NASHVILLE – It's back to work for the Tennessee Titans.
After a holiday weekend, now it's time to lock in on the Miami Dolphins, while trying to lock down a playoff spot.
There's work to be done.
And there's a mailbag to open.
Here's the link to ask questions: CLICK HERE.
Steven Crosio from Brick, New Jersey
Question: Hey there Jim, what's the latest on the Titans COVID situation?
Jim: Hey Steven. Well, here's the latest: LT Taylor Lewan, RG Nate Davis, OT Kendall Lamm, WR Julio Jones, OLB Bud Dupree, DB Buster Skrine, and WR Nick Westbrook-Ikhine are currently on the team's Reserve/COVID-19 list. The Titans on Monday also moved defensive back Caleb Farley to COVID-IR from Injured Reserve.
Pono Maks from Kaneohe, Hawaii
Question: Aloha Jim. My question is about the utilization of Julio. I love AJ and AJ obviously loves Julio but why does it seem Julio is always the last read in Tannehill's progressions? When the offense is stagnant and AJ isn't playing why not give Julio a few more opportunities? He is a future hall of famer and NFL analyst are always talking about putting the ball in your best playmakers hands when you need a spark, but he has so few targets this year I just think getting him a little more involved isn't gonna hurt the offense in anyway. Would love to hear your thoughts on this. Appreciate everything you do Jim!! Mahalo
Jim: Aloha, Pono. I'm not going to lie – everything surrounding Julio since he's been here has been a little confusing and a bit of a mystery to me as well, from his hamstring to his playing time. Obviously, he hasn't been 100 percent, or comfortable with opening things up, because of the injury. And I think there is concern about him re-injuring it to the point they'll have to shut him down for the year. Like you, I know his playing time, when he's in there/when he's not, when he's targeted/when he's not, has been a bit of a head-scratcher. I wish I could promise you he'd play more, catch more passes, be more involved, etc, but at this point I can't. So, like you, we'll just see where things go from here. Right now, he's on the COVID list.
Bill Bohall from Portland, Tennessee
Question: Trying to get information on Golden Tate is like being a dentist. Assume he has not progressed to the level that they are even considering him on game day. To you know anything further than that ???
Jim: Hey Bill. Aside from Derrick Henry, I probably get more questions about Golden these days than any other guy on the roster. I get it – he's a local guy, and he's had a heck of a career. The reason you don't hear a lot about him is because he's still on the practice squad. The focus has – and will continue to be – on the guys playing. I can tell you Golden continues to work hard. He's doing nothing wrong. I think he's looked good in practices. But I always looked at him as insurance for Chester Rogers, and so far, the Titans haven't had to use him.
Logan Cotton from Loretto, Tennessee
Question: Since the Indianapolis Colts won against the Cardinals do the Titans still have a chance to win the division?
Jim: Hey Logan. If the Titans win another game, or the Colts lose another game, the Titans win the AFC South.
Michael Melson from Tullahoma, Tennessee
Question: No questions really. I do want to congratulate the offensive linemen that played against the 49ers coming in and taking our regular guys place. They did the best job on helping Ryan make plays. And I want to commend our defense they should all have the title of Titan Gladiators, because they do such an outstanding job, second to none. Thanks for taking my letter.
Jim: Hey Michael. The back-ups you mentioned – Aaron Brewer and Dillion Radunz – did a nice job for sure. They protected Tannehill, and on short notice. Sure, that's what they get paid to do, but still, blocking Nick Bosa and a tough defensive line is no easy task, and they were up for the challenge. Now we'll have to see what the offensive line looks like on Sunday because Taylor Lewan, Nate Davis and Kendall Lamm are all currently on the team's COVID list.
Barry Meyer from Vancouver, Washington
Question: What's the latest news on Derrick Henry? Last I heard was about 3 weeks ago, and there was a possibility of him playing in the last couple of games. Is there any new news?
Jim: Believe me Barry, when there is news on Derrick Henry, you'll hear about it. So far there's only been optimistic speculation about him potentially returning for the playoffs. All I can tell you is he continues to rehab after undergoing foot surgery in early November.
Brian Kelly from Madison, Virginia
Question: No question. I just wanted to say how impressed I was with the Titans fans at the game the other night. They were rockin' the place. Reminds me of the Super Bowl era Titans fans. Love how the Titans played that game.
