LONDON – Cheers, mate.
The Titans – and yours truly – are in the United Kingdom for Sunday's game vs the Baltimore Ravens.
It's been a whirlwind since leaving Nashville after Thursday's practice. I'm working on little sleep as I type this, and doing my best to power through leading up to the game.
I'm putting some extra postage on this one as we roll out this weekend's mailbag …
Here's the link to submit questions: CLICK HERE
Jack Turvey from Bristol, England
Question: Good evening Jim, I hope you and the team have safe travels here. I am gutted to say that due to my ongoing illness and mobility issues I will not be able to make it to the game in person but I will be watching live and with the team in spirit.
My question for you is this... in your opinion, how do the players keep mentally strong during such an up and down period that we have seen over the first 5 weeks? I know for myself it has been an emotional rollercoaster and has made me a nervous wreck on Sundays. Is there a big emphasis on keeping mentally tough in the locker room? If so, I could probably do with using some of their techniques.
That said, there's a lot of season to go, thanks for your time and lets Titan up in the UK.
Jim: Hi Jack. It's been a good trip so far. Sorry you're not going to be able to make it to the game. Hope you're feeling better soon. … As for the players, they're resilient. The team does have mental coaches, as well as a team chaplain. A lot of resources are in place to help players dealing with anything on or off the field. But I can promise you no one is moping about a 2-3 start. Right now, 18 of the league's 32 teams are either 3-2 or 2-3. The key is to keep battling, and to be playing well in December. Time will tell if this team has what it takes.
Mark Nevar from Port Colborne, ONTARIO CANADA
Question: Hi Jim. Not my first time writing to you. Been a franchise fan since 78. Gone the through the ups and downs. Newer fans that go up with each victory and want to blow things up after every loss need to find another team. We are on the right track both player wise and especially GM and coach wise. Gonna take more time to become a top five but think that we can get there Tanny getting more time to pass is great to see. Bast weeks loss is all on the D. BUT we have seen what they are capable of doing. They had a bad game and the players have taken ownership of that. One thing bothers me about the Ravens game, The Ravens are in England all week. We don't get there until Friday. Jet lag may be a factor us, Any particular reason we didn't go early as well??
Jim: Good to hear from you again, Mark. Mike Vrabel thought that was the best plan – practicing Wednesday and Thursday in Nashville, and then flying over. It's the same schedule the team followed on the London trip in 2018, and he thought it worked well. I've seen both ways – flying over early, flying over late – work and not work for teams.
Mike Clement from Bell Buckle, Tennessee
Question: Good morning, Jim! You need to help me understand the situation. With all the experts writing to you about what the Titans need to do to improve the team, how has Amy not taken advantage of the expertise and hired some of them? These folks obviously have plenty of time to study these pressing concerns and offer their invaluable expertise. Which coaches to can, and which players to ditch! They could probably even assist the Titans' executive team in solving many other issues as well! Some have demonstrated a vast amount of knowledge by writing several paragraphs concerning the team's problems. Jim, if other teams are spying on your blog, we risk losing their extensive knowledge base to the competition. Now is the time to act!
Being a retired old man, this occupies most of my time and thoughts. Please give me some assurance to relieve me of this most pressing concern! I need to spend more time on the future of my Social Security "benefits". The politicians need to understand these aren't "benefits" they are handing out but the return of the money I paid in. The return on my investment is unfortunate. Wait!! Maybe I should enlist some of these folks to straighten out the politicians! You think?
PS - I offered Amy a foolproof plan last year for improvement and savings through your blog but never heard from her. I've waited patiently by both phone and email, but nothing! What gives? I'm pretty sure these folks are wondering about their advice as well!!
Jim: Sounds like you have a pretty good sense of humor, Mike. 😊
Josh Carter from Chattanooga, Tennessee
Question: Jim, Thank you for keeping us all up to date and in depth with the two toned blue. I am curious if you agree that Teair Tart is VERY underrated and underappreciated? The Colts ran all over us without him in there on Sunday. Secondly, I (like a lot of others) think we do not have much to show for all of the draft capital we have poured into the Cornerback position. 2020-2022 we drafted 4 guys - 1 first, 2 seconds and 1 third rounder. I am hoping Ran can evaluate this position better than J. Rob. Who of those four CB's do you think is playing the most complete football? I'm leaning McCreary. I know we can win this division! We need to take down the Ravens and get healthy on the bye! Titan Up!
Jim: Hi Josh. Well, I'm sure Teair's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, will point to that game in contract talks. I'll just say this: Teair has been an underrated guy since he's been with the team. Not many outsiders gave him much of a chance as an undrafted free agent, and he's proven to be a good player. But there were bigger issues in run defense against Indianapolis than just being without Teair. As a defense, the Titans need to be better. The challenge is different here in London against the Ravens, and an elusive QB in Lamar Jackson. … As for the corners, well, it's been up and down for all of them. The Titans need guys to make plays.
