NASHVILLE – It's time to turn the page.
The Titans are 0-2, and that's not changing no matter what anyone says or does.
Now, the focus is on the Las Vegas Raiders, who visit Nissan Stadium on Sunday.
I know a lot of Titans fans still aren't happy, and we'll get in to more of that in here in this weekend's Titans mailbag. But we'll also tackle a bunch of other topics, so let's get going …
Here's the link to submit questions: CLICK HERE
Matt Montanaro from Vaughan, Ontario, Canada
Question: Hey Jim. I am sure you are going to get bombarded after that debacle on Monday Night Football. I'm sure there are a lot of angry Titan fans. You can count me in that bunch. Anyways. I don't know where we go from here. Most fans want Downing fired. Question - Does that make sense? He probably deserves to be ousted but firing your OC two games into a season pretty well spells the end of the season. You can't change the scheme and the only thing you can do is use the current scheme to some sort of advantage. Thoughts?
Second, unlike many other sports where in season trades can change the fortunes of a team, football is not like that and you are forced to stick with what you have even though it isn't working. The O line is terrible, the secondary is terrible and it is bringing down the entire team. Where do they go from here?
I hate to admit it but I am becoming increasingly convinced that this season is going to be a right off. Your thoughts?
Jim: Hey Matt. I have been getting bombarded, and I understand why. Monday night was ugly. But I'm not subscribing to this cancel culture mindset that thinks everyone needs to be fired or everyone stinks after two games. I'll be honest: I didn't think the Titans would beat the Bills on Monday night. I told my wife before leaving town I thought the score would be 34-17, Bills. It ended up being worse than that, of course. Yes, the Titans stunk up the place in Buffalo, especially in the second half. It's been a rough two weeks, but let's give it more time. I covered a Titans team in 2002 that started 1-4 and made it to the AFC Championship Game. I covered another team in 2006 that started 0-5 and then won 8 of 10 and had a chance to make the playoffs with a win in the final week of the season. I'm not saying this team is going to do either of those things. Right now, it sure doesn't compare to that 2002 squad. And, after two weeks, there are more questions than answers. But I'm not looking up mock drafts yet either, or prepping for the first overall pick. It's still September.
Bob Leonardi from Luzerne, Pennsylvania
Question: Dear Santa I'll keep my list short. All I want for xmas is a new coaching staff. The one we have now is broken beyond repair and can't be fixed. If you can't do this deliver me these words in April. WITH the first pick in the 2023 NFL draft the Titans select...........
Jim: Been getting a lot of one-liners all week. Bob, you do remember Mike Vrabel winning Coach of the Year last year, right? He's 43-29 since taking over in 2018. He hasn't forgotten all of a sudden forgotten how to coach.
Bill Holmes from Fairport, New York
Question: Still reeling from that beatdown 90 minutes away from my house. I'm still reading/deleting email smack from...oh, just about everyone I know. But I watched every ugly minute of that game because I'm a lifer, and that means you stand tall both good days and bad. The Giants loss was frustrating but came down to their good gamble and our bad luck. And the Bills are the best team in football, so I expected to get pounded (but not to be that sloppy). So how does a glass-half full guy move on?
Simple - despite the horrific 0-2 start, we are in a division with 1-1, 0-1-1 and 0-1-1 teams. Win Sunday while Jacksonville loses to the Chargers, and we're right back in the division race even at 1-2. We are not going to run the table and get the top seeds, but all we have to do is win the division and enter the playoffs healthy and ready. Fresh start on Sunday.
I guess there's not a question in there, sorry. But I'm not counting out my guys after two weeks. Those who do are underestimating the wrong team.
Jim: You're more optimistic than some folks I've heard from this week, Bill.
Jay Smith from Nashville, Tennessee
Question: After the loss to the Giants last week giving up over a hundred yards to barkley, and then getting picked apart by the buffalo bills in the passing game.. Do you still believe that this defense is considered a TOP-TIER defense? ... I honestly believe in the d-line.. but I truly question the secondary.... other than Kevin Byard, who is an all pro...I personally think that the rest of the secondary is a little shaky.....
