NASHVILLE – Hope everyone is enjoying the Titans bye weekend.
The Titans mailbag isn't taking the weekend off.
Thanks for keeping the questions filtering in.
Let's knock some of these out, and then we can all enjoy the weekend.
Here we go …
Here's the link to submit questions: CLICK HERE
Tom Meyer from San Antonio, Texas
Question: Hey Jim. it was good to the Titans post a win (vs Washington), but I am still very concerned about the offensive line. The protection has got to improve before Tannehill gets hurt. I have been a Ryan Tannehill fan since his college days at Texas A&M. The man is a football player! I know many cracked on him because of last year but he continues to deliver. The front line has some really good defenses coming up and if some significant improvement doesn't happen soon, I don't see the Titans winning too many games. I still believe they can do it if the front line opens better running holes and protects the quarterback better. Thanks for listening.
Jim: Hey Tom. It was rough day last Sunday from a protection standpoint, as Ryan got hit at least 13 times, and sacked five times. Some guys got overpowered, some flat-out got beat. And, like a lot of things, it's going to have to be better moving forward. There's no doubt the Commanders are good up front, but a lot of teams are good up front. Ryan does deserve credit for hanging in there and making throws, and for his toughness. I will add this: Through five weeks, it hasn't been all bad by the o-line. In fact, the unit has held up well some games, despite dealing with injuries, which included the loss of the team's starting left tackle after one game. Looking at the stats after five games this year compared to after five games last year, Ryan has been sacked just 12 times in five games in 2022 compared to 20 times in five games a year ago. The Titans o-line needs to play better than it did in Washington, and more like it did against the Giants and Raiders.
William Young from Las Vegas, Nevada
Question: Hi Jim. Vrabel seems inconsistent on his players! He is very quick to pull Caleb Farley off the field when Farley makes one or two bad plays but when Dennis Daley makes a Ton of bad plays in the same game he does not take him out?! For a year player like Caleb Farley that could be very confusing to his confidence of a head coach doing that!
Jim: Hey William. Well, I'm hearing ya, but let's be honest: Caleb has been given a number of chances, and he's been giving up too many plays. And with Daley, for instance, who are you going to slide in there in-game to take his place at left tackle? Not a lot of options, especially when Dillon Radunz was playing guard in place of Nate Davis last Sunday. I think you have to consider that as well.
Peter Palmer from Miramar, Florida
Question: Hi Jim. Been a rocky start for us this season only showing up for two quarters on the offensive side. The play calling seems so predictable along with Tannehill holding on to the ball too long leading to sacks. My question though is: Why aren't we creating plays for Malik Willis to add a new dimension to our offense especially on 2nd and 3rd and short with Henry in the backfield. What's your opinion?
Jim: Hey Peter. I know it hasn't been pretty, but ask the 1-4 teams what a rocky start feels like. At least the Titans are 3-2, atop the division. I get these Malik Willis questions regularly, and I understand why. Hey, I wouldn't be opposed to seeing a package added for him at some point. But the top priority, as you mentioned, is to get the offense going with Tannehill.
Donley Canary from Raymore, Missouri
Question: Bye couldn't have come at better time for the Titans IMO. The Titans are always very close mouthed about injuries to the players. Titans always play with cards they are dealt and don't complain. My question is do you see several players getting off the IR list or just plain injured/inactive list? Injured players could really help on both sides of the football if they can get back on the field.
Jim: I tend to agree, Donley. It's an early bye week, but the Titans need to get some guys healthy. I mentioned this in the Tuesday mailbag as well, but I think some guys could be close to returning after the bye. Bud Dupree, Nate Davis, Amani Hooker,and Zach Cunningham are edging closer. Elijah Molden is working his way back as well, but don't get your hopes up for Racey McMath. I'll have a better idea when practice resumes in the next few days.
Jaden Brown from New Orleans, Louisiana
Question: As I'm sure you've seen jim some teams over the offseason has added alternate helmets and new jerseys. I know that the Titans plan on wearing the oilers jerseys in 2023 but is there any chance we see a new look maybe red, or black? Maybe a new design in general there's plenty of good designs i've seen it would be great to see the titans pick one up. Also, it's been a while since the titans have gotten new jersey's, Helmets.
