NASHVILLE – Six training camp practices down, many more to go for the Titans.
During a break in the practice schedule, I'm going to bang out a mailbag.
That's how the Tuesday mailbag turned into the Wednesday mailbag.
Let's get to it …
Here's the link to submit questions: CLICK HERE.
Dontavious Bagwell from Clarksville, Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim so I have a couple of questions for you the first one is. How is Treylon Burks coming along I seen some of the training camp videos and he looks great? My second question is haven't heard much about Malik Willis so how is he doing in training camp, and do you think he would get some playing time this year or will Tennessee just wait til next season?
Jim: Hey Dontavious. Treylon Burks looks like a different player compared to the one in OTAs and minicamp. He's getting open, and he's catching passes, a lot of them with defenders hanging all over him. He's been physical, and tough. I said in here during the offseason a lot of folks were overreacting to his slow start, and he's proven me right. But it's still early, and he has to stay healthy and keep it going. The reality is he hasn't done anything in the NFL yet. As for Willis, he's a work in progress. I wrote about him just yesterday, in fact. Here's the link to the story. CLICK HERE.
Tony Malgiero from El Paso, Texas
Question: How is the running back room looking this year aside from Derrick? Last year they played an important role, and the group is different besides Hilliard. Do they look like guys who can step in there and either help 22 carry the load, or like guys who can carry the load if he goes down for an injury again (God forbid)? A lot of people are curious about the receivers this year, but I'm just as concerned with the guys who get handed the ball. Foreman did a great job last year. Just hoping we have guys that can assume that type of role again this year if needed. Have a great time at the remainder of camp, Jim! Living the life covering your hometown team! Who wouldn't love that job?
Jim: Hey Tony. Appreciate you writing in. I've got a pretty good gig, huh? Hey, I know I'm lucky, and I do love it. As for the running backs, I've really started to notice Hassan Haskins more since the pads came on this week. He's a hard runner, a tough runner. But don't sleep on the underrated Dontrell Hilliard. He's a really good route runner and he catches the ball well out of the backfield, in addition to being a nice runner. Hilliard and Haskins are the 2/3 in some order behind Derrick Henry.
Jim Williams from Lubbock, Texas
Question: Hi Jim. Is there any chance the team will bring in a fourth QB? With only three in training camp, they could be in a tough spot in case of an injury, especially if Malik doesn't develop up to an NFL level. Also, Ben Jones missed a practice last week. Is he OK? Of all the starters on offense, he is the LEAST expendable. Thanks.
Jim: The team would be wasting its time by doing so if you ask me, which you did. The Titans are trying to get Ryan Tannehill ready for the season, so he needs the reps. Logan Woodside and Malik Willis need opportunities to get better as well. If a QB gets hurt, then the Titans could bring someone else in then. There's no need to bring a guy in now. Ben Jones is OK, by the way.
Ryan Gilpatrick from Indianapolis, Indiana
Question: Hey Jim. I've said for years that training camp doesn't really matter as much as people think it does when it comes to individual performances, but I have to admit, it feels pretty good that after all the noise made about Treylon Burks so far this offseason, he is arguably the best-looking player so far in camp. At any rate, my question is about the competition at the WR position. Not just in terms of making the roster, but in terms of starting. Obviously Bobby Trees is WR1, and NWI will likely be out there, but given how Vrabel historically likes to bring rookies on slowly, is there any chance that a guy like Racey McMath or Josh Malone ends up as a week one starter instead of Burks or Phillips? Or is the expectation that at least one of them will earn the job?
Jim: Hey Ryan. It's early. We're just six practices in, and the team hasn't played a preseason game. Right now, my top three are Woods, NWI and Burks. Philips, Malone and McMath are next in line for me, in no particular order. Dez Fitzpatrick, Mason Kinsey and Cody Hollister are all battling. Kinsey has been scrappy, Hollister has been gutsy, and Fitzpatrick has been so-so from what I've seen. Heck, I think Reggie Roberson Jr. has looked good and I'm thinking he's going to be around on the practice squad. But let's give this some more time.
Chuck Cummings from Mt. Juliet, Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim - glad to see Ryan isn't throwing picks to start trying camp, but if & when does, have the coaches considered placing a tinted visor on his helmet to shield his eyes? It's very obvious that he stares down his receivers - just ask Jesse Bates w/ the Bengals! I see that Mr. Allen in Buffalo is sporting one in training camp - why not try it for Ryan Tannehill? To quote my favorite Al Pachino character- " The eyes Chico, the eyes, they never lie"
Jim: This is just corny, Chuck. And, ironically, with all the silly eye talk, you left the "i" out of Jessie… Plus, what the h? – there is no h in Pacino!
Joe Levickis from Joelton, Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim! After watching camp in person, I am even more excited about our rookie class! I was impressed by the entire crew. However, you already know I've got questions about the most important part of our team: The O-line.
Assuming we start with Lewan, Brewer, Jones, Davis, and Radunz going into the preseason; who would you say has the inside track to be the other guys to suit up on Sundays? Jamarco Jones seems like a pretty sure bet to at least suit up, but I don't know much about the rest of the guys to make an educated guess about the 7th/8th guys for gameday. Petit Frere looked great in college, but would you consider him the favorite as the swing tackle? I know Roos, Munyer, and Levin have been around awhile but not much else. Feels like there are definitely some roster spots in the trenches to be earned during our three preseason games.
Jim: Hey Joe. It was good to see you at camp. Thanks for saying hello. Again, it's early, but I'd have to say Jamarco, Petit-Frere, and Levin will all be in the mix to stick behind the starting five (assuming Brewer and Radunz are in it), with other guys in line for roster/practice squad spots. (Munyer was placed on IR on Wednesday). Jordan Roos and Christian DiLauro have a good chance to stick around in some fashion as well, and I suspect there could be another addition or two here to add to the mix, and competition. The training camp practices and preseason games will decide a lot.
Dennis Utterback from Louisville, Kentucky
Question: Jim. Could you give us an injury update on Elijah Molden?
Jim: He's still not practicing after leaving a practice injured last week.
Barrett Sutton from Nashville, Tennessee
Question: What is latest status on Derrick Henry? Are you worried about his return to form?
Jim: Status is he's still large and in charge.
Brian Henderson from White House, Tennessee
Question: How would you rate the Titans just by their training camp practices?
Have a great Wednesday everyone!