As far as the offense goes... I love Derrick Henry But there was absolutely NO BLOCKING For him on Monday Night...Taylor Lewan Is the Longest Tenured Titan... But I just think his body is starting to break down and he just isn't what he used to be... On a positive note, I think that Treylon Burks did rather well against a pretty good defense.... How do you think the Offense can get It Together??? The way its looking now I hope they don't miss the playoffs.... Sorry for being so long but thank you very much for your time
Jim: Right now, the Titans are not a top tier defense. They're ranked 25th in the NFL, in fact. Let's see what happens moving forward. … The offense has a lot of issues right now. Across the board, the entire unit needs to step it up.
Steve Maietta, Massachusetts
Question: Hello Jim....first timer here.
I often wonder if any of the players, coaches, ownership immerse themselves in reading these mailbag entries?
time to wake up here team!!! get your heads out of your a@$&s, and start earning your pay!!!
DO YOUR JOB!!!
50 year fan since the OILERS
Jim: I've wondered this as well, Steve. Want me to give your address to Jeffery Simmons? …
Brody Ledford from Knoxville, Tennessee
Question: Hey Wyatt, do you think when Ryan was benched in the game against the Bills and Malik got his first regular season start Do you think that means anything? I thought of it like the Titans benched him because the game was so out of reach that it really didn't matter who was the QB at that point. But I don't know really the
true reasoning behind it. Ryan could've just finished out the game. Could you give me your two cents on why you think this happened? Titan up!
Jim: Hey Ledford. Ryan Tannehill was not "benched." It was 41-7 and the game was out of reach. The coaches put in Malik Willis because they didn't want Tannehill to get hurt. Same reason Hassan Haskins replaced Derrick Henry, and the same reason center Ben Jones came out early.
Richard Colestock from St. Cloud, Florida
Question: After Monday night's game, I had to be plugged into life support just to get over it! A loss like that ain't good for an 80-year old heart...but I'm still here so don't send any flowers yet. However, the way our team played against the Bills was SO hard to watch and a VERY unVrable performance!
It looked like the defense couldn't WAIT to sit on the bench....and the offense looked TOTALLY uninspired.....the punt returner looked like an 8th grader on a windy day and overall it was the most lackluster Titan performance I have ever witnessed. entertainment
I realize football was created mainly as a form of and that most players these days are multi-millionaires...and Monday night they played like the game was an interruption to their wayyyy above average lifestyle.
I hope I'm wrong but it looks like Miss Amy and Coach are in for a long year....even the Jags look like competition this year! If the Raiders pull out a win....please send daisies!!
Jim: Take it easy down there in St. Cloud, Richard!
Joseph Carney from Anchorage, Alaska
Question: Hi Jim. Just a quick note about the pancake block on Chris Jackson - I'm not sure of the severity but it looked serious and he's now on injured reserve.
So the lineman did his job and pancaked Jackson. But with all the rule changes to protect players why is that same lineman allowed to follow-up on the pancake and absolutely destroy the man already down and out of the play by nose diving into him with all said poundage? The only rule change is now protecting the 330 lb pulling guard against the defender going low. To rub it in the announcers got a good chuckle watching the replay as Jackson limped badly off the field. Shame - am I missing something?
Also, is Lewan done? Read previous that he was seen wincing in warmups and the injury appeared to be non-contact. Worrisome for sure.
Thanks Jim! Tough to be in your shoes answering to the idiots who want everyone fired so keep up the great work!
Jim: Hey Joseph. I went back and watched the play where Jackson was injured, and you're right – it was excessive. Football is a physical spot, we all know it. On the play, Bills tackle Dion Dawkins did his job and cleared a path by knocking Jackson to the ground. But then, yes, as the Bills runner was by him, Dawkins used his 320-pound body to jump on top of Jackson 190-pound Jackson, crushing him, and that caused the injury. I hate it for Chris Jackson, because it was an unnecessary way to end up on IR. With that said, I've seen Titans play to the whistle like this, so it's hard to be too critical. ... As for Lewan, he was on the Injury Report leading up to the game. If you look at the replay of what happened in the game, yeah, he needed help off after a non-contact play when he went down after making an awkward, lunging step.
Charles Johns from Hermitage, Tennessee
Question: Jim, I have a few observations. Let me preface by stating I'm writing this on Thursday before the Raiders game and hope I feel better after Sunday.
1) It took JRob about 3 years to build a solid team and get fans packing the stadium again.