Jim: Hey Brian. Good observation. The crowd was loud and into it. It was a great atmosphere for sure.
Jon Hess from Roanoke, Virginia
Question: Hey Jim first off what a game my birthday was on Christmas Eve and that was a great gift but it was great to see the Titans put it all together I love seeing the play caller pushing the ball down the field I think the whole team played really well Titan up and we hope you have a merry Christmas.
Jim: Happy belated birthday, Jon!
Marco Guadalupe from Adelsdorf, Germany
Question: Fan since day one from Germany. I am really rooting for my team and am positive that we will bounce back strong. My question, with the signing of Golden Tate I was hoping to see him on the field. What is going on with him, because he is still on the practice squad?
Jim: Hey Marco. Check on previous answer to Bill a few questions up. Hope all is well.
Steven Morgan from Tasmania Australia
Question: What is the point of signing Golden Tate and not using him? Is it because we have too many "healthy" receivers?? Management/owners or whoever signs players have let the team down and fans; they should have done a better job in addressing the problem at this position and in getting a decent WR2 before the trade deadline knowing Brown/Jones had injury concerns this year. Another wasted year.
Jim: Hey Steven. I'd hardly call this another wasted year, just like I wouldn't call Tate a bust because he hasn't been used. That's the point of the practice squad – to get guys ready in the event someone gets hurt – or in these times, goes on the COVID list. We've all seen how many players the team has used this season. The number is up to 88, which is the most in league history outside of the 1987 strike season that included replacement players. A lot of the guys included in this number were once/remain practice squad players. So the team is happy to have Golden. Because in the event he's needed at some point, I think he'd step in and do well.
Charles Johns from Hermitage, Tennessee
Question: What a big win that was over the 49ers, especially since the Colts also won. It was good to see AJ back and lighting it up on the big stage. Tannehill looked great as he was on time and on target with some big time throws in that game.
Observation after seeing our struggles the last few weeks when our skill position players were out and watching Colts at Cardinals. It seems that having quality explosive weapons available is even more important than having your starting line. At least with weapons if you have a competent quarterback he can get the ball out quickly and let them make plays. With nobody getting open it doesn't matter how well the line protects. ** We need to load up on weapons during the off season. Question: I know you hear news before we do. Have you heard anything about King Henry's progress or potential return this season? Nice job by the running back committee filling in but Henry is our home run threat in the ground game. TitanUp!
Jim: Appreciate the email, Charles. Derrick is still rehabbing and working to return. He's still not ready. But stay tuned...
Hector Sanchez from Los Angeles, California
Question: I'm just going to say it.....I think we should get a new head coach this off season. I know, I know Vrabel has been a good coach for us but I feel like we haven't taken the next step with him. I think we should get an offensive minded coach next. Imagine if we had LaFleur with this team, we would have been great!!! Please give me your take. Thank you
Jim: You shouldn't have said it Hector … My take is this is a bad take. The Titans are 10-5, and on the verge of clinching the franchise's first back-to-back division titles since 1960-62.
David Siler from Thousand Oaks, California
Question: Hi Jim, hope you are doing well this holiday season. My question is with regard to how many sacks Tannehill is taking this season. What changed from last year? Last year he had so many beautiful deep balls. This year he barely had the time to get the short passes in. Is it the receivers are not able to get open? Or breakdowns on the O-line? I love Tannehill, he is such a baller but those hits have got to be taking a toll.
Jim: Hey David. It's been a combination of things. He has been getting sacked – and pressured – too often. He's now been sacked 45 times in 15 games, compared to 24 times in 16 games last season. Some of it has been protection issues, and breakdowns up front. Some of it has been the inability of receivers to get open. Some of it has been because of the absence of Derrick Henry, and the team being in longer down and distance situations, and having to throw the ball more. He's already thrown 481 passes this year in 15 games, and he threw it 454 times through 15 games last year. That's not a lot more, but there have been some games where he'd had to chuck it too often. I think everyone agrees the Titans are going to need to do better here.
Alberto Armando Téllez Salcedo from Durango, Mexico
Question: Buenas tardes Jim, tenía rato sin escribir. Quiero expresar mi sentir de los últimos partidos, se que el equipo ha sabido salir adelante con todo y lesiones, pues se han utilizado 86 jugadores lo cual es un Récord.
