NASHVILLE – Happy New Year.
Welcome to the first mailbag of 2024, and the final week of the 2023 regular season.
The Titans face the Jaguars in the finale on Sunday.
Let's open up another mailbag to see how everyone is feeling at the start of a new year.
Here's the link to submit questions: CLICK HERE.
Jeffery Raney from Pittsburg, Texas
Question: Hello Jim. I watched the Texans game like I do every week and am flabbergasted at how bad our Titans are. I don't envy Ran and Mike's jobs this coming offseason but I do hope they take a deep look at the entire coaching staff and be honest about what is best for the future of the team and act accordingly. There are too many mistakes like having to many players on the field for example, it is week 15 and you are pros these kind of mistakes should not be happening. I look at the offensive line and wonder if it could get much worse. I would not risk Will's future by letting him play behind this line again this season. Where in your opinion do they get started in improving this team?
Jim: Hey Jeffery. There's a whole lot TBD in the coming weeks, and yes, there's a lot that needs to be improved. How the team goes about doing it, well, let's get through the season first and we'll start to get some early answers.
Ronnie Brookover from Morgantown, West Virginia
Question: What a disgrace to see the same thing every week from the same players. That's coaching. Is there a rule that says Dillard has to play. Whatever coach oks him to play should be fired and obviously has know clue what they are doing. 32 practice squads or pick someone out of the crowd to play tackle. Cause it's disgusting watching the bums they put on the field. But some dumb coach will put them back out there next week. The offensive line shouldn't be allowed in the locker room. They should have to locker outside till they earn their way inside. But that would require a winning attitude from the coach. Our offensive line gives up the sacks that they do and get put right back out on the field the next week. No accountability on this team and that starts with the head coach. Dillard should have been released 2 months ago. Unless you're going to tell me he's had some good games. I must have missed those games. The offensive line was a problem last year and it didn't get fixed. If Vrabel can't fix the offensive line in 3 years it's time to move on. His buddy offensive coordinator is the joke of the nfl. That was a great hire. Defense is just as bad. Someone please explain to me why any of the coaches should return.
Jim: Thanks for taking the time, Ronnie.
Eric McClellan from Metropolis, Illinois
Question: It's been a while since I have been THIS ready for a Titans season to come to a close. 2015 to be exact. First and foremost, I know it is frustrating for the players (maybe not so much for the handful that seem to not care). This is their livelihood, their bodies on the line, and their legacy that they are trying to cement in the brief careers that most NFL players have. To have a season like this, must be crushing. From a fan's perspective, as bad as I want this season to END, I am so excited for what this team can become. Let's be honest, we were competitive in a fair amount of our losses with a HUGE absence of talent in key positions. That is the reality of failed past decisions and current payroll restrictions. But we have substantial money to spend next year and currently seven draft picks to fill some of these holes. I am not expecting a Super Bowl caliber team in 2024, but I see that this ship can turn around fairly quick with the core players we have. We will most likely have a few favorable games in those fellow "last place in their Division" TBD opponents. Jim, what percentage turnover do you think is "likely" for the opening 2023 53-man roster vs 2024? I would think that we would see 50% turnover, at least. Am I being overly optimistic to believe that this team could contend for a playoff spot next year?? Do you see the 2024 AFC South potentially as competitive as the 2023 AFC North? TITAN UP everyone. 2023 Titans football has been a dumpster fire, I get it. Here's to better days coming in 2024!!
Jim: It's been a bad year, Eric, no doubt about it. I like your optimism, because I get the sense it's mostly doom and gloom out there, and I get it. As for percentage of turnover, well, the team had 24 new players on the 53-man roster heading into this year, which was the biggest increase of new players in the "Titans era." It's not going to surprise me if the number is higher in 2024. … As for predicting playoff chances for next year, sitting here at 5-11, I'm not going to do it. There's a whole lot we don't know about the team moving forward.
Sam Bingham Jr. from Tuscon, Arizona
Question: Hello Jim. I love my team so much as I had a big Tattoo put on my right Arm for life is much I love this organization since they were The oilers from the Astrodome so my first game there Oilers vs Bengals Monday night Football. But the past two years I see the team that I love so much go the other direction since playing in the Championship Game against the Chiefs , maybe they need to get back Mike Munchak to work with offensive line to show them how to work their hands and keep the Quarterback blindside from getting killed like Tannehill had to do with the Texans , or go get Michael Oher to work the blindside something to give the quarterback time to throw and to make holes for Mr Henry if he still a Titan for next year Love ya Blue Tucson ,Arizona
Jim: I like the commitment, Sam.
Bill Caldwell from Lebanon, Tennessee
Question: Hope things are well for u and your family Jim. A Happy New Year to all the Titans and their fans. Let us hope one thing has been clearly learned this football year. Without a quality offensive line and backups a team has little chance of consistent success. U can have Brady, the Gronk with the king and Jerry Rice and not find success without the men in the trenches. Praise for all who gave it their best, much respect. Here's to a focused year in 2024.
Jim: I hear ya, Bill.
