NASHVILLE – The offseason keeps rolling by, and the questions keep rolling into the Titans mailbag.
Hope everyone is continuing to stay healthy and safe out there.
I'll keep doing my best to give you answers as we count the days to football returning.
Here's the latest Titans mailbag …
And here's the link to ask questions: CLICK HERE.
Damiyon Singleton from Denver, Colorado
Question: Hello Jim! Thank you for your hard work keeping us connected to the team. Dion Lewis was an expensive disappointment in my eyes, for the last couple years. How will Darrynton Evans contribute to the team? Is Darrynton Evans more dynamic than D. Lewis? In the event King Henry gets hurt could D. Evans carry the load, much like C.J. could do without L. White? Lastly, the smash and dash was fun with LenDale & C.J., can we expect a taste again with King Henry & Evans? I believe we had a 13-3 season that year....then we disrespected The Terrible Towel on TV and got handed a "L" by the Steelers in the playoffs. Thank you Jim! Have a wonderful week. Luv Ya Blue! Titan Up!
Jim: Hey Damiyon. I must admit, I agree with you on Dion Lewis. I thought he was an intriguing addition when he was first added, just because I saw him have success with the Patriots. And while he had his moments in 2018, he went out with an underwhelming finish, and I think Darrynton Evans will be an upgrade. How much will we see of Evans right out of the gate? Well, OC Arthur Smith said during a conference call this week a lot really depends on Evans and how much he can handle. But you could tell by the way he talked he's excited about him. I like having Derrick Henry on the field as much as possible, but the guy needs a break. The Titans will use Evans to give him some rest, and I think the team will get more playmaking ability from him. I'm looking forward to watching him practice, and play.
George Gettle from Brazil, Indiana
Question: Hey Jim - the "Love Ya Blue" boys captured my interest as a child in 1978 and have been an Oiler/Titan fan ever since. I make a trip to Nashville every year to catch a game with all that's going on these days. In your opinion, who do you feel is the most feared physical player on our roster to opposing offenses? In other words, who brings the lumber on every tackle made? Thank you for keeping us all informed on our Titans!
Jim: Hey George. I'm going to tackle both sides of the ball on this one. On offense, it's a slam dunk: The stiff-arming Derrick Henry is the most feared. On defense, I'm going with Rashaan Evans, who has turned into a tackling machine with some pop.
Nicholas Elkins from Albuquerque, New Mexico
Question: I have kids and grandchildren in Nashville. I have two questions: Do you think Titans will try to resign Corey Davis or does it depend how he plays this year? Question 2: If Tannehill does not play well can they get out of his contract without too much cost. Been a Titans fan since Oilers days.
Jim: Hi Nicholas. Your hunch on Davis is right: His future in Tennessee past 2020 depends on how he plays this season. But I can tell you coaches really like him. Sure, maybe he doesn't have the numbers a fifth overall pick might be expected to have, but he's a solid player who does a lot of things well, and is a willing blocker, which is critical on a team that likes to run the ball. As for Tannehill, his contract is structured for him to be here for at least a few years. He's going to need to play well because there's no easy way out.
James Rowland from Clarksville, Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim, hope you and your family are staying safe. Would like to extend a huge "Titan Up" from all of us stationed here at the 101st Airborne Division at Ft. Campbell, Kentucky. It is awesome to have you keeping us informed especially when watching or following games is sometimes impossible. Moving onto my question...I just heard Timmy Jernigan's deal fell through with the Texans. He seems like a heck of a value in the run defense and probably has the most sack potential behind Jeffery Simmons. Do you feel like he would be a good fit for the Titans? Are there any rumors about us looking into him as a possible free agent addition? Thanks for your response and "Take Everything"!
Jim: Hey James. First off, thank you for your service! As for Jernigan, I got three emails probably within 30 minutes of this development. I haven't heard anything on my end yet. I know Jernigan has been banged up and played in just 13 games over the course of the last two seasons, so that makes me wonder. I also know the team is high on draft pick Larrell Murchison, who will be in the mix along with several others.
Preston Gore from St. Louis, Missouri
Question: Hey, Jim! I hope all is well with you. As you know, Derrick Henry is my favorite player and I'm hoping that both parties can work out a long-term deal. However, I wanted to talk about Rashaan Evans. I feel like he's a player who isn't really talked about and flies under the radar. I thought he played extremely well in the second half of the season, especially in the playoffs. Do you see the Titans expanding his role and building off of his playoff performance? Really enjoy your work and keep it up! Thanks, Jim! Titan Up!
Jim: Hey Preston. Just mentioned Evans above. After racking up 139 tackles last year during the regular season, I expect him to take it up another level this fall. He's smart, he's fast, he works hard, and he's a good tackler. He had 2.5 sacks last year, and I expect him to be given more opportunities to get to the quarterback. He's a star in the making, and his performance in that goal-line stand in New England in the playoffs showed what he's all about.
Logan Stafford from Memphis, Tennessee
Question: What's going on Titans Nation this is my first time writing into the mailbag, Titan Up baby!! My question is for you Jim, what was your favorite play from the 2019 season and why? Hope you're staying safe, Titan Up!!
