NASHVILLE – Welcome to June.
We're another day, and another month, closer to football.
Hope everyone continues to stay healthy and safe during some difficult and painful times across the world, especially in the United States.
Thanks again for keeping this Titans mailbag hopping with questions from everywhere.
Let's get rolling again with this Tuesday's edition …
Here's the link to ask questions: CLICK HERE.
Mark Sanderson from Burlington, North Carolina
Question: Hi Jim. I know there has been a fair amount of chatter regarding the back-up QB. My question is: With the expanded roster, do you believe most teams, including the Titans, will carry 3 QBs?
Jim: Hey Mark. Well, it's going to be interesting to see how teams handle it moving forward since, as you mentioned, the rosters have been increased from 53 to 55. The bump up provides a better chance to keep a third on the active roster, something teams have gotten away from in recent years. This is my opinion: I still suspect teams will use the extra spots for players at other positions, and if there's a QB the team wants to develop, then I still think it would be on the practice squad since teams would still have the option of promoting the guy, if needed. If Logan Woodside beats out Cole McDonald for the back-up spot, I'm thinking McDonald goes to the practice squad. Of course, if McDonald looks good in the competition, then that could change the thought process. I think it's going to be on a team-by-team, case-by-case basis.
Alexander Lundberg from Solna, Sweden
Question: Hi Jim! I live in Sweden and have been a Titans fan ever since I got introduced to football. I watch a lot of matches on NFL game pass but it's not the same as seeing the team live I would guess. But I know it's unrealistic but would it be possible for titans to come down to Stockholm and play a game against any other team from the NFL after the pandemic. There is an arena that's really small with like 50(k) seats but it would be possible to make the soccer stadium have a football field instead (just for that game). It would be amazing.
Jim: Hi Alexander. Well, this obviously is a decision that would be made by the NFL. I know the league is looking to grow interest across the world by playing more international games, so never say never. The London trip still ranks as one of the best experiences for me since I started covering the Titans in 1999, so I'd be up for it!
Daylen Bills from Salt Lake City, Utah
Question: Hello again from Utah, Jim! Thanks for your responses and for all your coverage on the Titans. You certainly do it well, and you give us fans great insights to get pumped up for the season. I'm sure you're just as tired of hearing about Clowney as I am of waiting to see where he signs. But my question is, have J Rob and Vrabel taken any serious consideration into Everson Griffen? He's easily the next best pass rusher available, he might be cheaper, and on top of that he's a vet that could be worked into a good rotation with the other rushers we've added and re-signed. Might be a great addition. I'd love to see him in some Titans blues this season. Thanks as always Jim! Titan Up!
Jim: Hey Daylen. I've received a number of emails asking about Everson. I'm sure the team has done its homework on him, like a lot of guys. I'm sure you know he's raised questions with some off-field issues in the past, mainly during the 2018 season. I saw where the Seahawks expressed interest in him prior to the draft as well. As the team continues to monitor the Clowney situation, I suspect some other guys also remain on the radar. Need to see how the Clowney domino falls first, though.
Jamie Halladay from Guyton, Georgia
Question: Does JRob promote paying home-grown talent over outsider free agents to the current team? I feel like he's settled in now and not forced to do drastic rebuilding. Also, do you think Jrob has a goal of maintaining a compensatory pick cycle? Perhaps by design let one or two players go no matter what they do more or less? I know this has been successful for Patriots. I get a feeling we are witnessing JRob's building goals now. Keep money and promotion within gain draft capital letting guys go.
Jim: Across the league, and this includes J-Rob, GMs have proven to be more comfortable re-signing their own compared to signing big-money players in free agency. Sure, the Titans have done both over the years. The great thing about the home-grown talent is you know those guys, from their work ethic to how they fit in the locker room. You're taking a bigger chance on guys from other teams. As for the compensatory picks, I don't necessarily think that's the No.1 thought when you're dealing with guys scheduled to become unrestricted free agents, but it's nice to get rewarded when a guy goes elsewhere. I think the Titans will continue to try and re-sign their own players if they love the player and it makes sense from a financial standpoint. But if the guy goes elsewhere, and for money that's more than the team wants to pay, then you can reap the benefits of the compensatory system. The Titans should get a third-round pick in the 2021 draft as a result of Jack Conklin heading to the Browns.
