NASHVILLE – And we're off to Minnesota.
The Titans – and yours truly – will hop on board a plane for Minneapolis on Tuesday, and that's where the team will have joint practices, and a game, against the Vikings.
Check here at TennesseeTitans.com for updates on the practices, and make sure you're following me on Twitter -- @jwyattsports.
Here's the latest Titans mailbag before the action heats up…
And here's the link to submit questions: CLICK HERE
Jared Mixon from Valdez, Alaska
Question: Excited to travel down with my kids for their first NFL game this weekend in Minneapolis! I know it's only preseason, but I'm hoping to show my kids some fundamentally sound football (let's hang on to the ball this week). Two questions: How early do players take the field for warmup and pregame? Also, why are our QBs playing in alternating series? I didn't see any other teams switching out their QBs every other series last weekend. It seems difficult for a QB to develop a rhythm going in and out of the game like that. Why not let Malik play a half and then Willis play a half?
Jim: I know we're headed north when folks from Alaska are making the road trip! Good to hear from you again, Jared. I know that's still a long haul. In the preseason, guys will head out for warmups a few hours before the game. Gates at most stadiums open two hours before kickoff, so your best bet might be to get there early and try and get down low, near the tunnel. Just a heads-up, though – the guys who didn't dress out on Saturday in Chicago didn't take the field in warmups. They came out just before kickoff. Not sure what the plan is for this weekend, but just letting you know … As for the QBs, Vrabel said he wanted to put them in a situation that would closely simulate what their role could be during the season, coming off the bench at a moment's notice. The play may be different moving forward, but that was the plan in Chicago.
Seth Fischer from Lynchburg, Virginia
Question: Hey Jim, I was wondering if there was any player who really surprised you or stood out especially?
Jim: Hey Sam. If I have to name just one, I'll go with Tyjae Spears. I thought he showed some burst early, and I liked the stiff-arm. I can't say it was a surprise – I'd seen it in practice, so it was good to see it in the game.
Dave Glick from Fort Collins, Colorado
Question: My family has been connected with Amy's family since 1960 when my father came to Houston to begin his career. The league was no doubt the brainchild of Bud and Lamar and the only person who thought otherwise was mercifully relieved of his pitiful effort with the Jets. I feel Bud will eventually be in the HOF where he belongs and I'm sure couldn't be prouder of what Amy has done. ... incredible. In one day I've become a fan of your writing and look forward to your insight. When my Dad was named to the "Dream Team" with many of his teammates of the 60's, the one young guy with the same number was Eddie George. I told my Dad he was on his own trying to get that back. I think Eddie could play right now.
Jim: Hi Dave. Great to hear from you. And, of course I'm familiar with your father, former Oilers safety Fred Glick, who did in fact wear No.27. I went back and looked closer at his career, and this is impressive part of his bio I discovered: Glick was an AFL All-Star in 1962, 1963, and 1964. In a 1962 game against the Buffalo Bills, he was credited with 27 tackles, which may be an AFL single game record. In 1963, he set an AFL single season record with 12 interceptions. In 1965 Fred was elected along with George Blanda as Co Captains of the Houston Oilers. In 2009, Glick was voted by the fans as the starting Safety on the "All-Time Houston Oilers Dream Team". … I appreciate you reaching out because you provide a unique perspective, and I'm sure Amy appreciates your continued support.
Charles Rupcich from Rockford, Illinois
Question: Because I am biased, and I'm not a sports analyst as yourself. From my point of view, Andrew #76 did really well on the Oline. I know that there was a total of 8 sacks, and the Oline seem to get a lot of grief on social media. Besides the one penalty that Andrew got that was even questionable because the defense was already on his way down to the ground. He seemed to be flawless. He played about 3/4 of the game in total. What is your general overall assessment about the Oline? Are they as bad as everyone thinks that they are? Did Andrew make any impressions with how well he played vs Bears?
Jim: This is great, kind of like it's family day in here in the mailbag. Good to hear from you again, Charles. First off, what a great turnout from the Andrew Rupcich fan club in Chicago! I saw a picture taken at Soldier Field and there were a lot of folks there to support him. As for how Andrew and the rest of the o-line played, I'm not going to pretend to be an expert on their technique, and assignments on every play. I know it's a complicated assignment. I've also seen the criticism from the fan base on the eight sacks allowed, so I asked offensive coordinator Tim Kelly about it on Monday. Kelly said half of the eight sacks could be attributed to the quarterbacks holding the football too long. As for Andrew, Kelly had some positive things to say about him: "He's big, and he plays hard. He plays physical. When he was out there, he was playing against a good player, and he went out there and held his own. The good thing about Rup is he's smart, he has different position flexibility, being able to play multiple spots, and so he did everything we asked of him on Saturday, and he played hard." I think that's a pretty good review.
