NASHVILLE – And, we're on to Houston.
The Titans have won six in a row, but there's no time to let up now.
The Houston Texans visit Nissan Stadium on Sunday in an AFC South contest.
It's been a crazy busy week for me, so I'm getting right to the mailbag.
Thanks for all the questions – and nickname suggestions.
The inbox has been hopping…
Here's the link to ask questions: CLICK HERE.
Demetrius Arnold from Phoenix, Arizona
Question: Hi Jim it's me again. My question is why even though we are atop the AFC, we beat the elite teams, and we are without the King but still winning why don't we get any love from the analysts? It's never how hard or good we play it's always how bad the other teams have played. Where is our respect? I love the heart of this team and so should everyone else. So to all the naysayers TITAN UP!. Super Bowl bound and loving it.
Jim: Hey Demetrius. I'm not sure this is still the case. I saw plenty of power rankings this week that had the Titans No.1 in the NFL. An analyst here and there may show a lack of respect, but I think opinions are changing. With all that said, as I've mentioned in here many times, what others think of the Titans doesn't matter. The only thing that matters is who is playing in February, and the Titans have plenty of work to do to get there.
Jason Key from San Angelo, Texas
Question: I don't really have a question this week, but i thought I'd write anyway. Everything that A.J. Brown has done in football over the last couple of seasons has been amazing. I'm a huge fan! But what he did this week with the admission of battling depression was particularly special. I hope that people take notice of it. I did. I'm sure that some people would find it strange for someone so successful to be "down", but I'm so glad for his comments and I'm very impressed with them. He's not just an amazing receiver, he's a thoughtful human being. He never was required to admit he's battling something that a lot of us are dealing with, but he did. I think it speaks to the character of his own, the Titans team, and the people behind the scenes that run this team. I'm happy to be a fan of this team - Titan Up!
Jim: It took a lot of courage for sure, Jason. A.J. helped a lot of people out with his powerful message. My Twitter feed has been incredible, reading folks from all over the country and all over the world thanking him. Everyone in the organization is really proud of A.J., and it's been great to see the support he's received from the fan base. Thanks for sharing your thoughts as well.
Eli Decko from Youngwood, Pennsylvania
Question: Hey Jim, another signature win by our two-toned Titans. Some rather questionable calls by the refs, but not even they can beat us. Anyways. About a month ago I wrote you about bringing in AP. He is here. This season is unraveling like I predicted. One thing I've consistently asked you about is our offensive lines run blocking. When exactly are they going to show up or become consistent with the blocking? Peterson has always had incredible vision and not even he can find holes. Which puts even more emphasis on how good Henry is, no line or an all pro line Henry will get his! Could we see a simplified running scheme until we get better pieces? Also. I'll be in Nashville this weekend, any chance The King will be in attendance? Have a great week Jim!
Jim: Hey Eli. Unraveling is an interesting word choice for an 8-2 team. 😊 Everyone can be better in the run game, but I'm not so sure I'd pin it all on the o-line. Remember, these guys sure weren't having trouble opening some holes for Derrick Henry. Could they be better? Yes. But it's still a work in progress getting used to the new backs. I'll keep an eye our for you Sunday! The King is rehabbing. Not sure I'd bank on seeing him, but you'll get to see a lot of former players, and a cool halftime ceremony, along with the game.
Jack Walker from Calabasas, California
Question: Hey Jim. Writing to you today but hoping this message ends up in your column and hoping others in Titans HQ read it. In 2019 the Titans drafted Jeffery Simmons in the first round. The pick was widely met with some controversy as Jeffery was injured and had an off-field incident casting a cloud over him. After being drafted, I remember in a press conference, Jeffery promising to repay the trust that Amy, Mike and the staff had shown.
Fast forward to today. I've been an Oilers/Titans franchise fan for 40 years and I'm incredibly proud of Jeffery as the player he's becoming and more importantly as a man of his word, a character model and an exceptional asset to the city of Nashville. Thanks Jeffery!
Jim: Hey Jack. Yes, I remember those days well. Jeffery has been a beast. He's busted his butt to get to where he is today, one of the best defensive linemen in the league. The Titans are lucky to have him.
Bob Easley from Austin, Texas
Question: Jim, what are your thoughts on D'onta Foreman considering my admittedly optimistic comments below.
