NASHVILLE – Well, we're making our way through August and it's so far, so good for the Titans as it relates to training camp.
Players continue to get themselves ready for on-field work, which begins in the coming week.
On Friday, the team will hold its first practice with media on the field. We'll bring you updates here.
In the meantime, the work continues to provide content.
And it's time for another mailbag …
Here's the link to ask questions: CLICK HERE.
Robert Kidwell from Clarksville, Tennessee
Question: Do you know if anything has been submitted to the league about expanding practice squads for the upcoming season, and possibly allowing those teams exclusive signing rights. With Covid-19 and the precautions being taken I can only imagine that if players test positive that they will not be allowed to practice or play for an undetermined amount of time, dependent on their symptoms. I work in the healthcare field and know this situation is not an if but a when. Having a larger practice squad would allow teams to keep a larger pool of players close to home for last-minute substitution and give teams much more flexibility with larger practice squad "expanded roster". NFLPA announced no preseason games and we all know that is were a lot of these guys are evaluated and make the roster. Hope you're doing well and stay safe. Run it back!
Jim: Hi Robert. The NFL and the NFLPA agreed to a 16-man practice squad for this season, which was a nice development on many fronts. And another change that should help is the league is now reportedly allowing teams to promote players from the practice squad to the 55-man roster 90 minutes before a game. In the past, such a move had to be made the day before a game. I haven't seen where this has been made official yet, but Tom Pelissero from NFL Network reported it last week.
Glenn Hughes from Folkston, Georgia
Question: After being injured last season not long after being picked up by the Colts what are the odds of Chris Milton staying with the team as a special teams ace?
Jim: Hey Glenn. I like Chris Milton, and the GM and coaches do, too. He was off to a nice start last year with the team before his injury, and he was re-signed this offseason because of it. Chris will have to earn his spot again, but as I project the 55-man roster as of today, he'd be on my list.
Roger Gordon from Nashville, Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim. Long-time reader, big fan of your work. I got a question for yah.
How did you get off into being a writer what was your route to become a writer for the Titans? I think we need more good people like yourself.
Jim: Hey Roger. Appreciate the kind words. Well, since you asked ... I started out writing for my school newspaper, The Daily Beacon, the final semester of my senior year at the University of Tennessee. I graduated with an English (Creative Writing) degree. Right out of school, I started working a full-time job (40 hours a week) at a place called the Register of Deeds, inside the Court House in downtown Nashville. It's where deeds and mortgages and tax liens, etc, are recorded. (It was my summer job when I was in college, and they hired me after I graduated). While I was working there, I also started working part-time at nights at The Tennessean, and eventually began logging about 30-35 hours a week, sometimes more. A lot of days I'd work from 8 am-4:30 pm at my full-time job, and then drive down the street to The Tennessean on Broadway and work from 5pm-midnight/1 am. During my early days at the paper, I answered the phone, taking holes-in-one, bowling scores, high school box scores from football, basketball, baseball, track, volleyball, soccer, wrestling, tennis, etc., when they were called in. After a while, my bosses let me write blurbs from some of those events. Then I got a few assignments. The first event I covered was The Tennessean Regatta, a sailboat race on Old Hickory Lake in 40-degree weather. The second story I wrote for the paper was about a young man from Middle Tennessee who took up luge as a sport. I covered electronic football tournaments, racing at the Nashville fairgrounds, the Tennessee Walking Horse Celebration in Shelbyville -- you name it. I got an opportunity to cover high school sports a few years in, did some small college games along the way. And after working 70-80 hours a week for 6-7 years, In 1997, I left my full-time job at the Register of Deeds and became full-time at The Tennessean, where I continued to cover high school sports, small colleges and general assignments. When the Titans and Predators came to town, I got my big break. I started covering the Titans as a back-up to Paul Kuharsky and Jeff Legwold in 1999, and backed up John Glennon covering the Preds for a few years. Those guys really showed me the ropes about covering professional teams, and I'll always be indebted to them for that. I became the full-time Titans beat writer for The Tennessean in 2001, and I remained in that job until I was hired by the Titans in 2015. The years have flown by, and I've enjoyed it. That's probably more than you needed to know, but, hey, you asked. 😊
Stan Mullen from Woodbury, Tennessee
Question: So what's this I hear about the league blocking off the first 6-8 rows of seats at the stadiums? My seats are on the 6th row at Nissan Stadium. Is this a done deal? If this is true, what will be my options for attending the games this season? The team does realize that many of the fans who sit on the first few rows are the most passionate and loyal right?
Jim: Hey Stan. It's a league rule, and it depends on how much space those rows take up in each stadium. Will be approximately 7-8 rows in stadiums across the league. If fans are allowed at games this season – and the team continues to work with local officials – it's my understanding everyone who has not opted out will get different seats to allow for social distancing. A lot is TBD on all of this still. If fans are allowed, it's going to be at reduced capacity, so it's a challenge the ticket folks are working through. Hang tight and hopefully we'll have some answers in the not-so-distant future.
