NASHVILLE – It's almost time for the Titans to get back to action.
On Sunday, the Titans face the Broncos at Nissan Stadium.
While we wait, let's open up another Titans mailbag.
Here's the link to submit questions: CLICK HERE
Tyler Ebert from Hanover, Pennsylvania
Question: Hey Jim. Quick rapid-fire questions/comments:
- Any chance the proposed new stadium gets real grass? I'm surely hoping for it!
- That defense is special and with a few key guys back on the field (Molden, Hooker, Bud), this defense can take us a long way. DAWGS!
- I read something that Kelly is the one who draws up the scripted plays and Downing calls the rest of the game. Can we please, for the love of god, hand the reigns over to Kelly. Just give him 1 full game to see how he does and analyze the results from there. Thoughts?
- I understand we aren't trying to run The King into the ground but I just can't understand not giving it to him when the game is on the line. MASSIVE mistake in a huge game if you ask me...
- We all know the receiver play has been poor but, I have optimism if we can get Burks and McMath healthy and on the field. I will hold optimism that late in the season we can get this offense humming with Tanney, Hooper, Chig, Woods, Burks, NWI, and McMath (and of course The King) out there
- Rest of season prediction time! 10-6 or 11-5 and 4th seed. The King finishes with another 2k season and we make a SB push similar to the 2019 season.
Frustrated fan but optimistic of the fight we showed against KC. Late in the season is when we are our best and the best has yet to come....
Thanks again for all you do Jim and TITAN-TF-UP ladies and gentleman!!!
Jim: Let's run through these:
1-The plan is for artificial turf in the new stadium.
2-Let me guess: You read the Kelly/Downing scripted stuff on a message board? It's bogus.
3-Need to get all the guys you mentioned back in action for sure. I keep getting McMath Qs. Keep reading for the latest.
4-I get the frustration. But some of the tirades in the Tuesday mailbag were ridiculous, especially considering the team had its five-game winning streak snapped in overtime against a team it was a 14-poing underdog against.
John Clark from Chesapeake, Virginia
Question: We loss to a very good team but we were the better team Sunday night and should have won the game. Our defense played a decent game Mahomes scramble on 3rd and 21 was unacceptable. My issues is the coaches all 3 have just been getting by beating teams that's not over .500 we most definitely need 2 changes minimum at coaching. He's an idea! How about Frank Reich at offense coordinator and Matt Patricia at Defense Coordinator and Willis is gonna need some time to grow but I can most definitely tell Tannehill isn't offering any help to help this young man grow probably because of job security which is the difference between a good Qb and a great Qb. We need new offense and defense coordinator, beef up the Offensive line and for God's sake better WR that can catch TY Hilton, Beckham and whoever else is more consistent than these bums we have now. Also did anyone else notice Derrick Henry demeanor when he was walking off the field I read his mind if they don't get him any help a request to be traded is coming he wants to be on a Super Bowl winning team mark my words a request to be traded is coming!
Jim: Oh man, John, you're all-in on a lot of wild scenarios. Pretending to know what's in Derrick's head as he walked off the field, now that's just silly.
Ed Norris from Nashville, Tennessee
Question: Hello Jim….Mike Vrabel is a sharp guy and understands the game,with the talent he has had the last few years especially on defense how does he think he can beat the good teams in the playoffs with the way the offense is played ,no team is ever out of the game with the Titans even mediocre teams games come down to the wire,it's hard as a fan knowing we will waste these next few seasons not winning because of the offensive scheme knowing we have had the talent,in saying that why does he not make a change he has to see what Everyone sees
Jim: Lots of thoughts combined in one long sentence here. Thanks.
Jack Walker from Calabasas, California
Question: Hey Jim. No negative thoughts today.
This defense. Man, I'm seeing shades of 1970's Steelers.
Chig. We have the weapon at TE we've been missing since Delanie.
Malik. We knew he'd be a project. He's just fine. He's a humble and quality man. Love the size and athleticism.
And the King... Still #1.
Jim: Have a great day, Jack.
Sean Kelley from Elkton, Maryland
Question: Hi Jim, is it too late to show some support Todd Downing.. just feel he got slammed pretty bad in this last mailbag. LOL
Was it Parcells who said something about the Chef not buying the ingredients?
