NASHVILLE – And, we're on to the Bengals.
A tough Sunday in Cleveland resulted in a packed mailbag, among other things.
Appreciate all the emails, and I've done my best to include as many as possible.
Let's dive into another batch…
Here's the link to submit questions: CLICK HERE
Todd Cookingham from Charlotte, North Carolina
Question: Hey Jim. Great job with what you do. 1977 a ten-year-old boy saw blue pom-poms and the oilers on tv. I've never been the same. Earl, Bum, Moon, House of Pain, I have 8 children I yelled to gather up and we prayed before the kick off of the Music City Miracle. You're welcome lol ... The Adams family has been my family. I say this because I care. I love we put men of character and skill on the field. My question is was Ben and Taylor not able to be back-ups on OL? Just their leadership I would think would help this team. A few years ago we failed to use Henry and put the team on his shoulders (panthers game) I felt game one we could run and just didn't until week 6 we must find the grit of oilers / titans that have gone before us. Fans get off your bums this week your embarrassing 3rd down we see you sitting talking or eating. You matter. Where are those pom-pom days? love ya Blue / titan up. And Tanny I love you, hang in there help is on the way.
Jim: Great to hear from you Todd. Loved reading the backstory. I fell in the love with my childhood teams around the same time frame, so I get it. ... By the way, I liked your pep talk to the fans. 😊
As for Ben and Taylor, and I don't want to speak for them, but this is what I can tell you: Ben had a procedure this offseason, so he wasn't healthy. Plus, he's had a number of concussions. I personally think Mike Vrabel loves Ben Jones so much he wouldn't let him play for the team again. As for Taylor, I just always got the sense he had retirement on his mind after he went down in Buffalo in Week 1 of last year. Hang in there, Todd!
Harry Prentiss from Sunbury, Pennsylvania
Question: Jim thanks for all you do keeping the fans informed especially those of us far away from Nashville. I've been a fan of the franchise since 1965 so I've seen some good teams and some bad teams and this isn't in the bottom rung just yet. I hope Skoronski comes back soon and Radunz has looked decent so far so maybe keeping them on the left side in whatever alignment will help shore up the line. Don't give up fans with a renewed commitment to feeding the King and getting back to play action passing and cutting the penalties I believe this s a team that can at least win the division. Am I out of my mind Jim or is it possible?
Jim: Need to see more of this season, Harry, before talking about playoff possibilities. All I know is right now the Titans are 1-2 against three teams they were underdogs against. They're underdogs again on Sunday against the Bengals. I said this on Tuesday: I felt at the beginning of the year if the team could be 3-3 at the bye, I'd take it. Need to go 2-1 over the next three weeks.
Jody Waldrup from Franklin, Tennessee
Question: Always enjoy your responses to these questions and you throwing in a zinger from time to time.
First question, when Henry was so formidable earlier in his career there was a fullback blocking for him (and obviously much better O-line) leading him into the holes. Why did this position disappear from the Titans offense the past couple years?
Secondly, you are able to see and talk to the players personally in the locker room. With no real facts to back it up this team seems unsure of themselves. Previous successful Titans teams had a strong confidence and swagger. Am I simply missing something? What's your take on the vibe in the locker room this year?
Jim: Appreciate it, Jody.
The fullback has been phased out, Jody. I just think the league has changed, and so have the Titans.
As for the vibe, it's hard to have a swagger when you get beat 27-3. Something that would cure a case of missing swagger: Winning games. If the Titans can build some momentum, I promise you'll see more personality.
Mitch Wilson from Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Question: The GM and Coach focused on the defensive side of the ball the last two off seasons. They tried to bubblegum and tape the O-line together and we are seeing the results this year. A good O-line makes the quarterback, running backs and receivers look good. A good O-line win rushing titles and games. Henry has two rushing titles and Tannehill was the comeback player of the year with a good O-line in front of them. This O-line seems in capable of getting out of their own way so far this season. They don't give the QB, any QB, the time to get through his progressions. The best running back in the NFL gets 20 yards on 11 carries because he gets hit three yards deep in the back field repeatedly. The only thing Vrabel could do to make the situation worse is to start Willis or Levis. That would be a perfect way to ruin two young payers with the potential to be great.
