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Weekend Mailbag: Jim Wyatt Answers Questions From Titans Fans Heading Into Monday's Game vs Bills


NASHVILLE – We're on to Week 2.

And Buffalo.

The Titans return to action on Monday Night Football against the Bills.

Fans aired out their frustrations in the Tuesday mailbag, but hey, there's no sense in dwelling on that ugly loss forever because the challenge will be even bigger this week.

Let's check the pulse of the fan base heading into Monday night…

Here's the link to submit questions: CLICK HERE

Rafael Hernandez from Orlando, Florida
Hello. I'm a Native New Yorker originally a Washington Heights, NYC resident that has now relocated roughly 13 years ago to Orlando, FL and has been the only Titans fan in NYC it feels like and now even in Orlando, FL.
My question is this Upcoming Monday the Titans face a tall task facing a Buffalo Team that is not only smelling blood for revenge but to make a statement on National Prime Time TV. Do you think just maybe the Titans will incorporate a few plays to bring in Willis to use his athleticism to keep that great Defense of the Bills on their heels.
Can they utilize Woods more this game and for the love of God on 3 & 3 or less use Henry or at least as a decoy to roll out and hit one of the WR on a slant but they are going to need to pull out all the tricks in the books necessary. No one is giving this team a remote chance to win this game due to the failure last week against the Giants.
But I feel in my opinion if the Titans play keep away from Josh & that potent offense we have a chance to once again pull a monumental Upset of a team everyone has now crowned the AFC Super Bowl Representative "according to the experts". Thanks for taking the time to respond to my question.

Jim: Hey Rafael. Good to hear from you. I get asked about this a lot, and at some point, sure, I could see some packages installed for Malik Willis. But I don't get the sense that's priority No.1 right now – too many other things outrank it on the list. As for Woods, I think he'll be more of a factor in weeks to come. Same for tight end Austin Hooper. As Ryan Tannehill said the other day, it will vary from week to week. Can the Titans pull an upset in Buffalo? Well, we'll find out soon. This is a really good Buffalo team, I know that.

Jim Deck from Livingston, Tennessee
Hi Jim I love your comments. Win or lose the Titans are my team. Not going to bash anyone we all can improve. After watching Sunday's game though, I see Kyle Phillips reminding me of Drew Bennett. Tough and does what he can to help the team. How bout you!

Jim: Hey Jim. Appreciate you reading. I liked the looks of Kyle Philips the first time I saw him. He's a tough kid, and a good player. He's dealing with a shoulder injury right now, but he's already proven to be a gamer.

Bill Caldwell from Lebanon, Tennessee
Good morning Jim, we lost. Time to move on. Reflecting on the many rule changes the NFL has gone through the last few years and the way management has reacted to them concerns me. I understand player safety is always a priority starting the season. Recent rule changes restricting practices and contact reflects that. But it seems the lack of team practices and focus on fundamentals and basic skills has hurt the quality of the game. Not practicing as a cohesive group in camp and games hurts the performance at the team level. Trying to avoid injuries before the season begins is understandable so now u just put off the inevitable until game one. So Jim, any thoughts.

Jim: Hey Bill. I think this is probably true across the league, but it's what the NFLPA bargained for to protect the players. I remember when teams used to have two-a-days with great regularity in training camp, and all the padded practices leading up to the season – and during the season. I do think things needed to be scaled back to some degree because the season is now longer, and it's a grind. And, I don't see things returning to how they used to be, so teams and players are going to have to make it work.

Jeffery McRae from Hartselle, Alabama
Hey Jim. Tough loss. Titans will turn the page though. I have faith. Run defense was rough in the second half, but if you take away the two big runs, Barkley would've had less than 100 yards. Offense looked stale and complacent at times. That little 12 year old kid we have at receiver (Kyle Phillips) was solid. I'm excited to see him getting better each week. Allen got rid of the ball quick against the Rams (probably out of respect for Aaron Donald). I'm sure he'll continue to do that against Titans out of respect for our pass rush. Weaver had two sacks. I knew he would do well and surprise everyone (Called it in last weekend's mailbox). I drank bourbon during last Sunday's game, which caused the loss. Monday night I'll switch to beer and get us back on track. Thanks for your hard work Jim.

Jim: Bourbon before beer, never fear!

