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Weekend Mailbag: Jim Wyatt Answers Questions From Titans Fans Heading Into Sunday Night's Game vs the Chiefs

221103-Mailbag

NASHVILLE – Are you ready for some Sunday Night Football?

The Titans return to action on Sunday in Kansas City vs the Chiefs.

The team's five-game winning streak is on the line, along with a chance to make a statement on national television.

In the meantime, many of you have made some statements – or at least asked questions – in here.

Let's open up the weekend mailbag and see what's inside…

Here's the link to submit questions: CLICK HERE

Ryker Moore from Franklin, Kentucky
Question:
Do you think we could beat the Chiefs this Sunday?

Jim: If the Titans play well, yes. If the team plays like it did in Buffalo, no.

Shane Megee from College Station, Texas
Question:
Is it me or are the other teams defense just targeting the red shoes, if Derrick Henry.
If, this is the case, wouldn't it make it more difficult to just change his shoes to white?
Especially, when he lines up in the "i " formation behind the Qb.
I kinda feel like the red makes him easier to target, even for the safety who can see above the d-line.

Jim: Hey Shane. I think it's just you, but this is an interesting thought and the first time it's been presented in here. My thinking is Derrick Henry's easy to spot no matter what color shoes he's wearing.

Bill Holmes from Fairport, New York
Question:
Love the heart of this team; saw great examples in the Vrabel/Jones tunnel exchange and Derrick's humble but powerful locker room speech after the Texans game. Going from the swiss cheese defense of the Texans to a spotlight game in KC is going to be a challenge, but our defense continues to amaze, and I know they fear no one. We are undermanned at present, but a division three-peat is very attainable.
My question: Given that our WR depth is thin and Malik is (at this point) not a passing threat, how can we best leverage our depth for an offense of runs and screen passes when teams are stacking 8 in the box?

Jim: Hey Bill. No matter who plays QB, I think the best plan would be for quick, short throws. I like what I've seen from Dontrell Hilliard, and I'd utilize him even more. Same for tight end Chig Okonkwo.

Conrad Nelsen from Coeur d'alene, Idaho
Question:
Good day Jim. Lifelong Oilers/Titans fan here and I am excited to say that this upcoming weekend I will be traveling to KC to see first ever game. Just wondering if you have any advice to get the most from my trip and what lot can I expect to find any Titans tail gate events? Thanks!!! Titan Up!!!

Jim: Hey Conrad. It should be a fun weekend. I have not seen anything official about a tailgate, but I know there's a pregame gathering for Titans fans planned for Saturday night in Kansas City at Johnny's Tavern at 1310 Grand Blvd from 6 pm to 12 am.

Joe Levickis from Joelton, Tennessee
Question:
What do you think the biggest surprises have been so far this season with our personnel? I think my favorite to talk about is how awesome Nicholas Petit-Frere has played. I think it was widely assumed that he wouldn't be anything more than our swing tackle for most of camp, and it turns out he's been one of the most steady players on our entire offense. I'm fired up to hopefully have him around for a long time.

Jim: Hey Joe. Been seeing you a lot lately! I think Petit-Frere is a good pick by you. He's been solid. I think NT Teair Tart has really improved this year as well. Roger McCreary's consistent play has also been key. I remember a lot of folks questioning why he was taken in the second round. The defense has benefited from him being so good. And, AFC Special Teams Player of the Month Ryan Stonehouse has been even better than expected, too.

Seth Fischer from Lynchburg, Virginia
Question:
Hey Jim. I was watching to see if the Titans would make any big trades, but I was a little disappointed to see that nothing happened. What, do you think, was the thought process behind that? I mean, I'm not Jon Robinson, but there are several positions that could use some fixing up. Thanks!

Jim: Hey Seth. I was surprised so many folks were surprised the team didn't make a move. I really never expected it, as I stated in here the past few weeks. I think the biggest reason we didn't see a big move is the team simply doesn't have a lot of cap room.

Malcolm Sell from Louisville, Kentucky
Question:
I know you probably have 100 or more of this same question, but:
Why no moves for the trade deadline? There were some good players out there at WR that could have been taken. And that's not to mention the other players from teams that are giving up. If Henry can keep pace, we could be looking at another 1500-1600+ season, especially given the games we have left on the schedule. Granted, it's been against lesser talent, but our O-line seems to be starting to gel, and our Defense is killing it, but they can't stay out there 40+ minutes a game. We've got to get more production from the offense than just the King. That being said, Big Jeff is a beast out there. I love watching him tackle RBs and QBs with the opponent's own offensive linemen.

