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Tuesday Mailbag: Jim Wyatt Answers Questions From Titans Fans


NASHVILLE – We're now a week into free agency, and just over five weeks away from the NFL Draft.

The Titans, like a lot of teams across the league, are under construction.

Like always, there's plenty to talk about.

Let's dive into another Tuesday mailbag to see what's on your mind…

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

Karl Hogan from Melbourne, Australia
Question: Jim: Hello mate from down under! My family and I were in Nashville believe it or not the weekend of the Music City Miracle and got tickets for the game at the last minute! Well, I was a teenager then, but suffice it to say I have been a Titans fan for life ever since. I read your mail bags religiously and enjoy them. I am writing in because I just read Saturday's mail bag and was quite surprised to see the divided opinions about the free agent acquisitions so far. I feel like the Titans are killing it! I know everyone, myself included, loves Derrick Henry. He is in my opinion the greatest Titan of all time (and no doubt top 3), but the offense is going in a different direction and it is just a fact that the combination of Pollard and Spears will be lethal and change everything. While I absolutely love the Ridley acquisition, adding Tony Pollard is in my humble opinion an incredible move. After suffering an injury in 2022, and recovering for most of 2023, he was ranked the top RB in the NFL from week 11 onward. Defenses will no longer be able to stack the front line as they did when Henry was in the game, as Pollard and Spears are equally lethal catching passes. And with all due respect to some of the fans who have written in, Pollard is in fact 3-4 years younger than the King. Also, adding Ridley is a franchise changer to the good as much as losing AJ was a franchise killer. Did the Titans overpay? maybe, maybe not, but who cares. The dude can play! And picking up Lloyd Cushenberry also overnight changes the offensive line. The Titans will be fun to watch for the first time in years, and are absolutely winning free agency. If they continue to pick up other key players, and have a good draft, there is no doubt in my mind that 2023 will soon be just a bad dream. I can't wait for the Titans to shock the world! Thank you to Amy Adams, Ran, and Coach Callahan for showing their commitment to building a winner. Speaking for myself, and I am sure the vast majority of fans out there, win or lose, it is just that commitment to showing the desire to do what it takes to building a winner that means everything. Have a great week Jim, and keep up the great work!

Jim: Great story, Karl! Man, you were in the right place at the right time. Sounds like you've been a loyal fan ever since, mate!

