NASHVILLE – Well, I didn't have to search very hard for questions this week.
During the course of Sunday's loss to the Bengals, my mailbox started filling up. And after the game, and throughout Monday, questions just kept coming and coming and coming.
Obviously, I couldn't get to all of them in here.
I got a lot of repeat questions, so I had to move past some of those. I also didn't include the ones with personal shots, and questions/comments filled with expletives. On some, I just shook my head and did my best Randy Moss, 'C'mon Man!,' impersonation. I've bumped some others to the Saturday mailbag.
But I let a lot of you speak your mind, and air out some frustrations after what we all agree was an ugly loss to the Bengals on Sunday.
So, without further, delay, here's the latest Titans mailbag ….
Here's the link to ask questions: CLICK HERE
John Sims from Miami, Florida
Question: WOW..... what a flat disgusting performance. This game shows how much we need change on defense. When you can't pressure a team playing all backups on the line you know you have to blow things up. Not sure what you see... but they just look slow at all levels. Most likely will end up a WC team this year as i expect them to lose out to the Colts (because of this defense). Then of course we will be competitive in the playoffs but lose to one of the top teams .... Ho hum .... really thought our defense was gonna be good this year...Not only are we not good... we are actually pathetic.
Jim: Hey John. I understand your frustration. I don't agree with the whole need to "blow things up" idea. There's no denying the defense has been bad this year. The pass rush has been non-existent, and the third down defense has been awful. But I'm not conceding anything yet, especially when it comes to the division. Yeah, the past two weeks have been setbacks, but the team is still 5-2, and that's not all bad when you consider last year's team that made it to the AFC Championship Game was 3-4 at the same time. But I do agree – if things don't improve on defense, this team isn't going to reach expectations.
Tony Malgiero from El Paso, Texas
Question: Ok... I think it's fairly safe to say the third down issues are primarily the result of a really really really really really poor pass rush. Pass rushers are usually not available for trade, at least not ones that can make a significant impact. I think this team needs to scheme a pass a rush which really isn't a good answer. This league is about players making plays. Losing to a 1-win team like the Bengals, even though they're competitive, it's really an eye opener. I love this team, but I don't think they're going to far come January if they can't affect the opponent's quarterback. Do you think this team should do something drastic to try to improve the pass rush? By drastic I mean trade a high round pick, or multiple picks for a pass rusher that can actually impact games?
Jim: Hey Tony. The guys who are getting paid good money to rush the passer are going to have to get it done. I don't see the team doing anything "drastic". Heck, the team already did something drastic by going out and getting Jadeveon Clowney. Could someone else be added? Sure, but I don't see the GM trading a high round pick. But I'm also not putting it all on the pass rush. Sure, it's been anemic, with just seven sacks in seven games. But the coverage hasn't been very good at all, and quarterbacks are taking advantage of it a lot of times by getting the ball to open receivers quickly. It's a total defense failure to this point.
Joe Pinzur from Hartsville, Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim. Thanks for your level-headed analysis week in and week out! I don't know if JRob would go for this, but would it be entirely crazy for the Titans to trade a later round draft pick for a more reliable kicker? A team like Houston is probably looking to stockpile draft capitol, and a reliable kicker like Fairbairn could be the difference for a Titans team that always seems to find itself in close games.
Jim: Hey Joe. The GM is not going to trade a draft pick for a kicker. If a move is made with Gostkowski – and I'm not going to pile on because he missed a 53-yard kick on a day when the winds were 25-35 mph – then the most likely move would be to promote Tucker McCann from the practice squad.
Samuel Williams from Elizabethton, Tennessee
Question: Jim, I'm sorry for the onslaught of emails you are probably receiving with inappropriate "hot takes". I won't provide one... My concern on the defensive side of the ball is how far off the line our Corners play. If our pass rush was getting home or even close too, it would not be a big concern right now. But with no rush, allowing for such a free release, it's going to be difficult for whoever is in coverage when your 10 yards off the line on a 2nd and 8. The sky is not falling, we are 5-2 and still 2-0 in the division. I trust Vrabel and expect a turnaround and I think our corner playing closer to the line will be a good place to start. Do you think it would help or a poor suggestion?
