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Tuesday Mailbag: Jim Wyatt Answers Questions From Titans Fans

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NASHVILLE – So, how many folks watched the NFL playoffs over the weekend?

No, it wasn't the same with the Titans sitting at home, but I thought the games were entertaining.

Things are getting interesting in Titans Land as well, as searches for the next general manager and offensive coordinator are under way.

And so, too, is the latest mailbag.

Let's go…

Here's the link to submit questions: CLICK HERE

Josh LeBlanc from Navarre, Florida
Question:
Jim. Wow what a crazy time since the Titans have come to Tennessee!! My son and I are die hard fans since day 1. I am not gonna waste space on negative things we all know, or think we do. My question is two parts. 1. Burks was slowed by injuries, and other things, here and there, what is your evaluation of what you were able to see in practice and game situations. 2. What is your overall view of the Rookie class as a whole? As always, good and bad years is just football at every level, we back this team 100% from the owner to management, and all the reporters, keep being at franchise we believe in, TITAN UP!!!!

Jim: Appreciate the email, Josh. I like Treylon Burks. Thought he showed a lot of maturity, and ability, when he played. He had some bad luck from an injury standpoint, but I think he's going to be good. And, I think the entire class has big potential. Burks, Roger McCreary, Nicholas Petit-Frere and Chig Okonkwo were big contributors. Hassan Haskins played a nice role, and before he was sideline with injuries I thought Kyle Philips showed a lot of skills and potential. I still believe he is going to be a really good player. Malik Willis needs to keep getting better, and Chance Campbell will be in the mix in camp next year as well.

Luis Resendiz from San Marcos, California
Question:
Hi, Jim. The last time my Titans had a franchise QB was when Air McNair was our leader. Do you agree? Or am I missing someone? Do you think Malik could be our future franchise QB? Thank you very much for your time and may God bless you. Go Titans.

Jim: I disagree. Say what you want about Vince Young and Marcus Mariota, two guys who started a lot of games but eventually flamed out. But Ryan Tannehill is without question a franchise quarterback, and he's been underappreciated as a player, and a leader, in the eyes of too many. The jury is out on Malik Willis. He's very much a work in progress.

Paul Gambini from Las Vegas, Nevada
Question:
Caleb Farley was a poor pick ... his back injury history at a young age for a cornerback was huge red flag. He will never pan out. Malik will never be a nfl QB. Seems like nice guys. But I'm right. And hence JR being Audi 5000. Ps…not having a vet QB on a Super Bowl ready team and raw dogging it with Malik was worthy of a mid season firing. Change my mind.

Jim: It's not up to me to change your mind, Paul. The only people who can change your mind on this are Caleb Farley and Malik Willis. And, I think we've all learned the 2022 Titans weren't a Super Bowl ready team.

Jeff Marsalis from San Antonio, Texas
Question:
Hi Jim...I saw where we interviewed candidates from Chicago & Arizona for our GM spot...Why are we looking at people coming from losing clubs? We need a GM who has proven they know how to build a roster, or were at least part of the effort. I look at Chicago & Arizona recent records & I do not see anything I want to emulate. What is your take on the candidates they have looked at so far?

Jim: Hey Jeff. I've seen others say this as well. My take: That's a pretty short-sighted way of looking at things. I think you have to look at where else each candidate has been. Bears assistant GM Ian Cunningham, for instance, previously worked with the Ravens and Eagles, where he was a part of front offices that earned him a pair of Super Bowl rings. I think all of the candidates have great qualities. Heck, one of the guys who interviewed – former Titans Director of Player Personnel Monti Ossenfort – was hired as GM of the Cardinals on Monday.

Leigh Ann Baird from Nashville, Tennessee
Question:
Hello Jim. Founding member season ticket holder and I am just so sad! It is tough to watch the games happening this weekend. I have huge respect to Amy Adams Strunk and have so enjoyed watching her lead the franchise. I believe in Coach V. But still struggling to keep my hopes up and look forward to next season after all these years? Would love your perspective. Leigh Ann

Jim: Hang in there, Leigh Ann. I think we all have to face the fact the 2022 Titans just weren't good enough. Look at the teams still alive in the playoffs – Chiefs, Bills, Bengals, Jaguars, Eagles, Giants, 49ers, Cowboys. The Titans went 0-8 against those teams, playing all of them but the 49ers. I still contend the 2021 Titans should've won the Super Bowl, and that team blew it. The 2019 and 2020 teams also had great chances to win it all, and it didn't happen. With all that said, I can promise you Amy Adams Strunk, Mike Vrabel, and the next GM will work relentlessly to get the franchise in a position to compete again. Nothing can be done about what's happened in the past. But this time next month, every team will be preparing for 2023, working to try and win it all next season. I think the Titans will be contenders again in the not-so-distant future because of the leadership in place. I know the team appreciates your loyalty and support.

