NASHVILLE – It's been a bumpy few weeks in Titans land.
Back-to-back losses and some roster shake-ups changed the conversation after a 5-0 start.
On Sunday, the Titans have a chance to flip it again when the Chicago Bears visit Nissan Stadium.
There's lots to discuss in this weekend's Titans mailbag, so let's get started…
Here's the link to ask questions: CLICK HERE
Allister Banasiak from Clarksville, Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim! I want to start by saying that I love the addition of Desmond King. I think he will provide a huge upgrade over Johnathan Joseph. But my question for you is do you think that the Titans will sign Beau Brinkley to the practice squad? They have Matt Overton there now but if he becomes the new LS there would be a spot on the practice squad. Brinkley has been here for 8 years and it would a shame to see him go.
Jim: Hey Allister. I like the Desmond King addition, too. He's a scrappy, physical player who can help in a number of ways, from in coverage to blitzing to tackling to even as a returner. As for Beau, no, I don't expect him back on the practice squad. I suspect he'll take time for himself the rest of this year, and then make another run at a job next year. Matt Overton will be the long snapper on Sunday, and we'll have to see what transpires moving forward because the team signed Matt Orzech off of Miami's practice squad and onto the roster this week. He'll officially join the team next week.
Mostafa Hussein from El Centro, California
Question: Hi Jim! Titans fan since witnessing the Miracle City Music in my elementary days. Love watching my Titans battle week in and week out. I'm excited to see the new member join our Titans Defense. Despite our miserable 3rd down defense, I don't think the players are to blame on that side of the field. Each player has made their mistakes and shined in their moments glory. I really believe organizing our personnel on the sidelines and establishing a DC will really help build that elite level of defense that we have the players for but lack some of the coaching chemistry. Your thoughts? Huge fan hope to see more great games this season!! Waving from sunny Southern California!
Jim: Hey Mostafa. The third down struggles are a combination of a lot of things, but players can't be let off the hook. The pass rush hasn't been good enough, and coverage has been shaky, too. The coaches need to put them in a good spot, but guys have to play better. King should help, but guys are going to have to elevate their game as well.
Tom Darko Jr from Great Falls, Montana
Question: Hey Jim. In your opinion do you think we need a defensive coordinator to take some of the load off of coach Vrabel? Is he trying to do too much? Thanks for your time and all you do.
Jim: Hi Tom. Well, this has become the most popular topic in the mailbag. It's an easy conclusion to reach, because the defense has dropped off since Dean Pees retired. I'm not going to sit here and write the Titans don't miss Dean Pees. That would be insulting to a guy who did a great job here, and a guy who has proven to be a great DC. But I'm also not going to say the reason the Titans have underperformed on defense is strictly because Mike Vrabel didn't name a DC. The reality is the process in a lot of ways is similar to previous years, even when Pees was here. The defensive coaches spend the week leading up to the game discussing what they think will work while putting together a game plan, and then they put the plan in action. Vrabel always had a voice during the week. This year, it's OLB coach Shane Bowen calling plays on Sunday, which is what Pees did previously. Obviously, it's not working as well. I don't think the struggles are because Vrabel has too much on his plate, however. We all agree the defense needs to find a way to get a lot better.
Michael Miles Sr. from LaVergne, Tennessee
Question: Jim, thanks for all you do to keep us up to date with the Titans. Hope all is well for you and your family. Not a question just want to make a comment. Sunday during the Bengals game I was one that wrote in about our lack defense. I also read the comments on defense on 11-02 that everyone wrote in to you. While I still see that we need to improve on the defense side of the game I just want all the fans to not give up on our Titan family. We have nine games left and need the support of all the fans. We are still at the top of our division and only need a few more wins in the division to go further in the year. With that I say thanks to you and TITAN UP ALL FANS OF OUR TEAM.
Jim: Thanks for taking the time Michael.
Josh Suris from Fort Worth, Texas
Question: Well I've never asked a question on here before, but I am curious about something. We keep talking about third down defense and how we can't get off the field, but how do we expect to stop someone on 2nd and 4 or 3rd and 7 or whatever down with the corners 10 yards off the line of scrimmage. I am in no way shape or form any type of expert but that just doesn't seem like it will work. We need to be bumping these guys even a little to give our D-Line a chance to get a rush, but if the quarterback can snap it and just throw it when he finishes his drop back it's hard to get any rush. Anyways thanks for listening.
Jim: I see where you're coming from, Josh. Part of the reason the corners have been playing off the line of scrimmage is because of the personnel. I'm not going to blame Johnathan Joseph for all of this team's problems, but I do know the Titans have been forced to play some corners who shouldn't be playing as much as they have been because of injuries. And some of those guys have been exposed. Adding King should help, and getting guys like Adoree' Jackson and Kristian Fulton back should help greatly while also changing the way the defense approaches things in coverage.
Devin Douglas from Memphis, Tennessee
Question: Why is that kicker Stephen Gostkowski still a TITAN!!!???
Jim: Because he's under contract, and the head coach and the GM both like him and still have faith in him. Has Gostkowski been shaky? Yes. He's missed too many field goals. But all the negativity directed at him this week for missing a 53-yard field goal on a day when the wind was blowing 30 mph in Cincy has been over the top in my opinion.
Aaron Garfrerick from Nashville, Tennessee
Question: Hi, Jim. First and foremost, the performance at Cincinnati was unacceptable. The players wearing white wanted to be there more than we did. A prime example of this being a week to week league, and any team, can beat any opponent, on any given Sunday.
However, the moves made to address this losing streak have been brash and invigorating. I love the bluntness of finally taking a stand for your brand of football and cutting Beasley, who was a grave mistake of a signing. Also, the Desmond King trade was a canny move by Vrabel and Co. We immediately get better inside while ridding the team of perhaps the biggest liability to date, Jonathan Joseph, all for a sixth round pick.
Lastly, in the words of the great Aaron Rodgers, "R-E-L-A-X".
The Titans are 5-2, tied for first in the South, and also battling for seeding in the AFC. They control their destiny. This staff and team will adjust and bounce and back, and need our support. The Colts are in 2 of the next 4 games, and this quarter of a season will be crucial. GO TITANS GO!
Jim: Thanks for taking the time, Aaron.
Mack O from Waldorf, Maryland
Question: I have a quick question I hope you can provide me some insight to. When the Titans travel to Baltimore to face the Ravens later this month, will there be any opportunities for an avid fan to get some players signatures? I have a killer Titans "Man Cave" I'm putting together and some signatures on a Titans helmet I have would be the cherry on top. Thanks in advance! As always, TITAN UP!
Jim: Hey Mack. Hate to say it, but there won't be any opportunities like in the past. Blame COVID. On all the road trips, you won't be able to get close to players at the team hotel, or at the games.
Bryce Brown from Orlando, Florida
Question: Hey Jim. I know we are still in the midseason, but after the trade for King do you see a possibility that if he plays well he could earn a 2nd contract with us? Do you also see Clowney getting a 2nd contract either? Again, I know it is mid season and a lot can still happen. With Tannehill Henry Saffold Lewan and Byard being our biggest cap hits if we have enough money to bring either Clowney or King back do you see both or just one possibly returning. Thanks
Jim: Hey Bryce. Fair question. Here's the fair answer: It depends on how he plays. His contract is in fact up after the 2020 season. Same for Clowney. So much also depends on what these guys might be looking for financially on the next contract.
Have a great weekend everyone!