NASHVILLE – The 2020 schedule is now out for the Titans and 31 other teams across the NFL, and now the countdown is on for the games to be played.
First, we need things to continue to improve with the COVID-19 pandemic.
I think we all agree what's most important now is everyone staying healthy, and safe.
We'll keep our fingers crossed – and keep praying – for this.
And I'll keep my fingers typing, answering questions in the Titans mailbag.
Let's open up another one…
Jason Petty from Lebanon, Tennessee
Question: First let me thank you for your continued insights and informative mailbag. You give ALL us Titans fans a voice, and answers to questions even Google doesn't know. Now I know Jadeveon Clowney played for Coach Vrabel in Houston and they have an "established relationship" (at least somewhat). But from following the SEC and the Titans thru the AFC south multiple sources from all media outlets say Clowney has been known for taking plays off. Why would we want to pay anywhere near his asking price for something like that? Logan Ryan is a PROVEN leader on/off the field who's good in blitz packages as well. Plus Malcolm Butler seems injured more often than not, and Jeffery Simmons getting a full season should help with the pass rush significantly. So wouldn't re- signing Ryan be much more beneficial for the Titans rather than bringing Clowney in? Thanks for listening Jim. Stay safe and healthy.
Jim: I appreciate it, Jason – that's what I'm here for. It's been an interesting week on many fronts. Logan Ryan, I'm sure you saw, announced he wasn't returning to the Titans. It came after the team drafted cornerback Kristian Fulton, and signed veteran Johnathan Joseph in free agency. I think everyone knew that signaled the end for Logan, a great pro and person, but in the eyes of management, wasn't worth $10 million a year moving forward. As for Clowney, he's made it clear he's willing to be patient and I think he's looking for more leverage now. Judging from the feedback I get in here and on social media, I get the sense most fans want him. And I don't think the Titans would add him if they didn't feel good about him. Vrabel's past with Clowney gives him great insight, and the fact the team is interested in signing him tells me the front office is comfortable with his play, attitude and effort. But at what price? That's the big question now.
Jared Mixon from Valdez, Alaska
Question: My question is about the kicker position. It's often ignored until too late, and I want to know if the Titans are going to work out a few more and sign at least one more kicker for training camp. I think our current kicker finished the season without a single attempt and, based on his stats from the year before, isn't that great beyond 40 yards. I know some folks questioned the Pats taking a kicker in the draft, but every team (especially us) should realize that kickers have a huge impact on whether a team pulls out a win. I'd hate to see another 'coulda been 11-5' season because of poor kicking.
Jim: Hey Jared. Well, the way things are right now, it's going to be Greg Joseph vs. Tucker McCann in training camp for the job. Joseph made his only field goal attempt last season in the AFC Championship Game, but he was perfect on extra points. And after observing him, I liked his work ethic and approach. He's a serious guy who puts the time in. McCann was signed as an undrafted free this week after playing collegiately at Missouri. I watched him against Vanderbilt and he was shaky, but overall he was 16-for-22 on field goals (with a long of 52) and 34-for-37 on extra points in 2019. Keep an eye on the competition, and just a hunch here, but I'm also not ruling out Ryan Succop if Joseph and McCann falter. After getting released earlier this offseason, Succop's had more time to get healthy, still wants to kick, and the team still has his phone number. I guess you could say he's on standby.
Reinhard Schiendorfer from Fosdinovo, Italy
Question: Hi Jim. I hope that you and your family are save in these dangerous times. The Titans have made a lot of moves through their roster and after all, I can understand all of these transactions. Maybe except for Tajae Sharpe who plays now for the Vikings for a little money. I will miss him. I think it was a good idea to add some very experienced players (average 30 years old), who can perform in the new team even if the training camps have to be reduced due to corona. I can't wait for the new season to begin when we will see whether all these moves fit together. cordiali saluti di Italia
Jim: Good to hear from you Reinhard. I'll miss Tajae, too. He's a good guy. I got to know his father, Jay, pretty well over the years and I'll miss chatting with him as well. Tajae was a solid player for the Titans, and he made the most of his opportunities. I wouldn't be shocked to see another addition at the receiver position before or during camp, but there's also a chance the coaches want to see what some of the young guys do. I count three givens – Corey Davis, A.J. Brown and Adam Humphries – on the 55-man roster. I think Kalif Raymond is the 4th, ahead of Cam Batson. The Titans signed four undrafted free agents at the position, and they'll battle it out for a spot on the back end of the roster, and for practice squad chances. But other receivers are out there, and more will become available after cuts. This position has some questions marks after the first three. Cordiali saluti dal Tennessee.
