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Weekend Mailbag: Jim Wyatt Answers Questions From Titans Fans as Head Coaching Interviews Continue


NASHVILLE – A total of nine candidates have already interviewed for the vacant head coaching job for the Tennessee Titans.

More interviews are on the horizon as the team looks for Mike Vrabel's replacement.

Questions/comments continue to roll in, and it's keeping the mailbag hopping.

Let's dive in to the latest batch…

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

Rick Smith from Union, Kentucky
Question: As always Jim I hope you and your family are doing well. Jim I don't always agree with your opinions which is why this is the best forum going IMHO. I love a good debate, but after reading the past 3 mailbags you are dead on correct. Vrabel was not a "great coach" I am so done with all the catch phrases like " hard nose, smash mouth, punch you in the face etc." these guys don't wear leather helmets anymore. The NFL is about being smart and using finesse, don't get me wrong you have to be pretty physically resilient to play in the NFL. The Titans have been known as that tough team, but all we have to show for it is the most injuries of any team in the NFL for 3 years in a row. I like Levis for example but if he keeps taking hits on runs like he does he won't be around long, slide and live for another play. I was thinking about how many players on the Titans right now would start for a winning team, I came up with 5, Jeffery Simmons, Harold Landry, Derrick Henry (who I think they will bring back) Stonehouse and DHop. Skoronski, Spears and Levis to new to tell, the rest of the team is average at best or below average. The Titans draft and hold on to average or below average players for way to long. Most recent, Dillard, Daly and yes Byard I know he had a good year, years back but was a non factor with bad alignments and poor angles for many years since and proved it again against the Buc's allowing a TD Monday night. Here is my opinion on Vrabel Jim and I would like your opinion since you were around him. I think Vrabel was too personal with his players and coach's by comments he made , coaches he hired, friends instead of the best coach's. It's hard to make tough decisions when you get to personally involved with employees. Relationships are great but good players want to win or they move on. What do you think? Thanks for the time and looking forward to the future.

Jim: Hey Rick. Appreciate the feedback. And, don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to disparage Mike when I've said he hasn't proven himself worthy of being called a "great" coach. I've simply tried to be realistic about how things have been around here, and the reality is, things haven't been good enough, certainly not great. The Titans haven't won a playoff game since the 2019 season, and the franchise has lost 18 of the last 24 games. What's important now is finding the right guy to be the next head coach. I'm not going to question Vrabel's hiring strategy or whether personal relationships influenced some of his decisions, although we all know some of his decisions didn't work for one reason or another.

Donley Canary from Raymore, Missouri
Question: Good Day Jim. Well the 2023 season is in the rear view mirror and it was a frustrating one to say the least. It was time for change in the Titan's organization. I loved Vrabel as our coach, but for some reason he lost his edge for winning over the past two years. If the game was close, WE LOST! Missed extra points, extraordinary plays by the opponents, blocked punts, repeated penalties, etc. it happened to the Titans. Often. Way too often. Coaching has to be considered for the repeated failures. Good coaching corrects these repeated mistakes that occurred EVERY FREAKIN WEEK. I am excited to see what the new administration of Ran, Amy and our next head coach can do. It was quite apparent to me, as a 25 year season ticket holder, that Vrabel, Kelly and Bowen WERE NOT going to get the job done and CHANGE was needed. With 80M in cap space and a decent draft ( no more JR dart board drafts of Farley, Burks and I. Wilson, please), this team can get right back into the playoff chase! Remain positive Titan fans and let's support the future and not live in the past. GO TITANS.

Jim: Thanks for weighing in, Donley.

Mack Taylor from Booneville, Mississippi
Question: Not really a question Jim, but a great suggestion,, "BEN JOHNSON ", he's tha one we need as our next head coach, I love my Titans and so proud of the firing of Vrable but this young coach is a good offensive coordinator b great for Levis. Don't b surprised if Detroit get to the Superbowl. He's called alot of good games for the Lions this year. Im very impressed by him, PLEASE LET HIM B OUR CHOICE AS HC. "TITAN UP"

Jim: Point taken, Mack. Keep in mind these decisions are a two-way street. Other teams are competing for these coaches as well, and some might go into the process having a preferred landing spot. Not suggesting that's the case with Ben Johnson, but it's worth keeping in mind with all the candidates, and openings.