First, I get it, no one can be expected to fill Derrick Henry's shoes. However, with that being said and absolutely clear... Foreman sure looks quick and fast and agile! Second, I am amazed that he is only 2 inches shorter than Henry AND those 2 inches only equate to 9 lbs (i.e. Henry is listed at 247 and Foreman is listed at 236)! So, it seems Foreman is almost as powerful and has the quickness, speed and agility. Of course, unproven are the intangibles and whether he can avoid turnovers etc. Foreman's first two opportunities have been against two teams that are leaders in run defense, so I am optimistic Foreman has the potential to breakthrough and become a dominant force (pending experience, avoiding injury and proof on intangibles). Finally, no one can "fall forward" like Henry:)! What say you?
Oh, and please let D'onta know there are many who believe:)... I am shocked he was available, but it goes to show how much talent is out there.
Jim: Hey Bob. I've been impressed with D'Onta. And I think he's just going to keep getting better. Both D'Onta and Adrian are still getting up to speed, and into better condition. I think the best is yet to come for both of them. But, as far as I'm concerned, D'Onta has looked better so far.
Ruben Figueroa from Boca Raton, Florida
Question: 1-When will Julio Jones be available to play??
2- Has king henry had surgery yet??
3- Will he be available for the playoffs??
Jim: 1 – TBD
3 – TBD.
Leon McCray, Jr. from Plainview, Texas
Question: Howdy Jim. First of all will you pleeeese tell these Titan fans to quit worrying about people not giving us respect. We are winning anyways and that's all that matters. I personally think that you should have 2 different mailbags. One for sensible questions and one for negativity so you could just trash those. Anyways TITAN UP and keep doing what you do Jim
Jim: Good to hear from you, Leon. As readers in here have probably gathered, I'm not much for the "no respect" talk either. It means nothing.
Dave Holman from Colorado Springs, Colorado
Question: Thanks for taking the time to answer all these questions. I have been a fan of the Titans since they moved to Tennessee, and have tried to watch as many games as I can (with Mike Kieth's audio whenever possible, that man can call a game). This has been an amazing season so far, and it is amazing to see the way the team has been playing over the last couple of weeks. Not really a question here, but more of an observation. I think there is one game that has been more important to this season than anyone is giving credit for, and that was the loss to the Jets. I know it sounds out of place to call a loss to a bad team an important game, especially since a win there would have done little in the way of our standings, but when you look back on it and the way the team is playing now, I think that loss was one of the biggest steps taken. I can't imagine the size of the chip that must be on a lot of the players shoulders knowing that they are better than that one game, despite a lot of people looking down on them for the loss, and the energy and drive that it has to be generating! We have had some great wins over the last couple of weeks, and against teams that have been mentioned in the same breath as Super Bowl. Let's keep this going, and hopefully see some two tone blue on the biggest of stages!
Jim: Hey Dave. Not a bad take here. I do agree – the team learned from that loss. The hope is it got their attention enough to not let it happen again.
Kymberly Zaragoza from Los Angeles, California
Question: Do you think the Titans will continue to push through this season without Henry? Seems like I'm the only believer 😅
Jim: Well, the team pretty much has no choice. We'll see. 😊
Franky Markle from Dyersburg, Tennessee
Question: I just heard Jeff Simmons say "no thanks" to the Tennessee Tickle Monsters nickname. Please let 98 know that he has plenty of support on that decision!!!
I know it's old school, but run the "4 Horsemen" by him and she what he says. I know this may be impossible but I'll throw it out there…. " The Tennessee Train " and when they get a sack… play " I hear that train a coming" over the Speaker's for 3 seconds. Let's get our stadium rocking. Just a thought. Great work.
Jim: Folks seem to be divided on the "Tickle Monsters". But yeah, Jeffery is not a fan… Denico Autry doesn't like the sound if it either.
Aaron Ockenfels from Onawa, Iowa
Question: Hey, Jim! Thanks for all your hard work keeping us informed! Would Big Jeff like The Music City Maulers better for a nickname? Color me impressed by how well the defense has played/improved this year. Titan Up!
Jim: Hmmm … not bad, Aaron. By the way, I know a famous Ockenfels from those parts (Ralph)!
