NASHVILLE – Hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving.
Now, it's on to Christmas.
And the Panthers.
And, this mailbag.
Here's the link to submit questions: CLICK HERE.
Bob Galasso from Johnstown, Pennsylvania
Question: Hey Jim! Hope you and your family are doing well. I saw Santa at the mall the other day and asked if he could give us an offensive line that can block... and opportunistic turn-over producing defense and a boy guard for QB Will Levis for as many hits as he's been taking. LOL The response I got was, "Hey buddy... I'm Santa Claus, not a miracle worker." LOL So I also took these requests to church and asked the big man upstairs as well.
Seriously though, we know this has bad a pretty horrible season, but there have been a couple of bright spots. Will Levis has been pretty good so far in his starts this season, despite the issues with the offensive line and lack of a supporting cast. It is hard to shine as a QB if you constantly on your back... Yet despite all of the sacks Will has taken, he has yet to complain or point the finger which is a credit to his character. He definitely has made good decisions more than not and throws a beautiful long ball accurately.
Ryan Stonehouse continues to show why he is among the best punters in the league and Nick Folk isn't showing any signs of slowing down as he continues to shine. Jeffrey Simmons is one of the best defensive lineman and now wide receiveers in the league and can throw a great block in the backfield when needed as well. As for the coaching, I'm smart enough not to really judge or point the finger because I've coached for over 20 plus years and there is so much that goes into coaching that your average fan has no idea...I will say that there have definitely been some questionable calls, BUT Mike Vrabel doesn't make excuses and has taken responsibiity for their poor play.
The team should be in a good position for the upcoming offseason draft and free-agency so looking forward to that!! Thanks for all you do Jim and continue to be positive because it makes a difference to all of us!
Jim: Hey Bob. You know that's not the real Santa, right? It's going to be an interesting offseason, that's for sure. But we still have seven games left this season. I'm not about to wish football season away, even as frustrating as it's been.
Bob Easley from Austin, Texas
Question: Hey Jim, well, I thought we had a very good chance to have a good year, but I've been guilty of optimism all my life and I can live with that:).
I have just a few thoughts that I haven't seen expressed here that I'd like to throw in here...and all end with a Question mark since this is "Ask Jim."
1) Forgive my age, but whenever I see Kyle Philips catch a cross route, I think this looks like a young and faster Fred Biletnikoff and then we hardly throw to him anymore!! When a QB is being pressed relentlessly, this type of possession pass makes sense, but we only try it a couple of times - or so it seems to me. Am I wrong?
2) Speaking of our QB being pressured, why don't we roll the QB out for a run pass option?
3) We must keep giving Levis quality time and NFL experience at QB - definitely - HOWEVER. We need to take a longer look at Malik this season to know if he might be an NFL QB. He lost a fumbled snap, then Levis came in and threw some TD passes and Malik was done!!!! That lost snap (I just watched it again) wasn't much different that the one Levis had against the Jags, but Malik hasn't had a chance since. That's life, tough breaks happen, but my point is, once we recognize we won't make the playoffs, we can't quit - but let's see Malik play one or two quarters each game for the balance of the season and let's see what he's got. Earlier this year, the rage was that he is vastly improved... let's see. Agree?
And finally, please tell Ran and Amy "no thank you" for me:). I'm sure when they see these ideas, they will want to bring me in, but I am very busy doing the Lord's work and don't have time to come on staff - haha. Hang in there Jim...
Jim: Hi Bob. I'm glad I'm not the only one old enough to remember Fred Bilenikoff. I like Kyle, but he has a ways to go to live up to that name. I do think he's going to keep getting better, and will help this team. … As for Levis and the offense, I suspect we'll see more run/pass options as we go. … At the QB position, it's Levis time, so don't count on seeing a longer look at Malik unless Levis gets hurt.
Steve Bass from Missouri City, Texas
Question: Has Vrabel Lost the Team?
Jim: No, I was at practice yesterday and they were all present and accounted for. The team will be at Nissan Stadium on Sunday at noon.
Matt Montanaro from Vaughan, Ontario, Canada
Question: Hey Jim; I think it is fair to say the playoffs are now a distant dream. That being said, we hopefully position ourselves for a top 5 draft pick and with the anticipated cap space we will have, we build a solid contender. Hopefully, the ownership group is willing to spend dollars and more importantly, Carthon is the man to assemble to right team. This past week, we saw the Bills and Steelers both move on from their Offensive Coordinators. For whatever reason, we seem to be stuck in the same funk and Vrabel seems to be unable to pull the trigger when it comes to his staff. Is it a case of loyalty or is it a case of being indecisive?
Jim: Hey Matt. I think it's because Mike Vrabel believes in Tim Kelly, and doesn't think the team's issues on offense are all his fault. After last season, he let Todd Downing go. I'm not sure what's going to happen at the end of the season, or when the calendar flips. You asked me why he hasn't made a change, so I gave you what I think he's thinking.
Rob Haye from Burlington Ontario, Canada
Question: Hey Jim, so I'm back with another q/a but rather than rant, which I know I do and for good reason, here's the real questions for titans in 2024
The Titans are going to be flush with CAP space, over 100 M ?
So GM has a very difficult decision to make in off season.
Do I keep Vrabel, and make him let his Coordinator's go and hire new ones and have them help decide how to spend 100M on talent positions.