Jim: Hey Malcolm. You're right – I got a ton of questions like this. I included the ones from you and Seth, but decided it made no sense to include them all. The trade deadline passed four days ago, so it's old news by now. … The receiver the Titans are looking the give them a boost in the second half of the season is Treylon Burks, the team's first-round draft pick. He's eligible to come back on November 13 against the Broncos and I'm expecting that to happen.

Gene Gray from Hornbeak, Tennessee
Question:
Well Jim at least we have one team in Tennessee that can move the ball on offense and be exciting to watch, but unfortunately they're a college team and not our professional team. What happened to building around Tannehill and getting him weapons ? Did the front office forget that ? Most of our receivers are practice squad folks from other teams , what gives ? I mean i get you can find a diamond in the rough every once in a while but damn seems like all we keep getting are lumps of coal. Our offense aside from Henry is absolutely pathetic worst in the league if it weren't for our defense we wouldn't have a single win this season . Which would be a good thing at least then we might have a shot at Hendon Hooker or Jalen Hyatt ...and no trades to even try and help the offense out at all ...i just don't get the yard sale practice squad pick ups but no trades for a legit weapon on offense for Tannehill , our offense this year just makes the AJ trade look much worse...and he has more yards and td's than our whole group combined ...not a good look for the front office Jim. Hope it gets better but I have my doubts my ole classmate JRob gonna have to get it together can't fill a new stadium with a team playing like this . Have a great day and thanks for all ya do .

Jim: Hope all is well in Hornbeak, Gene.

Marcos Taron from Essen, Germany
Question:
Hi Jim. First of all a huge thank you for all your effort and passion around my absolutely favorite team!!!! Love the coach, the team and especially the mindset / resilience of this organization!!
I'm from Argentina, but have been living in Germany for decades… hope you are getting to know the big football 🏈 hype in recent years over here in Germany.
Even my 11yo daughter wears daily one of her Titans merch in school 😉
Unfortunately the Titans won't play this year in Germany, but there are some opportunities still to come the next years … you'll be all welcome !!!
Despite all the known things we still have to fix (pass playing!!) I think this season we are going to win at least 1-2 playoffs games … I'm quite sure we are going to win again our division, you too?
Enjoying Every Titans "W" ❤️
Auf Wiedersehen / Hasta luego família Titans

Jim: Great to hear from you, Marcos, and thanks for sharing your story! I'm hoping we get a trip to Germany soon!

Ty Brown from Sayreville, New Jersey
Question:
Hi Jim. Huge fan of the Titans from New Jersey here and wanted to know what we are going to do about our kicker? He's had a couple of important missed field goals over time and wondering if we are looking into a backup or replacement.

Jim: Hey Ty. Randy Bullock is 9-of-11 on field goals, 15-of-15 on PATs. Yes, he missed a huge one in the opener, but he's been solid overall imo. Kicker Caleb Shudak, an undrafted free agent from Iowa who was pretty impressive in the offseason before suffering an injury, remains on the team's PUP list. But for now, I don't get the sense the team is thinking about making a change.

Steven Crosio from Brick, New Jersey
Question:
Hey there Jim, If Titans lose to Kansas City Chiefs do you think J-Rob should start thinking about a career change?

Jim: Steven, this question matches your city – Brick. C'mon man, you're better than this.

Aaron Quarles from Cape Coral, Florida
Question:
Hey Jim, I think J-Rob and Vrabel have done more than enough to earn the trust of the team, the ownership, and the fans. I hated seeing Aj Brown go but no hard feelings I'm happy for his success but I trust the team made the best decision for the team. The one decision that never made since was to let Jonnu Smith go. He was clearly a favorite player of Vrabels so it never made sense why they let him go. Do you have any insight into why the two sides separated?

Jim: Hi Aaron. Well, I don't know of a single person who didn't like Jonnu. I think he's one of Mike Vrabel's all-time favorites. Believe me, the Titans wanted to keep him. But the Patriots offered him a $50 million contract with $31 million in guarantees and he couldn't turn it down. Unfortunately, the Patriots haven't utilized him like I thought they would, or probably how Jonnu probably envisioned as well. I wish the Titans still had him myself – he's a great guy.