Jim: Hey Samuel. I think this is a fair analysis. I think what we've seen from the corners so far has shown even more how much the team misses Adoree' Jackson, and Kristian Fulton, who was supposed to settle in and be a solid contributor. Instead, the team is playing without one of its top corners in Jackson, and their second-round pick has been sidelined a good deal. As a result, some other guys have underperformed, and coaches have had to adjust coverages – and give too much cushion -- because of the limitations of some of the guys being forced to play.
Jeremy Strickland from Memphis, Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim, first time writing. I wanna start by saying I wish a speedy recovery to Humphries, he's a really talented athlete and I hope to see him back in action soon. Secondly, I know your tired of talking about the defense so I'll just make a statement and say this to everyone, this defense is a good group of players. I think maybe they're just struggling with identity. They're going to get it figured out and be ready for the bears at home next week. Still tied for first in the division and have the best running back in the league so let's not hit the panic button just yet.
Jim: Hi Jeremy. Yes, that was a scary situation with Adam. He's now on the road to recovery, but that was a bad injury and I'm not going to be surprised if he misses some time. He's in the concussion protocol. Thanks for taking the time.
Duane Falls from Bobcaygeon, Ontario
Question: I know the Titans have to play a better 60 min game then they did, but so should the officials. As a fan I would like to watch any game on Sunday and see officials being consistent on calls. Seems to me very big calls are called at crucial times that are terrible calls. Not only in the Titans game! I don't want to sound like sour grapes, Titans get back to playing better and have a great 2nd half of the season. Titan up!
Jim: Hi Duane. While I agree there were some shaky calls, the Titans didn't lose on Sunday because of the officiating. The Titans have no one to blame but themselves for that L.
Emmanuel Gijon from Madrid, Spain
Question: Hello Jim!! I've been following the Titans for years and it's really disappointing to see this defense, it's like they're playing the opposing team with 11 and the Titans with 8, the truth is the two hires we thought would be the strength for defense are simply missing, at the start of the game against Cincinnati, I had third-chance statistics in mind and at the end of the match the truth I found that the defense didn't do much to avoid advances on third down. The offense plays well, but that it serves to gain yards or score points if our defense allows the other team to stay as long as they want on the field and score almost every time they have the ball. I'm still a fan of Titans, but our defense needs improves and to put more pressure on the QBs because even if we have the best secondary, it's so long impossible to cover the players. Jim thank you for your work and I sent you a hug.
Jim: Hello Emmanuel. I can't disagree with anything you said here. And thanks for the hug!
Bill in Spokane, Washington
Question: I like the swap of a 6th rounder for former Chargers All-Pro DB Desmond King. Looks like he can blitz the passer and return kicks and punts. Is it feasible to expect to see him on the field vs Chicago? There's a gleam in my eye when I think of King, Butler and AJackson in man coverage, freeing an LB or a safety to pressure the QB.
Jim: Hey Bill. Well, it sounds like that's the plan. It might be a few more days before he's in the building, but Coach Vrabel made it sound like yesterday he could be here by Saturday. We know he's in good shape since he's been playing, so it's not unreasonable to expect he could be plugged in and playing on Sunday. We'll see.
Walt Dubic from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Question: Why are the basics missing on defence? Coverage! Tackling? Quarterback pressure? Very frustrating. Are the fans expected to accept this type of defence???
Jim: Hey Walt. I think you hit on them all. And no, fans are not expected to accept it. You really think the coaches and players are satisfied with that performance, and being ranked last in the league on third down defense?
Leslie Smith from Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Question: More of a comment.... We need a defensive coordinator. We can't stop a JV team.
Jim: Got it, Leslie.