The Titans run a 1930's style offense. I see less complaints about it when we win, barely win, or incredibly lucky to win.
The problem is when we play a 2022 Modern Day NFL offense that is willing to chuck the ball all over no matter what, it looks ugly when we lose. Especially after leading 17-9 and can't run out the clock.
How many Superstar WR's are out there looking to sign with Titans, when we are going to throw ball just 20% of the time and require you to block the rest of the time. Its not so appealing to them I would guess. But the guys we have are extremely good blockers. Of course that is crazy way to build team, but thats our team.
Which leads me to question why we didn't invest more in TE position since Walker and then letting Smith go.. yea we got Hooper, but I mean a long term solution there? Seems like they really got cheap in that area, which used to be as important as our running game. Just emailing to say hello... finally out of FL and up in Maryland for rest of year!
Jim: Thanks for taking the time, Sean. As for the TE position, the team went out and got Austin Hooper in free agency, and then drafted Chig Okonkwo. I think those two guys are pretty solid, they just need to be utilized more.
Brian Woody from Kingsport, Tennessee
Question: What's up with Ryan not playing Sunday he looked good to me when he was out there throwing around and stuff I'm just curious if he really wants to be a titan anymore...
Jim: Hi Brian. Ryan was hurt. I wouldn't judge his health by simply being able to throw the ball. Heck, he didn't move outside a phone booth in practices leading up to the Chiefs game. Yes, I'm old enough to remember a phone booth.
Alan Taylor from Brentwood, Tennessee
Question: Not a question Jim, but just something for those who are quick to critique Malik. League average for wide receiver separation (distance to nearest defender) is 2.92 yards. Titans have no WR over 1.0. Woods is best with 0.92. Critique of Malik or Ryan should be shelved and see how things look with a healthy Burks and Phillips. TV does not give a good perspective of what the field looks like from the QB's position. Just food for thought!! Titan up!! We are still heading to win the division and make the playoffs - that's goal #1
Jim: It's fair to bring this to the table, Alan. Thanks.
Tony Malgiero from El Paso, Texas
Question: I just read the mailbox for Tuesday....lmao. It was everything I expected. From all the people calling for Downing's head to people basically calling Malik garbage and the complaints about the receivers and finally the blame being on JRob for trading AJ. I expected it as soon as I clicked on the article to read it and I wasn't disappointed lol. So, I have a question for you before I go on a mini rant and try to explain to the fans the situation. Do you ever get frustrated with the submissions? It has to be kind of annoying to constantly read these submissions and just know that nearly everyone is going to be attacking the team after a loss. Time for a mini rant to the fans. I'll just say that it really isn't Downing. He's not perfect, but there's some really good play design happening these last few weeks. The offense is just seriously hamstrung by injuries to people who were expected to be key contributors. We're playing receivers who started the season on practice squads or were expected to be special teamers mostly. You can't expect the passing game to be in sync when you're playing with back up receivers and a back up QB who is clearly very talented but needs more development. Some of those throws were really really good. The guy came from a small school people. He didn't get the same level of coaching as someone like Jalen Hurts did at Bama and Oklahoma. But even Stevie Wonder (haha, I hope you get the reference) can see Malik's raw talent. I promise we will see improved play as guys like Tanny, Burks and Phillips start to get healthy. With that improved play will magically come improved play calling. It's funny how those two things correlate. Try to be positive, the team is in first place, the king is doing his thing, the D looks really good, guys will start to get healthy, and everyone starts the playoffs at 0-0. Have a great week Jim!
Jim: Hi Tony. I don't get frustrated with the submissions. I appreciate reading what fans think, and welcome all the opinions, whether I agree with them or not. Have a good weekend.
Tom Holler from Oak Ridge, Tennessee
Question: Hi Jim. I enjoy these mailbags very much. Thanks for bringing us the latest on the Titans.