Peter Tsomides from Saco, Maine
Question: Thank you for doing a great job handling these emails. My question is, at this point of the season with the Titans looking like a sub .500 team, doesn't it make sense to think about trading DHop and others to a contender and getting a draft pick or picks in return?
Jeff Beachy from Bristol, Indiana
Question: Hey Jim, new Titans fan here so still learning a lot about the team, but my question for you is this - with less than acceptable performances by the Edge Rushers, specifically Landry and Key, why does the team continue to not play some of the back ups, specifically Murphy?? Murphy was an absolute wrecking machine at Ferris State who tallied the NCAA record for sacks in a single season with 25 in 2022, he also tied the NCAA TFL record at 39.5 in the same season, he was the 2022 Ted Hendricks award winner and led the entire NFL pre-season with 4 sacks (tied with Niko Lalos of NO Saints). Now granted pre-season is not as challenging as regular season, but why not give a player with these stats / creds and is VERY hungry to show what he can do a chance to play?? He can't do any worse that what we have seen so far this season can he??
Jim: Hey Jeff. Trevis Gipson got a little longer look against the Colts, but still only nine snaps. You're right – Caleb hasn't played a bunch. He's a good young player, and he's improving. The team is still counting on Denico Autry and Arden Key and Harold Landry to produce. Rashad Weaver's snaps have been somewhat limited as well. Caleb just needs to keep working.
Steve Furry from Cape Canaveral Fl
Question: Hi Jim. Love your mailbag. I don't have a question. I wrote in last week saying we need to change quarterbacks. I did a lot of soul searching and stats analyzing. I want to retract my statement. I believe the only way this year we will be successful is to stay with Ryan Tannehill. Let the coaches figure out all the other problems to get corrected to further push this team to wins.
Jim: Thanks for taking the time, Steve.
Shelly Dunnagan from Portland, Tennessee
Question: I don't understand. We used to always be able to count on our defense and the fact we were tougher than hell. What in the world has happened?!?!
Jim: Got pushed around last week.
Matt Petscher from Terre Haute, Indiana
Question: When are we going to say enough is enough and see if one of our younger QB's have what it takes to win ball games?
Jim: There's a lot TBD this early in the season. December, if the Titans aren't contenders?… But the Titans didn't lose in Indianapolis because of the QB play, Matt.
James Boom from North Augusta, Georgia
Question: Hi Jim, hope you are doing well. I have always loved the red gloves and attire that the Titans have been using for years. I remember Keith Bulluck popularizing the look first. Aside from Byard seemingly always having a red sleeve, alot of the players like to mix up the color of the shoes, sleeves, gloves, etc sometimes with the red, sometimes another one of our colors. I love the look because we have red as an accent, but its used sparingly, so it really pops with the attire.
Anyway, my main reason for contacting you was because I am curious - Do the players vote on who gets to wear the red game to game, or are the players rewarded the red attire from good performance? I know this is not really a football question, but I have always wanted to know. Do you have any details you would care to share?
Jim: Good question, James. And you're right – Keith Bulluck started the while red glove statement, and it has grown in popularity. As for who and why guys wear the red, it's really up to each guy. Some guys like the look, and the extra bling, so to speak. Some guys are old school and keep it simple.
Andy Conant from Dallas, Texas
Question: Thanks for the great information, Jim - it's always enlightening to hear the "inside skinny". I was wondering why we let Andrew Adams go after what seemed to be a standout year. I know that he got hurt at the end of last season, but that doesn't seem to be enough of a reason to cut him. Or maybe I'm wrong in my assessment of his play on the field? I do remember he always seemed to be around the ball all year.
Jim: I like Andrew Adams as well, Andy. He did a good job last season. But Andrew suffered a pretty bad injury late in the season a year ago, and he spent a lot of time rehabbing. The team has elected to try and go younger, and faster as back-up options.
Stevan Dyer from Davie, Florida
Question: Why has OLB #99 RASHAD WEAVER been missing from the action when in the past has contributed so much to the defence. He went from playing most of the game last year and preseason to barely on the field the last few games? Considering the poor performance of the defense lately this should be reevaluate. Thanks
Jim: Mentioned Rashad earlier, Stevan, when talking about Caleb. What the Titans need is for Harold Landry to turn the corner. If he doesn't produce it could definitely open the door for more snaps for others.