Charlie White from Tampa, Florida
Question: Jim. First off Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Disgusting. I had to turn off the game, after the wild cat play. Our O-Line is garbage which we already knew going into the season. I commented early on about making a trade to go all in on this team as we knew it would be a lot of cornerstone players last year with the team.
I feel awful fun Derrick. He is the definition of what it means to be a Tennessee Titan and we can't block for him, call plays to set him and the O-line up for success and most importantly send him out on a high note.
I feel like we've spoken about the injuries, the lack of quality coordinators, and the overall inability to make stops and make plays for the last 3yrs.
Its all come to ahead this year, and no matter how people respect our coaching someone has to take accountability and there needs to be drastic changes. We had an incredible veteran QB, we have a gun slinger rookie QB, we have the best back in the NFL, and we have a stout D-Line. None of this matters if they dont have the proper coaches and our offense doesnt have an O-Line that can block.
I dont know how we can go into the offseason without a new coaching staff. Based off the expiring contracts and huge budget we have we need to bring in a coach with a vision of what players they need for their system. Very rarely does the NFL give a coach and GM a blank canvas like this and we need to take advantage of it.
I hope that picture includes DH but if I were him I'd leave to go to a contender with an exceptional O-line cause he can still get it done.
I will always be a Titans fan and will support the team but reality is reality and this staff has proven they are unable to bring in quality coordinators and that is on the HC no matter how amazing of a person and well respected he is.
One more week. Go Titans
Jim: One week to go, Charlie. Happy New Year!
Connie Alinikoff from Hendersonville, Tennessee
Question: Happy new year Jim. I'm not going to comment on all the negative aspects of Sunday's game, you'll get plenty of that from others. I choose to focus on the two positives:
1 Titans didn't get shut out
2 The Defense only allowed two field goals in the second half.
I'm 73 y.o. and a Titans fan for 25 years. They're my team and I will never abandon them
Jim: Thanks, Connie. 😊 Have a great week.
Tom Meyer from San Antonio, Texas
Question: Howdy Jim. I hope you had a Merry Christmas and are ready for a Happy New Year. Well I don't really ahve a question just a comment. i will start with pathetic. The play of both sides of the ball was pretty dismal. The offensive line needs to be sent packing with the exception of P. Skronski, everyone else can go play in the United league. The defense has an excuse somewhat with them being limited on starters, bit there is no excuse for so many missed tackles. The net thing the season long dumb plays and mistakes I firmly believe the team needs a complete overhaul Starting with the coaching staff. I would keep Vrabel and maybe the DC. all else can go. The DB's can't cover, the entire backfield can't seem to tackle, the offensive line can't block(run or pass protect) every team they play let the opposing receivers run free and make every contested pass. the quarterbacks don't have a chance,Henry meets the other teams line in the backfield. I am amazed he managed to get to 1000 Yards. I say keep Henry, Spears, Tannehill, Levis, DHop, Okonkwo and a few others. Keep the defensive line and the linebackers and the kicker and punter. The rest can go. I know this is not going to happen but I can wish. I can't believe we have had the worst offensive line in the league for two years. The worst thing is I have been a fan of this team since they were the Oilers with Pastorini, the 1 and 13 back to back years with Ed Biles and the great years with Campbell,Bum and Fischer ,McNair , the great offensive lines and top running backs one who should be in the Hall of Fame but got passed over this year and I will always be a fan of this team win or lose. Titan Up! Just make better personnel choices please!!!!!!
Jim: Thanks for weighing in, Tom.
David Templeton from Morristown, Tennessee
Question: If Ryan Tannehill leaves, would it be possible or make sense to try to acquire Russell Willson as a backup QB? Just a thought. Thanks.
Jim: I wouldn't bet on this, David.
Peter Palmer from Miramar, Florida
Question: Hi Jim. Happy New Year to you and your family wishing you all , all of GOD richest Blessings.
What a dreadful season led by the worst all around coaching I've seen in awhile. We need to get rid of all our coaching staff starting with Vrabel as he is responsible in bringing all the coaches to Tennessee.
Jim: It has definitely been a dreadful season, Peter, we agree on that.
Donley Canary from Raymore, Missouri
Question: Hello Jim. Sitting watching the Titans playing the Texans. Jim, it is so hard to watch them make the same stupid mistakes game after game I just want to scream. Scream really loud. We are so poorly coached in the offensive line it is pitiful. The Titans have two Division I AA coaches trying to coach these players. It is ridiculous!! Have we gotten better. Hell no. WORSE! Those dudes are going to ruin # 77 Peter S if allowed to continue coaching him. Our defensive coordinator Shane ( do nothing) Bowen is a joke. We let the true defensive brain Jim Schwartz walk to Cleveland and look what he has done. Jim, I thought this might be a short rebuild but if inferior coaches are allowed to try and coach "us up" , it will be a total failure. We lose close games because we make continuous STUPID plays; every game. You can not get rid of all the players, but you sure can FIRE inferior, incompetent coaches. PLEASE TITANS get some competent coaches that can teach fundamentals and rules of the game of football! If nothing is done, it is just going to be more years of frustration for Titan fans!