Over the last couple of years he's torn down what he built. Still trying to replace right tackle after letting Conklin walk. *Hopefully NPF works out. Now looks like it may be a while replacing quality left guard we let walk and need to be looking at left tackle now as well.
Tannehill had top 10 QB numbers with decent o-line and a true number one and number two receiver (AJ Brown & Corey Davis). Now receiver group is completely blown up and starting over. *Hopeful that Burks and others develop.
I understand there's a salary cap but other teams seem to be able to pay their top players instead of letting them walk in free agency.
JRob needs help drafting o-line and cornerback because track record doesn't look good. Feels like we need to be active in free agency next year to get this heading in the right direction because even depth players appear to be lower quality than previous years.
2) Vrabel is a good coach but still needs talent to work with. One fault I see in Vrabel is that he's loyal to a fault with his coaches. The secondary has been bad for a long time and we don't seem to be able to develop that position. Either we always have bottom tier players at the CB position or a coaching change needs to be considered for that position group.
Todd Downing seems like a great guy but not a great OC. Offense hasn't been able to sustain any kind of rhythm since he took over. I know he's dealt with a lot of injuries but offense still should be better. He doesn't take advantage of favorable match ups when we have them and everything looks so segmented with no feel for the game.
Hoping Vrabel and JRob can figure it out in a year where the AFC South appears to be even far worse than previous few years.
Thanks for letting me vent Jim.
Jim: Good to hear from you Charles. I hope you feel better, too.
Steven Tilton from Saffold, Arizona
Question: Hi Jim, I hope you've had some sleep since last Tuesday. That was a brutal mailbag, though understandable after the embarrassment on Monday night. Thank you for putting up with us fans through the good AND the bad. I know it must not be easy. My question is that as the week is progressing, have you noticed any difference in the team's preparation? Its hard to believe we can do the same routine every week and expect different outcomes. Any extra practice time, if that is allowed? A special focus on fundamentals as coach said? Any sense of urgency or discipline? That sort of thing. I know we are not going to reinvent the wheel, but I am hoping that SOME kind of lesson was learned after our last game. Thank you again for connecting with us fans in these mailbags!
Jim: Hey Steven. I could make something up here, but the reality is the preparation has been the same as previous weeks. After a Monday game, the schedule is always a bit disjointed because the Wednesday practice is lighter because of the needed recovery time. Then it was back to work. But I don't think focus and preparation and mindset have been problems. It's more about failure to execute and perform well on Sunday. I'll say it: On Monday night, the Titans were overmatched against a Bills team that's better than the Titans. Mike Vrabel has said this: The Titans have been outplayed and outcoached. Yes, there's a sense of urgency. But shouldn't there always be? Heck, the team is only guaranteed 17 of these.
Wes White from Bozeman, Montana
Question: Hey Jim… howdy from Big Sky Country. It's been a while since Ive chimed in here. The last time I did was when Mariota was flailing and #22 was our backup RB(!) I suggested ditching Mariota and giving DH the ball.. all the time! Your comment to me was Mariota is our man and Derrick has to prove himself to get more touches ( Insert gasp emoji).
Anywho, despite the first 2 games I see a lot of good things to look forward to this season. Derrick gaining steam.. like he does EVERY year. Treylon.. AJ 2.0, Woods, Phillips, Hooper, Stonehouse, Farley.. and.. Willis. Maybe not Willis this season, but I think we will all know his name well in about 3 years from now. Let us not forget what we did to the Chiefs at home last year who went on to a 12-5 season. There's a lotta football left!
2 things need to happen though to bolster our future.. find another Matt Lefleur for play calling, ditch Lewan who talks too much from the sidelines and gets paid a BOAT LOAD of money to do it, so we can afford to keep some of the stars we've sacrificed for salary cap issues. And while Im at, im going to say it again , AJ Johnson is still on the market looking for a home. Ranked #11 by ESPN for available LB's in the off season.. bring Chief Beast #45 back to TN! Cheers Eh!
Jim: Cheers, Wes! I need to get back out to Montana!
Jackson Sanders from Nashville, Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim! Hope all is well. I have a different type of question than the "normal." Do you play Fantasy Football? If so, who did you draft? I'm playing for my first time and am having a lot of fun. TITAN UP!!
