NASHVILLE – Well, that didn't go so well.
The Titans started the season with a clunker, and there's denying it.
Head coach Mike Vrabel is ticked, the players aren't happy, and I certainly don't expect any of you to be either.
I wasn't surprised when I opened up my mailbag on Monday, it was filled to the brim.
Let's dive in…
Here's the link to ask questions: CLICK HERE.
Brett Heard from Nashville, Tennessee
Question: That was terrible. Our starters should have played more preseason.
Jim: This is a popular theory, and an easy one to suggest after what happened against the Cardinals. I got several emails on this topic. Did the Titans look out of sync on offense? Yes. But based on what I saw on Sunday, the Titans would've gotten smoked even if the starters on offense played a handful of series in the final preseason game against the Bears. And playing them against the Buccaneers back-ups (since TB didn't play its starters in Week 2 of the preseason) wouldn't have made a difference on Sunday either. I'm not blaming what happened Sunday on a little rust.
Kev White from Salisbury, North Carolina
Question: Hey Jim! Wow! Just wow! Not the start any of us wanted. What happened? Rhetorical question. Real question, what happened to our O-line? They were bullied the entire game. This is dangerous for our QB. I'm sure Tannehill had some flashbacks of his time in Miami. Lewan and Lamm have to shape up. The pressure our defense put on Murray was very encouraging. We gave more QB pressure in this one game than we did all of last season. Sloppy game but we'll come back stronger than ever! Take care, Jim!
Jim: Hey Kev. The o-line struggled for sure – too many breakdowns and missed assignments, and guys losing one-on-one matchups. And too many shots on Ryan Tannehill, who I'm sure is sore today. The group needs to clean things up. As for Tennessee's pass rush, yes, there were flashes. But guys have to finish, and they have to be more disciplined in their rushes. There were several instances of guys getting into the backfield quickly, but then being juked out by Kyler Murray. The problem is they'll face a similar guy in Russell Wilson this Sunday.
Jordan Newbury from Cushing, Texas
Question: I can't stand preseason hype, it just makes games like Sunday's all the more frustrating. Other than the Bengals game last year, I can't remember a time when the Titans looked so completely unprepared, outclassed, utterly outplayed, and worse yet, uninspired. It's difficult not to think, or at least worry that the defensive woes from last season have carried over into this one. Sunday also saw the offense take a huge step back. We are lucky to come out of this game without an injured QB! It's only one game, but so far, it's the only game. Hopefully this was just an early season fluke-type debacle, but if this type of play continues, JRob and Vrabel are going to have a lot of questions to answer. For now (admittedly very early) it seems Downing and Bowen are in over their heads. Here's to hoping Sunday will be a very uncommon occurrence.
Jim: It's fair to be critical. But like you said, it's one game…
Claudette Clyde from Chattanooga, Tennessee
Question: Okay, I usually don't do this, but I'm very disappointed with the Titans first game. They need a kicker that can actually kick a field goal. Why would you go after a kicker that was let go the Chargers because he couldn't kick? Do you have money to give away like that? Tennessee State University has a kicker they should be pursuing. He is right in your backyard. I'm not aa scout, but damn common sense tells you spend your money wisely. I'm a retired teacher and I could do better than the person who picked the sorry kicker for this season. Somebody with the Titans organization needs to start using their BRAIN!!!!!! TIRED OF LOSING FAN
Jim: I hear your frustration, Claudette. But the whole kicking situation heading into the opener included some bad luck. Sam Ficken won the job, and he looked great in August – he was 4-of-4 on FGs in three preseason games, including a 58-yarder, and 9-of-9 on PATs in those contests. He was 60-of-67 in FGs in practices, including 16-of-18 in joint practices with the Buccaneers. Then he suffered an injury on Friday. The team signed quickly Michael Badgley, but he didn't get to practice with the team. And, we all saw what happened on Sunday – Badgley didn't do his job very well. And, if you haven't heard, he was cut on Monday. We'll see what happens from here. But keep in mind Badgley wasn't plan A – and the TSU kicker wasn't available.