Jim: Hey Jaden. Haven't heard of a red or black helmet in the works. The next new look will be the Oilers throwbacks in 2023, if all goes according to plan. And, they'll be sweet – light blue jerseys from the Luv Ya' Blue era with the white britches and stripes down the sides, with a white Oilers helmet.
John Mellos from Montréal, Canada
Question: Bonjour Jim! Big fan! This is certainly an interesting year to be a Titans fan. It seems as though our identity is teetering between that of a potential division winner with the veteran talent of those such as Derrick Henry, Kevin Byard, Ryan Tannehill, Ben Jones, Jeffrey Simmons, Denico Autry, etc. And that of a team in the midst of a rebuild with what looks like a strong rookie class and some of our old reliable vets like Taylor Lewan looking to be near the end of their reign. What I would like to put out there as a long-time Titans fan is a reminder that our most dominant years in recent history have been when we have a big bad offensive line that can really punish opposing defenses on the ground and sustain long drives late in the game. So I would like to submit my vote to blow our entire 2023 draft capital on beefing up that O-line (in depth positions and otherwise). I'm sure I'm not alone in saying I would love to watch a Titans offense that can run the ball down other teams' throats and uphold that old-school brand of bully-ball like we've done so well in recent years. Tell J-Rob I'll have his back if takes any heat for it 😉 Here's hoping you have a great week and Titan Up!!!!
Jim: Bonjour John! The o-line has been a popular topic this week for sure. Like I said earlier, the reality is the group is going to have to hold up better the rest of the way. But yes, I could see some big changes next offseason. It's going to help to get Nate Davis back at right guard for Indianapolis if all goes according to plan. I like what I've seen from Nicholas Petit-Frere at right tackle this season. Center Ben Jones is a battler, and he's the tone-setter. Dennis Daley struggled at left tackle on Sunday after holding up OK in previous weeks. We all know he's not supposed to be starting, but he's the best option right now. Aaron Brewer had a great block on the screen pass for a TD, and he had some good snaps, but he got beat on other plays against a really good, physical front. Next year I could see two, possibly three new starters on the o-line. Is four out of the question? Maybe not. But we can think more about that next year. The Titans have to make it work in 2022.
Erik Davis from Zichron Yachov, Israel
Question: Hi Jim. Appreciate your hard work and professional coverage of the Titans.
I understand the Titans led the league last year in total number of unique players starting a game because of injuries.
I also heard that through the first 5 weeks of this year the Titans are once again leading the league in unique starters because of injuries! If true, what gives? It's no longer a statistical anomaly if we lead the league two years consecutively. Right?
Jim: Hard to say for sure, Erik. Everyone wants to blame the strength and conditioning coach, and that's unfair. Some of these injuries have been bad luck, the result of guys playing a physical sport. The strength and conditioning coach and the training staff can't prevent concussions, broken bones, torn ACL, etc. Believe me, the HC and GM are well aware of the rash of injuries, and are trying to find ways to stop the ugly trend. If I knew the answer to this one, I'd say something to keep it from happening. Thanks for writing in.
J Buck Ford from Nashville, Tennessee
Question: Hey, Jim. First: incredible job, sir.
No question, but an observation. That Ryan Tannehill and the Titans have come as far as they have over the course of twenty-two games with largely new, untested team members on both sides of the ball every week is nothing short of remarkable. While I'm aware that there's been a great deal of disappointment and controversy regarding the injury cycle (among other things), these guys that have stepped in to fill holes have faced learning curves that might seem insurmountable to any other player. Playbook curves that had to be grasped in minutes...in critical seconds--a huge disadvantage that this team never fails to turn into an advantage--somehow finding a way to win.
Damn, I love this team. Go Titans.
Jim: Appreciate it, J Buck.