Steven Crosio from Brick, New Jersey
Question: After that loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, Do you think Jon Robinson should make a move before the trade deadline? Because Robinson is standing there and doing nothing and look who got injured vs the Bengals:
1. Adam Humphries
2. Rodger Saffold III
3. Brett Kern
These 3 injuries are serious Jim!
Jim: So, let me get this straight – the GM is responsible for these players getting injured? Give me a break, Steven.
Pearl White from Omaha, Nebraska
Question: Is there any chance we can get Dave McGinnis to coach our defense?
Jim: Hi Pearl. While Coach McGinnis has a great football mind, he's very happy in the broadcasting booth with Mike Keith. And the team has no one to replace him in the booth.
Juan Coyote from CDMX, México
Question: Mr Jim espero se encuentre bien, al igual que todos los miembros de la organización de los Titans. Se que nuestros jugadores tratan de dar lo mejor cada partido y los admiro más por qué se han sobrepuesto a los inconvenientes de esta temporada atípica, pero espero que el coach Mike acepté que requiere apoyo de un Coach Defensivo para que pueda estar más centrado en los ajustes generales que requiere el equipo desde el punto de vista de un Coach en Jefe, lo ha hecho bien pero creo que es necesario buscar opciones para que el equipo no vaya en caída después de 2 pérdidas. Gracias por leerme y saludos cordiales.
Jim: Gracias por tomarte el tiempo, Juan. Estoy seguro de que Mike está considerando todas las opciones. Sabe mucho más de fútbol que yo y puedo garantizarles que no está contento con cómo van las cosas.
Joan Dutton from Cerritos, California
Question: Hi Jim hope all is well with you and your family. Needless to say, I was extremely disappointed by end result of Sunday's game! My observations, RT didn't look as sharp but played okay. He sure took some hard hits too. That is not a good position to be in considering we will be playing some good defensive teams. The offensive line didn't protect him as well as they have in past games. 3rd downs are killing us and I know Vrabel is working on changing it. Special teams well we all know they didn't look sharp at all. JD missed some possible great sacks. Having said all that, I know things will turn around. The officiating was inconsistent too. What do you think about what you observed????
Jim: Hi Joan. I think you're spot on with everything you said.
John Paul from Bristol, Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim thanks for taking our emails, first time writing you. With the trade deadline looming on Tuesday, what are the chances of the Titans trading Vic Beasley for some cap room in order to get secondary help? As good as Adoree is, his return isn't going to fix the issues in the secondary. I would think a deal that makes sense would be to trade Beasley and a 6th rd pick (we have three of those) to the non-contending Giants in exchange for Logan Ryan. His steadying leadership and familiarity with the scheme could help make an instant impact. The Giants pick up the rest of Beasley's salary and some draft capital, the Titans get some help, everyone wins.
Jim: Hey John. Just keeping it 💯 in here: Can't see this happening.
Carlos Berry from Tupelo, Mississippi
Question: WHO IN THA HECK CALLING PLAYS ON DEFENSE 🤦♂ I been a die hard Titans fan for years on paper this is a good Defensive line but 0 sacks in 2 games & maybe 8 sacks on the season AIN'T GONNA DO IT can't get no pressure on the QB to throw him off his game to create turnovers & the defensive coverage has dropped bad as 3rd down efficiency 😫 GET OFF THE FIELD DEFENSE 😫. For the last 2 r 3 years Tennessee defense was ranked in the top 10 in turnovers & total defense & red zone defense. We need to trade for 2 CB & DL DEFENSE NEEDS A BOOST.
Jim: Well done on the emojis, Carlos!
Joni Daniels from Antioch, Tennessee
Question: In light of the way Corey Davis has been playing; especially in the game against the Bengals, if he is not given a new contract something is definitely wrong! I have often disagreed with Jon Robinson and Mike Vrabel's choices. Vic Beasley and Jadeveon Clowney have not lived up to the expectations I'm sure they expected. What are your thoughts on this matter?
