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

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NASHVILLE – Week Four of the NFL season kicks off on Sunday in Indianapolis.

The Titans have a chance to get to 2-2 with a win vs the Colts.

There's lots to talk about in Titan Land, so let's get to it…

Here's the link to submit questions: CLICK HERE

Ray House from Honolulu, Hawaii
Question:
What I saw in the first half (vs the Raiders) that was different for us was Derrick Henry catching passes. He was targeted 6 times, caught 5. Don't remember him ever catching that many as a Titan before. Led the team in receptions too. Without a lethal pass game, we need more of that!

Jim: Hey Ray. It was definitely a positive development. The reception total was the second best of his career, and the yardage total (58) ranked third in his career in a game. Derrick has improved in this area for sure, and he's worked at it a lot in practices with running backs coach Tony Dews.

James Clark from McMinnville, Tennessee
Question:
What are your thoughts on Dontrell Hilliard in an H-back role to get him and Henry on the field at the same time? Hilliard is a weapon in the passing game and such a formation could set up some high-percentage passes to him out of the backfield on early downs to stay on schedule. It could also open up passing opportunities for Henry if the team decides to maintain an active role for him in the passing game.

Jim: Hey James. Interesting you bring up Dontrell, because he's the guy who is trying to get on the field in place of Henry on third down. Dontrell is a weapon – we saw it in Week One when he scored a pair of touchdowns, and we saw it last Sunday on his big catch and run vs the Raiders. As for getting Hillard and Henry on the field at the same time, I could see that happening, but probably with Dontrell split out wide

Tommy Henley from Cookeville, Tennessee
Question:
My question is about Racey. Will he be ready for week 4 or 5? I know he brings a lot of speed to that receiving core. I want to comment on how Vrabel gets this team believing an back to winning, and if Kyle is reading this hang in there bro, you are an elite athlete and I truly believe in you. Keep ye head up! Thanks for letting me share Jim Titan Up!!!!

Jim: Hey Tommy. Unfortunately, Racey won't be back for Week 4 or 5. It's my understanding he's not expected back in the near future.

Elijah Shafer from Winston Salem, North Carolina
Question:
Hey Jim. First time writing a question in and J gotta say, thanks for entertaining us with your answers!
Glad we got a win—but I feel like the scenarios of the last season are going to become a reality this season: The Titans playing against themselves (so many penalties through the first three games…are we the Dallas Cowboys now?) Every significant starter finding a way to get injured. Somehow beating good teams down the stretch once everyone has counted us out.
Thankfully it feels like there was a shakeup across the NFL last week with all the "expected top AFC Seeds" losing (outside of the Ravens and Dolphins I suppose). Do you think if the Titans can shake off the funk they're in they'll have a legitimate chance at something as hopefully as the number 1 seed? Or will we need to see some sort of major shift in the offense/defense before you like those odds.
Personally I think we are the best team when we get physical. Our offense runs best when we can give Henry any sort of touches, and when we give our playmakers a chance to actually make a play. Like giving Burks an easy 2-3 yard pass to run into a guy and try to break some tackles. Or let Woods have a play from the backfield or down the sideline. I want to see Philips more involved with his shiftiness once he's healthy (and not dropping punts, poor guy!) That way when Henry can get his 25+ touches a game, we've had multiple chances to wear the defense down everywhere. We're a great *physical team* and we don't need these fancy plays that the other NFL teams draft up to be good.

Jim: Hello Elijah. Thanks for reading. I'm not making any bold predictions at 1-2. This is where we are right now: The Titans blew a game vs the Giants, and then got blown out vs the Bills. The Raiders game was a step in the right direction, but we've all seen this team isn't without flaws. The key is to keep getting better, and hopefully the Titans can get healthy in the process. I still think this team is capable of winning the AFC South, and getting into the playoffs. But there's a lot of football to be played.

Cooper Ash from Nashville, Tennessee
Question:
Hello Mr Wyatt, My question for you is about the titans secondary. There are so many cornerbacks out in free agency, like Chris Harris Jr, or Kevin King, and others. So i'm wondering why don't the titans sign and other corner backs? If you saw the game on Sunday, you would have seen that the secondary got beat like crazy!! So i think that they should sign someone to mentor the young players.

Jim: Hey Cooper. What the Titans need is for their own guys to get healthy, stay healthy, and play better. Elijah Molden was supposed to be the starter at nickel. He hasn't played a game, and remains on IR. Kristian Fulton has missed a game. Chris Jackson is out, on IR, and so is A.J. Moore. Caleb Farley needs to get better. Terrance Mitchell needs to bounce back. Roger McCreary has been solid for the most part, and he needs to stay on the right trek. Sure, some other corners are on the market, available, but there's probably a reason why some of these guys are still available.