Michael Chapman from Gulfport, Mississippi
Question: Hey, Jim: I've been fascinated with the defensive line nicknames that have been proposed, and I would like to put mine forth:
and use a ferocious
T-Rex dinosaur snarl for a logo.
Of course, the "T" stands for
Tennessee! Watcha think?
Jim: I've heard a lot of suggestions for nicknames, and this is another one of them ...
Charles Johns from Hermitage, Tennessee
Question: Nickname for defense: Tennessee Tidal Wave (or Tsunami) It's an unstoppable force that destroys anything in its path.
Jim: OK, these nicknames are flooding in now…
S Siva from Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Question: I heard that Simmons was not a fan of the "Tennessee Tickle Monsters," and I have to agree with him. Does not inspire too much fear with a nickname as silly as that.
Here are some suggestions I hope you will pass along:
The Titan Tsunami
The Hounds Of Hell
Jim: That makes two for the Tsanami… Hounds of Hell? Oh lordy… 😊
Matthew Alcorn from Albion, Texas
Question: Great to have a defense that is getting some respect with the amount of injuries they have overcame. Still a lot of season left but great spot to be in. Wishing all of the injured titans speedy recovery! Simmons and others don't like Tickle Monsters and I agree. Let's just call the Defensive Line Salty (Simmons/Autry/Landry/Tart/Y factor from all the other contributors). In addition to being Salty, there post sack/stop celebration can be shaking the salt and they can start selling foam salt shakers in the gift shop. I think if this idea is a go someone needs to send me some tickets or even some sideline passes. Titans Rule!
Jim: Sounds like your best bet will be StubHub, Matthew. Sorry …
John Cox from Camden, Arkansas
Question: Hello Titans family. So proud of our Titans and also proud of my son, who will graduate in about a month with his Engineering Degree from Southern Arkansas University. His girlfriend bought him Titans tickets as a graduation present and they will be at this Sunday's game against the Texans. They'll be sitting up high in one of the end zones. Yall please make them feel welcome! He's pumped about where he's at in his life right now and with where the Titans are! Let's here it for John & Haley & the #1 seed Tennessee Titans!!!!!!! TITANUP!!!!!
Jim: Congrats to John! Tell him to wave at me on Sunday!
Troy Patterson from Iowa Falls, Iowa
Question: Hi Jim. I know the Titans should win on Sunday against the Texans but I would hope after the Jets loss they will be focused on this game and not be looking ahead. Do you think there is a chance if they can get this game in hand early Vrabel would try to rest some of his starters to get ready for next week? I have not watched the Patriots play this year but I know they are playing well right now. I feel like the Titans defense is going to have to play as well against the Patriots as they did against the Rams and Chiefs to have a chance in this game. Have you watched the Patriots this year? Just curious what you think the keys to the Patriots game is going to be to come away with a win?
Jim: Hey Troy. I'll be honest: Talking about resting starters early, and then thinking about the keys to beating the next opponent, is exactly how you have another loss like the one against the Jets. The Titans need to focus on the Texans, not resting starters, or the Patriots.
Rich Laford from Oswego, New York
Question: Hello from Central New York State (yup, Bills Country). Love the job you do answering questions from our loyal fans. I appreciate the insight. I have been a fan since the Tennessee Oilers and seen the ups and downs over the years. I am hoping for your quick take on these items which seems to keep popping up on Social Media. Rankings and respect. Yup, maybe you see it, people complaining again. I am on who puts zero faith in the rankings and the news media attention. I also feel you earn respect over time. I think our recent winning seasons will gain us respect and I have faith that JRob and Coach Vrabel will continue to lead the way. Big picture to me though is, who cares, especially when we hoist the Lombardi Trophy. That is ultimately what matters. Titan Up!
Jim: Thanks for the email, Rich. I'm with you. And, as I've mentioned in here several times, I don't give a flip about whether the team gets respect.
Luis Antonio Mondragon from Mexico
Question: ¿Cuándo regresa a jugar Derrick Henrry?
Jim: Ser determinada.
