NASHVILLE – It's game week.
And we're talking regular season this time.
Yes, the Titans face the Saints in New Orleans on Sunday.
It's going to be a busy week in Titans land.
Let's get right into this Tuesday's Titans mailbag …
Here's the link to submit questions: CLICK HERE
Hunter Phelan from South Pasadena, California
Question: Hi Sir Jim, hope all is well in Titan Nation. Man I am so pumped for the season. Let's GOOOOO!!!! As always thanks for all you do with the mailbag, and all the great articles.
I remember coach Vrabel always saying Brett Kern was weapon he was so good at pinning teams inside the 20. As impressive as Ryan Stonehouse was as a rookie punter, seemed like he could improve touch or directional punting inside the 20. Do you feel like he has improved, or made some strides during camp compared to last year's campaign? Let's get after those Saints!! Go Titans!!!
Jim: Hope all is well, Hunter. I know it's something Ryan has worked on this offseason, and based on what I have observed in practices, he has improved. Mike Vrabel doesn't hesitate to call out Ryan for ways he can get better from time to time, and I think it's because he knows how talented he is – he took the same approach with Brett. We'll start to get some of these answers on Sunday.
Blaine Miller from Charleston, Arkansas
Question: How has the culture changed from the losing streak last season to now looking forward to a new season?
Jim: The culture was created by Mike Vrabel, so the expectations around the team are the same. But it's a new year, and a new team. The team has 24 new players, including veterans, draft picks, undrafted players. Ten members of the coaching staff are new, along with a new GM and two new assistant GMs. Obviously, none of those folks were around for last year's losing streak. This year's squad will create its own identity, starting this Sunday. I can promise you no one is thinking about last year any longer.
John Mellos from Montréal, Québec, Canada
Question: Bonjour Jim! Hope all is well. Can't tell you how excited I am for this season!! It really seems like we have found a way to revamp our roster with some young hungry players and still retain some of our key vets who really deserve another shot at glory this season (Byard, Tannehill, Henry). Especially excited for Henry to get the chance to show what what he can do with a new look offensive line in front of him and for Dhop to show all the haters he's still got it. Probably two of the Greatest players in recent years who both get a severe lack of love from the media. Anywho, I actually had a question when I started writing this. I was scrolling through available free agents and noticed that both Jayon Brown and Rashaan Evans remain unsigned... I know it's late in the game but after the recent addition of Trevis Gipson I was left wondering what the chances are of scooping one of these guys up to pair with Azeez Al-Shaair at LB? I'll be honest, I was sad to see them go (especially Rashaan) in favour of Zach Cunningham. Am I crazy? What do you think?
Jim: Hey John. Someone asked me this a while back as well, about Jayon and Rashaan. … I haven't heard any buzz about this. With that said, I do wonder myself about the depth at ILB. I suspect we'll see some more roster tinkering in the coming weeks – after Week 1 (because of the guarantees for vested veterans who are on the roster Week 1).
Rylan Padgett from Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim, What are your thoughts on us not playing Hopkins and Tannehill in the pre-season, how do they expect to build that chemistry without some live reps in the pre-season?
Jim: Personally, I think they developed chemistry in practices. I didn't need to see either of them in the preseason. I also understand if things don't start out great on Sunday, I'll get plenty of emails from folks saying it's because they didn't play in the preseason.
Roy White from Smyrna, Tennessee
Question: Did some reading on new receiver Colton Dowell. It seems as a Skyhawk he sometimes would be used as a tight end occasionally. Lots because of his height and blocking ability. Just wondered if this has been looked at any because only carrying 3 tight ends.
Jim: No. Colton will play WR.
