NASHVILLE – Hope everyone had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend.
And I hope everyone is staying safe.
Thanks for always keeping the inbox hopping with questions.
Let's jump into another Titans mailbag right now…
Here's the link to ask questions: CLICK HERE.
Steve Mixer from Ontario, Canada
Question: Hi Jim. I love the mailbag. I've been a Titans fan since the Music City Miracle, but we don't get a lot of coverage this far north so I spend a lot of time reading and watching highlights. It was really nice seeing the boys finally get some coverage and appreciation later in the season. Watching them beat the Patriots and the Ravens was glorious!
I had two quick questions that I was hoping you could help me out on.
1) The Titans didn't seem to have much of a pass-rush and it was sometimes painful watching how much time opposing quarterbacks had. It was never more obvious than against KC, but we saw it throughout the season. Is this a priority roster need that they're working to fill, or are they going to address it and just deal with it in their coverage schemes? I worry about what things will look like if we don't address the pass rush AND we let (Logan) Ryan go without a reasonable replacement.
2) If Wilson doesn't make an immediate impact, is the team comfortable with how they can replace Jack Conklin and keep King Henry rolling?
Thanks, and keep up the good work! Go Titans!
Jim: Hi Steve. Appreciate you reading.
Now, some answers:
1) Well, the team is counting on Vic Beasley to make a big difference here. It's also counting on guys like Harold Landry and Kamalei Correa building on their momentum from a year ago. Same can be said for guys like Derick Roberson and D'Andre Walker. I think this is a group that can be effective, but everything does go hand in hand – guys in the secondary are going to have to play better. Let's face it, there were some coverage breakdowns in that game at Arrowhead Stadium, and tackling was pretty shoddy as well.
2) I think Wilson will end up being a solid replacement. If I had to bet on it right now, though, I'd put my money on Dennis Kelly being the starter when the season kicks off, though. And Dennis has given folks reason to believe in him.
Richard Jones from Jacksonville, Florida
Question: Hey Jim, thanks for all that you do. What do you think our greatest strength and our Achilles heel is both on offense and defense?
Jim: Hey Richard. Greatest strength? Let's go running game, led by Derrick Henry. Achilles heel? Well, it's hard to say without seeing a practice. Let's go with biggest question mark. I'll say cornerback, simply because the team will be counting on a draft pick (Kristian Fulton) and a newcomer (albeit 14-year veteran Johnathan Joseph) to fill a pretty big void left by Logan Ryan's departure. In time, we may learn the Titans are good here. But guys are going to need to play well, and that includes Malcolm Butler and Adoree' Jackson.
Rey Rodriguez from Erie, Pennsylvania
Question: Hey what's up Jim? I been a Titans fan for a while. I was just wondering when do you think the team will spend on a big free agent? Because the Jurrell Casey trade is looking more and more unjust.
Jim: Hey Rey. I've said this many time before: Jurrell wasn't traded to free up space to sign a "big free agent." It was a decision that took into account his big salary and cap hit, and projecting what the team thinks he'll do in the years to come. The Titans have spent money this offseason, from signing Tannehill to a new long-term deal to placing the pricey franchise tag on Derrick Henry to keep him to adding Vic Beasley, Jack Crawford and Johnathan Joseph, among others, to re-signing Dennis Kelly, Kamalei Correa, MyCole Pruitt. Everyone knows Jurrell Casey is worth more than a 7th round pick in return. But again, the deal wasn't about compensation.
Thomas Hibpshman from Soldotna, Alaska
Question: Hi Jim, I'm a huge fan of the Titans from Alaska. Never been to a game yet, but I'm hoping to in the next year or so. First I would like to say that Tannehill isn't the greatest quarterback, but he gave the Titans the spark that was so desperately needed. He and the rest of the offense seemed to sync quickly and had really good chemistry. He also showed his strength and toughness last season making or extending plays to ensure us the win. I personally believe that as a team if the players can keep it up we don't need a high profile quarterback. A team full of players that are in tune with each other across the board is better than one or two high profile players. He carried the team from a rough patch through the playoffs, he deserves the chance to do that again. My last thought is probably never gonna happen, but since the NFL now has out of country games, someone should try to get a game in Anchorage, Alaska once a year. The sports stadium up here is much smaller than the stadiums -- in the lower 48 -- but I would bet that the stadium would be busting at the seams up here and give us fans something who can't make it to games.
