him in a game – when we can see more – until the season opener on September 11.

Brian Johnson from Jackson, Tennessee
Question:
Hi Jim hope everything is going well for you. I know you probably will say it's too early to tell but my question is if Ryan Tannehill doesn't do better in the playoffs, like make it to the Super Bowl this year, do you think he will be on the team next year?

Jim: You're right, Brian, not going to get into hypotheticals here. Heck, the team has to make the playoffs first.

Brian B from Orange, Texas
Question:
Hey Jim I love the Titans and have been a fan since the Oiler days my question is more of a statement. I said it before that with Tannehill the Titans will only be good not great and certainly not super bowl Champs. The offensive line is the weak link on the field and Treylon Burks is a bust I know it's just the first game in the preseason but he couldn't get open against backups and had no catch. Whoever said dual threat qbs don't win championships must never seen Patrick Mahomes, Russell Wilson, or even Steve Young and many others do your research. Thanks Jim

Jim: Continuing with the premature takes

John Denson from Nashville, Tennessee
Question:
Jim, please tell me the coaches recognize just how good Malik Willis is. His potential is amazing.

Jim: Coaches realize he has potential but is a work in progress

Brandon Makekau from Kaneohe, Hawaii
Question:
Hey Jim are our Titans gonna have alternate helmets this year? I know some other teams are but I only care about one. TitanUp

Jim: Hey Brandon. Unfortunately, no.

Gene Matthews from Franklin, Tennessee
Question:
Hi Jim. Do they bring referees into camp practices at any time?

Jim: Hey Gene. As a matter of fact, referees are scheduled to be here for the joint practices starting on Wednesday.

Have a great week everyone!

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