Carol Thomas from Chattanooga, Tennessee
Question: I'm sorry but what I witnessed today is NOT the way we get to the Super Bowl or for that matter to a play-off. I know the conventional wisdom was not to play any of the starters on the Offense during preseason for fear of injury. But it seems to me they needed some time even if it was just one quarter to get into some kind of rhythm. The penalties were unacceptable and careless. I was expecting to see Fickens as the kicker so when this other guy showed up and missed the first extra point, I thought where did he come from and then when he missed the field goal, well…… not even a field goal could have helped us today with our performance. OK that's the end of my rant. As I always say there is always next week. I'm going to chalk this up to a preseason game and look forward to seeing a team that I believe is so much better than what I saw today. TitanUp!! For real TIGHTEN UP!!!
Jim: Hi Carol. You and Claudette should get together and watch games, because it sounds like you're two passionate fans in Chattanooga! Thanks for taking the time!
Jared Mixon from Valdez, Alaska
Question: Well, at least we didn't have any injuries during that first game. The defense played about as well as I expected given the many new faces. They can only get better. I have a feeling we'll need a top 5 defense if we're going to make the playoffs this year.
Jim: Hey Jared. Good to hear from you again. I don't think the Titans are going to need a top 5 defense to make the playoffs. But they're going to have to be a lot better than they were on Sunday, on both sides of the football. Also, starting safety Amani Hooker left the game with a foot injury, and he did not return.
Steven Crosio from Brick, New Jersey
Question: Hey there Jim, after seeing what happened during the game and the press conference don't you think Mike Vrabel should've blamed Todd Downing instead of Julio Jones? I mean after all it was Todd Downing who put together that horror show we call an offensive line and besides Vrabel wasn't paying attention to that play I mean it was supposed to be a Cardinals penalty not a Titans penalty!
Jim: Hey Steven. The head coach was hardly blaming Julio for anything more than earning a bad penalty, which he did. An 11-year veteran can't make a rookie mistake like that, and it hurt early. And, make no mistake, that penalty definitely should have been on Julio.
Jim Hayes from Georgia
Question: YIKES...... Lousy in every single aspect. Yeah.....defense looked improved...hahahahaha. Way to get them ready for the season Vrabel!!!
Jim: Have a great day, Jim.
Collin Hesselrode from Franklin, Tennessee
Question: Hi Jim. Happy to be back. Just wanted to talk about what I noticed during that loss to the cardinals. That was disappointing. Not gonna lie. But I will say, with the COVID troubles, I am not as disappointed. Tannehill and others had to miss many days of valuable practice time to build chemistry. Still, this really was disappointing. (Though I liked what I saw from Dupree) What's your take? Thank you for what you do for us fans!
Jim: Hey Collin. Not a lot of positives for sure. As for Dupree, I thought he played hard, and he flashed. But he also looked like a guy who hadn't played in a while, which I kind of expected. He said as much himself. But I do think he's going to get better, and he's going to make a lot of plays.
Leonard Cooke from Jacksonville, Tennessee
Question: Well, that was embarrassing. After all the hype, offseason trades and preseason work, our Titans looked worse than last year. Lewan couldn't block, Hopkins torched our secondary just like he did with the Texans, the front line couldn't open a hole for Henry, we couldn't get off the field on 3rd down and the kicking game sucks again. Granted it's only one game, but these are a lot of issues to address. I don't know that we have the coaching staff or caliber of players to address all these. Hoping for a bounce back game next week, but I'll be happy to just be competitive. This could be a long season. Any positive spin you can put on this game would be welcome.
Jim: I thought the halftime performance from the TSU band was great.