All three QBs are good enough. RBs are great. D-Line and Linebackers are as good as the RBs if not better. Backend can handle most teams. Thge coaching is good enough. The 0-line would have trouble against a lot of NCAA tier one teams. I love Mike Vrabel. I know he leans toward the defensive side of the ball. The GM must have drank out of the same kool aide jug. If you can score 2/3 of the time when you have the ball you are gong to win a lot of the games even if your defense is mediocre. If you can't score, you are not going to win very many games no matter how good your defense. Titans have gone for bargain basement deals (players falling in draft due to injury /potential character issues or both) the last several years and only one has paid off (Simmons). Fix the O-line first. It is the foundation for the team. Keep your running backs, receivers, and front side of the defense. Use anything else you have available to fix the back end of the defense. You prabably have one more chance to fix it before players are going to start looking for another home. Jim two questions, 1. If we continue to play like we are now and end up getting the first pick, do you think we will draft a QB three years in a row and go after Caleb Williams. 2. Do you think Mike and Ran realize there is a direct correlation between having the worst O-line in the NFL and not make the playoffs...losing 9 out of the last 10 games they played? I think that Skoronski and Petit-Frere will help, if they can stay healthy, but unless the Coach and GM work a little magic and fix the O-line, we are in for a long season.
Jim: Appreciate you weighing in, Mitch. But sorry, I'm not going to start speculation about the draft on September 30, like the Titans are getting the 1st overall pick. … Yes, I think Mike and Ran know the o-line needs to get better. I also don't think they envisioned losing starting right tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere for the first four games of the season because of a gambling suspension, or being without starting guard Peter Skoronski for three of the first four games because of ruptured appendix. The team needs to get those guys back, and others need to perform better or get replaced for a better option.
Jeffery Raney from Pittsburg, Texas
Question: Hi Jim. I just finished reading the Tuesday post and to be quite honest I am a little surprised that so many people wants our two young quarterbacks to be giving a chance to play. I would be real hesitant to subject them to that kind of beating for crying out loud Superman with his cape couldn't escape that kind of pressure. These are the offensive lineman we have so if they are not physically gifted enough to protect the QB or open holes for our running backs then we need better coaching to compensate for this weakness. Please share your thoughts.
Jim: My thoughts? Everyone wants the "other QB or QBs" to play when a team isn't doing well. I still remember how many fans wanted Neil O'Donnell to play ahead of Steve McNair when he struggled.
Derrick Martin from Columbus, Ohio
Question: Tired of our QB haters. Sit down and put your hands down and stop comparing elite franchise qb's in the league to #17. He can manage the game when he's not running for his life. We need to address O-line /come back from injuries/suspensions and then work on D-secondary.
Jim: Point taken, Derrick.
John Burnett from Dickson, Tennessee
Question: Wow Jim, after reading all the negativity in your mailbox I figure you'd be headed to a local shrink to get your head screwed back on. Yep, a stinker of a game for sure but it's not the end of the world. Anyone can say it's going to be a long season but let's not forget what Vrabel's record has been so far in his time with the team. I watched the Chargers game and am convinced that Doomsday is not around the corner. I ask you: Don't you think we need to give the staff time to see what gels? I'm not giving up. Besides, Who wants to sit in the living room drinking beer on Sunday watching the Hallmark channel?
Jim: People drink beer and watch the Hallmark Channel?
William Gwaltney from Parrish, Florida
Question: Jim, why don't you hang it up? You are nothing but a Titan puppet and that's ok! Take the money and run but dont keep spouting the same old BS to the rank and file every week! You say what your Masters tell you to say! You dont have anything constructive (or hopeful, or even destructive) to add, so just give it the f... up! You know Vrabel has been there too long (same as many before him) - you know Levis should be given a chance - give it up, Jim!
Jim: Now William, you sound like a guy who needs to watch the Hallmark Channel, a true hopeless romantic ...
Brown Trout from Long Beach, California
Question: Why the horrible fan base ? I read you everyday Jim ,, thank you. 2 out of 3 on the road against arguably 2 top 5 defenses. Offensive play calling looked questionable,, I like Henry with a head of steam ,, not standing next to Ryan. But fans get real. We got Vrabel he knows football and we are lucky to have him..we need to get behind the team with positive juice ! Other wise why are you a fan. The comments I read here are so unrealistically.
Titan Up ! And baabaabooeeey to you all !
