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Weekend Mailbag: Jim Wyatt Answers Questions From Titans Fans Ahead of Sunday's Game vs the Seahawks


NASHVILLE – Happy Holidays.

And, happy gameday ... almost.

Yes, it's that time of year across the NFL, and in Music City.

The Titans return to action on Sunday at Nissan Stadium against the Seahawks, on Christmas Eve.

While the team is eliminated from the playoffs, this mailbag is still alive and well.

Let's open it up and see what's inside…

Here's the link to submit questions: CLICK HERE.

Johnny Davidson from Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Question: Hi again Jim. I wrote to you at the start of season. I expressed doubts about Levis at the time, but hoped he would prove me wrong. Watching him at the NFL level he has pleasantly surprised me. Reminds me of a fearless Brett Favre. I know he may throw a fair number of interceptions going forward, but I think he has the arm and talent to be our franchise QB.
But, what about our coaching and GM? I remember Jeff Fisher being a very articulate person and very much embraced by the media throughout his time here, but he was a mediocre coach. I know as a coach (previous player) Vrabel is highly regarded. But the 7 losses to end last season plus the 9 this year have to involve some reflection on the coaching positions he has personally filled. And I also remember the excitement so many fans were displaying as Carthon filled the team with second string linemen because they were economical.
The BIG ?: Can this team really afford for these two to make decisions in April and the rest of the offseason that are going to be the Titans foundation for the next 5 years? I know with Carthon that we don't have enough player decisions yet to make a great decision, but I'm concerned. And I definitely have NO idea who would be out there as any type coaching replacement. But, despite the feel good story surrounding Vrabel, I'm not sure his personnel decisions have helped him or the team, or will be adequate for the major overhaul this team needs.

Jim: Hey Johnny. I know a lot of Titans fans who had doubts about Levis after he was picked, and I get it. I had questions myself. But I agree – he's performed well, better than most expected, and personally, I feel good about him moving forward. I like what I've seen from him from a performance, leadership, attitude, moxie, etc, standpoint. … And since you introduced Fisher as a "mediocre" coach, I'll remind you he took the team to the playoffs four times in five seasons from 1999 to 2003, including two AFC title games and a Super Bowl, following a move from Houston when the team played in three home stadiums (Liberty Bowl, Vanderbilt Stadium, LP Field) for three consecutive years. He coached three teams that went 13-3. The team was gutted after the 2004 season for salary cap reasons, and the team just never sustained momentum after that in part because of inconsistency at the QB position after hitting rock bottom. I know the Titans eventually flamed out under Fisher, but it wasn't all bad. As for Vrabel, I'm sure he's critical of himself after what's happened, with losses in 16 of the past 21 games. I don't think he can be blamed for the personnel decisions under Jon Robinson, but I'm pretty sure he doesn't feel like he deserves a free pass for the state of the team right now either.

Seth Fischer from Lynchburg, Virginia
Question: Hey Jim, said I'd be done for the season but can't help myself. Seems like Tannehill is going to start this week if Levis can't go. Do you know the logic behind this? Seems like the logical choice would be to give Willis the start but then again, I'm not a coach.

Jim: Hey Seth. This is, in fact, the plan. The logic is Ryan Tannehill gives the team the best chance to win behind Levis, and the team is still playing to win.

Bill Holmes from Fairport, New York
(To the tune of "Frosty The Snowman")

Vrabel, the Head Coach
Thought we might be on a roll
But the OL stiffed and the kicker whiffed
Say goodbye to Super Bowl

Bent like a pretzel
Our new quarterback got hurt
Had no time to throw, and as we all know
Third and long you're in the dirt

There wasn't any magic in that special teams reboot
And though our defense tried their best, our running game was moot, so

Forget the playoffs
The postseason's a mirage
You can clearly see how it's gonna be
Time for beers in the garage

Bumpity-bump bump
Bumpity-bump bump
Just three games remain

Bumpity-bump bump
Bumpity-bump bump
Please sign The King again!