Rico Schiller from Denmark
Question:
Hi Jim. I enjoyed the live experience of watching two games these last couple of weekends - when I was visiting the US with my girlfriend. Two amazing wins - and really enjoyed being there in person in Houston when Henry took the franchise TD record. Thanks for your assistance and advice in connection with planning this trip and where to buy tickets.
I do actually have a question this time. It seems that the biggest issue we have currently on the O-line is at LT (with Lewan on IR). Why don't we try to start Dillon Radunz (sorry if I misspelled) on LT? As I recall he played LT in college, and I seem to recall that he started one game last year at LT with some success. I would like to see what he can do there. I understand that he may not have the ideal body for the position (short arms, or something?) - but he would not be the first NFL player with less-than-ideal measurables to excel at a position. Why are the coaches not trying him out there? It would be an ideal moment to do it, while Lewan can't play, I would think. Are there some issues with Radunz that we have not heard of? Thank you for continuing to cover our Titans.

Jim: Hi Rico. Glad you had a big time! I've been getting more questions about Dillon of late. My best answer is right now, he still hasn't proven to the staff he'd be a better option at this point because he really hasn't been in the mix there. I think Dillon did a nice job stepping in for Nate Davis for a few games at guard. He did a solid job stepping in for Taylor Lewan at tackle last season. But his attempt to win the right tackle spot in camp didn't go well, and coaches haven't bumped him back into the competition at tackle so far. We'll see if that changes, but it remains Dennis Daley's job, with Le'Raven Clark next in line. The coaching staff, for now, clearly thinks Radunz is a better option at guard.

Jamie Holladay from Guyton, Georgia
Question:
Hi Jim looks like jrobs draft capital investments in the coverage unit is finally starting to pay off! I Hope this is last time I feel the need to point out how turning the achillies heel into strength really is hige to the goals they have.
I don't have a question but as usual a statement to the fans in how much cooler interaction is whenever everyone is on the same page as the team. Vrabel really should've had the blunt presser last year setting the new standard expectations for each unit. So many was used to 2019-20 offense carrying the team. It doesn't help when so many only see the game with offensive glasses on either. This will be defensive lead team for a while to come.
It's a lot of examples of this game in recent years to learn from and malik is just one of many.
We've seen tom and Stafford just adding a couple more wins to Geoff or Winston's teams to break through. Geno switches with Wilson steels his success with the Elite receivers. The separation is closer than is taught and the downplaying of qb like Ryan or Jimmy g is really poor takes and doesn't educate the game out very well. Its only so much separation two men can have. 😆
Back to tn.. We are seeing that when coverage plays well like colts ,Texans the games mirror last year rams game. Or if they don't like the Bengals playoff game it mirrors the bills or the Commanders and require a last second int from long jr or something extra..
Hopefully everyone gets the formula now and trys to stay away from the extreme takes its more nuanced than just bust or goats. Sometimes we don't know the real causes until days or weeks later like how hot the Bengals was picking everyone off multiple times like mahomes, carr, Ryan and Stafford. (tanny took a huge one for the team )the fan base vibe is so much more fun when everyone gets it and isn't split by bad information. Everyone should Be Careful about sourced takes they pick up or distribute that can sew division and ruin the fun. Malik himself has tried to chill hype clearly just to be left on his merits. Same with Ryan.
Titan up Jim ! Fanbase get ready for the playoffs here they come!

Jim: Thanks for taking the time, Jamie.

Bart Star from Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Question:
Jim. Appreciate what you do and enjoy reading every week! Proud of the Titans and loving seeing them find ways to win. Reminds me a lot of a season ago. I'd like to know what you think of putting Hilliard in the slot (he's proved he can catch) and using Haskins as the 3rd down back some. If we can keep winning on the Kings back it won't matter, but just a thought towards the fans concerned about the passing game.

Jim: Hey Bart. I touched on this with Bill earlier. I think it's a great idea. Dontrell is a weapon and I'd like to see him in the slot, and in a two-back package with Derrick.

Aiden Card from Savannah, Tennessee
Question:
I always read the mail bag and I was wondering: Who would you want as your quarterback Ryan or Malik?

Jim: Thanks for reading, Aiden. Ryan Tannehill is clearly the team's best quarterback right now, and he gives the team the best chance to win.

Harry Prentiss from Sunbury, Pennsylvania
Question:
Jim it's amazing to me how this team never seems overly impressed with themselves nor down on a bad performance. Since 1965 this franchise has been my favorite and Coach Vrabel is the example it appears. You're around the team so my question is am I reading this correctly? Also I am constantly amused at the perception of our Titans by others since they are not flashy. Today I read an article that they are about to meet the surging Chiefs even though the Titans have won 5 in a row! I love how the team never publicly complains about this lack of national recognition and just goes about their business. As I've said for years Luv Ya Blue!

Jim: Appreciate you taking the time, Harry.

Have a great weekend everyone!

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