En el caso de la ofensiva a últimas fechas se han regalado muchos balones tanto en balones sueltos como interceptados. Se que todo en la vida es de rachas y atravesamos por un mal momento en ese aspecto, aunque hay situaciones rescatables como D'Onta Foreman y Dontrell Hilliard. Espero que el OC Todd Downing mejoré en su plan de juego ya que siendo que la corrida le da excelentes resultados, cambia o desaprovecha esa situación con pases, cuando sabemos que no tenemos ahorita ni a los WRs ni a los TEs al 100%. En cuanto a la ofensiva no me ha gustado el desempeño de David Quessenberry en la segunda parte de esta campaña, estaba con tremendo nivel incluso para All Pro y se ha ido para abajo. Esperó y lea este comentario y que sepa que lo admiro por ser un guerrero y que se que puede sobreponerse a cualquier adversidad.
En cuanto a la defensiva cada vez el trabajo de Shane Bowen es mejor, me ha sorprendido la manera de jugar de Naquan Jones, Buster Skrine y Janoris Jenkins antes de su lesión. El nivel de Harold Landry, Kevin Byard y Jeffrey Simmons es de Pro Bowl, bueno y de nuestro FS es de All Pro. Los demás jugadores han estado jugando muy bien Autry, Peko, Strong, Roberson, Adeniyi, Brown, Evans, Long y Tart que han estado lesionados también. Hooker, Fulton, Molden excelentes, espero que así sigan y que la ofensiva ya con el regreso de AJ y más adelante de Henry que esté a la par. Espero que Julio Jones asuma su rol de líder.
Gracias y Titan Up.
Perdón no quiero dejar pasar comentar que mi amado equipó no fue incluído en los equipos de la NFL que ampliarán su mercado en México, aquí amamos al equipó y somos un Grupo nutrido de aficionados muchos de nosotros desde que eran los Houston Oilers, ojalá y la dueña Amy Adams Strunk interviniera para que se tengan más productos de TITANS en México y por qué no otro partido en un futuro. El 15 de agosto de 1994 abarrotamos el Azteca para un juego entre Oilers y Cowboys. Recibe un fuerte abrazo Jim.
Jim: Hola Alberto. Gracias por tomarse el tiempo para enviar este correo electrónico y por sus atentos comentarios. Parece que eres un gran fanático y leal. Sé que el equipo tiene una gran cantidad de fanáticos en México y espero que podamos jugar un partido allí en algún momento. Parece que conoces muy bien al equipo. Buena suerte y gracias de nuevo.
Emmanuel Gijon from Madri, Spain
Question: Hola Jim, felices fiestas!! Durante toda esta temporada he estado observando como la defensiva a mejorado, a pesar de tener muchas bajas por lesión, pero siento que la ofensiva se ha a quedado estancada, pienso que toda la ofensiva se enfocó en juego terrestre y si para ser sincero todo el mundo habla de las yardas ganadas por acarreo, pero la realidad es que los partidos no se ganan por quien gane mas yardas, si no por quien haga mas puntos y la verdad nuestra ofensiva está anotando muy pocos puntos, los receptores producen en promedio 50 yardas por juego eso hablando de los que completan más pases. Por otra parte la verdad parece que a los chicos les pagan por soltar balones, y la defensiva es buena, pero no puede evitar que te hagan puntos si te dejan la bola dentro de tu propia yarda treinta, eso la verdad molesta bastante, la línea ofensiva no puede dar tiempo a Tannehill y en cada partido tiene que correr por su vida.
Solo espero que los receptores y la línea ofensiva comiencen a hacer mejor su trabajo y así dar un poco mas de tiempo a nuestro QB lo cual también evitaría alguna lesión, ya que esperemos que no suceda, pero lo peor sería que Henry este de vuelta y el QB lesionado.
Jim: Hola Emmanuel. Tienes razón, la defensa ha mejorado mucho esta temporada. Creo que es la fuerza del equipo en este momento. La ofensa tendrá que ser más consistente, estoy de acuerdo. Incluso en la victoria sobre los 49ers, quedó excluido en la primera mitad. Conseguir que A.J. Brown era grande, como viste. La esperanza y la expectativa es que el equipo continuará mejorando y, con suerte, mantendrá a los jugadores saludables. Qué tengas un lindo día.
Jeffrey Busby from Terrell, Texas
Question: I just wanted to wish all of yall a Happy Holiday Season. Hope all of yall are doing good.
Jim: Same to you, Jeffrey. Happy Holidays!
Have a great week everyone!