Brian B from Orange, Texas
Hi! How are you doing Jim hope all is well i love this section of the site i always read it to know what my fellow Titan fans think, the question they ask, and the answers that you give. My question is how long is McMath out for i think he would be a really great addition to the WRs. I think from what i seen week 1 the ceiling is high for them? Take away Downing and Tannehill replace em with Willis and Kelly and its superbowl but thats obviously next year and even though i predict 6-11 for the season im still a fan for life its superbowl or bust. TITAN UP!!!!

Jim: Hey Brian. Racey is out at least four weeks. I think some folks have forgotten about him. He was off to a good start in camp, and the team will benefit from his return for sure. He's fast, and he can stretch the field. I do think you'll see more from the receivers moving forward. Robert Woods can do more, and so can others. … 6-11 this year? I'll take the over. Take it easy Brian.

Carol Thomas from Chattanooga, Tennessee
I am hoping our opening loss to the Giants is not indicative of how our season will end. We have a team that is as capable as any team out there but mistakes were made. However, it's not the end of the season, it's just the beginning. I prefer to think of this first game as a dress rehearsal and the mistakes that were made can be corrected early on. Our performance on Monday night will tell us much more about our team's readiness to go to the next level to bring home the Lombardi trophy.
What are the chances of putting Malik on the field NOT as the QB but as a running back WITH Derrick for one or more snaps and Treylon as a Wide Receiver?? I read that as a suggestion from another fan. It sounded like a good idea, but my concern would be if any one of the trio was injured. Whatever plays are called on Monday night, I just hope we leave it all on the field and come home 1-1 instead of 0-2 TitanUp!!!
Not how I pictured the ending to our first game but rather than dwell on it hopefully the team will just shake it off and get ready for the Bills. Question: Can the kicker and the punter swap assignments during a game? I'm pretty sure I know the answer but checking to make sure to settle a dispute.

Jim: Hi Carol. I do agree Monday will tell us a lot more about these Titans. Past Titans teams have gotten off the mat and played well after a dud. But like I said earlier, I think this Buffalo team is really good, so it's a big challenge.
I also touched on Malik earlier. Sure, I could see a package for Malik, but not sure how far down the road this could be. Right now the team is focusing more on getting him settled in. We'll see what transpires.
As for the kick/punter situation, anyone on the active roster would be allowed to punt or kick.

Dennis Hoffman from Culleoka, Tennessee
Hey Jim, first time writing in. Just wanted to sound in on all the Ryan Tannehill doubters. Sure he had a bad day against Cincinnati last year but he has been the most consistent QB the TITANS have had in a long time. He has been there every game for us and just about every snap on offense, can any other team in the NFL say that. His record speaks for itself. Some say he is over paid and over rated but I would rather have him over somebody like Dak Prescott who spends more time on the bench than on the field. The TITANS drafting Malik Willas I think was a sign of the future and not a sign of them not being sure about Ryan Tannehill's capabilities. Malik will learn from one of the best QB's in the league. As long as we have coach Vrabel and GM Jon Robinson we will all have high expectations every season for the TITANS years to come.

Jim: Hey Dennis. Ryan's been the franchise's best quarterback since Steve McNair, and there's no doubt about it. I thought he was solid in the opener, and he's going to have to be even better on Monday night.

Beau Siddens from Covington, Indiana
Hey Jim. I'm a former resident of Tennessee and was super excited to see the season opener. I agree with the posts talking about accountability. I heard the players holding themselves accountable. Vrabel is the coach of the year. He has assembled a good team and I'm sure he will get things lined out through watching tape. It may be best to get the loss out of the way. Now the team knows how it feels and let it fuel them to perform at higher levels. We don't have to be undefeated to win the division, but we do have to be the best. I have faith in Vrabel and would bet we see a different team against Buffalo. Tannehill...looked like a franchise QB the whole game. Henry has to get mean or sit down. 4 yard runs aren't gonna cut it. The O Line showed they have what it takes to protect Tannehill. We have a great team this year. Be patient folks.

Jim: Hey Beau. Thanks for taking the time.

Calvin Lum from Phoenix, Arizona
WOW, you answered a lot of questions on Tuesday mail bag. That is why you are the best compared to the other teams where they answer only 2 or 3 questions. I enjoy your column very much, keep up the good work and thank you.

Jim: I heard from a lot of folks, Calvin! I appreciate the feedback, and thanks for reading.

