NASHVILLE – It's almost time for Phase 3 of the offseason program.
What that means is OTAs begin in just a few days for the Titans.
Let's help pass the time by tackling more questions in the mailbag.
Here's the link to ask questions: CLICK HERE
John Kemp from West Jordan, Utah
Question: Hey Jim! I've been a Titans fan since I was in middle school back watching McNair's final seasons, but I don't think I've ever been as hopeful in our guys winning a chip than during these Amy/Vrabel/JRob years. I trust the direction of the Titans under their leadership and the team has consistently performed well during that period.
That being said, we've lost some depth on offense (OL, TE and WR) over the last couple of seasons that has made me worry that the team may regress this season. Which returning offensive players from the 2021 season do you expect us to see step up in 2022 and contribute at a high level?
Jim: Hey John. Well, the expectation is Dillon Radunz will be one of these guys. He was picked in the second round of last year's draft, and after a year of adjusting to the NFL, he should be in a position to win a starting job in 2022, either at right tackle or left guard. But it all depends on how Dilion, and others, do in the competition. Receivers Dez Fitzpatrick and Racey McMath, a pair of draft picks from a year ago, are two more second-year guys on offense who also have a chance to make a leap. Will that contribute at a high level? Well, I'm not sure how high in the pecking order they'll be able to climb.
Thomas Pierce from Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim! Long time reader, first time writer. With COVID finally regressing do you think the Titans will go back to have multiple open practices? I miss going and seeing the guys in person close up (and for free.) Thanks for your time and have a good week.
Jim: Hey Thomas. I'll tell you what I know on this, and it's not a whole lot because no final decisions have been. It's my understanding there will be some fan access, but it's likely to be limited. I don't expect it to be an open-the-floodgates situation like pre-COVID because of the new construction, limited parking, and reduced space because of the new wing on the building at Saint Thomas Sports Park. Stay tuned for more on this.
Barbara Merz from Mt. Juliet, Tennessee
Question: No question but I would like if you can give a huge "shout out" to Amy and her "crew." Attended the Foundation Dinner (Wednesday) night and it was great! Meeting the rookies, hearing from a couple of stars from the past please new member of the team was extremely interesting. Oh and by the way the food was also good. THE Bidding on prizes brought in some good money and hopefully a lot was raised for a great cause. Thanks for all you do in keeping us informed. PSL Founder way back long ago and really love the Titans.
Jim: Hi Barbara! I was there and thought it was a great event as well. Glad you could make it, and happy to hear you enjoyed it. Here's a recap on the event, which raised $255,000, for those who missed it: CLICK HERE.
Luke Williamson from Andover, Massachusetts
Question: This is a bit of a weird question, but have the Titans been watching the USFL? Obviously the NFL misses some talent and a few of these guys could end up being elite players like Kurt Warner.
Jim: Hey Luke. The team's pro scouting staff is definitely keeping an eye on the USFL, and it's prospects.
Jim Williams from Lubbock, Texas
Question: Hi Jim. I've had concerns about the goals of top management ever since the new stadium was approved and Miss Amy pledged $800M to help finance it. Those concerns were magnified on draft day. Prior to the stadium announcement, JRob had said that the team wanted to make AJ Brown the highest paid receiver in the league. Then on draft day they trade AJ and replace him with a rookie on a four year entry level contract. Coach Mike had said that the Titans wanted Ryan Tannehill to be the quarterback for a long time. Then they use a late third round pick on Malik Willis. In doing so, they created a huge media distraction for the whole team. And this is a team that had pointedly avoided signing any player who might be a distraction. While Malik is lauded by the media, his performance shrank markedly in college whenever he played against a larger school, such as Syracuse, Army, and Mississippi in 2021. Still, he's on a rookie deal for four years. Now, even if Tanny has a 2020 like year and wins Super Bowl MVP, he will be allowed to leave as a free agent in order to save cash for the new stadium. Tanny will sign a huge contract with Tampa Bay, Miami, or Atlanta, and Titans fans can watch Malik flounder around for three years. Other well paid veterans will depart as soon as their guaranteed money has been paid out and guys like Derrick Henry, Kevin Byard, Robert Woods, and Ben Jones, will soon be a distant memory. Their replacements will be rookies or practice squad veterans playing for the league minimum. Management will tolerate seasons of 3-14 and 5-12 in order to put all available cash towards the new stadium. Then, in four years, with the new stadium open, they will begin building back the team, and by then an entirely new coaching staff will be in place. That's my nightmare scenario, Jim. Is it possible that this is really what's going on behind the scenes in the team's top management offices?
Adrián Lopez rom Caracas, Venezuela
Question: Hola Jim espero todo esté bien...Los Titans se muestran como un equipo competitivo en reconstrucción, con la lista actual creo que podemos ganar la división pero de allí en adelante está difícil el panorama, te pido arriesgues un poco y me des tu visión de donde está el equipo dentro de la AFC?? Una observación este equipo tiene la mentalidad dd hierro así que siempre voy a ellos...Let's go TITANS...
