NASHVILLE – Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.
Now, we're on to Christmas.
And, the Bengals.
Let's open up our third mailbag since the Green Bay game and see what everyone thinks as the Titans return to the field on Sunday at Nissan Stadium…
Here's the link to submit questions: CLICK HERE
Alan Taylor from Brentwood, Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim, love all of your Titans info that you share and want to stress my appreciation. I want to go a little different direction - I know that the Titans will remain with Derrick taking the RB load the remainder of this year as it should be. Will Haskins remain just doing KO returns and will the Titans likely begin to work him in as RB next year? I believe that he can turn into something quite special at some point. In fact (and time of course will tell) but I can envision a day in the next 1-2 years when the Titan offensive core is Willis, Haskins, Burks, Okonkwo, and Phillips. Do you think that JR and Vrabel had similar thoughts during this draft?
Jim: Hi Alan. I appreciate it. Right now it seems the team is happy with using Derrick and Dontrell as the 1-2 punch, with Hassan getting most of his work on special teams. Could that change some? Sure. But right now the Henry-Hilliard combo is working. I do think Hassan will get more chances in the future. … As for the others you mentioned, yes, I think the GM picked Burks, Okonkwo and Philips to be core players moving forward. Willis, meanwhile, was always going to be a development player, and like the others, he'll have to improve and take some big steps.
Edward McKinney from Antioch, Tennessee
Question: Hello Jim! Thank you for keeping us updated on the Titans and the players. I was impressed with Tannehill and the WR group this last game at Green Bay. Treylon Burks, Robert Woods, and NWI together and healthy on the field showed good potential to go along with a potent run game. If these guys stay healthy and continue to develop chemistry (especially T. Burks) with Tanniehill, I think we can have something special this year and in the playoffs. My question relates to Kyle Phillips. At the start of the year, he was perhaps one of the most promising wide receivers. Is there any news on his return from IR? How is his progress? Adding Kyle Phillips to an evolving WR group of Burks, Woods, and NWI (also Hooker and Chiku as pass catching TEs) would make the Titans offense even more potent. Maybe I am being overly optimistic, but I believe the Titans could be a top 10 passing offense in the league with all these guys healthy.
Jim: Hey Edward. Kyle is improving, and getting closer. He's now eligible to come off of IR, and I suspect he'll return to practice soon. I really thought he'd be an impact player right out of the gate, but the shoulder injury, and then the hamstring injury, derailed those chances. I still think he's going to be a good player, but he's had bad luck at the start of his NFL career.
Harry Prentiss from Sunbury, Pennsylvania
Question: First of all Happy Thanksgiving to you Jim and your family as well as to all Titans fans and players. This team is so much fun because they're consistent in their approach and the team first attitude. If they can keep guys like Dupree and Fulton healthy isn't it scary how good this defense will be when you consider how strong they've been banged up as they are?
Jim: Hope you had a great Thanksgiving, Harry. Getting those guys back – and keeping them back – is certainly key. Not only Dupree and Fulton, but Hooker, Molden, Cunningham and Adeniyi. All those guys could give the defense a boost.
Joe Levickis from Joelton, Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim! I know we've talked several times about different stadiums---but I am curious as to what your favorite away trips have been in recent memory (let's say just during the Vrabel Era). I can't imagine how cool it must be to be able to travel across the country for work to follow our team. I think in terms of the important things (team results, stadium atmosphere, and local eats). Our top three in recent memory would probably have to be Seattle in 2021, Cleveland in 2019, and Kansas City in 2020 (even though we lost)
Jim: Hey Joe. Well, the London trip was very memorable. I'm hoping the team gets another chance to make that trip in the near future. The most memorable stretch of road trips was during the 2019 postseason, going from New England to Baltimore and then to Arrowhead Stadium for the AFC title game vs the Chiefs. But I also always love going to Lambeau Field, and the Seattle trip is always great. Personally, I always love going to L.A., and Miami, too. I know you've experienced a lot of these, so you're doing great.
Cyrus Brume from Albuquerque, New Mexico
Question: Hey, Jim! Just watched The Dirty Dozen. Guess who's in it…Jim Brown. Henry may be the King right now, but he better man up if he wants to touch Mr Brown. How many Academy Award winners has Derrick worked with? Derrick and Jim are men among boys, but our boy has a few bone-jarring years and some screen time to go before I anoint him. You will ignore this, so 🖕🏿.