Greg Stauffer from Charlotte, North Carolina
Question: Jim, love your work! I check you out every day! I have done some analysis on the Titans and other NFL Teams. So here goes! The league average for sacks given up is 44.1. The bottom teams have significantly more sacks. ( Giants/85, Panthers/65, Commanders/64, Titans/64). The top teams in the playoffs have significantly less. (Bills/24, Chiefs/28, 49ers/34, Ravens/41) The Bills had their entire OL together all of 2023. Where as the Panthers gave up 65 sacks and never a had the same 5 guys out there! The Panthers had nothing but injuries. 7 guys played left guard and 8 played right guard. Sound familiar? The panthers have a good OL when healthy. The Titans do not. The Titans have a double issue of talent and availability. The point of this the Titans, at a minimum, need to draft a left tackle and get a center through the draft or free agency. They need an additional WR for Levis, but if they did not address OL, it will not make any difference because Levis will out have time to throw! I have another observation>. The Texans beat a very good Browns defense. Stroud had 4.5 to 6 seconds to throw. What could Levis, who only 2.5 to 3 seconds, do with 4.5 to 6 second to go throw progressions and let WRs get open. Also how good would D. Henry be if the could actual get to the line of scrimmage without being hit in the backfield? The other take away we need a Offensive mind Head coach. So I have a plea/prayer, Ran give us suffering fans a healthy quality left tackle, a center who do spend his time getting pushed into out QB, wide receiver for Levis to pass to, and a Offensive minded coach! Please!🙏

Jim: Thanks for reading Greg, and for taking the time.

Enrique Bernal from El Paso, Texas
Question: Hola Jim , soy Un fanático de los titanes/oilers desde los 80's , yo siempre digo que por mis venas corre petroleo y la pasión por mi equipo es tan grande como un titán y lo único que quiero decir es que me gustaría mucho que Bill Belichick esté entre los candidatos para ser el nuevo entrenador de los titans ya que creo el es el indicado para llevarnos al súper bowl, cambiar la cultura , llevarnos al siguiente nivel, ganar el respeto de la liga , toda mi admiración y agradecimiento para Mike Vrabel que hizo un excelente trabajo , pero creo en los cambios y más ahora que vamos a tener uno de los mejores estadios de la liga , saludos !! TITÁN UP !!!

Jim: Qué bueno saber de ti, Enrique. Parece que eres un gran admirador. No he escuchado el nombre de Belichick vinculado a los Titanes. He escuchado los nombres de otros diez en la mezcla. Con suerte, tendremos un nuevo entrenador la próxima semana.

Jeff Crisman from Dover, Tennessee
Question: Hi Jim I support the decision to move on with a new head coach but I don't understand why we have the money to bring in high quality players like the other teams we have great talent but I could name them on one hand. We always just have for the most a team of good players. Is it money or decisions because football is a team sport and you have to be well rounded to be successful and I feel we let a lot of great opportunities pass by because we have a thin wallet when we do have money to spend. I hope we can get Henry to stay he's all we have right now

Jim: Hey Jeff. The Titans have more cap room this offseason than they've had in recent years. What's important now is spending it on the right players.

Edward McKinney from Antioch, Tennessee
Question: It was extremely hard watching our O-line this past season, so here are my thoughts on avoiding another catastrophic year of getting our QBs hurt and our RBs hit behind the line of scrimmage. Peter Skoronski is the LG of the future and should be better after a year of pro football experience. I truly hope the Titans draft a solid LT, who can hold down that position for the next 8-10 years, such as Joe Alt or O. Fashaunu. Nicholas Petit-Frere was adequate when he played and will be returning next year, but he had some problems with quick OLB, who can bend. Move him to RG, a position he played well in college. Sign a solid free agent RT, such as Jonah Williams, Jermaine Eluemunor, or Mike Onwenu, who can hold down that position for the next 2 years while Jaylen Duncan develops into a player who can eventually take over the RT position in the far future. Move Dan Brunskill over from RG to center (C), so we can have someone who can actually handle big NFL nose tackles. Watching Aaron Brewer get shoved around this season was painful to watch and likely affected the play of the RG and LG. The next coach needs to allow these guys to play in all preseason games at least until halftime, so they can develop the chemistry to hit the ground running on the first play of the regular season. I think the Titans will be back to their winning ways with a solid O-line.