Omar Parker from Bay Area, California
Hope all is well on your end. I'll keep this short. Disappointed but not disheartened after Week 1. Huge challenge Week 2 against Buffalo. A key to winning will be a huge (hopefully breakout) game from Treylon Burks. Reasoning: Buffalo will load against the run, top corner on Woods, secret will be out about Phillips. Treylon should have a great chance against a lower ranked DB. He just needs to step up. The end. Thank you for listening to us vent and couch coach! Here's to football🍻

Jim: Hey Omar. The Titans are going to need more from Treylon each week, and I think he is on a good trek. Also, I suspect the Bills will also be loading up to stop Derrick Henry and the run game, so the WRs should have some opportunities.

Terry Anderson from Edmonton, Kentucky
Hello Jim, hope all is well. Ok so I waited a few days to get a solid thought on the game Sunday other than we can't finish off piss poor teams. Sat with a couple Giants fans who left prior to the kick saying same old crap Giants team. Jets aren't much either. We lost at least 3 games last year we should have won. Jets, Houston, and Bengals. We BEAT playoff teams last year. Kansas City, Buffalo, and Los Angeles. This team reminds me of any other "team" playing as a favorite. Oh we can half ass play and beat this team, Bullock makes the kick. it's true. That same "team" can go into a one game winner take all and beat the number one team. Bengals did that. The problem with the Titans is the offense period. Defense played decent until The Giants started to take advantage of the aggressive pass rush by running the ball. I'm not an offensive coordinator but Todd Downing ain't much of one either. I say turn the offensive over to Coach Kelly. Let's get a vertical passing game. tried over the top once and the Mr. Ref missed an obvious PI. If Burkes isn't interfered with he catches that pass. I thought Ryan played a good game. Made some mistakes but no major issues like 3 interceptions. So we have that going for us which is nice. 0-1 can easily become 0-2 this weekend. Buffalo is on another level. Josh Allen is the best QB in football unless he's playing Mahomes. That's funny right there. Last thought to ponder Jim. If the Titans had a QB that could sling the ball down the field consistently like Rodgers, Mahomes, Allen, Wilson, and Brady, would teams put 8 in the box to stop Henry? I think the answer is hell no. Think about Henry running against CBs instead of LBs. Don't abandon the run. They got to get the ball down the field in the air more consistently or it will be another disappointing end to season. Still pretty cool to be upset and disappointed for not winning the whole thing. Than being disappointed we didn't make the playoffs.

Jim: Appreciate it, Terry.

Barbara Merz from Mt. Juliet, Tennessee
Jim, I am really amazed at all the coaches are out there in this world. Some need to realize yes, we lost a game we should have won. No, it was not one person who lost it. There is no I nor u in the word team. We have some really good new players and the first year is usually a learning year and getting to know many different plays. This is not college---this is the big dogs so to speak. If we don't win the conference this year the world will not stop. We have many players which are young and that in itself is a good thing we can build on. Hopefully the season will be a good one but I think some of the "coaches" need to back off and stop blaming the players and coaches of this team. GO TITANS

Jim: Get 'em, Barbara!

Barrett Sutton from Nashville, Tennessee
Jim, I am getting to where mailbag is my favorite Titans coverage. Thanks for doing a great job with a lot of negative comments.
Has anyone ever commented to you that Todd Downing is an acceptable OC?
I know Vrabel is the only opinion that matters on Downing, and Vrabel has certainly earned his job security. He's making a huge mistake on Downing that is apparent to everyone

Jim: Thanks, Barrett. Go back and read Tuesday's mailbag – yeah, I got a little feedback on Todd.

Corey Slovick from Concord, North Carolina
What changed with Titans Radio, I'm no longer able to listen to the broadcast via the website?

Jim: Asked Mike Keith about this, and he checked with Titans Radio.
Here's the answer: Streaming is a no go per the league. A subscription to NFL + is the only way to get that if you are out of market.

Omar Caballero from Mexico City, Mexico
My very first time writing to you Jim. Always a Reader, now a writer. Great job from You always, really love it. For about 45 years I have been watching the Oilers/Titans teams finding a way to lose the "easy" winnable games. No surprise for me last Sunday. Cannot say it's bad coaching, but maybe bad playing. Missing kicks are part of the Game, as missing tackles, fumbles, and so on. There were so much Bad points last Sunday. For sure we won't lose (this) Sunday. I just ask for effort in every single football issue. Please have a great week

Jim: Hey Omar. It ended up being bad everything. No one gets a pass with an L like that. Now the team needs to find a way to bounce back – on Monday.