Jim: Hey Thomas. Good to hear from you. If you're talking about Tannehill as a Titan, well, I think he deserves more props than shade, and I think you got there. He was accurate, tough, and he proved to be a great leader last year. Now he has to keep it going. A road trip for a game in Alaska? It will be a cold day in … Alaska … Never say never, right?
Troy Rogers from Hendersonville, Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim. Just wanted to commend you on the write up on Rusty Griffin you had. I have sat in Sec 146 Row K with "Santa" since day one of the Titans and there was never a nicer guy or bigger fan. We were there through thick and thin and thinner. Every game, every season. He was quite a character and I will miss him greatly. My kids always knew how to find our seat, just turn left at Santa (although it was difficult to explain to my 4 year old why Santa was drinking Bud Light). Great article for a great Titans fan. TITAN UP
Jim: Hey Troy. I really appreciate the feedback. The response to that story has been incredible, which speaks to just how much Rusty was loved. Here's a link for those who missed it: CLICK HERE.
Randall Malone from Smyrna, Tennessee
Question: Wassup Jim? Thanks for all the hard work keeping us informed and giving us info that seems we would have no outlet to as Titans fans. I have a quick question do you see the Titans having any interest in veteran Clay Matthews joining the squad? After losing Casey, Ryan, Woodyard...etc I feel we need more of a vet presence to push J Brown, Evans ,Fulton ..etc the young guys on defense in the right direction . I know we picked up Joseph from the Texans but I can't see his vet presence really having an impact on the Box, defensive interior. Do you agree ?
Jim: Hey Randall. Good to hear from you. I haven't heard Clay's name mentioned, but I'm sure the GM is exploring all options. Once we get close to camp, I'd expect some more additions to be made. Not saying it will be Matthews, just saying the roster is far from set.
Adam Hanner from Coalmont, Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim first time writing in I love reading your ask Jim. My question for you is with all the change on defense and without a true defensive coordinator do you think our defense will take a dip this year? I mean with so many new pieces it's kinda hard not to am I right? I think our offense will be as good if not better than last year even with the loss of Conklin given another year for Tannehil to get better in the offense and for Arthur Smith as well thanks and stay safe.
Jim: Hey Adam. Good to hear from you. Know Micah Layne from Coalmont? He's been a regular in here. Make no mistake: Dean Pees will be missed. He has a great football mind, players loved him, and he always produced solid game plans. Based on his departure, and losing guys like Jurrell Casey and Logan Ryan so far, it's fair to question how things might go on that side of the ball in 2020. But keep in mind the head coach has a great defensive mind himself, and he's been very involved in the game plans over the past two years. He's a good guy to put some trust in, but yeah, some guys are going to have to step up across the board.
Hasan Sturgis from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Question: Hello, Jim. Hope you, your family, and my Titans and staying safe during these hard times. Jim, I've been a fan for over 20 years now, first game football game I ever watched was Steve Air McNair coming up a yard short to Derrick Mason. My question to you, from a die-hard Titans fan. Are we/do you think we are going to resign The King? I haven't bought a Titans jersey since Da Freak. And I don't want to buy a Kong's jersey to see him walk away. Thanks for reading and stay safe. #titanup
Jim: Hello Hasan. I know the team wants to sign Derrick to a long-term deal. Do I think it will happen? Well, at this point I just don't know how it will play out. But I wouldn't panic just because it hasn't happened yet. The GM said a few months ago he'd like to get something done closer to training camp, and that's still two months away. And keep in mind the franchise will still be available to use in 2021 as well, so I'd expect at least two more seasons of Henry in a Titans uniform.
Marco Antonio from Nezahualcoyotl, Estado de Mexico
Question: Hi Jim, my always grateful for your attention. My questions are: Do you already have the new defensive coordinator in mind? Will we see Jadeveon Clowney in our defense?
Jim: Hola Marco. Si and Tal vez.
Have a great week everyone and stay safe!