I don't have a question, just an observation. As a transplanted Chicagoan, I still follow the Bears. The comments about Malik Willis in Tuesday's mailbag sounded oddly similar to what they were saying about Justin Fields about this time last year. The circumstances are similar. Both QBs were supposed to sit for a year to watch and learn. Both were hurried into game action due to injuries. Both struggled. Both had questionable weapons at receiver. As recently as a month ago, many still were calling Fields a bust.
Over the past month, Justin Fields has become the hottest QB in the NFL. How do we know a year from now we wouldn't see a similar quantum leap out of Malik Willis?
My point: Even Payton Manning threw 28 interceptions his rookie year. I've heard it said that it takes 3 to 5 years to develop an NFL QB. Willis (and Fields, I'm sure as many others) were called upon unexpectedly in their rookie years. Let's see how Willis does when he is given a full off season to prepare to become the actual QB1 and then compare his progress over 18 weeks. Only then will an objective evaluation as to whether or not Willis is a bust be accurate. Until then, I think a little patience is in order.
Jim: Thanks for taking the time, Tom, and for sharing the perspective. No doubt Malik needs more time. I've been saying it since the day he was drafted. I'm surprised some folks have been surprised he's looked like a guy who needs time to develop. Patience is definitely in order, and there's no guarantee he'll ever turn into a full-time starter. The Titans are going to need a lot more time to find out.
Trout Dawg from Long Beach, California
Question: Hey Now Jim. So proud of the team in KC ! They battled all night ! Willis did what was asked him. The boys on D looked so tough, I go to work and all the fellas are congratulating me about how hard my team played. Then I see and hear Sean Payton and other football experts saying on TV and radio how impressed they were with the Titans in that game. Then I read your mailbag and all these people writing you say we pissed on yourselves and other stuff. I just cannot believe it ! The ignorance is just insane. Anyways what's wrong with McMath? BaBaBooeey to you all and Titan Up. SO HAPPY HOW THE TEAM HAS COME TOGETHER! Vrabel is the man In JRob we trust TITAN UP
Jim: What's up Trout Dawg? I've seen all kinds of takes following Sunday's game. As for McMath, he's dealing with a hip injury. I've done my best to temper the expectations for his return. If he comes back, it'll be in December.
Jason Barton from Weimar, Texas
Question: Hey Jim first time writer. I was die hard Oiler fan and followed them to Tennessee. I been through the ups and downs and feel the 1 yard short pain still from the Super Bowl. I live one hour away from Houston. The town Amy Adams Strunk first husband is from. I watch every Titans game! I disagree with some things but I never doubt them. This is a team that believes in their Coach and all upper management. These guys believe in themselves. After Sunday night's game I will put the Titans against any team in the NFL. THEY OPENED SOME EYES AGAINST THE CHIEFS!! TITAN UP!!
Jim: Thanks for taking the time, Jason. Don't be a stranger.
Desherrick Rogers from Hattiesburg, Mississippi
Question: I know right now the entire Titan Nation is at a state of disbelief and confusion with the current state of the team. Everything is up in the "Air", and lot of ideas are floating around in search of a solution to the losing woes. I quickly refer to good memories of good times when life gets "Tough" on me for comfort. So this is no different, let me share with you my reason for being a Titan Fan. I met Steve McNair back in 2001, while working as a bartender in my hometown of Hattiesburg(shout out HI-HAT2000). So I find it funny that on this night in particular, Mr. McNair called a total of "2" huddles with all of the bartender(s). In the first huddle, Mr. McNair introduced himself and told us that he really appreciated us for our service. We all got to introduce ourselves to him and he continued encouraging us to do our best. In true football fashion also, because that was before the actual work of serving customers began. We have a great night at work , before the club closed, Mr. McNair calls another "huddle" with bar/club staff. In this second huddle, Steve was "REAL" with us, I'll never forget what he said. "Everytime I came the bar tonight all of the bartenders were running to see what I needed but what I also noticed was this same group of bartenders running to see what "ALL" the customers were in need of." Man, talk about "PROUD", and then he tipped everyone(all 8 of us)$100 USD. I've been a TITAN ever since. Steve was watching us as a group and he also notice that we were a "TEAM" first. So I know we all upset about things but let's not forget the "TEAM". We praise the defense so much til we forget that they on the same "TEAM" with that sorry OL, ? at QB, buttafinga WR's, ft. KING HENRY. I remember "Chief's Cheat" 2019 AFC CHAMPIONSHIP, so isn't it ironic who got us feeling like this again(ditto). In 2019 we lost to the Bronco's 0-16, in which was MM8's last game but was the turning point for this offense and put Tannehill in the game and a "STAR" was born. Do not, I repeat, do not forget what you come for? To be honest, yes the offense has been very "downing" for two yrs now and I also watched nothing but Alabama Spring Game and the Titans AFC Divisional Game from last season in hopes of the reality of last season not surface this season. Well it didnt work because we got a 2 loss Alabama team this yr and the Titans offense hasnt scored 30+ since MNF vs the Bills 2021. I can go on and on, we all got examples yet lets not forget that this a "TEAM" first. And i'm proud to be a TITAN, regardless of the adjective(s).
