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Tuesday Mailbag: Jim Wyatt Answers Questions From Titans Fans


NASHVILLE – Two preseason games down, one to go.

The Titans return to the practice field on Tuesday, and they'll face the Patriots in the preseason finale on Friday at Nissan Stadium.

There's a lot going on as the regular season approaches.

Let's dive into another mailbag…

Here's the link to submit questions: CLICK HERE

Patrick Liu from San Jose, California
This is not a question, but more of really just telling you about me and my bond with the Titans. I'm a 11-year-old diehard Titan fan that has been reading your writing for over a year, and has been a Titan fan for over four years, even though many people have been criticizing me for being a Titan fan other than being a Niner fan or something. Whatever they say, I don't care, and I will keep wearing Titans gear for the rest of my life whether we're good or not, somewhere else or has a changed name, I will follow this team in my beloved sport, wherever I am, and wherever the Titans are. Titan Up, and I hope that we have a good season this year!

Jim: Appreciate you taking the time, Patrick. I appreciate die-hard, loyal fans. I still root for the same teams I became a fan of when I was a kid many years ago, across all sports, even though things are different for me now, working for the Titans. Tennessee didn't have an NFL team back then, of course. I was a Buffalo Bills fan growing up, mainly because of O.J. Simpson in the 70s. My parents used to let me stay up late to see the halftime highlights on Monday Night Football, when I hoped to get a chance to see a 20-second clip of the Bills, because there also was no ESPN back then either. People that know me from my childhood still remember me wearing a Bills jacket or Bills hat to school (everyone else was wearing Cowboys and Steelers stuff). Over the years I went to Cincinnati and Atlanta to see them play, and many years later I drove to Super Bowl XXVIII by myself to see them play in 1994. Even though I'm all Titans now, working for the team, I admit I still have a soft spot for the Bills. It was so fun being a sports fan growing up, with posters on my walls. My MLB team (again starting in the 70s) has always been the Dodgers, my NBA team has always been the Celtics. Growing up in Nashville, and with a father who went to Vanderbilt law school, I went to Vandy games, and the Commodores became my college team – that's never changed. I encourage you to stay strong and loyal, through the good times and the bad. As you get older, you'll always remember your childhood heroes, and hopefully you'll have a lot to brag about over the years. Thanks for writing in, and make sure you don't cheer for the Giants in baseball...

Thomas McIntosh from Covington, Tennessee
Hey Jim, long-time fan of you and the Titans. My cousin and I had a discussion about Treylon Burks injury in this week's practice. My cousin doesn't think that he should have tried to catch a pass like that in practice to avoid possible injury. I think practicing like that is how stars are made and is necessary to get better for when they come during games. My question is, what is your and the coaches take on making catches like he did. Thanks and Titan Up!

Jim: Hey Thomas. I absolutely think Treylon should've tried to catch that pass. And, I'll be honest, I've seen players go up and make catches a lot more difficult than that one in practices. He just had an unfortunate landing. Making plays like that in practice, though, help get players ready for games.

Jeremy Rodriguez from Winchester, California
Hey Jim, I am trying to get onboard with Willis but 10-17 85yds just doesn't scream #2. There is still uncertainty in what he sees and holding on to the ball too long. I know I am retired Navy guy just Monday Morning Quarterbacking this but I just don't see Willis being #2. The O'line is very suspect. I don't know about you but two drives, 3 and out to start! That has to be on Vrabel's radar. Spears looks like an absolute BEAST!!!! How is Burks coming along? Have a Great Week Jim and as always TITAN UP!!!!

Jim: Hey Jeremy. Malik is still a work on progress. He's made strides, but he's not there yet. Malik would tell you this. But I also wouldn't judge him by preseason stats – the team isn't game-planning, and he's playing with back-ups. …. As for Burks, he just injured the knee six days ago. He's coming along.

Evan Tatum from Portland, Tennessee
Hi Jim. This really isn't a question, more of me just speaking freely. Tyjae Spears might be the best compliment that Derrick Henry has ever had. I get its only preseason so he's playing against backups but the way he plays reminds me of a better Michael Carter. I didn't really think much of it when they drafted him since I figured he'd just be a change of pace back, but I'm starting to love getting him even more now that we've seen what he can do.

Jim: I can't argue with this, Evan. I think he's going to be really good.

Mike Knecht from Wappingers Falls, New York
Hi Jim. Thanks for keeping Titan Nation informed. After watching the game against Minnesota I was impressed with Malik. I liked how he was looking to throw more than run, except on the designed runs. Question, do you think that the desired runs for QB's in the NFL make it harder on Young QB's to look to throw first? Also I think our Defense played well. Lastly do you think any starters will play next week to warm up for the season. Again thanks Jim.

Jim: Hey Mike. I know coaches have really stressed to Malik the importance of staying in the pocket, to give plays a chance. I think he's definitely improved there, but yes, it's a hard habit to break. And, his legs are a weapon and he knows it. As for seeing the starters in the preseason, I suspect Mike Vrabel has mixed feelings on this. I think some guys will play, and others won't. But I sure as heck wouldn't risk it with some guys.

Chris Berry from Cleveland, Tennessee
I gotta be honest and say that I'm a limited time viewer for preseason action. I can't use too many brownie points at home before the season starts and (the Minnesota) game (wasn't) on standard TV in my area anyway. My question/comment is related to Chestnut vs Haskins. I usually hear great things about Haskins in practice and his pedigree, but all the eye test in games seems that Chestnut is the better pure running back. Ignoring special teams stuff, how did these two look against the Vikings?

Jim: Chestnut looked really good – ran for 98 yards, scored two touchdowns. Haskins didn't play.

Pamela Saldana from Nashville, Tennessee
Hello Jim. I'm stoked about the Titans. Our defense is stout. It starts (and often ends) with the D-Line. For a few years the interior line has been stellar, but we've lacked consistent edge play. Now we have the horses and the DB depth to exploit the pressure the D-Line brings.
Likewise, I'm very pleased with the way Malik Willis has responded to being counted down and out. He's still learning but he is much more refined. I hope he will be utilized this season with plays that are designed for his skill set. I would love to see him, Derrick Henry and Tyjae Spears on the field at the same time.
Finally, I hope Mason Kinsey makes the 53 man roster. He is a shifty, scrappy competitor who manages to stay healthy.

Jim: Thanks for taking the, Pamela.

Justin King from Canton, Georgia
Hi Jim, thanks for all the great updates from training camp. I imagine your head's on swivel to be able to catch all the action! Wanted to get your thoughts on the Middle Linebacker battle. Azeez is a lock, but how's it shaping up for the #2 LB spot with Rice, Campbell, and Dr. Gibby?

Jim: Hi Justin. Azeez has looked really good, you're right on that. Jack Gibbens has been mostly solid, Chance Campbell has improved, and Monty Rice has been sidelined for a bit. Heading into training camp, I thought Gibbens had a chance to emerge as the starter this season. He's continued to make a pretty good case for himself.

Jamie Driver from Union City, Tennessee
Hey Jim thanks for keeping me and all the Two Tone Blue 🔵💙💙 fans informed. I might be biased but even with how we played (especially o line) think we still have enough star power to do and 360° this year by taking AFC South Title and make a run in the playoffs. What is your opinion on this year's team so far compared to last year's? I know it's way way early but if we had a decent last year it could have made a lot easier especially for Malik's progression.

Jim: Hi Jamie. I think this team will be better than last year's team — if it can stay healthy.

Have a great week everyone!

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