Tom Ballman from Gallatin, Tennessee
Question: Hi Jim. I loved the run against the Ravens where Derrick stiffed armed #29 Earl Thomas. He spun Thomas around and stiff-armed Thomas in back. I loved the run. My question is: Could Derrick have been flagged for a push in the back?
Jim: Hey Tom. Derrick was a ball carrier and not a blocker (although technically, I guess he was blocking for himself), so it was all good. He possibly could have been charged with assault with a deadly weapon, however – that stiff-arm is lethal.
Shane Butt from Houston, Texas
Question: Hello Jim - this is a follow up to the question from Aaron Judge in Perth. I was born in Perth and moved to Houston in 1970 and then returned to Perth in 1977. I became a huge Oilers fan and continued to follow them when they moved to Tennessee. I moved back to Houston permanently in 2012 to marry a Texas girl. I try to attend at least 1 game in Tennessee each year and 1 away game each year and always attend the Titans - Texans game in Houston. I typically travel back to Perth yearly to visit family and friends. It might not happen this year but my next trip may be early 2021. I would be glad to bring Aaron some Titans gear on my next trip to Perth. I may even be able to pick up some mementos from a Titans game in Nashville. Please feel free to provide my email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) to Aaron. I always thought I was the biggest Titans fan in Perth and that was probably true while I lived there but I am happy to pass that torch to Aaron. TitanUp people and stay safe.
Jim: Hello Shane. Very kind of you. I'll leave this email in here with your address and hopefully you guys can work something out. I love it when the mailbag brings folks together!
(Shane's email is in reply to this email from Aaron Judge of Perth, Western Australia in Saturday's mailbag:
Question: Hi Jim. I've been a fan of the Oilers/Titans since Warren Moon was making the plays. Like all fans I've lived the 9/7 repetition and yet last year we turned that into something else.
Love and support the team regardless and dream of that Super Bowl that is ours in the near future. The only issue I have is that you cannot get any Titans gear in Australia. I contacted the club store but got a nine-word answer, saying they do not offer postage to Australia. Jim can you pull some strings and let me be the guy to fly the Titans flag Down Under as I am sick of the NY/SF/NE merch that permeates the streets. I can only assume the wearers have no knowledge of the NFL or else, like me, they would be chasing Titans gear. Thanks for the column and Titan Up.)
Chad Alexander from Jacksonville, Florida
Question: Hi Jim. Thanks for giving us something to look forward to with most new sports news dried up. I want to ask if there is a particular reason Derrick doesn't get more reps on passing downs? He seems to have a pretty strong catch rate and production on the few targets he's gotten. Stay Safe Jim!!
Jim: Hey Chad. Appreciate you reading. Derrick has improved in the passing game, and he's made plays there. Heck, there were a lot of times I think he should've been out there instead of Dion Lewis. Just a heads-up, though: The Titans drafted running back Darrynton Evans in part because of what he can do out of the backfield, so brace yourself to see Evans instead of Henry on more passing downs if he's effective.
Eli Reed from Moulton, Alabama
Question: Hey Jim hope you're doing good been a Titans fan since the Titans drafted King Henry. I was wondering do you think Derrick will have another 1,000-yard season? Also do you think A.J Brown will have another 1,000-yard season? Thanks have a good day!
Jim: Yes and yes.
Johnny Bell from Memphis, Tennessee
Question: I'm hoping we are going to sign Clowney. This guy is what we need badly coming off the great season we had what a beautiful gift that would be.
Jim: Hey Johnny. Keep those fingers crossed…
Zack Kitterman from Orem, Utah
Question: Hey Jim! Appreciate all the questions you answer, both good and completely insane. I've been a fan since the amazing '99 season, when I was 8 and rooting for my favorite player, Eddie George, and the guys with cool uniforms. Stuck with them ever since. Growing up on the west coast in California, and now living in Utah, I still haven't made my way out to Nissan for a home game, but decided late last fall that this was the year finally. I have my eye on the Thursday night game against the Colts, but I'm scared to pull the trigger on plane tickets, logging, and game tickets with Covid-19 still happening. Any word floating around about how games might be handled? I know they are talking about possibly doing no fan attendance, or potentially limiting capacity. If the latter is the case, do you foresee ticket pricing going through the roof, or even possibly only season ticket holders getting in? I'd love to her your thoughts. Thanks again for all you do, and TITAN UP!
