NASHVILLE – Here's hoping everyone had a great July 4th weekend!
On July 6th, we're celebrating another Titans mailbag.
Here we go …
Here's the link to ask questions: CLICK HERE
Lucas Coelho from São Manuel, São Paulo, BRAZIL
Question: Hi Jim! Huge foobtall fan here, from Brazil. I lived in the US for a year as a high school exchange student (Rotary program) and fell in love with the sport - became a Titans and VOLS fan. That was almost 20 years ago and I´ve been going back to the US every football season to attend games with my host dad, who flies me up for a few live games. I enjoy reading your mailbag especially during the low time in the off-season. This year I'm really looking forward our offense exploding, with King Henry in the backfield and the duo JJ/AJ on the outside. My question is about the common concern: defense! How are the key contributors healing? Are they improving health wise? We sure are gonna need everyone´s help and ready to go. TITAN UP!
Jim: Hello Lucas. Well, we'll find out at the end of the month when training camp begins. We haven't seen Bud Dupree or Caleb Farley on the field this offseason as they recover from their injuries. Both of them are making strides, but they're on different timetables. I think we'll see both of them on the field in August at some point, it's just a matter of when.
David Kendall from Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim. This is David from Murfreesboro. I was just wondering what your thoughts were about Miller Forristall at the tight end position? I don't think Alabama utilized him as much as they could have, similarly to O.J. Howard. I think that he could be a difference maker in this Titan's offense!
Jim: Hey David. I enjoyed watching Miller at Alabama, and I think he's a talented young man. But to be perfectly honest, I think he's a long shot to make the roster. He's going to need a really good camp to have a chance to stick on the practice squad, which would allow him to develop further.
Jason Petty from Lebanon, Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim, I hope all is well with you and your loved ones. Happy Early 4th. With Delanie Walker on the roster, Jonnu Smith learned from him and came out of the shadows to be an amazing tight end. With Jonnu being the starter and Anthony Firkser playing behind him Firkser has become a reliable weapon for RT. But with that being said, do the coaches/ JR really think Firkser is capable of producing at the Delanie Walker - Jonnu Smith level and sustaining that level? I just think as good as Firkser has been, he hasn't been the #1 guy in his position and the guy team defenses focus when practicing to face the Titans.
Jim: We're going back-to-back on tight end questions in here. The reality is Anthony Firkser doesn't need to produce at the same level as Delanie Walker and Jonnu Smith. He'll be playing in the same offense with Julio Jones, A.J. Brown, Josh Reynolds and Derrick Henry. Firkser is talented and certainly capable of doing his job, and doing it well. But let's face it, Delanie oftentimes had to do too much because there weren't many playmakers around him.
David Hacker from Nashville, Tennessee
Question: Hello, Jim. Hope you and your family are all doing well. Thank you for writing such a good article about me in 1996 when I was on the USA Paralympic Team. I was honored and grateful to wear the uniform of our great country in Atlanta, as well as for the 1998 World Cup games in Madrid, Spain. My comment is for the absolute professional broadcaster, Mike Keith. He has been my eyes for every single Tennessee Titans game since they came to Tennessee. I put on my headphones and I am there at the stadium. He makes every game enjoyable for me and I I am so grateful that he does what he does in the way that he does. Thank you thank you very very much.
Jim: Well, hello, David. A blast from the past! Hope all is well with you. And thanks for your kind words about Mike. He's great at his job, and he's a great guy. The team is lucky to have him.
Aaron Garfrerick from Nashville, Tennessee
Question: Hi Jim. I'd like to hear your thoughts on a couple players and how they've looked in the off-season so far.
How has Kristian Fulton been progressing?
Where do you see Jeremy McNichols fitting into this squad?
McNichols is not someone you notice off the bat and very under the radar. Maybe it's just me, but when his number was called last year I thought he delivered. He did his job and had some crucial runs for first downs throughout the year.
Jim: Hey Aaron. I think Kristian had a really good offseason. I'm looking forward to seeing him in camp. As for McNichols, he's been solid. But the reality is he's behind running backs Derrick Henry, Darrynton Evans, and Brian Hill, and fullback/running back Khari Blasingame is in good standing. So that's four backs ahead of him to start camp.
Paul Robertson from Nashville, Tennessee
Question: What did the Titans do to improve pass rush? A perennial problem.
I hate the new uniforms. The light blue was only thing that set them apart from half dozen other teams. All navy/white is DRAB in stands and looks like Houston on the field. Preds got rid of navy/white with silver shoulders. Hmmmm. Because it died in the stands.