Jim: I hear ya, Edward. And, no doubt, the o-line needs to be upgraded during the offseason.

Richard Davenport from Franklin, Tennessee
Question: What is the timetable for hiring a new coach and will the decision-makers possibly look for a more offensive minded staff?

Jim: Potentially in the coming week, and, maybe.

Erik Samaro from Louisville, Kentucky
Question: First off, thank you for staying positive and not feeding into the GRUMBLE GRUMBLE of people. Now, let's get to the meat and potatoes. Realistically, if we were to get a good Coach - and in the instance of the OC's of the Texans and Lions in the organization. What do you feel is a good timeline that the organization will find a new identity? I predicted in my opinion that it could take up to the new stadium opening 2-3 years. Do you feel that is a feasible number for us? Excited for us in the years to come!

Jim: Hey Erik. I'm not conceding it's going to take 2-3 years to right the ship, after seeing what the Texans have done in short order. They were 3-13-1 in 2022, and look at them now.

David Bowen from Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Question: Hello Jim. I have been reading these mailbags for some time but have never chimed in until now! I have been a Titans fan ever since the Oilers announced they were moving to Nashville.
I feel like the past 3 years we have been living with Bill Murray in 'Groundhog Day'. The Titans have been number one in the league 3 consecutive years in a category that no team ever strives to be anywhere near the top. What's worse is that the Titans now hold the top 3 all time seasons of all time. NFL Record in 2021, 2nd most in 2022, and 3rd most this past year 2023. What is this record you may ask?
The Titans have used the most active roster players the past 3 years. This of course is primarily because of injuries.
If I hear one more person heap praise on how the Titans' Training Staff is the best in the league at rehabbing players, it will make me want to release a primal scream so loud that it shatters windows. Saying the training staff is the best at rehab while ignoring the fact that they are the league's worst at PREVENTING injuries, is like praising a structural engineering firm for how well they patch gaping holes in a dam that has flooded the village below multiple times. I even argue that trading AJ Brown was not what got JRob fired, it was the fact that AJ only played in about half of the games each season DUE TO INJURY, then proceeds to miss maybe 1 or 2 games his first season with the Eagles.
I think Amy's only mistake in firing JRob was the timing of it. The Titans were still very much in the playoff race when she fired him. Just to clarify, I'm not saying he should not have been fired. However, the replacement she chose in Ran doesn't give me high hopes. Some of his decisions that he has made reminds me of a dark period in Titan's history that we called GM Ruston Webster. Ran had one primary task which was to replace the steam pile of garbage left tackle Dennis Staley. What did he do? He signed Mt Trashmore (reference that only those who live near Nashville will get) aka Andre Dillard. He is mostly to blame for Levis' getting injured.
So my only disappointment with Amy firing Vrabel, is that she didn't fire Ran as well. Especially after that train wreck of a press conference last week.
Anyways with that all out of the way, it comes to my question. Who is responsible for the hiring AND firing of the Titans' training staff? Some major changes HAVE to be made right now, or, a year or 2 from now, all of the same issues will continue, and fans will be bemoaning the firing of the next GM or Head Coach! Why does it seem that the training staff focuses on the wrong thing, by trying to rehab players instead of looking for ways to avoid injuries in the first place?

Jim: Appreciate you chiming in, David. No doubt the team needs to figure out the injury issues. As you said, it's been a problem for years, and Vrabel never had an answer for it. As for Ran, I'd give him a break … and also remind you Vrabel had say in some of the personnel decisions last year, including signing – and playing – Andre Dillard. … The new head coach will have a big say on what happens to the training staff moving forward, but first the issue has to be identified. Is the training staff really responsible for guys getting hurt? Or, is it something else, from style of play to strength and conditioning to offseason workout regiment? A lot of questions out there as it relates to injuries, and I don't think it can all be chalked up to bad luck.

Have a great week everyone!

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