NASHVILLE – We're now closing in on the start of training camps across the NFL.
The Titans are among those counting the days.
Let's keep the count, and the mailbags, going …
Here's the link to ask questions: CLICK HERE.
McKeeg Russell from Moffat, Colorado
Question: Hey there, Jim! It's July and I'm already starting to smell August.... So excited for this season! I like the defensive moves (on paper) and hope for at least an upper middle of the pack D this year, as I think with our offense that's all it could take. But my question is actually offense roster related... God forbid something happens to Tannehill, I don't have a whole lot of confidence in either backup we have to carry the torch. With this team and going out to get Julio we've got to be thinking bring in a vet for safety behind Tannehill, right? Obviously later in August will open up some options, right now it's RG3 and...... maybe make a trade for Mariota with his low cap hit..... I'm sure JRob has it covered, just curious as it seems we have really built for the next couple of seasons to make a real run.
Jim: Hey McKeeg. I understand your concerns. Logan Woodside has only completed one pass in a regular season game, and DeShone Kizer hasn't played in a game since 2018. But I can tell you Woodside has looked good in practices over the past year, and coaches are really high on him. Kizer made strides this offseason. I actually wrote about him yesterday, and you can check that story out: CLICK HERE. The reality is a lot of NFL teams would be in real trouble if the starter goes down. Forget about a possible trade for Mariota – that ship has sailed.
Jajuan Whitaker from Nashville, Tennessee
Question: How confident does the defensive line feel about themselves for this coming up season? #Titanup
Jim: Well Jajuan, I can tell you Jeffery Simmons is one of the team's most confident players, and for good reason. I really like what I've seen from Denico Autry, the eight-year veteran who most recently played for the Colts. Teair Tart is the favorite to start at nose, and he had a solid offseason. Larrell Murchison has a year under his belt, and others are competing. And the positions around this group have improved since last season, too.
Jacob Lane from Athison, Kansas
Question: Hey Jim first time asker. I live in Kansas but was born and raised in Tennessee. My question is, on the idea teams won't stack the box in fear of Jones and AJ, I worry they will over work Derrick Henry with a huge load and run him into the ground I don't get to watch a lot of games out here to know the 2nd and 3rd RB's and will the play action be as effective as last year or would teams be expecting it. Thanks
Jim: Good to hear from you, Jacob. I suspect we'll see a mix of run and pass, and for good reason. Personally, I'll be surprised if Derrick gets the same workload as last year. Heck, this offense has more weapons to spread the ball around.
Jacob Smith from Chattanooga, Tennessee
Question: Hi Jim, Jacob Smith here from Chattanooga. I am 19 and have been a Titans fan since elementary school when I started getting into football. I wanted to get your thoughts on the secondary with all the changes there. I know Janoris Jenkins looked good in camp. But to me outside of him we are fairly young. I am excited about Caleb Farley but I think the secondary's play will be critical to our success on defense. Also what are your thoughts on Derrick Henry breaking 2,000 yards again? With the extra game, with hopefully a healthier offensive line, and with Julio's presence along with AJ limiting defenses stacking the box, I think he has a decent chance. Thanks Jim for your input. Titan Up!
Jim: Hey Jacob. Good to hear from you. You're right on Jenkins – he was really impressive during the minicamp. He's feisty, and he's a competitor. You're also right that the team has young guys in the mix in Farley and Molden, and the team is going to need those guys to mature quickly. I like the make-up of both these guys. Kristian Fulton is another youngster with little experience. But all these guys are talented. As for Henry, it's hard for me to predict 2,000 yards again, especially with the talent the team has at receiver. But Derrick is a guy none of us should ever doubt.
David Vallee from Storrs, Connecticut
Question: Hi Jim hope you're doing well I would love to see our beloved Titans in the Super Bowl soon!! Sooner than later that is !! we have a great nucleus of players Watching football for years it takes time to to develop a good roster So I truly believe We're a little under the gun But my question to you is the coaching.
I was at the playoff game with the Ravens and I Think we went too Conservative and relied too much on Henry, at some point at some point we should give Tannehill a chance and open up the offense I realize Henry is a big part of it But we just got too damn predictable Stop Henry and you stop the Titans I'm sure that's the coaches philosophy around the league I've seen this before over the years with Campbell George And Johnson. So, will our new
offensive coordinator stop relying so much on Henry and open the game up? Thanks be well
Jim: Sorry David, but he statute of limitations for complaints about conservative play-calling in the Ravens loss ended after six months… In all seriousness, new OC Todd Downing is going to do his best to create game-winning game plans, I can promise you that.
Nadia Beard from Jackson, Tennessee
Question: Usually, in July, the Tennessee Titans will host their training camp and it's free for the public to attend. You can usually get some autographs out of this, too. Will the Titans have open camp training at the end of the month? I'm coming to town with a few young men that are very interested in watching and processing such a great experience.
Jim: Hi Nadia. I've been including these questions in the mailbag for months, because I don't want anyone to be surprised. Training camp practices will not be open this year like years past because of all the construction at Saint Thomas Sports Park. And as I mentioned over the weekend, it's not looking good for the possibility of an open practice at Nissan Stadium either. The team planned to have at least one open session for fans at the stadium, but other non-football events scheduled at Nissan Stadium in July and August have thrown a wrench into the plans. Nothing is official yet, but it's now looking like there might not be an open practice at the stadium after all. (And I'm not expecting one at a local high school either). Once again, I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news.
Stephen Cross from Lebanon, Tennessee
Question: Jim. Am I the only Titans fan who believes Anthony Firkser can be a legit starting T.E. for this team? I've seen the guy make some big time plays in crucial moments for the titans, in big games...with the weapons we have on offense, Firkser is a reliable third or fourth option.
Jim: Hey Stephen. I don't think you're alone – the Firkser bandwagon seems to be filling up.
Dhruv Khetarpal from Mt. Juliet, Tennessee
Question: Hi Jim! Have been reading your mailbags for a few years now…had a question about this wide receiver room this year. I think it's awesome that most of the receivers (AJ, Julio, Josh Reynolds, Marcus Johnson, Nick Westbrook-Ikhine, Racey McMath) possess a lot of size and physicality. From a roster-building or team-building standpoint however, does that make a guy like Cam Batson or Mason Kinsey more valuable or more likely to make the team just based off having a different skill set including return ability? What are your thoughts on Darrynton Evans also playing a role as an occasional slot receiver or smaller, shifter receiver with certain attributes that differ from those of the larger receivers?
Jim: Thanks for reading, Dhruv. Well, I think teams need versatility at the receiver position. The thing that makes guys like Julio, A.J. and Josh so valuable is their ability to play all three spots. Cameron Batson brings something different because of his size and skillset, and his ability to help in the return game. The receiver spot is going to be interesting because you can get to four really quick – Julio, A.J., Josh and Dez Fitzpatrick. So, who else will make it? I figure it's five, six guys max on the final 53. Also, I look at Darrynton strictly as a running back. Sure, he can line up in the slot and create mismatches, but he's a RB.
Jefferey Fradsham from Crewe, Virginia
Question: Top of the day to you, Jim. I will go out on a limb and predict a super bowl victory for 2 tone blue this season. we went 11 &5 with a subpar defense and questionable special teams last year. The defense can only be better. Plus the fab 4 know the clock is ticking. I don't think that Ryan Tannehill gets enough credit for his pre-snap reads. HE makes the titans offense click on all cylinders. I expect a career year out of him (again) after all he is an Aggie! What do you call an Aggie 10 years after he graduates? Boss! roll, titans, roll!
Jim: You're officially on record, Jefferey.
Have a great week everyone!