Jim: The team signed Bud Dupree to a lucrative contract, and also added pass-rushing defensive lineman Denico Autry. The Titans also drafted Rashad Weaver. Those guys will help.
You're in the minority on the uniforms. Most folks seem to like them.
Brett Heard from Nashville, Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim. I was just wondering what days will be open for fans to attend training camp this year? Just kidding, I've seen the answer in like the past 10 mailbags. I was wondering about the long snapper position. I know we picked up Morgan Cox and I'm hoping he is locked in and continues to be the stud long snapper he has been during his career. It was sad to see Brinkley go, but we do not need any more injuries to Kern from errant snaps. He has arguably been the MVP of the defense the last few years with the position he has put them in. Last year 61.9% of his punts were downed inside the 20, which is the highest percentage I can find in league history.
Jim: Hey Brett. The team is in good shape with Morgan. He's a four-time Pro Bowler and considered one of the top long snappers in the NFL.
Marty Powell from Nashville, Tennessee
Question: Haven't gotten a chance to see or hear much about the Titans this off season. Just wondering about Taylor Lewan, if he's coming back or not?
Jim: Hey Marty. Here's the latest on Taylor: CLICK HERE.
Douglas Sullins from Johnson City, Tennessee
Question: Dear Jim. I just finished reading 2.5 months of your Mailbag and love it. A very belated congratulations on the matriculation of your daughter. Like most fans I am elated by the addition of Julio and love that A. J. offered his number to him and that Julio turned him down saying it was "His number". My only concern is will it be Julio! Or WHO-lio? I was sorry that we did not pick up Teddy Bridgewater on the cheap as a reliable backup to RT or anyone else for that matter. I was also sorry to see no one picked up to spell Henry. Sadly we finished the 2020 draft rated 32nd so I expected little this year and was not disappointed picking up a 2nd or 3rd rd. pick in the 1st rd instead of a superstar to be Elijah Moore WR, UM. At the time of the draft Caleb Farley was 5 weeks out of surgery, had an ACL injury, and opted out of 2020. I wish him all the best and hope that he dispels my doubts. My primary concern is our DEFENSE. We lost 3 CB's. What has been done to remedy this with EXPERIENCED CB's and not just rookies? Thank you for the work you do and for providing this Mailbag. It seems like a dream job. God bless you and yours & TITANUP, TITAN TOUGH Bruise Crew ;-).
Jim: Good to hear from you, Douglas. Thanks for reading, and for your comments.
Héctor Hernández from Teziutlan, Puebla México
Question: Que tal Jim, un placer volver a saludarle, deseo que ud y los suyos estén bien. Mi comentario es el siguiente; estoy muy contento con las selecciones del pasado draft llenaron los huecos que teníamos por la partida de jugadores, tambien estoy muy entusiasmado con la llegada de Jim Schwarz a la defensa dónde va a ayudar mucho. Mi reconocimiento a Jon Rob por su inteligencia para traer a grandes jugadores en la agencia libre, Autry, Dupree, Reynolds, Lamm, Julio Jones, etc muy contento con todas esas adiciones, ahora es tarea de los coaches en poner a punto al equipo en ambos lados del balón. Por otro lado me preocupa y es donde pienso se deben enfocar en traer un buen QB suplente porque Woodside ni Kizer son la respuesta para suplir a Tannehill si este sufriera una lesión que esperamos no ocurra. Y otro punto débil que me preocupa es el pateador de lugar, ud está todos los días en los entrenamientos del equipo y con su experiencia sabe que tenemos un roster muy bueno para competir por lo más grande solo nos falta una o dos piezas más y le aseguro que no es ni en el grupo de los TE ni en el grupo de NT. Saludos a todos los fans de los TITANS.
Jim: Hola Héctor. Espero que todo este bien. Creo que la lista ha realizado algunas mejoras importantes y se ha creado una competencia seria. ¿Sigue habiendo algunas áreas de preocupación? Si. Pero creo que ese es el caso en toda la NFL, en los 32 equipos. Veremos cómo se modifican algunas de estas posiciones.
Barbara Timmons from Hermitage, Tennessee
Question: Love your informative mailbag responses.
My question is: Will the practices held in Tampa be open to fans?
Jim: Hi Barbara. I haven't seen anything from the Buccaneers about how they're handling things. I suspect they'll be open, but these details will need to come from the Bucs and not sure what their timetable will be for releasing the info.