Jim: Hey Jackson. I do play fantasy football, and my team is 2-0. Had a really good week this past week. Is it too soon to mention my QB is Josh Allen?
Bobby Drake from Largo, Maryland
Question: Hi Jim. Every level of the offense is weak! Our BEST targets are average at best....Our o-line is garbage ....The plays after the first drive/quarter are predictable. Luckily we won't have to see the Bills again this yr unless we make the playoffs. There's a chance to right this ship but with the lack of top tier playmakers, we will have to call more aggressive plays to compensate. We have to be the bullies or we are going to lose, plain and simple.
Jim: Thanks for weighing in, Bobby.
Nicole Johnson from Newport News, Virginia
Question: Why is the front office not interested in winning a Super Bowl? Year after year we are mediocre at best and the people responsible for the team seem okay with not going to the big dance. Why don't we get REAL top tier players?? We don't need a nice locker room, we need a locker room ready to WIN GAMES
Jim: Believe me, Nicole, everyone is interested in winning a Super Bowl.
Cory Yates from Pekin, Illinois
Question: Thanks for all that you do. I hate to say it but I didn't even watch the Bills game because I predicted a blowout. One thing is that the Bills are just that good. The other thing is that this team has way WAY to many holes and a lack of talent in my opinion. I have to echo what other fans have said...how is it other teams that are already elite can bring in top notch players and hand out contracts like it is candy? I thought we were all playing by the same rules. Our highest paid players aren't worth the contracts they have sadly (except Henry). Also, I know it sounds bad but I am so tired of looking in the stands when I watch games on TV and the seats are loaded with opposing fans. It is a flat out disgrace to our team. We are so picky to blast the team after a horrible game but come on...look at the fans in the stands. I have to say, I am originally from Indiana and when you go to a Colts game (I have been to several supporting my Titans) those fans are loud, aggressive, and passionate. Our fans are bottom of the barrel. Probably not the ones that read these messages but it truly is a disgrace to see the definition of fair weather fans. Sad to say but I'd be happy if the team would move to a new city with fans that will pay to be in the seats and give opposing fans a hard time. Still gonna stick with the Titans until the end but I think I am going to take break for a little while. This team gets me down too much. Again, thank you for being a voice for the fans for so many years.
Jim: Hey Cory. Hey, I'm preparing to see a lot of Raiders fans at the game on Sunday. But let's face it, this happens at a lot of places around the league. Nashville is a destination city, and everyone wants to make this trip. I've also been to a lot of Colts games in Indianapolis when that stadium is loaded with Titans fans. With that said, as a Nashville native, it also makes me sick to see fans of the opposing team in such great numbers at games at Nissan Stadium. I know some season ticket members are selling their seats, and that's their prerogative. I also know the Titans have some hard-core fans who show up each and every week and they are giving it to the fans of the other teams when things are going well. The main thing the Titans need to do is win, which would make even more Titans fans want to show up every week.
Brian B from Orange, Texas
Question: Hi Jim sorry for the questions and rants you received it must've been painful judging by the way you really didn't answer any of the questions. I know I said that I predicted 6-11 season but now I'm thinking 1-16. That was the worst display of professional football that I ever seen. We were never in the game looks like we will be rebuilding next year the whole offensive line can go RT time to go. Derrick Henry doesn't play aggressive at all he looked really timid and his time has come as the starter and Farley is a complete bust and don't get me started with the coordinators get rid of them. I apologize for what has happened in your mailbox I know it was rough for you. Take care and TITAN UP WITH ALOT MORE AGGRESSION NEXT WEEK!!!
Jim: Hey Brian. I didn't answer a lot of the questions because a lot of them weren't questions, but instead rants and comments, which is fine. I want to let fans sound off and air out their frustrations in here if they choose to do so, just like I want fans to express their good vibes then things are going well for the team. But believe me, nothing anyone says is going to hurt my feelings. No need to apologize.