Jeremy Kain from Plattsburgh, New York
Question: Hello Jim, I'm looking forward to the start of the season. I feel the organization has really shored up areas that needed patching or major additions. The Defense looks loaded, and when Hopkins, Burks and Okonkwo are not scorching foes, they should be opening things up for King Henry and Spears/Chesnut. If Nick Folk is the kicking solution; Great! The focus solely lies now on the Offensive Line. At the Draft I was ecstatic with the selection of Peter Skoronski. Hopefully Jaelyn Duncan will help as well. We let some veterans go, but seemed to only fill their shoes with backups from other teams during free agency. I didn't see any notable OTs released on Tuesday. Many teams have suffered preseason injuries to these big guys, which keeps things limited even more. The only available OTs left in free agency are well in their 30s with injury questions. Petit-Frere will be joining the crew in October, and it was fun to see him in action against the Patriots. But if the Titans want to open holes for Henry and keep any of our QBs off their backs, another addition needs to be made, and it seems like the interior would be the only area where improvements can still be made at this point. Corey Levin was released; would bringing back Ben Jones help push Brewer? Dalton Risner would certainly help. He's an above average run blocker and may instantly be our best lineman on passing downs. With five-to-six million left in cap space, It would be hard to imagine a better player to add to the solution. What do you think? Are there things being looked at for a trade for an improvement on the line? BTW Willis played very well (in the last preseason game). His second interception was tipped at the line and yet between the recaps of the game by Titans' staff/coaches, and NFL.com reporters, he simply threw a bad pass prior to performing well afterwards. Again, the ball was tipped. Willis played a very solid game throwing to receivers that just made the roster, and some that didn't. And, he was playing behind some starters, and their backups, for an offensive line - that appears to be our Achilles' Heel for now.
Jim: Good to hear from you, Jeremy. Just fishing through some questions in your submission. A few answers: I don't see a scenario where Ben Jones comes back, even though I'd love to see it myself – Ben's a great guy. I just think Mike Vrabel loves Ben too much to let him play again following his recent concussions. ... Risner is a solid guard as well, but the team has some other options. And, the staff wants to give Aaron Brewer his chance - Vrabel believes in him. … Time will tell how the o-line does as a unit.
Alberto Armando Tellez Salcedo from Durago, Mexico
Question: Saludos Jim desde Durango, Mexico, me encuentro ya muy emocionado por que ya va a iniciar la temporada, que buen movimiento el de Trevis Gipson un edge que va ayudar mucho en la rotación, junto a Key, Landry, Weaver y Murphy.
Me gusta mucho la defensiva y bueno el ataque terrestre. Una pregunta por qué Jaques Patrick no se quedo en la tarde escuadra de practicas, me gustaba para que entrara de Full Back en algunos paquetes a la Ofensiva.
Me da gusto que Treylon Burks ya este de regreso.
Una ultima pregunta doble que tienen Arden Key y Monty Rice.
Muchas gracias Jim y Titan Up
Jim: Hola Alberto. También pensé que Gipson era una buena incorporación. La defensa va a ser fuerte. A mí también me gustó el aspecto de Jacques Patrick y sé que recibió algunos elogios por su obra. No me sorprendería que volviera para ser honesto. … Key y Rice deberían estar listos. Que tengas una buena semana.
Bud Stein from Jacksonville, Florida
Question: Top of the am Mr. Jim. Bud in Jags bragging land, Im drowning, I read the weekend mailbag and kudos to Greg Ericson from Franklin. I chimed in the VERY SAME IN a past mailbag never heard back NP. One good year and the jags are great In one play they walked into the playoffs at 9-8 what's so great about that. There is a difference between confident and conceit by players and local announcers. Doug Peterson should be ashamed to let that go on. I was always a Oiler/Titan fan even when I lived in NJ and thought jets fans players were the worst. I retract that Jags can beat anybody should have beat the Chiefs last year ( still playing that tune ) In my opinion 42 Wiegard on jags is a borderline dirty player and makes remarks about Derrick Henry yet gametime and you are there he is barely anywhere near Derrick. NOBODY talks about the Titans Not Espn NFL Network. I dont get it it . Everyone has loss of memory. As I recall not that long ago Titans were the number 1 seed and had the coach of the year.So as pointed out 2022 was a down year. Doesnt every good team have one? Mike Vrabel never blamed anything on injuries bad plays etc. I say the even though all have the jags at 6-0 in AFC South its wide open. You dont make predictions cause i asked. I think Titans will go 10-7 and maybe 11-6 Have a great season and take care. Respectfully.
Jim: I hear ya, Bud. Keep holding it down in Duval. I'll be honest: I don't need any more Jaguars-related emails in here tbh. The Titans need to focus on the Titans … and this week, the Saints.
Have a great week everyone!