Jim: All kinds of fish in the sea, Brown Trout. Baabaabooeeey!
Anthony Anthamatten from Smyrna, Tennessee
Question: Jim, I understand the frustration from many Titans fans. The Browns game was a disaster. It was hard to watch. But as a longtime fan of this team, I support them win or lose. We all fall on our faces occasionally. You hate to get smacked in the mouth. But we get up, dust ourselves off and move onto the next battle. Go Titans. As bad as that game was, it is not the end of the world.
Jim: Thanks for weighing in, Anthony.
Michael Newsome from Lenoir, North Carolina
Question: With a halftime lead vs Saints, we give Henry 5 carries in the 2nd half.
In the first half against the Browns, the game was either tied or a one-possession game for 28:55 of the 30 minutes. Henry got 4 carries, Tannehill got 23 dropbacks.
Does anyone inside the organization feel this playcalling is an issue? We can all agree last year's rush-heavy playcalling wasn't ideal, however overcorrecting to a pass-only offense with Henry asked not to show up seems like just as big of an issue.
Jim: I've heard this from a few folks in here, Michael. Let's let things play out a little longer before making big judgements on the new OC.
CJ Wilson from Charleston, South Carolina
Question: Hey Jim just want to know why Tim Kelly keeps trying this new offense that's not working we should never be in a empty set or running toss plays we are successful when we get Henry going down hill keep the defense honest with 8to 9 in the box and feed off play action and tannehill use his legs with rpo and he needs to fix the personnel just let me be OC for a game I'll show him how it's done
Jim: Sounds like you and Michael are on the same warpath, CJ.
Joey Lewan from Galveston, Texas
Question: Hey Jim- we appreciate you taking the time to let us ask questions.
Last year we kind of allowed Dennis Dailey and Todd downing to cost us the season in terms of several losses where the entire game was wrecked because of them. It's true. The thing was is we didn't make in season adjustments. Lots of team relieve players and coaches of their duties mid season. If we were gonna promote Kelly anyway we could have just seen what we had during the 7 game losing streak either way I digress. Love our coach but when he loves his guys he loves his guys, (Schwartz gone rather than keeping over bowen)
Would love us to not repeat last season. Dilliard is the new Daley, or o line coach looks like keith Carter. How long will we let Dilliard wreck games- last year protection or lack thereof got our quarterback injured. Shame. This year he has been sacked what 15 times Already? How long will we wait to take Dilliard out?
Jim: OK, Joey, come clean: Any relation to Taylor Lewan?
Darius Nettles from Easton, Pennsylvania
Question: Hi Jim!!! This is only my second time writing the mailbag. The subject matter that I wish to discuss is poor play and possible management of the offensive line. Of course, I am not an NFL coach but what I have observed is players like Peter Skoronski and Dillon Radunz playing positions that they did not play in college. The last time Radunz played the tackle position I remember him doing pretty darn well. But the team puts an unproven player like Dillard on an island? Why can't Dillard transition to guard to possibly get the help he obviously needs on the inside? Please tell me if you feel I have a legitimate point and if so would you please ask the coaching staff why they're spinning their wheels trying to make players something they definitely are not. Thanks for all that you do and I hope this submission makes the cut.
Jim: The folks making these decisions know a lot more about personnel than the guy doing the mailbag for the team, Darius. I've seen the issues, like you and everyone else. We'll see if things get better.
Brad Newhouse from Pinellas Park, Florida
Question: Hi Jim, first timer. I've been a fan of this franchise since George Blanda was leading them to the first two AFL championships way back in the day. I was stationed in Abilene Texas when Earl was doing his thing and the great Bum Phillips was head coach and was able to watch all their games. I wish either Bum or Coach Vrabel coached the early nineties teams as they were the most talented on both sides of the ball and should of won at least one Super Bowl. My question is why don't we hear anything about Chris Harris? He was supposed to come in and fix their pass defense and if anything; it's worse. Shouldn't he shoulder some of the blame? Thanks for your time.
Jim: Good to hear from you, Brad. Chris Harris was a nice addition to Mike Vrabel's staff when he was hired this offseason. He had other options, and he has a good reputation. I understand everyone is looking for someone to blame when things aren't going great. So, if you want to pin the DBs getting beat in coverage on Chris Harris, does this mean you're letting the well-paid NFL players off the hook?