Thomas Torres from Los Angeles, California
Question:
Hello Jim. We actually met back at this year's draft in Vegas where you approached me and my father and asked us what the Titans should do in the draft. I responded by saying I think they would trade AJ Brown for picks and draft a QB at some point to look towards the future, which is pretty much what happened. I personally would have rather kept AJ but just from a fans perspective at the time it felt like the team was leaning more towards trading him. My question is: Now that the season is over and we have the benefit of hindsight, should they have kept AJ, or did they make the right call trading him for more picks to try and help other areas as well as trying to replace him with Burks?

Jim: I remember, Thomas. I actually told the GM you said that, and I'm pretty sure that's what prompted the trade. … Just kidding. 😊 … Hard for me to sit here today and say it was a "great" move. The Titans need a game-changing receiver, and they had one in A.J. But it was complicated, and I get why it happened. I do think Burks is going to end up being a good player.

Rob Mitchell from Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Question:
Kyler Murray has said that playing the game of chess helps him focus his mind before a game. Do any Titan players play chess? Are there any who share chess with children as a life skill?

Jim: You've got me here, Rob. I've never seen any Titans playing chess before a game.

Michael Miles from LaVergne, Tennessee
Question:
Jim thanks for all the time you have put in to put up with us. Just got one question or maybe two. Why is it a lot of the Titan fans are wanting to get rid of Henry? He had over 1500 yards this year while he he NO O LINE TO SPEAK OF. Every time we got the ball the opposing team put five six or seven up front because they knew he was going to get the ball. Now I am not a pro but I know it ain't easy running against that type of a wall. HE STILL HAD OVER 1500 YARDS THIS YEAR. If the ones that want to trade Henry want to trade yourself to another team. I just hope that next year is better in both the Titans and for the dang Refs. KEEP THE FAITH AND TITAN UP. Thanks Jim see ya next year.

Jim: Been hearing this from several folks, Michael.

Tom Bottone from Connecticut
Question:
Hey Jim , First time writing in. Long time Oilers and Titans fan going back to Dan Pastorini and Billy (white shoes) Johnson. Always love reading your mailbag.
Not really a question just an observation. I know injuries aren't an excuse but no one even talks about how much of a loss it was to lose Harold Landry for the season before the season even started. He was the sack leader of this team last year.I mean come on man we were down to a lot of practice squad players for a lot of the season. And very proud of how the back up players tried. They gave it their all. Dobbs played his heart out and probably deserves a chance to compete for the back up qb spot. And coach Vrabel is a really good coach he always gets his guys to play their best. I think the Titans will be fine. Definitely need to work on getting help on the o line and get another wr. and have to figure out the qb situation. Maybe get Derick Carr in here. And get everyone healthy for next year. Titan up!

Jim: Good to hear from you, Tom. Don't be a stranger.

Bill Caldwell from Lebanon, Tennessee
Question:
Afternoon Jim, we'll tough season. Total respect for the Coaches and Players for a solid effort and a never give up attitude. Just too many mountains to climb this year instead of hills. So going forward I'm curious about a silent favor in signing free agents and extending contracts. In your candied interaction with players has the fact that taxes are often 10% to 20% higher in many areas in the west and northeast? Or other living arrangement issues like cost of living or crime factor into decisions made. I'm sure loyalty and friendships are factor. Seems the seasoned veteran with family would think this. Looking forward to an active off season. When do u think the hiring of the GM and coaches will be complete? Good Bless Pray Derrick wins the Walter Payton award, total respect there.

Jim: Hey Bill. Amy Adams Strunk said she expects to do the interviews in two rounds. I think the first round of interviews will be completed in the coming days. Wouldn't surprise me if a new GM is in place by next week.

Jack Young from Tullahoma, Tennessee
Question:
Hello Jim. I'm a long time Titan fan, even before, when they were the Oilers. I enjoy reading your weekly mailbag, it's always informative.
This is my 1st time writing. Just have a comment and then a question.
When I looked at the coaches that were let go as well as the general manager, no disagreement here, I'm sure they were very loyal & motivated. But, year in and year out, same weakness; secondary, offensive line, & special teams; as well as an offense that lacks imagination. It is my suspicion, that a yearly weakness is due to a flawed technique & the game situation being taught. I will give you, injuries to key personal is at least a contributing factor, which brings me to the question. Why do the Titans have so many injuries every season, much more than other teams, again, year in and year out? I am confident that the team has dietitians & strength & fitness coaches. Looks to me that there is something lacking here as well. Looking forward to your feedback.

Jim: Hey Jack. I really wish I could tell you the answer on all the injuries. Believe me, if I knew I'd say something to make it stop. I can guarantee you Mike Vrabel and the new GM will look further into it this offseason, trying to find ways to prevent them. Not all injuries can be prevented, of course. I don't believe it's all bad luck, and I also don't believe it's all on the strength and conditioning staff, as some folks writing contend.