Why would you want to keep the staff together and spend 100M on new toy's when the current group had some talent and could not get them to produce and then risk potential of same results and all that cap spent.
Or does he let all of them go Hire NEW staff across the board and start fresh with 100M to spend on new toy's.
I do think they should consider trying to get Henry on a 2 yr realistic deal, and put a talented O line in front of him with an OC who can build a blue print for success.
Keep Hopkins since he signed for a 2 year deal and find 1 more talented wide out. Burks simply can't stay healthy which is unfortunate, so have never really know true potential.
Levis has shown he can throw the ball, and with henry still around it would help.
Spend the rest on defensive secondary and find a shut down corner.
It's tough watching 2023 games these day's but I still do, just because..
Jim: Back-to-back from Ontario! I want to make one thing clear: Ran Carthon isn't the one who will be making the decision on whether to keep Vrabel, or the coordinators. This is the owner's call, and Vrabel is in charge of his staff. … Appreciate the feedback. Its going to be an interesting offseason, but that's still a ways off.
Dave George from St. Louis, Missouri
Question: Hi Jim, I hope you and your family had a great Thanksgiving! I know the proper thing to say as an employee of the team, as well as all other employees of the team including players and coaches, is that we want to win games the rest of the year. That said, as fans, I think it's fair for us to come to the conclusion that we're not going to make the playoffs, the roster is going to look dramatically different next year and we've got a lot of cap space so some of us are pulling for losses the rest of the year. The local talk hosts will dismiss this sentiment talking about the effort the players make, their professionalism etc. but they are grown men making a good living. I contend the fans pulling for a better draft spot shouldn't be shamed. That said, go Panthers this weekend. From a Titans fan since the first game I went to in Memphis when the Tennessee Oilers beat the Raiders in OT and Eddie ran for over 200 yards. Titan Up!
Jim: Do you, George. I get it. I'd be surprised if Titans fans who show up at Nissan Stadium on Sunday, however, pull for the Panthers.
John Greene from Ashland City, Tennessee
Question: Greetings Jim Section 120 here. I've seen there's a neck brace / necklace that players wear that cuts down on concussion, I was wondering are the Titans using /aware of this device? It seems like we've had a lot this year? How do we get a statue of #9 and maybe old Bruce Matthews, in front of the new digs ? I'll be willing to donate my Titans bucks if it will help. See ya at the game Sunday. TITAN UP!
Jim: Hey John. I have seen those neck devices, but I haven't seen a Titan wear one of them. … I know I've heard from several folks looking for a McNair statue. Nothing in the works as far as I know. Keep holding it down in Section 120, John!
Ken Miller from Lafayette, Tennessee
Question: What is Caleb Farley's status? I would love to see him get a chance at CB.
Fyi. This year has really hurt but I am not giving up my team or it's coach. The Huge salary cap next year will fix a lot of problems. I really appreciate your work, sir.
Jim: Caleb is around, I see him every week. He's not going to play this year.
Andy Rao from Arlington, Virginia
Question: Jim, this Titans season died on JAX on Sunday. These last set of games from here until the this season's end are just reminders that this team is not playing for anything more than jobs and respect. I know that when we look at the autopsy of this incarnation of the Titans, the move to trade away AJ is going to be seen as a franchise killer. And from afar, I won't disagree. You get a generational talent like that, you keep him. Find a way. He makes that whole team better. Or you bring back Corey Davis and let AJ go. Keep one of them. Don't lose them both and get next to nothing for them as they leave town. However, I say that the downfall of this WR corps and then this team began when Kalif Raymond was signed away by the Lions. How much would it have cost to keep him in Titans colors? Not only did he have the speed to get deep and thus make AJ and the TEs jobs easier, unlike Marquez Valdez-Scantling (for the Chefs, great googly moogly!!!), when he gets behind the secondary, Raymond makes the catches. I look at what the Lions have now and Raymond is a key part of it. That 'four minutes down by two TDs comeback' against the Bears for the Lions doesn't happen without Raymond. I still remember the Titans run to the AFC Championship against the Chiefs in 2019. Raymond was a terror in that December and into the playoffs. RT know that when the line gave him time and he could let one fly, Raymond was going to come down with it. He was a secret weapon. We have not seen anything like that since he was allowed to leave. As for this season's funeral, where do I send the flowers?
Jim: I like Kalif Raymond myself, Andy. Nice guy, had a good game on Thursday. He's done well for himself, had a nice career. But I never looked at him as the big one that got away.
Brett Heard from Nashville, Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim. I have always had faith in Vrabel, but that faith is starting to disappear. This team is making the same mistakes every week and I believe that would fall on coaching. Additionally, for being a defensive minded team, very few players on that side of the ball are developing. Many early round picks have been used on the defensive side of the ball the last few years and so far those picks are not bearing fruit, and I'm not sure that it can all be blamed on a poor draft pick. Some of them showed some early promise but have not gotten better. So that tells me that the players have talent but aren't being developed into NFL talent. I don't know if that is because of scheme or position coaches but either way, I believe that falls on coaching. I think that once again there will need to be some changes on the coaching side and if it keeps up it should fall on Vrabel if that has not already started.
Jim: Thanks for taking the time, Brett.
Jose Rodriguez from Alamogordo, New Mexico
Question: Stealing words from the movie " the Natural"
Losing is a disease, infecting one but attacking all"
We gotta win out!
Jim: I hear ya, Jose!
Have a great weekend everyone!