Jim: Hi Joni. The Titans haven't made a habit of signing players to new contracts in the middle of the season. There's nothing that says it can't happen after the year, though. I'd be on board with re-signing Corey.
Michael Bailey from Kernersville, North Carolina
Question: Hello Jim! Tough loss to watch. I have been a die-hard Titans fan since '99 and will never leave no matter what happens. I have been standing up for our team despite the criticism received. My stance (as I've seen is consistent with other Titans fans) is that our defensive issues are about 15% personnel and 85% scheme/game plan. We returned most of our defense from last year when we were playing as a top-tier defense, but somehow we fall into one of the bottom defenses in the league. The major loss was the retirement of Dean Pees and lack of replacement. Our defense just doesn't look like it's schemed for anyone. It's almost like we are playing a vanilla defensive scheme for preseason games. Ever since I can remember, our corners on the offside usually lineup 10 to 15 yards off of the receivers. They then backpedal on the snap to give them even more space, but don't close when they throw the short pass. We are giving teams easy 8-yard completions all day (and subsequently, first downs). We are not sending any pressure and expecting 4 rushers to get to a quarterback protected by five lineman and a running back. this is more than likely because we don't trust our corners to stick receivers and shut them down. So we end up playing a zone, which is easy for these quarterbacks to pick apart. I love VRABEL as our head coach, but he needs to give that Defense to a sole defensive coordinator who is not afraid to send heat as the Steelers did to us ALL DAY last week. Our pass rushers can't have success by themselves. It has to be a complete team effort. Can we please look to trade for a shut down corner before the deadline? Joseph had way too many technique issues. I played cornerback in HS (not that Im better... I obviously didn't make it to the league haha) and "not giving a receiver outside leverage" on an out pattern or "attacking the receiver if they turn in to the QB on the snap" were preached as laws to us. He just would square up and let them do a move on him, gaining yardage each time. I would feel very confident sending blitzes with Butler, Jackson, Fulton and (prayerfully someone like) Gilmore locking receivers up.
Jim: Hey Michael. I appreciate you taking the time, and for your comments. I'm sure you've seen by now the team has traded for former Chargers DB Desmond King. King's addition should help. He's a solid player. We'll see what else, if anything, transpires.
Ty Musselman from Modesto, California
Question: Hi Jim. The Titans finally addressed a huge need at DB with the trade for Desmond King. Now they need to solve the pass rush issue. Why wouldn't Jon Robinson go make a deal for a guy like Ryan Kerrigan who still has a lot of juice left and always has solid numbers? With all the rumors that he's on the trading block, he seems like a great get, but maybe I'm just biased as a die-hard Purdue fan.
Jim: Well Ty, the trade deadline is 3 p.m. Nashville time. Stay tuned.
Kev White from Salisbury, North Carolina
Question: Hey Jim! I'm back!!! Okay, so with a devastating irony, Mike Keith made a statement about not prematurely summing up the Titans season based on a win or loss Sunday. Boy, that's sure hard to do on a day where it felt like the Titans gave up on the fans. I won't dwell on the loss, better days are ahead. I'm back to talk defense. There's no leadership. Not on the field. Not on the sideline. That's the problem. We got rid of all our defensive field leaders: Casey, Woodyard, Ryan. No DC to be a sideline general. No field general. And please help me understand what's the point of Vic Beasley and Clowney? Butler has rode the laurels of his Superbowl fame long enough, he has got to clean up his game. I know you're limited in what you can say, but I appreciate you letting us fans vent to you. Looking forward to better days and better games. Talk to you later, Jim!
Jim: Hey Kev. The Titans "gave up on the fans"? Not sure what this means. And the problem is not a lack of leadership. It's a lack of a pass rush and a lack of solid play in the secondary. As for Butler, I thought he was one of the best players on defense on Sunday.
Have a great Tuesday everyone. And be sure to vote!