Rob Kinlen from Knoxville, Tennessee
Question:
Hey Jim, I just got done reading your last mailbag. There were a few more positive comments about Josh Dobbs than was expected by me. Being from Knoxville I have followed Josh career for a while. He is the only QB that the coaches tried to redshirt not once but twice, only to have to put him in due to other players injury . He never complained about missed reps while other players practiced in front of him. He just went in and did his job the best he could. Same thing he did for the Titans with less than 17 days of practice of any kind. He missed the blitz read on the strip sack, but I wonder who missed the block? Josh is a team first guy, no complaints about the blocking in front of him. Football is a team sport the quarterback needs 10 teammates on the field with him to be successful . Now my hope for this off season.
1-keep Dobbs and let him work with our receivers for more than a few days
2 trade tanny to someone in the NFC for a draft choice
3-use the freed up money to sign a couple of good offensive linemen
4- let Dobbs and Willis compete for being the starter
This team needs multiple players and that costs MONEY. If Willis can get up to speed and become the starter Dobbs is still a good QB#2. If he is not ready yet then Dobbs is a good QB#1 with 10 good players around him.
Best wishes to you all.

Jim: Appreciate you sharing your thoughts.
But I don't see a scenario where Dobbs and Willis are competing for the starting spot in 2023.

Clifford Seay from Clarksville, Tennessee
Question:
I'm proud of our guys and I would like to send a special thanks to Mike Vrabelf for an excellent coaching job being that he has the most players on an active roster for second year in a row. I would like to know what's the plan going forward I like the candidates for Gm but also could y'all consider Louis Riddick I feel he's a good observer of talent.

Jim: Hi Clifford. I like Louis Riddick, too, but I haven't heard his name mentioned as being in the mix.

Joe Allen from Lebanon, Tennessee
Question:
Well, Chris B from Murfreesboro was spot on with his assessment of Jacksonville and it's fans! When I was with the Chamber of Commerce for Lebanon, TN, we would avoid going to Jacksonville and after the last trip to Indy, most likely would not bother again with them either! Sad to say that fans are behaving this way, win or lose. After all, it is just a game. One that I have followed for well over 65 years and have seen some good ones in those years with fiery, but respectful fans. Seems a lot of this started with Philly fans throw snowballs at Santa! Well, enough of that and now on to better decisions going forward. Dobbs is a keeper and Lewan needs to go along with the rest of the OL except Ben Jones. He has been the rock in the middle of the pebbles. Our DL is stout and with Landry coming back, things look good for next year. Glad to see Downing go and the rest of the staff. When I can predict the 1st down decisions every-time, that is sad! Personal Injuries are another issue and needs to be revamped. Good decisions on draft class and leadership will set this ship in the right direction going forward. Thank you Jim for keeping us all so well informed and wishing you and yours a very happy and successful New Year! Go "Luv Ya Blue!"

Jim: Happy New Year, Joe!

Abe Harrell from Charlotte, North Carolina
Question:
Hey Jim this I just had one quick question for you: Do you think it is possible that Josh Dobbs starts next year over Ryan?

Jim: No.

Adrian Lopez from Caracas, Venezuela
Question:
Hey Jim c�mo vas? Te felicito por tu trabajo durante la temporada....Que a�o para los Titans, aunque pens� que nuestra ventana de SB se cerr� en 21-22 como fiel seguidor del equipo mantuve la esperanza de un buen a�o a pesar de la p�rdida de AJ y el equipo mostr� su dureza y ese r�cord de 7-3 me ilusiono con llegar a play off...pero de nuevo las lesiones acabaron con el sue�o... mis preguntas: El despido de JRob sea el costo de los errores al armar la lista o crees que es un fin de ciclo?? Crees que el enfoque para el nuevo GM debe ser ofensivo? Tienes alg�n candidato de preferencia? Y una �ltima Willis todav�a tiene oportunidad real de qb franquicia en Tenn??Gracias por tus respuestas... Ten�a muuuucho tiempo sin escribir y ten�a que dejarlo salir?

Jim: Jim: Que bueno saber de ti Adrián. Sentí que el equipo de 2021 era "el equipo" y todos sabemos lo que pasó. Que oportunidad perdida. Creo que las fallas de J-Rob en las selecciones clave del draft y los movimientos de agente libre contribuyeron al problema. No tengo un candidato preferido, solo quiero una buena elección. Todavía no estoy convencido de Willis para ser honesto. Sé que necesita mejorar mucho.

Seth McAbee from Hobart, Oklahoma
Question:
Hey Jim! I have been a Tennessee Titans fan ever since I got a computer game that had Steve McNair on it when I was about 10 years old. As a preteen, I idolized Frank Wycheck and Eddie George. I am a first time writer…
I have full confidence in the ownership and Mike Vrabel to fulfill the needs of general manager and coaching staff. With the rest from the off-season I'm confident Tannehill will come back and the question is who will be his back up… My hopes is that the new GM and staff decides to spend a little bit more money than it has historically spent on the offensive line and cornerbacks on defense. We have respectable pieces on offense and a solid D line. Jacksonville opened up the checkbook this past year and it seemed to pay off… hoping the same for us. I am excited what the future holds with our team. Titan Up!

Jim: Hey Seth. Good to hear from you. Wish I could tell you everyone who is coming back/and not coming back, at this point. The reality is it's too soon to know. The team needs to hire a new GM, and it needs to work through some cap issues. I suspect there will be big changes, however. Stay tuned.

Have a great week everyone!

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