Iain Sneddon from London, Ontario, CANADA
Question: Okay Jim. You got me. I asked you a hypothetical about what it might take to get Aaron Rodgers and you replied it's not happening. You joked maybe Tannehill plus a whole lot of cheese curds. I don't know if the cheese curds was a good natured shot at me being Canadian or that Rodgers plays for a bunch of cheeseheads. It works on both levels. Anyway, I may be in the minority saying that I'd rather see Tannehill lead the 2021 Titans than Rodgers. I know that if both players retired today Tannehill would be remembered as a good quarterback with a good career but Rodgers would go into the HOF. However, i think Tannehill gives the 2021 Titans the best chance to win the Superbowl. Tannehill's last two seasons have been great, he appears to have the locker room, and he knows the system. Having said that, I remain concerned about the back up qb position given the longer season. How does the QB backup position look? I know they like Woodside but are they sold on him? Are they considering bringing in one or two more experienced backups to compete. We know how unhappy Rodgers is so backing up Tannehill seems like something Aaron might be open to do … I say tongue firmly in cheek. But, if cheese curds are the ticket, we Canadian Titans fans can assist. Poutine is our national dish and cheese curds are one of the three main ingredient along with fries and gravy. Canada also produces approximately 80 % of the World's supply of maple syrup. We CanadiansTitans fans can throw in some maple syrup to "sweeten" the deal :). Just remember, without us Canadians, Warren Moon would probably never become an Oiler. Although he didn't last long, bringing in Hugh Cambpell as the Head coach probably sealed the deal to become an Oiler once the NFL realized how special Moon was seeing him in the CFL. Last thing Jim. I need exoneration. A few mailbags ago, I mentioned the Titans having success with some late draft picks and undrafted players and used Finnegan and Bennett as examples. You correctly pointed out that Finnegan was drafted. I know. Finnegan was my example of a late draft pick (seventh round as I remember) and Drew Bennett was my example of an undrafted Titan who had success. I don't want my U.S Titans friends and brothers thinking we're too full of poutine and maple syrup up here in Canada to know our Titans' history. Have a great day, eh Jim. I still have to milk our family pet moose and clean up the igloo before being polite to everyone I meet. Love the mailbag Jim. Keep it up. I was hoping to see the home opener but I don't know if I will be able to cross the border. If I can, I will bring you all the Justin Bieber music I can, even translated from Canadian. Perhaps you would prefer our stronger Canadian beer, back bacon or a treat you can only get in Canada like ketchup potato chips or coffee crisp chocolate bars? Only the best for my U.S. Titans friends. You might want to pass on the Beeb but it's your call Jim.
Jim: All in fun, Iain! 😊 As for the back-up QB position, folks are happy with Logan Woodside's development, and DeShone Kizer's improvement. Take care.
Lee DeBord from San Diego, California
Question: Greetings Jim. As a fellow Tennessean who is stuck on the West Coast with not much Titans news coming this way, it's nice to read your Mailbag every week. I really enjoy your "behind the scenes" look at the team. My question is, how did Brady Breeze do during minicamp? Thank you Jim, Keep up the good work. TitanUp!
Jim: Hi Lee. I think Brady has looked good from what I've seen. And I've heard some good things about him. But the true test will come when the pads come on, and the intensity picks up. Safeties Kevin Byard, Amani Hooker and Dane Cruikshank are going to make the team. Veteran Matthias Farley has a great shot, too. So, Brady is going to need a solid camp to stick.
David Siler from Thousand Oaks, California
Question: Hey Jim, thanks for keeping us all updated during the super long off season. I apologize if you have already covered this, but I saw some kind of blurb indicating Zach Ertz would be a good fit in Tennessee. Do you know, is this just wishful thinking or is this a possibility?
Jim: I think it's wishful thinking.
Randy Porter from Hendersonville, Tennessee
Question: Hi Jim. Over the years, one thing is clear. There are two types of Titans fans. Those that love Mailbag, and those that haven't discovered it yet. The voice you provide fans each and every week is not only appreciated, but the team insight is highly valued. However, during a recent conversation with fellow long-time fans, I commented on some great observations you made during recent camps. Both friends we're surprised and did not realize you write wonderfully detailed columns on the team every week, where as you typically leave Mailbag to fans and limit your input. In fact, one had commented that your Mailbag responses were great, but just too brief. So, as surprised as I was, I sent them some of your links and simply wanted to remind all Titans fans that our beloved Jim's efforts don't end with Mailbag, but start there. There are lengthy, in-depth columns every week, that provide excellent insight, observations and opinion for fans. I was sure this was well known, but for those who didn't ... You're welcome !
So thank you for letting me share this Jim and please clarify, correct any inaccuracies, or include links with my opinion given here.
Jim: Thanks Randy. The check is in the mail… 😊
Have a great week everyone!