Mitch Wilson from Chattanooga, Tennessee
Question: The Titans need to do four things to turn the team around. 1. Fix the O-line: You can't win if you can't score. If the last three years have shown us anything, it demonstrated you can't have any kind of offense with out a quality O-line. 2. Identify and Focus on fixing one critical aspect of the game and then move to another. Take your pick (quarterback play, passing game, ground game, pass rush stopping the run pass defense or special teams) and fix it before you move to the next. 3. Plug the hole before the ship sinks. Henry, Shaair, and Autry left because they wanted to go. That decision could be because they have lost confidence in management. It is indicative of low morale. Losing games they should have won and missing the playoffs didn't help. The coaching turn over starting with Vrabel added to the problem. You could argue the same point for Byard, Brown and a few others as well. They all picked teams they think will get them to the super bowl in the next couple of years. They were good enough to go where they wanted to go...the best teams in the NFL. Their losses hurt the team a lot. 4. Fix the injury problem. It doesn't matter how good your starters are if you can't keep them on the field. If you are setting records for the most players in a season, you probably are not going to go very far into the playoffs...if you make it. Injuries have been a problem for at least two years. They need to fix it now before the season starts.
I'm feeling a lot better about the Titans these days. It looks like they are going to be able to impact several critical components of the team by just fixing the most critical. The O-line has already been much improved the first two days of free agency. If they add Alt or someone with close to his talent, they will have gone a long way in fixing not only the O-line but the ground game,the passing game and QB play as well. Losing Henry will hurt. (It would not surprise me a bit if he wins the rushing title with Baltimore.) With a good o-line, Spears and Pollard will not only excel on the ground but add to the passing game as well. Adding Ridley went a long way toward fixing the receiving corps. If they could pick up TE B.Bowers they'd have a top five receiving corps. Fixing the O-line will have a bigger return for the team than any other area they could fix because it also drastically impacts the offense in every way. With the depth of the draft at the O-line position, I think I'd take Bowers if he is available. He's a generational player, the talent of which, the Titans will not have an opportunity to draft in the next 50-100 years. (You have to have a high pick and a talented player and a team need for the position at the same time. Great TEs don't come along very often.)Take Bowers and you'll still be able to get a LT in the second round with the talent to hold down his position for the next 10 years. With the depth at the OLine position you might even get one in the 4th. Bowers has already expressed a desire to play for the Titans. As long as you can get good LT in the second round, Bowers would be a Godsend to a young QB.
The big question is will they actually fix one aspect of the team or will they piece meal it together. They could say we've done enough for the Oline, ground game and passing game during free agency and go after an edge player, DL, linebacker or CB/DB. With the depth of the draft at the O-line position I'm afraid they will go a different route but, with the HC's dad in the O-line coaching position, I hope the O-line wins out. If you can't score you can't win. I think that will do more to fix the passing and ground game and QB play than any other single decision they could make. Getting Bowers would be the icing on the cake but I don't think he will be available at 7. If they can add another starter on the o-line through free agency they'll be head and shoulders over last years team and have a little depth to offset injuries. They also need a shut down corner. The last few years they have not been able to trust the back end of the defense. Time and again, teams have picked up 3rd down conversions (3rd and extremely long in many cases) because of CB play. If Bowers is not available, I could see a scenario where they look at the depth of the OL draft class, the depth of other positions for both this and next year and pick best available. I hope that is not the case. It does not address team needs and it allows the teams picking before you to control your destiny. Good luck to the GM and HC.

Jim: Thanks for taking the time, Mitch. I'm going to push back on your take on Autry, Al-Shaair and Henry, however. They didn't leave because they lost confidence in management. It's a two-way street in free agency. Autry and Al-Shaair got big contracts elsewhere, and perhaps the Titans didn't want to be in the same ball park financially? Autry is no spring chicken, so $10 million-plus per at his age isn't a no-brainer. Azeez got paid well (3 years, $34 million with $21 million) by the Texans, too, so good for him. Him leaving was more about high pay elsewhere than low morale in Tennessee. As for Henry, the Titans were going in a different direction with a new coach, and scheme. Remember, the team signed Tony Pollard before Derrick got his deal. And, your memory on Byard and A.J. isn't great – both those guys got traded. … The Titans still have a lot of work to do, so we do agree on that.

Cosme Belmonte from Mexico City, Mexico
Question: Oiler from the cradle, Titan by conviction, it is a well-known story. I can't say more than: "Long live the king", I saw Campbell leave Houston, George from the Oilers/Titaas, that's the game. As we say in Mexico: "A darle que es mole de olla" whatever comes will be sensational, every year it is and will be. For ever Luv ya Blue! and Titans up!

Jim: Qué bueno saber de ti, Cosme! Mejor para usted. Gracias por escribirnos.

Roy Gulley from Pulaski, Tennessee
Question: Good Morning Jim!!! I absolutely love the guys The Titans have added. With The Titans getting Ridley who will help spread the ball more and with his big Time down the field play I am seeing big plays from this. With The Titans still needing both players on both sides of the field and still having pretty good cap space I think grabbing another young rookie in this year's draft would be the cherry on the top. I really would love to see Bowers with this current group of pass catchers to help our young QB and with having that type of players together I really feel that it would mix very well. What's your thoughts??

Jim: I like Brock Bowers, Roy, I really do. He'd be a great piece to add. But if the team really likes one of these tackles, I'm sure the decision-makers will have a tough time passing him up.