Héctor Hernández from Teziutlan, Puebla México
Question: Buena tarde Jim espero que esté muy bien, quisiera externar mi enojo y mi frustración hacia mi equipo los TITANS he sido fan por más de 40 años y al ver la decepcionante demostración de hoy solo siento eso coraje y mucha frustración. Una actuación patética de la línea ofensiva Quesenberry no es la respuesta en el tackle derecho y no es por este juego que lo estoy diciendo, también nunca estuve contento con las promociones a coordinadores bowen y downing hoy no tuvieron la capacidad de ajustar sus unidades y los cardinals no tuvieron compasión con nosotros, si mis TITANS siguen así no es equipo para ganar su división ni equipo de playoffs y mucho menos equipo de súper bowl espere 9 meses para ver otra cara de mi equipo no reforzaron la OL no tenemos un tándem de RB que ayude a Henry, queremos que todo el juego ofensivo lo lleve HENRY y eso es imposible. No entiendo porque teniendo tantas armas ofensivas Brown, Jones, Firkser, Henry, etc no las explotan, ya quisiera ver a estás estrellas en otro coordinador serían imparables y lo mismo pasa a la defensa, no muestran intensidad en fin mil disculpas por todo esto y solo espero que el coach Vrabel tenga la inteligencia de hacer los cambios necesarios y muestre su talento como HC y su autoridad para darle vuelta a esta pésima demostración de football americano que dieron mis TITANS
Jim: Hola Héctor. No te culpo por estar molesto. Fue una actuación terrible y el equipo se ganó las críticas que está recibiendo en este momento. Diré que no es justo señalar con el dedo al tackle correcto. Muchos de los problemas de protección del domingo se produjeron del otro lado de la línea ofensiva. En cuanto a los coordinadores, mantengamos las cosas en perspectiva aquí: es un juego. Sí, fue un partido terrible, pero fue un partido y el equipo tiene 16 más. Veamos cómo se desarrollan las cosas antes de tomar la decisión de que todo va mal.
Barry Pritchett from Guthrie, Kentucky
Question: We had the entire offseason to address our lack of a pass rush, poor secondary coverage/tackling, and questions about our offensive line play. A number of moves were made that supposedly addressed these issues, yet we are worse now than when we got kicked out of the playoffs in the first round last year. It's time to stop using Covid-19 as an excuse. It hasn't seemed to bother Arizona much at all. An enormous amount of the blame for this poor showing has to fall on the shoulders of our GM and head coach. They have the responsibility to make our team better, not worse. Amy Strunk Adams needs to clean house...Robinson and Vrabel have had their chances to fix these problems and our team is worse than ever. You can't keep blaming the players. You can't keep paying lip service about the need for better coaching after repeated failures and keep the same people in charge. This is a business; an unforgiving business, except in Nashville, TN. We complain that the league doesn't show any respect for our team, but that disrespect has been earned. We have to do better than this, but our problems need to addressed at the top first. If our GM and head coach are above being held responsible for an obvious failure to perform, how can they demand accountability from the other coaches and players?
Jim: So, you want the team to clean house after week one? C'mon Barry. Sixteen teams lost on opening weekend. No one is disputing the Titans looked awful on Sunday, and if they play like that all year it's going to be a long season. But I think it's a little early for this.
Samuel Barattiero from La Vergne, Tennessee
Question: I saw Titans unfortunate loss yesterday. It was confusing to not see the sparks and not see the number 1 offense we saw yesterday like last year. How come? I think the defense looked somewhat better, honestly. However, I still believe we will go far and become back to normal Titans and even better for the rest of the season! My question is what is your opinion on yesterday's game? Do u think they'll will be better than last year? Hope your doing great!
Jim: Hey Samuel. What is my opinion of yesterday's game? Oh man, this caused me to have flashbacks of a famous Tommy Lasorda rant after someone asked him his opinion of Dave Kingman's performance after the Cubs outfielder he hit three home runs in a game against the Dodgers in 1978, including a three-run homer to win it. And that's all I have to say about that. Hope all is well!
Have a great week everyone!