NASHVILLE – It's hard to believe, but we're now into July.
Hope everyone has a great July 4th.
But first, the latest Titans mailbag …
Ronald Johnston from Honolulu, Hawaii
Question: Is Kamalei Correa projected to make the Titans 53-man roster for 2019?
Jim: Hey Ronald. He makes it in my projection, but keep in mind I'm not the one making the decision. I just think the GM saw enough in Kamalei to trade for him, and I think he still believes in him. Kamalei flashed last year – he had 3.5 sacks, five pressures and 27 tackles in 13 games. When I look at the edge position, I count Cameron Wake, Harold Landry, Kamalei, Sharif Finch and D'Andre Walker as guys who will be on the 53. Others, like LaTroy Lewis, Derick Roberson and Gimel President, are battling to be earn a spot as well. Of course nothing is given, so Kamelei will need to earn his spot with his performance in camp and in the preseason. Same goes for Walker, who hasn't even put on the pads in the NFL yet. But looking ahead, I like Kamalei's chances and I think he'll make an impact in 2019.
Dale Galloway from Russellville, Kentucky
Question: Has the 2019 open practice schedule been released? If so, where can I find it? Thanks.
Jim: Hey Dale. It hasn't been released yet. I've heard it may be another week or so. All we know at this point is the first practice open for fans is scheduled for Saturday, July 27. Plus, there will be an open practice on Saturday, August 3 at Nissan Stadium. Other dates will be made public in the not-so-distant future so stay tuned.
Mikel Cates from Antioch, Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim. Steve McNair didn't really break out until year 5. He had a great run game. Reliable receivers. Great tight end. One heck of an offensive line. And a stellar defense. Let's hope the same goes for Mariota. Especially since he now has all of the same in year 5. So my question is... Do you think McNair would get the same negativity out of the fan base that Mariota has gotten if he were the QB now?
Jim: Hey Mikel. I think scrutiny comes with the position. I covered McNair's first season as a Titan, and I can tell you he received a lot of negativity then, in 1999 – his fifth NFL season. He was booed in his first game at Nissan Stadium, and a lot of fans wanted Neil O'Donnell to remain as the team's starting QB when McNair returned after missing a stretch following back surgery that same year. But McNair eventually won everyone over by showing guts, and guiding the team to the Super Bowl. And then things really took off for him in the years that followed. Right now, I think the support for Marcus is even better than it was for Steve after four seasons. Sure, he has his detractors, but I get the sense more fans are behind him compared to McNair after four seasons. Where do things go from here for Marcus and the Titans? Well, we're about to find out…
Scott Taylor from Dayton, Ohio
Question: Greeting Jim. I am writing not to ask a question but to send a congratulations to Ms. Amy Adams Shrunk for being awarded the Tennessean of the year
Ms Amy has brought a winning culture to the TITANS org.
To donating to the community helping to feed the hungry.
She helped to bring the draft to my great state of Tennessee and the city of Nashville that to name a few of many things she does and has done for and around the TITANS org. To the city of Nashville the draft alone should have been enough to give her the award for the Tennessean but she is definitely a mother hen for all the care & dedication that she gives.
This award couldn't have gone to a better person I have a little message to Ms. Amy Adams Shrunk:
Thank you for all that you do in & around the TITANS org and the city of Nashville I can't say thank you enough for everything that you do for the TITANS fans and the city of Nashville. Congratulations you well deserved this (now the boys need to bring a Lombardi home to the TITANS fans & city of Nashville but mostly to you Ms. Amy
Jim thank you for the time and everything that you do to keep us TITANS fans up to date on all TITANS info
Jim: Thanks Scott. Appreciate you taking the time to share some nice comments about the owner. I'm sure she appreciates it as well.
Mark Burdeos from Los Angeles, California
Question: Hi Jim, I've been a Titans fan since the Earl Campbell days. I like how Jon Robinson improved the O-Line as well as the receiving corp. I won't talk about Mariota's health issues as I feel that's been talked to death. I feel he'll be healthy all throughout the upcoming season. I also think that both him and Derrick Henry are gonna ball, so my question is If both have good/great years does management sign both long term or franchise one and sign the other to a lucrative deal? Thanks for the things you do. #Titanup
Jim: Hey Mark. Appreciate the question. Obviously so much depends on what happens this fall. If Marcus performs well and stays healthy, then he'll put himself in a position to earn conversations about a long-term deal. The same goes for Derrick. I also realize the franchise tag scenario is out there, and available. It's hard to predict what could happen in negotiations. But to even be in that position, things need to go well for both of them this fall. Here's hoping the team will have some tough decisions to make …
Joshua Santram from Worcester, Massachusetts
Question: Hey Jim. Long time Oiler/Titans fan and reader of yours... After hearing so much about us wearing Oilers throwbacks, and the issue with the helmet, would it not be possible to just use a custom white vinyl on the outside of the registered helmets to make them ready for the oil derrick? Just a thought, I hope i can spark a conversation for Amy to think about :)
Jim: Hey Joshua. The big issue is it has to be the same helmet. Your suggestion is an interesting way to get around it. I'm not an expert on equipment guidelines, but this is a unique way to possibly make it work …
Dave Bettlach from Chesterfield, Missouri
Question: Hey Jim. The one position that still has me concerned is Safety. After the 2 starters there's almost zero experience. I'm still hoping they re-sign Cyprien but if that doesn't happen ...who do you see as a possibility for the 5th Safety spot?
Jim: Hey Dave. I get where you're coming from, but I think there's reason to be optimistic here as well. For starters, the starters – Kevin Byard and Kenny Vaccaro – are top notch. And I really like what I've seen from rookie Amani Hooker already. Dane Cruikshank had a solid rookie season and I expect him to play well this fall as well. I get there's little experience behind the starters, but I don't have a lot of big concerns with the young guys. As for safety No.5, at this point I'd be surprised to see Cyp come back – not because the team doesn't like him, but because I suspect he'll land somewhere with an even better opportunity. It remains to be seen who safety No.5 ends up being – several are competing, and others will become available after roster cuts are made. I also have in the back of my mind Logan Ryan's versatility makes him someone who could bump to safety in a pinch if needed.
Have a great week everyone!