Michael Miles. Sr from LaVergne, Tennessee
Question:
Jim hope that all is good for you. The Titans have played three games. One we should have won and didn't, one we looked like we didn't know how to play and lost big time (watched that game on a cruise ship in Canada), and one we need to thank tha Lord we played good in the first half cause we didn't in the second half. Now we have a game coming this Sunday against the colts. This game could very well tell what kind of season the Titans will have. I only hope we play a sixty (60) minute game and not just thirty. We, the Titans, can put together a really good season if we can play the colts and Jacksonville like we own them. I only hope that we can pull a big W from Sunday's game. TITAN UP TENNESSEE LETS GO…

Jim: Good to hear from you, Michael.

Harry Prentiss from Sunbury, Pennsylvania
Question
: Jim I hope you're well. I am still optimistic about the Titans. Here's my question: With how well Weaver is playing do you think Autry moves back to DE and with Dupree hopefully healthy he and Weaver at OLB and Autry at DE is a stringer line up?

Jim: Hey Harry. I think you'll continue to see guys move around. DeMarcus Walker has lined up in a number of spots as well. The team added another piece in defensive lineman Mario Edwards this week as well. The good news is the team should have more options available this week with Bud Dupree and Ola Adeniyi back in the mix

Dakota Houston from Knoxville, Tennessee
Question:
Hello Jim, I hope you are doing well. I have been reading through your previous mailbag about Downing and see he is still catching the negativity. I wish Downing well, but I think the frustration comes from the inconsistency he shows, starting from last year. This year he has not called many great plays REALLY struggling in the first two games, then in the third game (against an 0-3 team) we barely get by because we can't do anything in the second half. I understand the frustration but I'm going to try to remain positive- I also wish they would just let Kelly be the OC but we got that win and that's the first step! TitanUp!

Jim: Hey Dakota. I've said this before and I'll say it again. Todd Downing hasn't been perfect, and I think he'd admit it. But let's also be honest with ourselves here – some of the players he has to work with are still finding their footing in the NFL, too.

Buck Amodei from Smartsville, California
Question:
Hi Jim... apologies in advance for a message salad. First off, please go whisper in Todd Downing's ear that using Henry in play action and then checking the ball down to Henry when nobody gets open is working better than advertised. Five receptions for 58 yards isn't a Derrick Henry stat line (and I think a couple plays were called back for penalty). Hilliard has been a good weapon in the pass game too. In short, I think I have Tannehill figured out now. He's a bigger, stronger faster version of Fitzpatrick... errr... minus the beard. Pass plays where we use max protection and only send 2 or 3 WRs on routes is where disaster always strikes, because RT will try to cram the ball in a window that never existed 25 yards downfield every time.
With a little creativity in the passing game, I think this team can go farther than last years team. If we get RBs, TEs or even Philips out as a check-down option more often, we will keep our offense on the field a lot longer. Don't get me wrong, I love those big 20+ yard chunk plays when a WR gets behind the defense, but Tannehill really needs that one guy that gets under the defense for a little 3-5 yard gain if the big play isn't open. We added Philips in the draft, upgraded at TE and Hilliard isn't just some new guy this year.
I'm not going all pass happy here, but when Henry has more rushing yards after contact than he does actual rushing yards, then mixing in a healthy diet of short passes might yield better results than another 400 carries out of the I formation this year. The run game was only so-so in the first half last Sunday and we still carved the Raiders up for 24 points in the first 30 minutes. I would argue using Henry the way we did played a big part in our success and a big part when either the Raiders adjusted to this or we just got away from it as well. One more thing, I haven't really noticed any big difference in the play of the offensive line since Lewan was lost to injury. No knock on #77, but I don't sense we are hurting as much in his absence as I would have expected. However, I do feel our defense badly misses Harold Landry and all of the situational choices we had at ILB last year as well.
On a closing note, please tell JRob to go bring back the bunny rabbit if we aren't going to play Farley. At least he creates some turnovers and he's only soft on receivers that are underneath him and not behind him. Davonte Adams - 5 catches 36 yards.... 30 million dollar man ... ha! Somebody did their job last Sunday. Waller didn't have a great game either. Meanwhile, Mack Hollins... 8 catches 158 yards... COME ON MAN!!! Stop signing and starting practice squad guys just to get them posterized!

Jim: Thanks for the salad, Buck. I've been trying to watch my diet

Jamie Konitzer from Manitowoc, Wisconsin
Question:
Hey Jim. I live in Wisconsin and I agree with the packers strategy to get the ball to their best players (Dillon & Jones) without Davante Adams. The Titans too have lost their #1 WR so lets have the same philosophy. Get King Henry should get 25+ touches on offense. That includes screens & dump offs! They work so why not do this more? Henry needs to be part of the passing game!

Jim: Hey Jamie. As we touched on at the start, Henry was a big part of the plan vs the Raiders. Let's see if it's a sign of more to come this weekend in Indianapolis.

Have a great weekend everyone!

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