Jim, even though we lost two games in OT - and only in OT because of a missed extra point each game - it might be a blessing. Make those XPs and win in regulation, and even at 7-7 we probably would miss the playoffs. And if we did somehow sneak in by winning out, we'd probably get smoked by one of the powerhouse teams that are good on both sides of the ball.
The team plays hard, plays hurt and never quits, but the reality is we are not underperforming. We are a team with many weak spots or outright holes, and not good enough to win most weeks. The Miami game is the anomaly, not the norm. So while I am disappointed that we snatched another defeat from the jaws of victory, let's look at the bright side. We have the opportunity to use the remaining games to see what our roster is made of by letting some of the second line play.
Unless Levis is 100%, don't risk his health. Get Malik out there with Ryan as his #2 and let's see what he can do. Give the OL guys on the practice squad a try. Let Ward and Kinsey line up more on offense. Really...what do we have to lose?
Merry Christmas to you and yours, Jim. Hope all the Titan faithful have a safe and happy holiday with family and friends. And I asked Santa to bring The King back strong and healthy next season so he can continue (and eventually finish) his Hall Of Fame career where he belongs.

Jim: Merry Christmas, Bill.

Richard Colestock from St. Cloud, Florida
Question: Hi again Jim. Now that our season is over, let's all agree that we have found our quarterback! Willis should play out the season to get some seasoning under his belt, and next year he can be a productive #2 behind Levis.....but Levis is THE man going forward.
If we can get an O line together to give him more than 3/10 of a second to throw the ball.....he will carry us to the playoffs next year......without Henry. His days as an elite running back are behind him....and we should look for other options.....and Levis needs to STOP pretending to be a running back and stick to keeping DHOP busy......enuff said!
Merry Christmas to all!!! NEXT Christmas will be a LOT more exciting for us Titan fans!!

Jim: Merry Christmas, Richard. And, the season isn't over – kickoff is scheduled for noon CST on Sunday.

Harry Prentiss from Sunbury, Pennsylvania
Question: Jim first of all Merry Christmas and thank you for keeping us so informed. After rooting for this franchise since I was 8 years old and George Blanda was the QB and seeing some really bad teams from the Oilers days but this season has disappointed me more than many of them. It has been frustrating watching the offensive line get mauled and big plays against the secondary but those aren't the worst examples. What bothers me most is the way this team has mentally let down at the absolute worst times. I would hate to be the one who has to count how many procedure penalties, defensive holding during a stop, pass interference penalty calls and the overall lack of mental ability to stay focused during the game. Many want to dump Vrabes but that ability has to come from the players. Still going to root for them just like it was 1965 all over again and at 66 too old to give up on them. Luv Ya Blue and Titan Up

Jim: I hear ya, Harry. It's been a disappointing season for sure. This team has lost a lot of close games it used to win. Merry Christmas to you.

Bill Mahanna from Byrdstown, Tennessee
Question: Having watched Levis get hammered again because of a poor OL reminds me of another QB with high potential. Marcus Mariota was beat up the same way. I believed it was the deciding factor or his career never reaching his potential. I have been hearing "we need to make changes in the OL" for more than 6 years now. No change yet. I hope Levis doesn't have the same outcome. Tannehill didn't have much protection either. As for Henry I would hate to see him leave but I wouldn't blame him wanting to go to a team that could open holes for him. Merry Christmas

Jim: Merry Christmas, Bill. And, yes, o-line has been in issue of late, but the Titans have also had some solid offensive lines over the years, too.

Terry Anderson from Glasgow, Kentucky
Question: Hello Jim. Hope you're doing well. I'm not a Houston Oilers fan and in my childhood Joe Montana was my favorite player and I absolutely enjoyed watching the Manning brothers play. I didn't care much for the Cowboys and still not a fan. As I look at the franchise that moved to Tennessee from Houston, I have noticed that in the franchise's history there have been several instances where the team was good but has never won the Super Bowl. However won back to back AFL championships in 60-61. In the late 70's early 80's made consecutive trips to the NFL playoffs. With some success in the late 80's early 90's. Gained a the moniker the bad boy pistons of the nfl. According to historians the franchise left Houston because Mr. Adams wanted a new stadium to replace the Astro Dome. Throughout the history of the franchise there has been moments of success but most notably mediocre teams. I have yet to find any information on the team's management structure throughout. Floyd Reese is the GM I remember hearing about. Back in 94 I was 12. I can remember having great players like Javon Kearse who ended up playing elsewhere. Jarrell Casey as well. With the Salary cap and current NFL set up, all teams are more even in theory. However it seems that when Titans have great players they don't get to the second contract. Players like Jack Conklin who are above average linemen. I understand that you can't keep everyone but you have to keep some. I'm curious to see what happens with Derrick. History says he won't be a Titan next year. I hope he is. Without him I don't think the Titans would be in Tennessee in 2027 in a new stadium. Without Vrabel and Henry getting the team performance to the level where fans are pissed we aren't making the playoffs is a hell of a lot better than hoping we have a season above 500. I don't think Nashville would've agreed to a new stadium with a bad team. My question is why not keep the players who want to be Titans? I truly believe Derrick wants to be here. Hopefully he will be. He's the kind you want to cheer for.