Jim: Oh man, what a great Steve McNair story, Desherrick. Thanks for sharing.
Anthony Henderson from Memphis, Tennessee
Question: Despite all the negative views on our team, there's plenty to be excited about (especially once the Simmons contract is done). I for one love the quick progression we're constantly seeing from Malik, who looked like a whole different QB from the start of preseason versus the end, same as when he played his first game against the Texans to the beautiful throws against the Chiefs. To me, it seems that the health and lack of viable options maybe coupled with some poor oc play calling seem to be holding this team stagnant. In your opinion, do you think it was the right move not acquiring anyone in FA and riding this team out until the playoffs, and hopefully getting a good draft pick? I was hoping for Cooks or Jeudy, or possibly and O Lineman to add in FA. Secondly, what's your take on Farley? He seemed to have a lot of hype early on, but he either isn't giving playing time or hasn't shown worthy of more playing time. Is he still developing with all the time he missed? Thanks for all the information you provide! TitanUp!
Jim: Hey Anthony. The hope is the return of Treylon Burks, and the improved health of Ryan Tannehill, will help. I'd be lying if I said I didn't think the offense could use more weapons. As for Farley, he's still a work in progress.
Matt Montanaro from Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Question: That was a great Sunday night game. Our D was incredible. Unfortunately the offense couldn't keep up. By the second half KC figured out that the Titans couldn't throw the ball and had no choice but to stick to the run game. I think at that point it became clear it was going to be a tough one to win. It became clear Willis is not NFL ready. Do you think he ever will be. I thought he looked really out of sorts and it could be a sign as to why he fell so far down the draft list. It was really disconcerting that the receivers played absolutely no role is this game. Do you think they could be frustrated that they are not included in the game plan and could it be a deterrent from other receivers wanting to come here?
Jim: Hey Matt. I'm sure some guys are frustrated with the lack of opportunities, and targets. Sure, it's a team game, but everyone wants to contribute. The offense will be more inclusive when Tannehill returns. As for potential free agents, I think the Titans have proven they have a winning culture, and that's the best draw.
Donley Canary from Raymore, Missouri
Question: Great effort by the Titans here in Chiefs country. Had our Titans flag flying proudly all weekend plus our 8 foot tall inflatable Tiny sitting on the front lawn. Just needed a break our two to have pulled the big upset. Jim, my question is this how do the Titans have such serious and debilitating injuries the past two years? Our roster appears like a MASH unit when weekly injuries are listed/ announced. I realize our style of play is physical, but crap other teams in the NFL are too. Any thoughts? Bad luck? Bad karma? Your insight as to why this has become such a weekly problem would be appreciated. Expect to see a great effort in Nashville this weekend as we BEAT the Broncos!! Go Titans.
Jim: Way to represent, Donley! I wish I could explain the injuries. If I knew, believe me, I'd let somebody know.
Gino Tenace from Fort Covington, NY via Franklin, TN
Question: No question, Jim, just a comment. First, thank you for your patience with the great fans and those that have concerns. I have been a fan for 50 years, watching with my father and now watching with my son. I love what the owner, the coach, the GM, Henry, Tannehill, Simmons, Byard, the city and you bring each week. I am proud to bring my son to see a team that does it right. Thank you. Titan Up!
Jim: Thanks for the kind words, Gino. Have a great day.