Jim: Oh man, this is a tough one. I'm going with the Ryan Tannehill-to-Kalif Raymond bomb for a touchdown in the playoff win at Baltimore. It put the Titans up 14-0, and it let me know it was going to be a special night. No.2? The Tannehill-to-Adam Humphries touchdown pass with 23 seconds left to beat the Chiefs in the regular season. No.3? Derrick Henry's 53-yard touchdown run in Houston, which gave him the rushing title. I could keep going ...
Eli Decko from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Question: Boy do I love reading the Mailbag! Our fans are hungry to say the least. I don't think 9-7 is bad since it is a winning record but we all know that isn't the goal. We have had some really nice playoff success as the Titans, we rarely get bounced in our first game unlike some "contenders" ritually do. I have a question about the off season though Jim. Without Covid, would the team be allowed to assemble in full off of the Titans grounds? Maybe play a pickup game or just backyard football to get familiarity with snap counts, motions, blocking assignments etc? I feel that could help us even more if it were possible. In regard to one of your Saturday question you said you do not believe Henry could get 2k rushing yards. Why is that? Is it due to the youth of the right side of our line? Maybe we should sign the Guard the Saints booted, to give some veteran presence and valued experience to balance the 18 years of experience the left side has. Have a good one Jim, always a pleasure writing you!
Jim: Good to hear from you again, Eli. Guys are gathering on their own but getting together as a team off site would be next-to-impossible right now. I can't imagine the NFLPA would go for it either. As for Henry, I'm doubting 2K because I think the team will try and take some of the load off him. Plus, the team has a lot more weapons now compared to when Chris Johnson went for 2K in 2009. I think OC Arthur Smith will aim to spread the ball around to a number of guys, and that could reduce Henry's touches and snaps. Don't get me wrong: Henry is still going to be a big part of the offense. But the Titans have a lot of guys who will be involved, and that will keep him from getting close to 2K.
Carlous Hinton from Anchorage, Alaska
Question: Think the team has a chance to land Clowney or going with what we got?
Jim: Still waiting to hear back from Karen…
(inside joke from a few mailbags back)
Ayush Patel from Gallatin, Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim, other than Clowney are we looking at any other free agents?
Jim: Only Dez Bryant …
(Inside joke from a few years back)
Joshua Thomas from Hermitage, Tennessee
Question: Hey, Jim, love what the Titans have been doing to improve as an organization on all cylinders over the past half a decade. My question is, with the release of Dean Pees, and a high likelihood of Vrabel filling in his shoes, is there a way he can at least ease the burden? I've seen teams have coaches designated as passing game and run game coordinators, and I think guys like Anthony Midget and Shane Bowen could be able to fill those roles, and make it easier for Mike to run the team as a whole while filling in for Dean. Thanks Jim!
Jim: Interesting thought, Joshua. I haven't heard anything that might suggest Vrabel will do this. I fully expect him to lean on a lot of guys on his defensive staff, however, including Jim Haslett, a former DC and HC himself.
James Wheeler from Cookeville, Tennessee
Question: We are season ticket holders and were wondering about fan-less football. What will happen to season ticket holders whom have already paid for their tickets? Will refunds come or what?
Jim: Hi James. Well, nothing has been decided on this topic. I think everyone would love to have fans at the games, including me. If that doesn't happen, then I'd expect season ticket holders to have the option of either receiving a full refund, or applying the amount paid toward future ticket purchases. Here's hoping you'll be able to watch from Nissan Stadium and not your living room.
Kenny Gore from Horse Cave, Kentucky
Question: Hello Jim. Hope you are well. I appreciate all you do to keep us informed in this pretty stale portion of a very unusual sports yr... I've seen a lot of fans & "Analysts" say that Ryan Tannehill CANNOT be as good this season as he was last yr... I just do not get it. I think people are REALLY under-appreciating what happened last yr. Tannehill came in a played astoundingly well; with VERY little time to prepare to be the Starter. He was the Back Up to start the yr. As such we know he got limited work w/the offense. We've all heard how condensed the off season work is; & that the Back Up rarely gets much time to prepare. Which was one of the main reasons JRob said he wanted a vet. Some one who could be ready to go w/little notice. I know Ryan & the Coaching Staff made every attempt to keep him in the loop & ready... But we still know he had very little actual work w/starters. All that said; he was AMAZING on a small fraction of the work he was used to getting!! People are selling short how important that work is to building chemistry w/the WRs, Oline, & TEs. I believe there is a distinct possibility that Ryan can/will be even better in yr2; with more/better time & involvement in the offense!! Are there some stats that are likely to go down?? Sure. He was nearly perfect in some measurables last yr. Hard to see that staying the norm. However, it could. I just would NOT sell him short. He accomplished SO MUCH last yr in a VERY tough situation. Do you agree?? I know he has SOME things he can improve. However, it is not as much as many seem to think!
Jim: Hey Kenny. Where the heck have you been? I'm with you on Tannehill, but it's a year-to-year league. He's going to have to do it again.
Have a great weekend everyone and stay safe!