Jim: Hi Terry. Thanks for taking the time. As for Derrick specifically, Derrick doesn't know what is going to happen moving forward, and neither does the team at this point. We'll get some answers here when we get into February and March.

Barbara Bolton from Memphis, Tennessee
Question: I am really afraid of losing Derrick Henry in the off season because I think that he was committed to the Titans for a while and I believe that he and other players are really interested in having a successful team that can at least compete in a successful post season run for a championship, so please work hard to keep my team together, especially Mr. Henry and thanks for letting me vent

Jim: Good to hear from you, Barbara.

Steve Glenn from Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Question: Good morning, Jim! This is my first time writing in. I've been a fan since the early 90's. My wife and I recently relocated down here and are now proud season ticket holders. Outside of the obvious from this season. Our two previous losses could've potentially been avoided if Folk had not missed a XP. He has been clutch for the majority of the season. Tough pill to swallow. I hope we find a way to keep Henry around for a few more years. I believe he still has a lot of juice left with the right O-line put in place. Love what Levis has shown so far and I definitely look forward to the seasons to come. Lastly, it sure was nice to see Burks back in action! I hope he stays healthy. Thank you for all you do and Merry Christmas to you and yours! Hopefully one day I can shake your hand at the game.

Jim: Good to hear from you Steve, and I appreciate you taking the time. Hope you enjoy living in the Middle Tennessee area. Give me a shout if you see me.

Mitch Wilson from Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Question: All I want for Christmas is a new O-line, and if they can't fix the O-line with the draft and $100 Million a new offensive coordinator, a new head coach and GM. And new owners for that matter. Can the NFL force the sale of a team due to humiliation? How do you think the Butter Boys would stack up against MTSU, Austin Peay, Riverdale High, Wheeler Elementary, NFL Cheerleaders? What do you think about letting The Defensive line play both ways? How about the DBs? They have proven they can't cover receivers how about moving them over to the O-line? They'll be giving up a little weight but they should be fast enough to at least get a hand on the defensive line. They've proven over and over again that they are excellent at holding. If two of them wrap up a leg on the same player..........At least they would have size as an excuse when they get man handled. I hope the Butter Boys get mad...It's like they've given up. The Titans are better than this. Vrabel is better than this. the Butter Boys?????????

Jim: I'm not sure why you even wasted your time on this Mitch.

Wayne Green from Lebanon, Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim, I appreciate all of your updates on the team. Yes, we need multiple good players on offense, defense, and special teams. Nick Folk, and Ryan Stonehouse are a blessing, but can't we get a reliable returner? Yes, the defense needs work too, and I understand the release of Teair Tart, but we will need a real good nose tackle to replace him. Then there's the secondary. I definitely think some of the turmoil is on the position coaches, but we need some good players, and I just hope that Ran and his team have a lot to do with that. We've gotten way too many FAs from other teams that weren't good enough to play on the team they were on (Andre Dillard). Does that about do it?

Jim: Definitely a lot of work to be done this offseason, Wayne.

Rebecca Mcgibboney from Lahaina, Hawaai
Question: Aloha. How do I get "congratulations Matt and Alanna!" On the Jumbotron?
My daughter and future son in law just got engaged and will be attending the Seahawks Titans game 12/24. Mahalo.

Jim: Well, it's $500 to get gameday messages on the Jumbotron. You just got it in here for free. Congratulations to Matt and Alanna!

Have a great weekend everyone!

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