Neil Carr from Bingley, United Kingdom
Question: It's pretty obvious that the biggest issue (albeit not the only issue) facing our beloved Titans at the moment is the inability to contain aggressive defensive lines (like the Browns and to a lesser extent the Saints), and therefore protect the QB and open up running lanes for our RBs.
How does this situation improve? I get that the practice field is the place to start BUT could it simply be that our offensive line is weak and not able/good enough to handle these aggressive, strong defensive lines? Therefore, if the ceiling is not high for quite a few number of this offensive line (and I do not personally think it is although, granted, their is some talent in there) how do we improve the situation?
Sunday was a very painful watch and I just hate seeing our Titans beat up like that. We need to improve drastically. Most people were worried about the need to greatly improve the offensive line in the offseason and it, unfortunately, is not looking like it has been improved.
Just wonder what your take is on it. I hope not (it's still early days) but offensive play like Sunday will lead to many a painful Sunday at this rate.
Jim: Time will tell on this, Neil. Last Sunday was ugly. This Sunday is a new day.
Bob Cole from Benton, Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim. I'm going to politely disagree with you that the Browns game wasn't the Titans worst game ever. The Browns game bumped the disaster in New England to a distant second place, IMO. Wasn't the NE something like 65-0? I can't recall. I remember Keith Bulluck screaming at his teammates in the defensive huddle. I saw no such passion in the Browns game.
IMO, you could probably take about a dozen or so players on this team that might not even make the roster on another NFL team. There's a CLEAR lack of talent at too many positions for the Titans to be successful. Yes, I know Ran Carthon is still probably working with one hand tied due to contracts, salary cap & so forth. I find it hard to believe the Titans can't comb through the practice squads of the better teams for better Titan players?
I would also like to mention you love of sarcasm on some emails. Those folks just want to vent, most of the time. Saying what they wrote is "silly" (your words) seems to be rude, IMO. Readers aren't stupid, we know when someone is off-the-track in their comments or ideas. One of the many things I admired about George Plaster during his days on radio was he was never rude to a caller. He always let them say their piece & then he'd comment or ask questions. Never once did he belittle his callers. I urge you to think about being a bit more polite to the fans.
Lastly, as another writer alluded to, we fans are SICK & TIRED of hearing "we need to work harder, get better". We football fans have heard this for decades from the Vanderbilt football program. I know they have to feed the media something but using the same trite phrases over & over again shows a lack of intellect, IMO.
I have watched the Oilers/Titans since the Dan Pastorini days. All of Bum Phillips' teams played with a passion, all had talent. I cannot say that about the Titans. Must be a generational thing? Respectfully, Bob Cole.
Jim: Can't believe I'm arguing one Titans loss was worse than another … but here we are. Sunday's loss in Cleveland in no way compares to the 59-0 loss to the Patriots in 2009. The score of that game was 45-0 at the half (compared to 13-3 on Sunday), and 59-0 after the 3rd quarter (compared to 20-3). The Patriots could've won that game 100-0 if they wanted to. We all agree the Browns game was ugly, but I've witnessed far worse. … My comment about a fan being "silly" was in response to someone saying the team needed to "go to the bathroom better" to solve its problems. Sorry, that's silly. Respectfully, Jim Wyatt.
Deklen Carnegie from Wichita, Kansas
Question: The Titans have been the underrated and neglected across the league as their performance has not been good enough to catch headlines. Recently we hear the Coach's same repeated response. What accountability, in terms of self, Team, and the Titans Organization is being done to make drastic changes to put the beloved Titans on top and a true United Team(?). Does the organization believe it is only a coach issue or team issue or do they also feel that 1:1 communication with each team member to check-in and see what's going on and the personal struggles they may be facing that's causing distractions on the field and what isn't being delivered by the organization that the players need to succeed? I would love to come see the Titans and observe where the gaps are within the organization and the whole team itself.
To succeed, it has to be a united front. Everyone have the desire to succeed and be finding ways how they themselves can improve to be better, as a leader for the team and for their team members. It's evident there isn't trust, full respect, value, or communication occurring off the field, as it is well shown on the field.
I look forward to hearing how the Titans plan to address the big issues that matter most to unite a team to be the absolute best they can together as one on the field.
Jim: It's not that deep, Deklen. I'll tell you what will unite the team: Winning.
Have a great weekend everyone!