Jim: Hola Adrián. Realmente creo que el equipo de 2022 será un contendiente. Pero no me gusta hacer predicciones en mayo, junio o julio porque es demasiado pronto. Los Titans necesitan algunos muchachos que den un paso al frente y jueguen bien. Necesitarán jugadores clave para mantenerse saludables. Lo mismo puede decirse de casi todos los equipos. Pero el equipo tiene un núcleo fuerte y un buen cuerpo técnico, por lo que es un buen comienzo.
Roger Blankstein from Nashville, Tennessee
Question: Jim, now that the rush of emotions about AJ has quieted down some, I want to ask your opinion on why Robinson has not addressed the most pressing need on the team - the offensive line. In my opinion, our defense is in good shape and could contend at a Super Bowl level. Otherwise, this was a team that could go for it all. By trading away a young superstar, the offense does not have a proven number one receiver.
The offensive line was the big problem in pass protection. Tannehill has been getting a lot of criticism, and some of it well deserved, but two years ago we were averaging 32 points a game and everyone was raving about Tannehill. Improving the pass protection seemed to be the number one priority. The two places that need to be addressed are right tackle and left guard. With Saffold gone, Robinson did not pick up any of the starting free agents that were available and right now has back ups to Saffold and a rookie draft choice to replace him. It looks like a dropoff in pass protection from left guard. At right tackle we let go of the worst protecting player in the NFL (he gave up the most sacks) and again we did not pick up any starting free agents and are planning on current players to replace Quessenberry. Another dropoff from last year. Tannehill needs time to throw and the line currently does not look like he will have it. I would appreciate your thoughts.
Jim: Hey Roger. Well, the team drafted Nicholas Petit-Frere in the third round to compete at right tackle, and the team also signed veteran Jamarco Jones, who is versatile enough to compete at guard and tackle. Several in-house guys return, from Dillion Radunz (a second-round pick last year), who I mentioned earlier, to Aaron Brewer. The expectations is all of the guys I mentioned, plus a few more, will compete for the two open spots. And, if some of these guys aren't doing enough to convince the GM and head coach they're ready, then I could see more options. The GM is always quick to remind he traded for Dennis Kelly a few weeks before the season back in 2016. I do agree things need to be better, and I can't sit here with a straight face and tell you right now I think the group will be better than it was last year with Pro Bowler Rodger Saffold at LG and David Quessenberry at RT. Hopefully some guys will emerge, or the GM will find other options either in free agency, on the waiver wire, or via trade.
Dimitrios Jimmy Kosmas from Calgary, Alberta Canada
Question: Hey Jim,
I got a question for you,
Where did the Titans Defense Rank in:
3rd Down %
Opposing QB rating & Rating on 3rd down
Whoops, 1 more question
What was our record when Leading & Trailing at half?
I hope you have a stat dude, this is tough to find out on your own.
I hope all is well with you and your Family Sir
Have a wicked awesome weekend
Jim: Hey Jimmy.
The Titans finished 6th in the NFL in third down defense in 2021 with a percentage of 36.67%. The opposing QBs had a passer rating of 86.4.
As for your halftime question, Titans were 8-2 when leading at the half in 2021, and 4-3 when trailing at the half. The record over the past 10 years in those scenarios? 50-19 when leading at the half, 18-61 when trailing at the half, and 9-4 when tied at the half.
Jason Petty from Lebanon, Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim, thanks again for the news, info., updates, and work you do good sir. You put up with us so well thru our "temper-tantrums" and real questions. With the hole left at WR now, I'm pretty sure we're going to run with NWI, Treylon Burkes, and Robert Woods. #1.But whom else do YOU predict landing a spot on the active roster starting week 1? #2.From last year's group of wideouts Kinsey & Fitzpatrick do you see either of them making the opening day roster? Tannehill seemed to start developing a rapport with Fitz the very little amount he was on the active roster last season. He seemed to be a great receiver & a steal in the draft of 2021, so the 3rd question is did he or Kinsey develop & improve enough to realistically have a shot to make the 53 man roster? Thanks again. Have a great weekend.
Jim: Hey Jason. I need to see some OTAs and training camp practices before making predictions here. You're right on your three, but I want to see Fitzpatrick compete in Year 2. Same for Racey McMath, Kinsey, et al. I think Kyle Phillips is going to be on the roster, so that makes four with Woods, Burks and NWI. Josh Malone is an intriguing guy who I'm looking forward to watch. There's a lot TBD here. Ask me this in mid-August.
Ayan Natarajan from Mason, Ohio
Question: Why haven't the Titans signed Malik Wills yet?
Jim: They haven't signed cornerback Roger McCreary or tight end Chig Okonkwo either. It's May 21st. No time to panic, Ayan – a lot of guys across the league haven't been signed.
Eloy Zambrano from Monterrey, Mexico
Question: Hi Jim. I hope we can get to the Super Bowl this year and win it. My question s regarding Tim Kelly's position in our offense. Is he going to be working with the QB? with the WR? with both positions? because as far as I have read, his position in the team is Senior Offensive Assistant/Passing Game Coordinator. I hope that he can help Malik and Treylon in their developing into the NFL.
Jim: Hi Eloy. I've only seen Tim on the field once in practices, and it was during the rookie camp. He worked with the tight ends in individual drills, and then was mixing in with all the other coaches in group periods. I suspect he'll have his hands in just about everything, but I think it's going to be a position and role that develops in time.
Have a great weekend everyone!