Randy Porter from Hendersonville, Tennessee
Question: Hi Jim, Well, I planned on staying quiet after this one, knowing there would be a pout-fest in your inbox. But, as your words resonated in my ear, I had to comment. Week after week you have answered the insistent demands to make Willis starting QB. You have repeatedly reminded fans that Malik was a work in progress and not ready yet. Well, the last two games have proven your observations 100% accurate. To be fair, Malik did what he could, with the cards he was dealt. But, it's not a winning hand yet. Still, Willis had a good game plan designed for him I thought, and he made some good plays. He just didn't get enough help from his receivers. Not only did they struggle to get free of the Chief's secondary, but failed to catch several nice passes by Willis. This is a problem no matter who is behind center. Willis is not yet ready to take the lack of talent at receiver and the frequent swarming pressure and adapt. Welcome to Ryan Tannehill's world ! It should be apparent to everyone that ANY QB will struggle with the current O-line, receivers and the injuries. It should also be apparent that much of the blame that has been directed at Tannehill, could easily be put on Willis now. However, to blame either QB for the lack of offense, would be a mistake and unfounded. Simply put, our QBs need help. Sloppy penalties continue to impact the game as well, which is usually out of character for Titans teams. Not this team. Surprisingly, this was a winnable game, thanks to a tremendous defensive effort and a relentless Derrick Henry. Several rookies stepped up as well. I just makes us wonder, if getting a little help at key positions during the trade window, may have made sense. I realize the cap-room issues, but at some point, things have to improve. That said Jim, thank you as always !
Jim: Thanks as always, Randy.
Lucas B from Hoosick Falls, New York
Question: Farmer Lucas again, got through chores a little earlier to end up watching some of the game in the barn! Tough loss. I'll throw in a question in at the end but here are a few thoughts I have. I thought the Titans played good enough to win against KC. I saw we had a few possessions up 17-9 where Tennessee really really needed to score to put the game away, and none of the receivers (minus Hoop) really stepped up to make some plays on some good balls from Willis. Half way through the season, and it's just hard to find those contested catch wide receivers on the roster unfortunately. I understand Treylon will be back soon, but I feel there comes a point where you just can't coach the type that can get up and catch those contested passes like AJ Brown was able to. Mahomes had more passing yards on the defense last night then the titans have had passing in the past 4 games combine! (Maybe 2 yard difference) We can beat most teams I believe to make it to the playoffs, but they're in trouble if they get into the brackets and have to have a shoot out with Buffalo or KC again, and that leads to my second point. Tennessee is not good against passing star teams (loaded with talented receivers), and they haven't been again all year for the most part. Not sure if it's scheme or what, but I think we could be in trouble down the road if they can't figure out how to get receivers to step up and a defense that is able to compete consistently better against the passing game. What more do you think the upper end management will need to see regarding this... till they realize they really need to obtain/retain a legit number 1 receiver along with saying hey, we also have an issue with our pass defense regardless the reason? (If they want to make a deep run in playoffs) Next 4 games are pretty passing heavy... would hate to see the next 3/4 games with 300+ passing against us! Thanks for your time!
Jim: I'm hearing ya, Lucas. Have a good one.
Franky Markle from Dyersburg, Tennessee
Question: Jim, thanks for all the articles thru the week. Keeping all of us updated. I think when the schedule came out and we all saw the Bills, KC and the Colts twice in the first 9 weeks. Anyone would have taken 5-3 / 6-2 and been happy because of all the preseason hype surrounding the Colts. I've been emailing seen the off-season saying our D has a chance to be elite, and if they play like they have the last 2 weeks the NFL can look out!! I have seen some real negative takes on the Tannehill situation from Titans fans. It drives me insane. What are your thoughts on the next 5 games? Obviously we need to win each week, But if we go 4-1 or 3-2 do you think we take the south? I just want to win the south, get healthy and take our chances in the tournament. Thanks and as always TitanUp!!
Jim: I think after the 0-2 start, a lot of folks would've taken 5-3 right now. I'm not about to start projecting wins, though, Franky. There are no guarantees in this league. The focus better be on the Broncos.
Have a great weekend everyone!