Terry Sanchez from Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim this is for Mike Temple from bama.. I own seats on the visitors side primarily because I like to see the opponents up close. I/m right at the cheerleader section on the goal line. fiver rows up! I can not go to every game so I gladly sell games I don't want to attend. But my daughter and hubby goes to one my son and wife goes to one me and the wife goes to one and usually I'll take a friend who has not been to one. The others I sell, and if they do not sell then guess what? I'm going to another game! I live in the boro and many fans around my section if not all are local fans. Hope this answers his question! TITAN UP! Oh and my half brother from Vegas has been down to see me and go to a Titans game! He came down to watch a game with me this year and took home a King Henry jersey! Love my boys! Titan up!
Jim: Appreciate the info, Terry.
Marge Arrows from Paris, Tennessee
Question: Just a comment on fans selling tickets. Yes, I have sold mine when I could not make the 2.5 hour drive each way, especially a night game. I think there is a difference in buying PSL's to sell tickets for a profit (not sure how many do that) and those who cannot attend a game. I am forever grateful to the Kansas City fans that sold me their ticket so I could attend the playoff game last year! Sure have enjoyed the Titan train this year!
Jim: Thanks for the feedback, Marge. Eat some catfish for me in Paris!
Bilaal Abdi from Nashville, Tennessee
Question: Will the Titans ever where a red jersey this season? They wore it once I'm guessing.
Jim: The Titans have never worn red jerseys. The Titans have never had a red jersey.
Davi Johnson from McKenzie, Tennessee
Question: How much contact do players on IR have with the team? Are they allowed to be on the sidelines in street clothes during games? And, does any of the fault for the plethora of injuries fall onto the strength and conditioning coach? I don't recall ever hearing about one team having so many hamstring issues.
Jim: Hey Davi. Well, it varies. And, it depends on the injury and how long guys are out. The IR guys don't go to practice, and they spend a lot of time rehabbing. Some guys do sit in on meetings. They're in the building, but on different schedules most the time. I've said this before, but a lot of these injuries have nothing to do with strength and conditioning… And, the Titans aren't the only team dealing with soft tissue injuries…
Randy Porter from Hendersonville, Tennessee
Question: Hi Jim, hope all is well in your world ! I tried not to vent here so soon, but after watching a popular ESPN podcast show, I had no choice. While the three sports masterminds discussed the Titans of late, Keyshawn Johnson said "The Titans are not a "REAL" 8-2 team.. they're not". The other two panelist staunchly defended our boys however, pointing out that NO ONE ever wants to talk about how well the Titans play, but rather the misfortunes that their opponents faced, costing them the game. To Keyshawn and other like minded pundits, I would argue that the Chiefs found the Titans very "real", as did the Colts. And, I can assure him that Matthew Stafford and the Rams noticed the realism of the defense repeatedly. This continued with the Saints, which Sean Payton acknowledged post-game. And, as NFL.com's Kevin Patra said - "Once again, it wasn't a pretty game from Tennessee. But, who cares what it looks like. The Titans are playing complementary playoff football, pounding quality opponents". The Titans seldom play "pretty" football, but they know how to win. They make me proud week after week, as they dispel the keen insight and wisdom of great minds like Keyshawn and others. The Titans five game winning streak over playoff teams, is only equaled by the 2003 Eagles, who also managed this accomplishment. So, to the doubters out there that don't accept the Titans 8-2 record as "real", we all have a finger to hold up to you - Of course I only mean the #1 seed index finger, right ? .. (hee hee hee)
Jim: I hear ya, Randy.
Kenny Gore from Horse Cave, Kentucky
Question: Hey Jim, Been a while. Not really a question. More of a calling to arms... I want EVERY fan to GET TO THE STADIUM ON GAME DAYS!! DO NOT allow opposing fans to invade our stadium & if you can; be there in theirs!! This Titan's team is different! I am a realistic guy. I will be the first to speak up if the team is slipping... That has been far too often the case in the past. That is NOT the case the past few yrs. This team has EARNED the right to play in front of a stadium FULL of THEIR fans... Not half full of opposing fans!! Be there & BE LOUD!! This team is playing injured/short of starters and are STILL WINNING!! We NEED to be there for them & be fuel for their fire!! This team has earned it & we NEED to do our part!!
Also Pro Bowl Voting has started!! We have SEVERAL players who have EARNED the honor!! DO YOUR PART!! VOTE!!
Jim: Where have you been Kenny? You're coming in hot here, with the ALL CAPS! I like it …
Have a great weekend everyone!