Josh Carter from Chattanooga, Tennessee
Question: It feels like there is a lot of negativity in the mailbag this week. I personally am very impressed with all of the free agent signings. I, like others, will miss Derrick Henry, but I think fans will be happy with our new offensive identity when they see us scoring more touchdowns this year. It seems like Ran and Brain Callahan are building something great! We could almost field a competitive team with what we have now, but luckily there is still the draft to add a starting left tackle, corner and D-lineman, as well as depth at linebacker, safety and edge. I am also hoping for some more value signings in free agency. Looking forward to 2024 and a new look Titans offense and defense! Hey folks: Lighten Up and Titan Up!

Jim: Good to hear from you, Josh.

Abe Harrell from Charlotte, North Carolina
Question: Hey Jim just wondering if you think the Titans will sign another FA or not? Also what do you think of the Pollard sign? Thank you…

Jim: Hi Abe. Yes, the team will sign more free agents, I can promise you that. It's just a matter of who and when, and the process will continue all the way up until the season.

Al Rohrer from Farmington, Missouri
Question: No question, just a comment. Happy to see Titans retained NWI. Hated to see 22 go, but I hated seeing a lot of players go over the years but there is little we can do about the business and performance issues in the NFL. It would be nice to know more of what goes on behind the scenes that we never see or know and would be awesome if you could do an occasional short of things we normally don't see or know about. I also hated to see Mike Vrabel go, and I was a fan of Jeff Fisher who I also hated to see go. But guess we can't get better if we don't keep trying.

Jim: Thanks for taking the time, Al.

Jim Williams from Lubbock, Texas
Question: Hi Jim. Two big thumbs up to Ran and company for their handling of free agency so far. If they do as well in the draft, the Titans could challenge for the AFC South title this year. Now for my question: what is the status of Caleb Farley and Kristian Fulton? Are they still under contract? Thanks Jim.

Jim: Hey Jim. Caleb Farley is under contract, while Kristian Fulton is not. Kristian because a free agent earlier this month, and so far he hasn't signed anywhere.

James Smith from Houston, Texas
Question: After breaking Titans news stories with the city newspaper for as long as you did, is it frustrating for you to have to wait until players are officially signed, sealed and delivered to write for the Titans' website? Or, is it just a harsh reality of working for the team and you accept it for that? I'm guessing that it at least haunts the newspaperman in you just a little?

Jim: Are you trying to get me in trouble here, James? 🤐😬🤨😉

Hector Hernandez from Teziutlan, Puebla; Mexico
Question: Hola Jim deseando que estes bien, gracias por tu trabajo de mantenernos informados de nuestros Titans. Quiero externar mi opinion sobre los moves que han hecho hasta hoy lunes 18 marzo, se empezo a mi parecer muy bien con la contratacion del C Cushenberry y con las otras que fueron llegando (siendo sincero no me gusto la contratacion de Pollard) pero el tiempo dara la respuesta. Ahora es prioridad contratar ILB de impacto, necesitamos DL porque ahorita solo es y esta Big JEFF, tienen que ir por un safety y por ahi hay uno o dos de calidad todav�a en la FA. Creo que necesitan ser los Titans un poquito mas agresivos en la FA, hay equipos como los texans que se reforzaron bien, los steelers, los Bears solo por mencionar algunos. Espero que esta semana nos den buenas noticias en cuanto a contrataciones y por ultimo me hubiera gustado que contrataran a Mariota de backup de Levis y no a Rudolph pero es lo que habia en el mercado y esto tampoco es una carta para pedirle a Santa. Titans up!!

Jim: Hola Héctor. De hecho, creo que el equipo ha sido bastante agresivo, firmando a siete jugadores en la primera semana de la agencia libre. Y el equipo aún no está cerca de terminar de construir la plantilla. La agencia libre continuará hasta la temporada y también está el draft. Este equipo aún está en construcción. Además, Mariota no volverá.