Cliff Cushman from Magnolia, Texas
Question: Howdy, J.W.! When we finish, 15-2, Mike Vrabel is SO getting an apology. Look, the word "fanatic" comes from the word "fan." I'm not dumping on angry Titans fans b/c on Monday, I felt like throwing up, too. Let's remember a few important facts. We have the last year's of the year on our sideline. We play in the mediocre AFC South, which gets us in the playoffs if we win the division for the third straight year. The season has 15 games remaining. We have a defensive minded coach & defense, not offense, gave Tampa Bay, New Orleans, Green Bay, Pittsburgh & Indianapolis there recent Super Bowls rings,, not their offense. I am worried about the offensive line. Lewan is injured, but that has become the norm. Guys on our roster need to step up b/c olinemen of starting caliber are hard to find. We are underdogs now, & that might be what we need. Football is back & I love it, minus the SJW BS. This is an amazing game where doing your job is everything. Let's do our job & support our team. TITAN UP!!!
Jim: Hey Cliff. Always great to hear from you. But I don't think the Titans are going 15-2 any more than I think they're going 1-16 as Brian from 150 miles down the road from you thinks in Orange, Texas.
Jane Livesay from Wartrace, Tennessee
Question: What happened to the Titans Monday night? Were they outplayed?
Kyle Boudreaux from Houston, Texas
Question: Hey Jim, I hope all is well! Maybe we can get another Dodgers vs. Astros World Series this year, both teams look great.
As for the Titans, not so much! I am usually a positive fan, and pretty optimistic but it's been hard to be a fan of this team. As much as I don't want too, I'm gonna go ahead and be a annoying know-it-all fan.
This team has no swag, no charisma. They match their lack of talent w/ their lack of energy. It's boring, old school football that is hard to watch. J-Rob ended last season in real tears, decided to trade away arguably our best player - and this is the product we get now? Good thing J Rob didn't want to pay AJ, it's worked out well!
To sum up my frustration, Tory Carter, Geoff Swain, Cody Hollister on the field in meaningful situations? C mon now, nowhere on those dudes resumes will you see "playmaker."
I am confident that this team will getter better, and thanks to a very weak division, make the playoffs. Though the days of thinking Ryan Tannehill has what it takes to bring a team to a SB are over, he's a game manager and that's it.
I'll end on a positive note, thanks to a horrendous start, the tickets to the Cowboys vs. Titans game have come way down, and I'll be there!
Jim: Hey Kyle. I'd love to see it. Hey, I understand your frustration. It's been ugly so far. Hang in there. Tell your dad and everyone with TTFIH I said hello! See ya in December and, Go Dodgers!
Jonathan Humphrey from Rumsey, Kentucky
Question: I know it's been a rough start and there is a lot of football to go. I'm still gonna be there rooting the team on even in the darkest times. No need to rant because you know it and already have heard it. Time to TitanUP fans! Thanks to you Jim as always. I love reading the articles so keep em coming and LETS GO TITANS!!!!!!!!!!
Jim: Appreciate it, Jonathan.
Josh Carter from Chattanooga, Tennessee
Question: Jim, Tuesday's mailbag and all of the other outlets that allow fan feedback have been incredibly and unbelievably disillusioned and negative. Everyone realizes that we played the Bills correct? I've watched 2 games of the Bills this season and many last season that suggest that they are playing a different level of football than almost everyone else. The Titans are starting a ton of rookie and sophomore players that haven't been pushed around for awhile. It might take a minute for them to understand what it takes to win in the NFL - hopefully, not a whole season. The Titans have gotten a reputation for being a nasty and a grinding football team (I miss you Harold!). That will take time to instill. I still think the ceiling is high and the division is very winnable. When we get into the playoffs, maybe we get another shot at the Bills in the AFC Championship game while we are hot! Thank you for being patient with a passionate fanbase! Titan Up!!
Jim: Thanks for taking the time, Josh.
Harry Wells from Memphis, Tennessee
Question: Hey 👋🏾, hope you're in good spirits considering. My question is, "Will the Titans be seeking help in free agency for a wideout"? We desperately need someone with speed!
Jim: I am in good spirits, Harry, thanks for asking. Josh Gordon is on the practice squad and eligible to be promoted. He has speed and I've liked the looks of him so far.
