NASHVILLE – With the offseason work now in the rear-view mirror, it's time to start counting the days until training camp.
The first practice is scheduled for July 26.
Yes, it's going to be a while.
Keep checking Titans Online for info, including some in this Titans mailbag…
Tyler Smith from Millington, Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim! With Jeffery Simmons recovering, who will play alongside Jurrell Casey on our interior? Short question but I would love to know what that positional battle is looking like, if there is competition there at all. If not, maybe look for someone like Muhammad Wilkerson to bring wisdom for Simmons and competition early on in our interior. Just an idea, one of which I think is reasonable for the near future and in Simmons' development as a pro.
Jim: Hey Tyler. A lot of guys in the mix there. In addition to Jurrell, DaQuan Jones will man one of the outside spots, and inside guys like Austin Johnson, Frank Herron and Matt Dickerson are all battling. Dickerson has put on some significant weight since the end of last year, and he looks even stronger. There's always a chance the team could add more competition at some point as well. More players will become available when teams go from 90 to 53 on August 31.
David Saavedra from El Paso, Texas
Question: Hey Jim. Haven't asked anything in a while, hope you doing good so far near the end of the offseason (cant wait for the preseason!) But something has come to my attention the Bears have shown their new uniforms that seem to be a throwback to the early 40's(?) And so I noticed they also showed off a new helmet which reminded me of what Amy said regarding if we were to get our oiler throwback uniform we'd need another helmet so I'm curious does this mean it's very much a possibility now? Thanks for reading and hope you have a good day!
Jim: Hey David. This actually came up last week as well. As you alluded to, the NFL has a rule where teams can only wear one helmet. The Bears throwback-helmet look that was unveiled is doable because it's actually the same helmet – they just swamped out decals. The Titans can't wear the Oilers oil derrick helmets after making the switch from white to navy blue helmets last year.
Anthony Moore, from Melbourne, Australia
Question: Greetings from Melbourne, Australia. Long time Titans fan, from back in the Warren Moon Run-n-Gun Oilers days... I love everything you do keeping me up to date during the off season. Being 10,000 miles away is no problem with the great work from the Titans whether its online or on the OTP which is compulsory listening for me.
Wondering whether you can let me know what's happening with Will Compton. Is he likely to be re-signed by the team? Has a horrid run with injury but I sure did like his production at the Skins and am hoping he can get back to that level with the Titans. Would appreciate your thoughts. Best regards.
Jim: Hey Anthony. Appreciate the question from Down Under. I'm sure Will appreciates you asking about him. I like Will – he's a good guy, and a good player. I enjoyed being around him last season. Heck, I'd love to see him back. But I'll be honest: I suspect Will's chances of returning to the Titans aren't good. The team has added a pair of new guys at ILB – Riley Bullough and David Long. Jr – this offseason and with Rashaan Evans, Jayon Brown and Wesley Woodyard, the team has good depth inside. And Daren Bates is another guy who helps on special teams. But hey, never say never, right? Will remains on the market, waiting for another chance. In the meantime, check him out on Bussin' With The Boys, his podcast with Taylor Lewan.
Bill Bohall from Portland, Tennessee
Question: Quick question...Meaning of "yellow jersey" during Mini-Camp??? Injury?? Restricted contact??? Player likes yellow???
Jim: Hey Bill. You're right – it's for guys who are dealing with injuries. Not sure if they also like the color yellow…
Troy Lillard from Madison
Question: Good morning or good afternoon Mr Jim Wyatt. I would like to know how is the progression of Derick Roberson?
Jim: Hey Troy. You're referring to Sam Houston State outside linebacker Derick Roberson, of course. I must admit, after he joined the team as an undrafted free agent, I've kept an eye on him in practices. I didn't notice him a lot early, but he came on during the course of the offseason. He flashed more at the end, and I think he definitely has potential. The key for him will be when the pads come on in camp. Check back with me in August and I'll have a much better feel for his game after seeing him against padded up o-linemen.
Nick Kranz from Kokomo, Indiana
Question: Hey Jim. Got a question for you. I live in Kokomo, IN. I'm too far for season tickets, been a Titans fan since the move from HOU. I drive up a couple to a few times every season. I've never come down for any type of "open practice." I've heard there are practices that fans are welcome to watch & the chances of autographs & high fives are really good. When & where is a good time for this? I've tried to track down a set of pre-game on field passes this year against our #1 enemy the Colts. It's week 2 & the day before my 32nd birthday. I'm having no luck so I'm looking into the open practices. Got any advice? I really want my Mariota jersey signed & would love to meet some players. Ultimate birthday gift lol. Thanks & God Bless.
Jim: Hey Nick. Best bet will be on Saturday, August 3 – the practice at Nissan Stadium. Sure, some of the practices at Saint Thomas Sports Park will provide opportunities, and some guys will sign there. While Marcus signs every day for kids after training camp practices, he usually only signs one day for fans at STSP, and that date is TBD. The practice at Nissan Stadium, however, regularly features all the players, including Marcus, signing for fans around the lower bowl of the stadium. Stay tuned for more info on this event. I'm expecting it to be in the evening of the 3rd.
Michael Newsome from Drexel, North Carolina
Question: Hi Jim. It seems like this is the 3rd straight offseason that we are hearing about how Henry is a man among boys and that he is going to get fed this season. But for whatever reason we end up losing sight of that sometime around kickoff of Week 1, then in December we look down at the depth chart and are like "Crap! We forgot that Henry was on the team AGAIN!" On a scale from "Wait, what was I just about to say?" to "I never forget, I'm like an elephant.", where would you place the Titans probability of utilizing Henry before snow is on the ground in 2019?
Jim: Hey Michael. Hope all is well. I hear ya, and I know OC Arthur Smith has talked about the team's plans to utilize Henry more. But I've said this plenty: A lot depends on Henry, and how he performs. The reality is he didn't get off to a great start personally last year, and he's blamed himself. Everyone remembers the 238-yard, four-TD game against the Jaguars in December – Henry carried the ball 17 times that night. Well, Henry actually had one more carry in the first game against the Jaguars in September, when he went for just 57 yards on 18 carries. So he'll earn his opportunities by performing well. Keep in mind a lot depends on how games are going (Winning? Losing? Close game? Blowout?). And keep in mind the team will still utilize running back Dion Lewis. But Henry will get his, as long as he gets his when the ball is in his hands.
Have a great week everyone!