Omar Kelly from Bay Area, California
Question: Greetings Jim. Hope all is well with you. Haven't written in a bit but wanted to comment on free agency. First off, big thanks to DHen 22 for everything he did for this franchise. Got to meet him at the draft in Nashville a few years go. Nothing but respect and looking forward to the day he retires a Titan. Now free many, I was upset (at first) when I saw we signed Pollard and let The King walk for not a huge difference in money. After sorting thru the emotional response though, I thought how silly it sounded to be upset. All we've heard from fans the last couple years is how predictable our offense has been. EVERYONE knew 1st down Titans were running Henry up the middle. For those who still don't get it, think about it. People are saying Pollard & Spears are similar. Well, if you're an opposing team and you see those two, what's the call? Is it a run? A pass? Who knows? And that's the whole point. As for the rest of the free agency signings, yes we paid a lot for Ridley, but he's a true #1. AND we made a division opponent weaker. It should help Burks, and we've already seen DHop is still a threat. Best WR group the team has had in some time, if not ever. Love the Cush signing, will see with Murray, hoping he can be at least equal to Azeez, and excited about Awuzie, a definite upgrade. Hope to see another OL and LB or DB signing. Excited for the draft. Let's go Titan Up!

Jim: Hope all is well, Omar.

Frank Honeycutt from Lawton, Oklahoma
Question: I have been reading a lot of disappointed fans on the release of Derrick all of you out there Don't worry, I can see what the front office is doing...let's go back in time we picked up a young man with a big arm by the name of Warren Moon, they went out and got some receivers for him and we were all calling it "The run and shoot" now let's look now at Will Levis, this kid has a big arm on him, they got him some receivers now let's sit back and give them a being from Oklahoma I had the privilege of watching a QB out of OSU by the name of Mason Rudolph....perfect fit for a back up he has a big arm and is very accurate....I can't wait till the season opens....later Jim

Jim: Some work to do before then, Frank, but some nice acquisitions so far for sure!

Arleen Neisz from Estero, Florida
Question: Hey Jim! Wow! The Titans have completely blown my expectations out of the water! Pollard, Cushenberry, Ridley, and the others were all fantastic signings in my book! I also noticed that the Titans released Andre Dillard and while it was time for him to go, I wish him the best. However, do you know why it took them as long as it did to release him? I'm on the younger side (15 years old) of the Titans fan base and am not as familiar with the process as others are. Have a great week!

Jim: Hey Arleen! It's been a productive start, Arleen! The team had to release Dillard by a certain date for reasons related to his contract. When that date approached, they made the move. But I think everyone knew it was coming, it was just a matter of when.

Joe Allen from Gainesboro, Tennessee
Question: Tell me it ain't so! We no longer have Derrick and then I had a nightmare, he is with the Ravens now? Sad day for Nashville, the team and the fans! I would like to take this time and thank Derrick for those awesome moments he provided on and off the field. Such a classic man who loves football and life! May you find your ring, you deserve it!
Now, on to pressing other issues: we finally got rid of Dillard, thank goodness! I got where I hated to watch our games with him and our porous OL line! I felt so bad for Henry when there were no holes to run through and many times he was hit in the back field. There were some nice pickups with additions to the line now and we will see how the chemistry goes with those in OTA's and pre season. Ready for some football and seeing our Titans looking like a competitive team for a change. Last year was brutal to say the least! Appreciate all you offer for us fans Jim and wishing you the best season to come.
We are finally settled down again from all our travels, but will not be buying season tickets again. They have priced the normal everyday fan out of the game. Sad to say, but true! Between the seats, popcorn, hotdogs, beer and the rest, well you know! I will now be an armchair fan and enjoying the game on my jumbo screen!
Wishing our team a very successful season and seasons to come! Go big Blue!

Jim: Thanks for taking the time, Joe. Hopefully we'll see you back at the stadium some day.

Have a great week everyone!

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