Michael Miles Sr. from LaVergne, Tennessee
Question: Jim great to read your comments each week. Hope all is going great for you. Three wins have given me three heart attacks but I got over them. Question, where in the division, or in the AFC, or in the NFL so far this year does King Henry stand in rushing yards or even in total yards? Know it is not leading any of the three, but we still have a lot of football to play. Thanks Jim
Jim: Hey Michael. Thanks for reading. Derrick currently has 408 yards on 104 carries, which puts him 6th overall in rushing yards. He currently trails: Nick Chubb (98-593), Saquon Barkley (97-533), Josh Jacobs (91-490), Miles Sanders (87-414) and Dameon Pierce (86-412).
Reuben Alvear from San Francisco, California
Question: Through 5 games it'd be easy to harp on the Titans for their offensive lulls, protection issues for Ryan Tannehill and the secondary giving up too many ex-plays. No doubt they've got to fix those areas. Coach Vrabel himself said after the win v Washington that the Titans need to be "so much better."
And, there are areas where they are kicking butt. The running game gets stronger w/each passing week. #22 has gradually appeared more comfortable, faster and explosive. The Titans have had fantastic RZ offense. Tannehill has mostly limited TO's. The D-line's playing pretty well. The run defense has gradually become more stout.
Jim: No doubt, Reuben. The main thing is this team needs to fix its weaknesses and get better. Some tough games are on the horizon.
Joe Levickis from Joelton, Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim! Great seeing you again this weekend, this time in Maryland!
My question for you this week is pretty simple. How awesome were our visiting fans this weekend against the Commanders? I feel like we had such a presence that it actually affected the home team a few times with our defense chants. It felt pretty darn good to see two-tone blue nearly everywhere I looked in (at least in my section as well as the parking lots).
Jim: Hey Joe. It was one of the best turnouts I can remember from Titans fans at a road game, and a lot of players noticed.
Howard Turner from Atlanta, Georgia
Question: Waddup JDubbDubbDubb #3InARow
How bout dem 3 dubs to turn things around,Jim?!
.#BackAtopTheSouth #WeFoundAWay #WhoNeedsPretty? #ThankYouDayLo
Can we all collectively clean our drawz during the bye week tho? #Figuratively #MaybeLiterally
While the players most definitely need this break, we the fans can use this breather as well!
I never realize how much of a workout I get watching the boys until the game is over and the
glutes and abs are sore like I've been trying to block Big Jeff for 3 straight hours. #TensionClinches
Do you ever throw that visor of yours during these nailbiters, Jim?! #ThePriceOfFandom
We stopped the run exceptionally! #43Yards? #Sheesh #WallAndSwarm
The 3rd down D was Titanium! #1For11?! #JustStingy
We established the King with 30 touches #WinningRecipe
Offense came thru with 100% TD rate in the redzone! #AreYouKiddingMe #GoodJobTodd
We protected the ball all day #NoTurnovers #Noice
That is amazing given that the OLine gave up 5 sacks #GottaFixThat #STAT
We only turned Wentz over once tho, I expected more #ButWeGotTheMostBangForThatBuck #I'llTakeIt
The deep ball is our bugaboo right now. #OnBothSidesOfTheBall
Its been well documented how our secondary weekly allows a pass catcher to look like prime Jerry Rice.
The field flippers hurt. Teams are licking their chops weekly to take shots and we bail them out.
Indy/Houston/KC are on deck and if we want to get 3 more in a row, this will be a major factor.
Our offense frustrates me similarly. We don't take enough shots of our own.#WeGottaShootBack
We've had success going over the top, but I don't feel it is utilized enough in our attack.
NWI showed up, Trees, and Philips are capable long too. Were Treylon and Racey the only deep guys we planned to keep DB's honest?
.#CmonTodd We gotta apply pressure, get some DPI's at least. Ryan was very comfy with AJ deep.
We're too easy to defend now, too predictable. #HeHastheArm #WeNeedThatDimensionBack
I had us at 4-1 for bye week but I can work with this. I can't even begin to call the back stretch #ButImBucklingUpMyBigBoiPants
Enjoy your bye SlimJim! #StockUpOnDemVisors #WeGot12MoreWeeksOfThis
Darian White from Conroe, Texas
Question: Any particular reason that you can think of that they haven't utilized Josh Gordon on the field?