Bill Mahanna from Byrdstown, Tennessee
Question: Just a comment. I am a new Titans fan, since Marcus, and Derrick were drafted. My wife, who has not been a big football fan, has become a Titans fan. I am very irritated that they have let Logan Ryan go, don't seem to have much respect for Derrick trade Jerrell Casey traded for a very poor draft choice. In my opinion they have taken a chance of destroying the team chemistry. If they have a poor season, I will no longer support them. Thanks
Jim: Oh man, Bill, it sounds like you mean business. Hopefully the team will take care of business in 2020 to keep you around.
David Stalder from Albuquerque, New Mexico
Question: Hey, Jim. I've watched free agency and the draft and managed to keep my mouth shut; J Rob is the man, enough said. But my favorite signing is Johnathan Jacobs. With the Coronavirus, the off-season is f*^$@+^. We might have picked up a potential blue-chip corner in the second round, but J Rob also just brought in a corner who has worked effectively in the AFC South for years, and knows Vrabel, and with a limited off season, having that experience is invaluable. Love J Rob.
Jim: Hey David. I like the addition of Joseph as well. He's been a solid pro, and he'll bring leadership to the locker room. I was on a Zoom call with him Thursday, and l left impressed. I think fans will like him.
Mike DuMont from Hendersonville, Tennessee
Question: Sorry to hear that Logan Ryan got away. Can understand the $$.
Was he stuck in the 10 million? And who picked up?
Jim: Hey Mike. $10 million was his number last I heard. He hasn't signed anywhere yet.
Greg Stauffer from Clarksville, TN from St. Louis MO
Question: Hey Jim, first time writing in, but I never miss reading Ask Jim. I hope you and yours are being safe and weathering the stay at home pandemic! I lived in SC when Jadeveon Clowney was Mr Football out of Rock Hill SC! I followed him very closely while he was at University of South Carolina! He is a game wrecker! He can take over a game! I have seen him do it! If you put Javon with Coach Vrabel, wow what a defense!!! It will automatically make every player on defense better. The D-backs will not have to cover the receivers for as long as last year. Jadeveon can run down Deshaun Watson & Patrick Mahomes! Plus he can really blow up a run game! If we get him, we are serious Super Bowl contenders! Without Jadeveon we can still contend, but the road will be more difficult!
What do you think? Thanks for your great Ask Jim articles! Former Rams fan now Rams hater and Huge Titan fan!👍
Jim: Hey Greg. If I had a vote, heck, I'd love to have him. But it has to be at the right price.
Ron Kinlen from Knoxville, Tennessee
Question: Hi Jim, With the passing of all-time great coach Don Shula I had to mention my years in Miami rooting for the Dolphins. Shula spoke to players from a 3-win team and talked about mental preparation, not for a game but for winning a championship. It seems like a good time to remind all of us during covid-19 to look past the challenges of today and prepare to win the big one. A question: Do you know if small groups of players can get together for individual practice.
Jim: Hey Ron. Coach Shula was a great one. Sorry to hear the news this week on his passing. As for your question, players can gather in small groups on their own, but not at the facility. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill has been throwing with tight end Jonnu Smith in Florida. Safety Kevin Byard has been working out with guys in the Nashville area. As long as guys are keeping their social distancing, all is good, but again, not at the team facility right now.
Rex Greene from Athens, Alabama
Question: Will the virtual rookie camp only include draft picks or UFAs too?
Jim: Hey Rex. It's my understanding the rookies—draft picks and undrafted free agents – can join the Zoom calls with the veterans after the rookie minicamp this weekend.
Have a great weekend everyone and stay safe!
Here's the link to ask questions: CLICK HERE.