Cody Connally from Detroit, Michigan
Question: Jim...I'm about to lose it man. I continually do not understand WHAT ON EARTH we are doing with our roster moves. We let the 2 best practice squad players with the most upside we've had on defense (David Anenih and Takkarist McKinley) get poached because we refuse to actually sign practice squad players to our active roster that would help us in games. We pay Anenih all of this guaranteed money as an undrafted free agent because we believe in him. He goes and balls out in the preseason, we cut him, he thankfully doesn't get picked up, then Landry tears his ACL, then there's a roster spot open that makes perfect sense to add him to, and then we lose him to the steelers because we REFUSE to sign him. I saw the interview with him where he basically said he was glad to leave the Titans cause the Steelers will actually utilize his pass rushing ability. I honestly don't blame him. Then, we go and sign McKinley and after last week's poor performance by our DE's in the run and pass game our GM has an easy layup to sign him to the active roster BUT DOESN'T and let's him get poached too?!?!
I chose to give the GM a GRAIN of the benefit of the doubt UNTIL I saw where we signed a TE to our active roster from the practice squad THAT HAS 2 CAREER CATCHES!!!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?! I don't care if he is a good blocker. He isn't going to help our run game after the way our o-line looked last week and SURE AS HECK isn't going to help our passing attack. Oh and guess what Todd Downing...if he goes into the game I WONDER WHAT THE OTHER TEAM WILL KNOW IS COMING?!?! A run perhaps??
WHAT ARE WE DOING!?!?! The end.
Jim: I get your upset, Cody, but it would help if you knew the background. So, here it is: Anenih elected to leave. He was offered a 53-man spot in Pittsburgh, and he elected to take it. Same thing with McKinley, who was going to get promoted to the roster by the Titans this week. But the Rams offered him a spot on their 53-man, and it's my understanding he wanted to go back to L.A., where he played in college and has family. Players have an opportunity to opt out of their practice squad contracts to go elsewhere, and that's what happened in both cases.
Len Cooke from Jacksonville, Florida
Question: It's taken me this long to get past the Monday night debacle. Where was the defense that sacked the Bengals 9 times in the playoffs? What happened to our secondary? I saw the Bills receivers running through our DB's and them just standing there more than once. It was a terrible showing. Our offensive line protected the QB decently, but couldn't make a run block to spring Henry the whole game. I'm beginning to question the quality of our players after this beat down by a good team. We must right the ship this week or it's gonna be a long season.
Jim: Definitely need a win, Len.
Bear Butler from Oakland, Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim, been a rough couple of weeks huh? Well I'm not going to rant, it is what it is. No questions, just want to give a humble opinion. I think the shape the offense is in now started in 2019, Titans go to the afc championship then they didn't pay Jack Conklin and let him go to Cleveland, the next season Titans get an early exit from the playoffs, but still AJ Brown had over 1k rec yards and Corey Davis was on the cusp of 1k rec, Henry had 2k rushing and Jonnu Smith had done a great job replacing D.Walker. They didn't give Davis or Jonnu a contract and let them go to other teams. And the final two nails in the coffin they didn't pay AJ Brown or Roger Saffold. I understand it would have been a lot to keep AJ but he was the only top 5 in the NFL star wide receiver the titans have ever had since they came to Tennessee and though Saffold had been getting dinged up he was still playing good and was a big contributer to the run game. And soo here we are no receiving threat the o line can't run block. Ty, ttyl, lol.
Jim: Good to hear from you, Bear.
Lloyd Frizzell from Houston, Texas
Question: Hello Jim! First time writer long time reader here... Titans fan by way of the Oilers so I have been though all the valleys and peaks with this franchise and after Monday nights debacle I decided its finally time to write to you some of my concerns and hopes.
First, Dont you think we have to pivot offensively?? I mean yeah we all know the King is the King but we have a completely capable QB and WR corp to be more flexible and let Tannehill throw the ball 35-40 times a game. I just think we are getting to predictable and not changing with times like other teams have. Still give Henry his touches (20 or so) and spread the rock around!
Secondly... We got Treylon Burks and gave away AJ Brown didnt we?? SO HE SHOULD BE ON THE FIELD JUST AS MUCH AS AJ WAS!!! At least 80 percent of the snaps! He is realistically our only true deep threat so lets act like it and take 2-3 shots a game downfield to him. Now I know you have to be able to protect up front to throw those deep routes but we gotta stretch the Defense somehow.
Last... I love this team no matter what and I am not panicking whatsoever even though most of this fanbase is... I have hope that we will turn this around and win out going into the bye week and Get fully healthy before KC.. Lets get this train ROLLIN!
Jim: I hear ya, Lloyd. Thanks for taking the time.
Have a great weekend everyone!