Jack Walker from Calabasas, California
Question: Been a while. Nice to see Titans football (again). Just a couple quick observations. First, Malik looks better. Whyle let a catchable ball go through his hands and fumbled another catch. Strip sacks happen, even to Brady and Rodgers... that laser to Colton. Two, Spears, wow. Three, the starting OL in the first series looked good. Levis also looked good, albeit like a rookie. Oh and Rashad Weaver... just keeps on doing his thing, doesn't he?
Jim: You nailed it, Jack. Some good, some bad from the preseason opener. We'll find out a lot more this week.
Christopher Allen from Houston, Texas
Question: Hi Jim! Thank you for taking the time and happy Titans football is back. Was great to see the boys in blue. Overall I really liked the improvement from Malik, the offensive play calling, and the first team offensive line. Reggie Roberson continued to stick out, and actually Kinsey played hard. Spears performance was encouraging to see- great to see a rookie who can contribute right away.
I never want to make to much out of preseason but I do think it's important to assess what could carry over into the season. Here are my 2 questions sorry I asked 2.
The offensive line depth was concerning because while the young Qbs may have held the ball long to me that is a wash since last year the bears were the worse team at sacking Qbs. Our back-up D line wasn't coming close to getting that type of pressure. That said could you see us adding more depth to the Offensive line?
The 2nd question is on kicking. I have been a titans/oilers fan my whole life. Seen a great deal of football. This titans team in Vrabel era has been great- that said being a primary running team and strong defense it means a lot of games will be close. Looking back at our last 5 seasons- we are a close game type team. A team that plays the way we do is critical to have a dependable kicker more than teams who score 30 a game. Is it worth risking a unproven kicker if we are hoping for a playoff run? Do you think we are willing to explore a proven kicker?
Jim: Hey Christopher. I thought the first-team o-line was solid, but those guys played just one series. As for the back-ups on the o-line, they'll continue to work and the front office will continue to explore other options as well. Nothing is set in stone. Same for kicker.
Jeremy Rodriguez from Winchester, California
Question: Hey Jim, all is well in the world now that Titan Football is back!!!!! The good things I took away, 1) Terrell Williams did a GREAT job managing and controlling the game. 2) both Wills and Levis looked good. 3) Special teams did well. The not so good stuff, 1) the penalties, 2) the secondary looked very timid, I know they are all guys fighting for a spot but that effort was in question a few times. 3) there were time both Wills and Levis looked like the did trust what they saw and held that ball a little longer than needed. You could see them start the throwing motion and then stop, slide and either ran or took a sack. I read your 6 takeways from the game, and Spears looks like an absolute contributor! Have a great week Jim, as always TITAN UP!!!
Jim: Appreciate it, Jeremy.
Gerald Woodberry from Nashville, Tennessee
Question: What's your opinion about the rookie linebacker Caleb Murphy from Ferris State University making the squad?
Jim: I've liked the looks of Caleb. He just needs to keep making plays, and show he can help on special teams.
Evan Tatum from Portland, Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim. I liked what I saw from the RBs on Saturday... especially Julius Chestnut. With him and Tyjae Spears both having good games on Saturday, what do you think will happen with Hassan Haskins? Does Mike Vrabel still think highly enough of him to keep him as RB2?
Jim: Spears is RB 2, behind Derrick Henry. Right now, Hassan Haskins and Jonathan Ward are banged up, and that's why the team added RB Jacquez Patrick on Monday.
Adam Miller from Jackson, Mississippi
Question: Hi Mr. Jim. Thank you for all you do. My question is in regards to the offensive line depth. Is our continued struggle do to the scheme or the talent. This looked even worse than Carter. Tannehill deserved better last year, and not being able to protect can destroy a season. Is it too late to fix it? I know the first team did ok, but our league leading injury trend means we need to be ready. We got some cap, do you see us adding more on the line? I liked what the bears did- they only gave up 2 sacks all game no matter who played. Do we have partner with other franchises to see what they do different?
Jim: Let's not overreact on the o-line, Adam. Keep in mind the Titans played mostly back-ups, other than 12 snaps for the first-team guys.
Jevon Lewis from Nashville, Tennessee
Question: Hi Jim let me start off by saying I appreciate what you do. ? Y don't Vrabel give Dillon a chance to start at left tackle? Last year he avoided him when he couldn't have been any worse than Daley. And also this year it seems like Dillard already has won the job. Thank you Mr.Wyatt.
Jim: Hey Jevon. Dillon Radunz is currently on the team's Physically Unable to Perform list, and he hasn't been practicing. He has to get healthy first.
Alex Emerson from Iowa
Question: I'm going to be attending the Vikings Titans pre-season game. What are the odds of seeing some of the starters play for a few downs?
Jim: I think the starters will get a lot of work in the joint practices. Can't see them playing much, if any, in the game.
Have a great week everyone!