Jim: This emoji at the end seems unnecessary, Cyrus. But Happy Holidays anyway.
Allan Stewart from Brookings, Oregon
Question: Don't have a question but just some information I would like to share with Titan fans. I'm a gradiate of Hamilton High School in Los Angeles (many moons ago_ Which is why I'm writing. Just received my alumni magazine and on the cover and a featured story was Wannen Moon. The classs of 74 raised money to have a mural of Warren Moon placed in the school gym. Mr. Moon was there and according to the article made everyone present feel comfortable and at ease. There were many city officals and former council members and chief of police present. Just another reason for me to be a Titan fan! I'll try to remember to send the article to you. Let's have the Bengals eat turkey this weekend.
Jim: Thanks for sharing, and for bringing some good vibes back in here, Allan.
Jim Westbrook from Pasadena, California
Question: Hey Jim. Thanks for all you do to keep the fans informed and up to date on the team. Never stop doing what you do we all appreciate it!
I wanted to throw my two cents in on the OC's DUI. He's not disputing it happened, right? Because he's not - I wish the team would suspend him pending the outcome of the league and legal proceedings. And I'd feel that way about any player or coach on the team from the rookie kicker on the practice squad to the head coach to the front office.
Being a part of the NFL is a privilege and comes with a greater responsibility than so many other jobs and those who are part of it should act like role models. There's a trust factor with the fans that the men and women who are part of the sport should treat it with respect and reverence.
Let the process play out for Mr. Downing. And after he makes amends - however that plays out, then after a humble apology to the team and the fans - Ms. Amy, Jon and Vrabes can think about whether they want him back.
Titans fan forever!!
Jim: Thanks for taking the time, Jim.
Jerry Johnson from Florissant, Missouri
Question: Hello Jim, I like to first say Thank You a for job well done, I enjoy reading your comments and answers for all the questions asked each week, a feat I admire greatly and appreciate. This is not a question to be answered just a observation. Jim we are all imperfect human beings and are all subject to making a mistake some greater then other but mistakes none the less. I served 20 years in the United States Air Force with some of greatest people I know and they and I made mistakes that we wish we could take back. Mr Todd Downing noticed I did not include Coach because he is a person first, I know Mr Downing would like to have that mistake back. I watched his media day coverage and can see the regrets, pain and hurt from his mistake he made. We the fans get so wrapped up in the sport moments that we forget that we are all human and are prone to making mistake, this man has given his all to this team, he has taken a lot of abuse from the fans about the job he is doing as a offensive head coach, with that being said, I watched a Man stand up in front of everyone and apologized to everyone for the pain, hurt he has cause by his actions and the remorse he feels. Please let's not forget that he is human and he will have to deal with his mistake for a long time to come. This is a pretty long observation Jim. I hope you can tell Mr Downing that a lot of us fans understand that he is human too.
Jim: Thanks for weighing in, Jerry.
Travis Mumphrey from Franklin, Tennessee
Question: Do you think the off the field drama with Todd Downing will be a distraction in the locker room?
Robert Yell from Bethpage, Tennessee
Question: Should Titans come out running or passing to start game?
Jim: Depends on the opponent, the defensive personnel, what's in the plan, etc. Can't be too predictable, Robert.
Jonathan Humphrey from Rumsey, Kentucky
Question: HELLO Again, SLIM JIM!! How bout dem Titans?! Not a question buddy just a comment. I FREAKING LOVE this team's hard work and grit! Even when the odds are not in our favor we power through. Even through injury's, penalties, interceptions, fumbles, and all out bad play calling sometimes we manage to pull through week after week. At week 10 only having 3 losses feels incredible. Tough break about the OC after the Green Bay game. Only question I have is please tell me that team morale is still high??? These guys have to be nothing but proud about their accomplishments this year and to just keep their eye on the prize which is a win each week. All that other stuff will work itself out if they believe in themselves and this team. Bengals coming up baby...LET'S TITAN UP!!!!
Jim: I like the enthusiasm, Jonathan!
Have a great weekend everyone!