Jim: Hey Darian. Good question. I wouldn't mind seeing him more myself. I think he's looked good in practice, and his attitude has been good, but he has to clean some things up. For now, he's just not in the mix, but that could change.
Manuel Cordero from Galicia-Spain
Question: Hola de nuevo Jim, casi recuperado de la decepci�n del partido contra Bengals, era nuestro a�o, me quer�a morir. Y...pam!!! bofetada con el traspaso de AJ Brown, gran error, ser� un WR de �poca, no me lo pod�a creer y luego lesi�n de Landry, pufff. Pero bueno, da igual, lo nuestro es pelear por debajo del radar, mejor no ser favoritos, ah� el equipo siempre da algo mas para reventar pron�sticos.La clave es ser capaces de hacer defensas como ese partido contra los Bengals (de lo mejor que vi nunca) y proteger mejor al quarterback, hay que invertir ah�, en agencia libre y draft, presi�n al QB enemigo y en dar tranquilidad al nuestro. El resto ira mejorando solo cuando vean solidez, jugar�n m�s sueltos sabiendo que cualquier error te lo van a arreglar tus compa�eros. Y luego... qu� pasa en las segundas partes? XD Nos volvemos predecibles y nos entra el miedo, no puede ser, somos una franquicia de guerreros, no nos pueden ver nunca el miedo en la cara y ahora lo ven. Nos hace falta un juego de remontar, que vuelvan a sentir que somos capaces de cosas imposibles. Bueno Jim, un placer volver a hablar a la comunidad Titan y siempre orgulloso de pertenecer a ella. Un abrazo desde Espa�a.
Jim: Que bueno saber de ti, Manuel. Me gusta tu actitud y espíritu. Con suerte, estos titanes te harán sentir orgulloso. Gracias por escribirnos. Cuídate.
Kevin McConnell from Narragansett, Rhode Island
Question: Hey Jim. Transplanted Texan here in the North East. A question more because I'm curious, but while at week 5's game against the Commanders, I saw Montez Sweat remove his helmet on the field of play after sacking the QB. I thought this fell under unsportsmanlike conduct, but I no longer see anything in the official rulebook. Would you be able to tell me when this rule was changed? Thank you for all of your great coverage of the team.
Jim: Hey Kevin. I saw the same play you're referring to, and was expecting to see a flag, too, especially since the official was looking right at him when he did it. I've read where officials show some leeway if the player isn't removing his helmet in a taunting action toward an opponent or an official. But I thought it was still a penalty myself.
Heather Mims from Columbus, Ohio
Question: Hi Jim How are you on this Day.I wanted to say Job well Done To the Tennessee Titans Football team also it's victory week yessss! David Long saved the Titans to win the game against Washington commanders Derrick Henry Did Amazing Job made the Touchdown #86 Chig O He Had the Ball and Made the Touchdown them Referee's ounce again saying it was out of Bounce it was A Touchdown to Me My concern is that why is the o-line is Not Helping and protecting our Quarterback from getting sacked He was Sacked 5 Times in A Row why is That then 2 second Half was Awful ounce again the 3rd qrtr the Titans improved some all it Matters that the Titans won now they Have Bye week they Got Lots of working to Do before the 23rd of this month at Home against the Colts then get Ready for Houston on the 30th of this month 23rd 4-2 not 3-3 October 30th 4-2 Not 4-3 Titans Needs to Score More Games like the Bills outscored the Steelers 38-3 if they can Do it Why the Titans can Do the same thing
Jim: Have a great day, Heather!
Richard Colestock from St. Cloud, Florida
Question: Hi again Jim, from sunny albeit waterlogged Florida. To be honest, this team has me worried...we are DEFINITELY not the team we were last year. Yeah, we're 3/2, but could easily be 2/3 or even 1/4. This is NOT good for blood pressure...and if Ryan needs to come down for a couple days and get plugged into a life support system after that Washington beating he took...fine with me. He needs it more than I do .... just trying to be helpful.....TITAN UP....and hang on.
Jim: Appreciate you taking the time, Richard.
Have a great bye weekend everyone!