Jim: Happy New Year Donley.
Leonard Cooke from Jacksonville, Florida
Question: We hired a new general manager, had some good draft picks and managed to field a worse team than last year. We've injured two good quarterbacks and limited an all star running back with a line that can't run or pass block. We have a new O.C. that's almost as predictable as the old one, though I must admit he has surprised me a few times. If we had fielded any kind of team this year, we would have been right in the running for a division title since the winner will have barely over a winning record. 9 and 8 will probably win it.
I would hope that we can get Henry and Tannehill to reduce their contracts and keep them next year, but after losing Brown and Byard I hold out no hope. Besides who wants to get annihilated behind that line? How they will fill that new stadium without fielding a marketable team is beyond me. Love my Titans, but they have been sorely mismanaged and poorly coached. Jim, is there any chance they'll get a new offensive line coach at the least and make wholesale changes to other coaching staff? We expect and deserve more than we got this year. Appreciate all you do for us by giving us this forum to rant and praise our boys in blue.
Jim: Hi Leonard. I've covered the NFL long enough to know anything is possible. The truth is, nothing really surprises me any more. We'll all just have to wait and see.
Buck Amodei from Smartsville, California
Question: Hi Jim. Somewhere last month, I resigned to the point where if some of our younger offensive linemen started showing a little progress, then maybe, just maybe... our problem was a lack of talent. Given how good Skoronski looked to begin the season, the fact that he is quickly regressing tells me this is squarely on the shoulders of coaching. Do you think we can give up 70 sacks in one season? Do you think that is satisfactory? Me neither. Do you have Mike Munchak's number? Please give it to Amy. I think Russ Grimm chose to leave coaching, so I don't think he would come back.
If they aren't the answer... then I think there is that unwritten rule that teams don't steal coaches and coordinators from other teams if the move is lateral (i.e. it's not a promotion) Could we offer Jeff Stoutland a promotion from OL coach for the Eagles and run game coordinator to OL coach, run game coordinator and as a kicker... Derrick Henry passing game coordinator (if we keep Henry)??? Maybe give him all of the non guaranteed money we get to keep when we cut Dillard... who... apparently... even Mr. Stoutland was able to make look like a decent lineman.
If all else fails, could we convince Ben Jones to call it a career and take up coaching? I think he could handle the role. In summary, I am convinced that no matter who or how many offensive linemen we draft or bring here in free agency right now, they are destined to fail unless we make some coaching changes. This is like an alt reality story of King Midas, where every offensive lineman we touch ... turns to cow dung. The fact that the other four OL positions (besides the current LT situation) are kinda bad but not terrible has me convinced they could be pretty good under the right coaching. Even Radunz manages to zig-zag and fall in front of his defender enough times to slow his progress. I still wonder what Munchak could do with him (Roos and Stewart fared ok)
Jim: Thanks for weighing in, Buck.
Scott Martin from Satellite Beach, Florida
Question: Hello Jim, love your work, have written in before
I don't have a question after that horrible debacle, but do have a complaint. There are some serious negative, jinx hoping, conspiracy theory, glass half empty, Titan hater writers out there who have too much of a platform on Titans various websites. One in particular has drawn my ire this year, with his articles.
To protect the non-innocent no names, I will call him Wally Lipschatz, what a second guessing , blabbering Tuesday morning Qb , thinks he knows everything everyone is thinking and what they should do after the result. Well guess what hindsight is 20/20. This guy needs some shut up juice or positivity and love.
Jim sorry for the rant, I see what's going on and why, like all real fans, we need some talent in a big way,(see O line, CB, etc). I am a huge fan since Earl Campbell, I truly appreciate your honest opinion , candor , and understand you work directly for team and can't be a Titan bashed, u keep rockin, but please post this just for the chance that this cat/writer can decifer who I'm calling out. I wish he would pipe down! Much love to everyone else, HAPPY NEW YEAR, Titan Up!
Jim: Oh man, I'm curious who this might be … Unfortunately, the Titans have given "Wally" a lot of ammunition this year. … Thanks for taking the time, and for reading, Scott.
Chris Whitsell from Danville, Kentucky
Question: Is the Titans Jags game kickoff at Noon EST or CST? Thanks for clarifying. This will be our first NFL game and we want to get all the experience and not be late! Any other suggestions are welcome!
Jim: Hi Chris. Kickoff is set for Noon CST. Gates open two hours before kickoff. Hope you have a great time!
Jeremy Rodriguez from Winchester, California
Question: Well Jim, the good news is one more game left. I am not sure why they had Levis out there. The O'line cannot be trusted. I know he wants to play but what 24 year old wouldn't want to play? Someone has to be the adult and let him sit out and be ready for next year. I'm sure Vrabel was second guessing himself as soon as he went down. Let Tannehill play and show teams he still has it. Happy New Year Jim, let's hope we start 2024 off with a win! As always TITAN UP!!
Jim: Happy New Year, Jeremy.
Have a great week everyone!