Sandra Lee from Columbia, Tennessee
Question: Is there a way to email or text the Titans as a team or any individual Titan? I am so very sad to say I have just deferred my 2020 season tickets. It was a very tough decision, but as so many other things in my life have been disrupted and limited this year, it didn't make sense to try to figure out and worry about how to be safe on Game Days. I am 79 years old, but a young 79 I think. I would like to stay that way for as long as possible. On a normal Game Day, it is not a pleasure to drive into Nashville and fight traffic. Just having to miss church is bad enough!! We try to do our own thing at home before going. Have always wished Sunday games could be at 3:00 pm! We try to show up a couple of hours early to miss the worst of the traffic, but then there's after. Let me just say it isn't easy to be old and a pro football fan - unless you want to sit home and watch on your TV. We love Game Days once we get there. (Then we only have to compete for seating space if we want to eat in the Club Level.) But, what I really want to say is how very much I am going to miss the players. I was SO very unbelievably humbled by Derrick Henry's contract. I already loved that boy and now I love him even more. I hope he knows he is worth much more than it states. At times through the years, I've wished I didn't own PSLs, but NOT recently. I loved Mariota, but glad that we've moved on. What Tannehill managed to do was incredible. There are so many others I'll "miss" this year besides those two, too. Logan Ryan, Jonnu Smith, Rashaan Evans, both Browns, Kevin Byard, Taylor Lewan, Tajae, Adoree, Vaccaro ..... I know if I had the roster in front of me, there are so many more. Just please know we'll be watching from afar, but close in spirit, cheering for our boys the whole way!! Please stay around for 2021. I need you to be there next year! I hope I will be there, too. TITAN UP!!
Jim: Hi Sandra. I completely understand your decision. My father is 82 years old, and while he's planning/hoping to attend, I'd be lying if I said I didn't have some concerns. I do think the plan being discussed by the ticket office will allow for social distancing, and it will be safe. But I'm not going to question someone who feels uncomfortable during these times and no one else should either. And the reality is, as of right now, we don't know if any fans will be allowed in. Thanks for taking the time to write, and I wish I could give you Derrick Henry's cell. Maybe slide into his DMs? Just kidding. 😊 Stay healthy and safe, and we'll see you at Nissan Stadium in 2021!
Steven Crosio from Brick, New Jersey
Question: Even though Vic Beasley reported for training camp after his unexcused absence do you think his punishment should be extended Jim?
Jim: Hey Steven. I don't know how things will play out regarding the team and Beasley's fines. At this point, I think what the Titans want to see most is Beasley punishing quarterbacks this fall.
Bill Caldwell from Mount Juliet, Tennessee
Question: Moved to Tennessee three years ago and totally love this state. Appreciate the work ethic of the state and that ethic has obviously been assimilated by the Titans. My point/question is it's apparent the politics will again dominate the upcoming NFL season, much as it did a few years back when the kneeling at the National Anthem. That action resulted in a significant backlash by the viewing public manifested by lower ratings. The seasons political involvement will probably be even greater than previously. I personally plan to not watch games this season. I've canceled my NFL package and have done the same with my NBA and Baseball streaming packages. Jim do u think the lack of viewership and ratings will affect the league's approach to this matter? Political expression is fine away from the workplace. Enjoy your information sharing and honest insights.
Jim: Hi Bill. Thanks for taking the time. Answering the question in here, I think the league is going to handle its business the way it believes is right, and fair to all parties involved.
Scott Spurlock from Leander, Texas
Question: I don't get out much so maybe this question has already been addressed .... and it does not apply to me as I don't live in an NFL market .. But if the stadiums are empty or just half full or whatever the percentage below a sellout .... Will there be local blackouts?? ya know TV and such.... ??? I'm guessing the answer is no.. But I have not heard officially...
Jim: Hey Scott. The NFL hasn't addressed this. But I can't imagine a scenario where there would be blackout in cities where the attendance is limited by local authorities.
Jason Haynes from Bells, Tennessee
Question: Hello Jim, hope all is well with you. Just a couple of questions: First do you think we will sign anymore wide receivers and if so do you have any thoughts on who? If Clowney doesn't sign with the Titans, do you think we go after another edge or just roll with what we have? Thanks for your time and keeping all of the Titan Nation informed.
Jim: I do think adding another receiver is a possibility, but the GM and the coaches want to see the guys they have in camp first. As for Clowney, again, it's a waiting game with him. If he signs elsewhere, then I'm thinking the team will explore some other options as well.
Christopher Kobeck from Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Question: How does it feel being the voice of Pravda?
Jim: Bless your heart, Christopher...
James Trewhella from Rockford, Michigan
Question: Hi Jim....hope things are well. My wife and I try to attend a least one Titans contest each season. This year we also signed up for the Titans 5K which has been postponed. Any news on if the event will come off this year? We, of course, have tickets for the Titans/Lions game this year! Hope that happens also.....
Jim: Hi James. Unfortunately, no concrete updates at the moment for a new 5K date. The team has a few dates in mind for later this year, but last I heard the city of Nashville isn't accepting permits for races right now. I know time is running out, no pun intended. OK, I admit, it was intended. Sorry. 🤦♂️
Ken Waters from Quitman, Mississippi
Question: Hey Jim, hope all is well. It is a great time to be Titans fan! My question is who do you think will have the biggest jump going into next season Jeffrey Simmons or A J Brown? They are both big parts of what makes the Titans future so bright. I think Amani Hooker will also make a big jump and help the secondary wherever needed. This team is loaded with young talent.
Jim: Hey Ken. I'm going with, um, both players will make a big jump … Isn't that fair since they play on opposite sides of the football and do different things?
Have a great weekend everyone!