Linda Burnett from Dickson, Tennessee
Question: Hi Jim, After sitting watching my husband do everything but cry while watching the Titans against the Colts, and then reading all of the wailing on social media, I decided to chime in on my opinion. Here goes. The Titans had every opportunity to win that game. If you're in the red zone 4 times and come away with field goals and stuff on 4th and one chances are you are going to lose. To read some of the comments I swear Ryan Tannehill must be the worst QB on the planet. I thought he played well. Yes, the secondary had its share of problems and I question the OC's call on the 4th and one. Henry is awesome but he can't run through a brick wall. It's the 5th game of the season and a lot want to throw the backup QB's to the wolves. I'm no genius but neither looked ready to be the man. My question to you is when do you think changes should be made not just at QB but others as well? I don't want to see the Titans tank the season. My husband swears you give the best opinions, so what do you think?
Jim: Hi Linda. I think you're pretty spot on. I've gotten a lot more questions/comments in the past week from those wanting to see one of the back-up QBs. It's like some folks are throwing in the towel five games into a 17-game season. Right now, Ryan Tannehill gives the team the best chance to win. That's my opinion from watching every single practice, and every game. Mike Vrabel knows this, and Mike Vrabel wants to win. So I expect Ryan Tannehill to remain the starting QB unless he gets hurt, or things start to go really bad. If this season comes off the rails, then my answer could be different in December.
Devonta Woodard from Nashville, Tennessee
Question: When do we start evaluating our two young QBs? Ryan has been having a really bad start and I get it's early but, I'd like to know what we are heading into with next year since we have a unique problem of two really good young QBs. I personally think playoffs aren't realistic. We gotta win our division and wildcard is out the question. I'd love to hear what you think. Also I'm Team Willis! TITANUP!
Jim: Just touched on this with Linda, Devonta, so that's what I think. I appreciate you taking the time.
Michael Gorski from Rock Hill, South Carolina
Question: Long time Oilers/Titans fan. Remember the move from Houston to Nashville much to the chagrin of the Houston fans and the ensuing rivalry since. Not much as far as a question but rather an observation — It seems as if the Titans yo-yo season continues. It seems as if it is a time for introspection for the whole team and coaching staff. Perhaps this loss will prompt the team to gel. Your thoughts
Jim: I thought the Browns loss might've done that…
Matt Montanaro from Vaughan, Ontario, Canada
Jim: It is tough to be a Titans fan. They are so unpredictable and so inconsistent. They can be a pleasure to watch or a source of frustration. Is it time to try something different? Move Fulton to the bench or try him somewhere else? Give Malik Willis and Will Levis a look and move Tannehill aside? I am not saying that Tannehill is the root cause of this team's issues but it is becoming more and more clear that this team just doesn't have the consistency to challenge this year. Maybe we need to look towards the future now and see which of these QBs can lead this team.
Jim: Hey Matt. Surprised you and some others want to throw in the towel on this season already. I get the frustration with Fulton, but already up for "looking towards the future." We're five games into a 17-game season, and the team is one game out of first place. The "future" is late October, November, December, and January, not 2024 or 2025.
Bill Mahanna from Byrdstown, Tennessee
Question: I'm not a football gru but my wife and I have become Titan fans. It seems in the Bengals game there was a lot of pass option plays with Derrick as a option and a decoy. I didn't see much of that in the Colts game. Am I right? If so if I can see that why can't the coaches see it?
Jim: You're right. Not as easy to pull off when the run game isn't successful – and you're behind.
Rick Smith from Union, Kentucky
Question: Hey Jim, hope all is well with you and your family. Jim I am in management of a multi billion dollar company, my job is to make sure I am putting the right people in the right positions to succeed, and find ways to continuously improve and holding myself and my leaders accountable. So when I watch a game I have a tendency to possibly over analyze rather than just watching a game. As in business there are always mistakes and things that could be done better. I do think this Titans team has a lot of good talent on it, actually very good talent, but I don't believe the leadership is where it needs to be. Unlike most employees the NFL is for the elite, the best of the best, that's one of the reasons they are paid the way they are. To improve, you have to recognize the issues to fix the issues and this team seems to have a hard time doing that. Here is a few, this will not sit well with some fans I know. Kevin Byard (a leader) if you actually watch, he seems to always re-acts to a play, never seems to be in position to be pro active, as well as others, but he is a leader. I watched him Sunday for example he is 25 yards back, a pitch out to a RB, he watched the RB and had to push the RB out of bounds from behind (how does that happen) and it happens every week. Fulton is just a liability (when he actually plays). So my question Jim is why is it that our DB's for years seemed to never have any idea where the ball is? Why is it always catch and tackle and almost never play the ball and when they do, it usually results in a PI? to me that is a coaching issue. These guys did not get to the NFL playing like this previously, but it does not seem to change with the Titans. Why do they not execute from week to week? where is the accountability? If I gave statements and performed this inconsistent, I would be let go or demoted and I am not an elite individual. As always Jim thanks for your time and stay safe.
Jim: I appreciate you sharing your observations, Rick. I think everyone agrees the Titans need to make more plays across the board, in the secondary and beyond.
Have a great weekend everyone!