Jim: Hey Zack. I'm sure hoping you can make this trip, because it would be a blast. Wish I could tell you more here. Things remain in a holding pattern with a lot of unknowns. I'm going to keep leaving this quote Titans president and CEO Burke Nihill gave to The Tennessean on the subject of games recently: "We're preparing for a 2020 season on schedule and with fans. I don't say that without acknowledging that the NFL and the Titans will be following health and safety experts as they continue to analyze and navigate, and that may require adjustments along the way. In the meantime, I can tell you we've assembled a safe stadium committee. We meet once a week as a large group and several times more than that in subgroups. We're focusing on things like cleaning and sanitation, changes to processes related to concessions and entry and exit. And we're not necessarily trying to get to final conclusions about how things would work. We're just being sure that we're prepared and then start the thinking to be sure that we have a safe, healthy environment to welcome fans back to the stadium when the time comes."
As Burke said, the team is preparing for games, with fans. Hopefully I'll see ya in November…
Brian Summers from Nashville, Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim, long time huddler of the mailbag. Where is Adam Humphries? We've seen most of the pass catchers taking passes from either Logan Woodside or Ryan Tannehill this offseason, but haven't really heard anything from our 2019 FA Acquisition. Not that it is a requirement to be training with the QBs on your team, but just genuinely curious what he has been up to this crazy offseason.
Jim: Hey Brian. Last I heard – and this is from Woodside about 10-12 days ago – Humphries has been in and out of town as he gets ready for the season. Woodside named Humphries when he discussed some of the teammates he's thrown with in Nashville this offseason.
Enrique " El Titán " Bernal from El Paso, Texas
Question: Hola Jim !! Soy un fanático de la franquicia desde que nací en mi sangre corren los colores de los oilers y titanes, bueno mi pregunta es creen que van a empezar los partidos a tiempo y con público ya que me gustaría asistir al juego contra los Steelers para ver si voy apartando hotel , avión y mi boleto para el juego ? Vamos titanes 💪
Jim: Hola Enrique. Seguro espero eso. A le mencioné anteriormente a Zack de Utah, muchas incógnitas en este momento. Soy optimista sobre la temporada que comienza a tiempo. Pero no estoy en condiciones de decirle que es seguro reservar vuelos y comprar habitaciones de hotel. Simplemente no lo sé.
Kenneth Tripp from Newport, Vermont
Question: Thank you for your insight and news about our Titans, my question today is about D'Andre Walker. Is he healthy going into 2020? He was a beast at Georgia and I was excited that we drafted him, if healthy I hope he will be big contributor to our pass defense. He seems versatile to rush the passer and drop in coverage. TitanUp!!! From Vermont
Jim: Hey Kenneth. I saw D'Andre around during the course of last season after he was placed on Injured Reserve. I've heard good things about him from the GM and HC. I know they were impressed with him before his injury last year, and I think he's going to be a serious contender for a roster spot, and playing time, in 2019. In a lot of ways he's a forgotten man outside the building, but folks inside remain optimistic about him.
Corey Fraction from Bristol, Tennessee
Question: First let me say, that I really enjoy the work you do and how to take time out to respond to Titan fans questions all over the world. Please keep up the good work.
My question is, with Tannehill being the only proven quarterback on the roster, is there a chance that JRob will sign a veteran QB? I saw that Flacco signed with the Jets on a one-year deal. I know that there is Cam Newton, who stated that he would settle as a back-up, and there is Matt Moore out there. In your opinion, which of these two OB's would be a fit to back up Tannehill?
Jim: Hello Corey. Appreciate the question. My thinking on the Titans QB situation remains the same: Behind Tannehill, Logan Woodside and Cole McDonald will get a chance to win the No.2 job. If the season is creeping closer and neither has established himself, then the team could go looking for a veteran at the position to back up Tannehill. Several others are out there, though, in addition to the guys you mentioned…
Have a great week everyone and stay safe!