Murray Smith from Miami, Florida
: Jim. Greetings from South Florida where everyone is Fins-crazy except me and my family.
Love your column and Mailbag. You always seem to speak your mind about player performance (well, about as much as you can and still be on the team payroll).
That leads me to my question: Do you ever catch flak from coaches and players if you mention them in the Mailbag and call out something negative or a lack of consistency in their play?
Thanks and keep up the great work. Fingers crossed for the Titans surprising the Bills again!

Jim: Hey Murray. I don't catch as much flak as I used to when I worked for The Tennessean. I do appreciate the team giving me an opportunity to call it like I see it without getting slapped on the wrist all the time for what I say/write. Sure, I know there's a line I can't cross while working for the team. But I feel like I can give honest evaluations without fear of repercussions. Thanks for reading.

Rodney Dixon from Richmond, California
Hey there Jim! I am a diehard Titans fan from Northern California since the Houston Oiler days with Bum Phillips and Earl Campbell in the late 70's/early 80's. Well the season opener was not what any of us had hoped for. Things did not go as planned in the second half. Better play calling and consistency is what we need to improve in. I'd like to see more sets with Bucks and Phillips in together. I know it's one game but we cannot get too far behind in the loaded AFC if we want to make the playoffs. So let's Titan Up and right this ship!

Jim: Right on, Rodney.

T. Cooper from Soddy Daisy, Tennessee
Hope all is well and thanks for all your work … I have a couple of questions … #1.. Caleb Shudak - Titans must have liked what they saw out of the kicker, so what happens when he's healthy regarding the practice/53 man roster ? and #2 .. Regarding the practice squad, what's the process for other teams taking one of our players ? Can't wait until Monday nite … Titan Up !!

Jim: What's up T? Well, Shudak was good before he got hurt and he remains on the PUP list. When he's healthy, he'll return to practice for a stretch and at that point the Titans will have a decision to make. As for the practice squad rules, teams can't protect players like years past. So, when the Steelers offered David Anenih a spot on their 53-man roster like they did this week, he had a chance to take it, and he did just that.

Donald Smith from San Antonio, Texas
First, thanks for all your work that you do for the Titan's Nation. Right to the point, The loss against the Giants was nearly a win!! However, that being said ,the best cure for losing is winning. Winning teams have a lot more fun all the way around--from the players , coaches , and the fans. As a long time Oilers/Titans fan I wish to commend the coaches that the Titans played what seven or eight rookies in the opening game of the season! Where does experience come from? From playing at the highest level. However, that being said, we do need more experienced veterans on the OL and DL. To win a NFL Championship Title spending some money is a huge must. To our Owner, General Manager, Head COACH on down : We still need to go out and spend some more money and get some players in the mix that have the ability to win NFL professional games. Players are more susceptible to injury on today's NFL fields than ever even with all the new rules and equipment improvements! The players on the average are BIGGER , STRONGER, AND FASTER than ever in the history of the game . We Titans did not lose to the Giants because of a poor training camp, or a lack of a will to win, but we did lose because of missing veterans that have a very high level of proven talent through several years of playing. It is not that the Titans have not spent some money lately on contracts, but it is going to take spending some more money to get the veteran players in place on the OL and DL (And even in WRs) that are the proven elite. No piece-meal or players- by-committee approach will get us to the top of the mountain--it just won't. We are going to have to spend more money. Someone will argue this point by pointing to teams that have spent a fortune and still lost their opening day game (Broncos this season on their QB, and they just lost to Seattle!) Yes, and that point leads to my last remarks here: Better consistent coaching is a must ! The truth that is going to offend some folks: We need better coaching over the offense. We are going to incur more injuries if there is not better protection for the QB and the RBs (Someone will say Tannehill was only sacked once in Giants game) truth is the DL for the Giants are not the best we will face in the NFL (Buffalo, for example resembles a much more violent DL) however, we could not consistently move the ball to gain short third downs against the Giants DL. I am a dedicated fan of the Titans, but we are frankly getting weary of : "We left meat on the bone, we have things to clean up, we need to play all four quarters-finish strong, we just did not protect the ball, and we did not play up to our standard of football." What are your thoughts on these things Jim?

Jim: Hey Donald. You said a lot, and you make some fair points. But if you're frustrated with some of the coach-speak, buckle up because I don't think the head coach is changing.

Have a great weekend everyone!

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