NASHVILLE – Hope everyone is having a great May.
May I interest you in another Titans mailbag?
OK, that was corny. But at least it gets us rolling.
Let's dive into another batch of questions, and answers…
Here's the link to ask questions: CLICK HERE.
McKeeg Russell from Moffat, Colorado
Question: Hello there! Been a while since I wrote in, so I'll start with a follow-up...
1) Derick Roberson (how bout them Bearkats!!) has looked great in limited snaps, can he become a more regular piece?
2) If we do wind up going and grabbing up a big name WR, it might crush me a little that we pay them instead of Davis. I assume JRob has a plan (or several) but I can't imagine a free agent signing that will be a better piece than Davis was unless it's an UDFA or one of our late round picks shows out above expectations.
3) Smith was the other painful loss, but he (like Davis) deserved to get his payday that we couldn't afford and I get it. Why don't we bring back Walker on a 1yr deal? He has been in conditioning mode on hyperdrive from what I've seen and I doubt very seriously he wouldn't make an impact on day one.
Thanks for all you do and have a great day!
Jim: Hey McKeeg. Good to hear from you.
1) Derick has definitely flashed, enough to excite folks like you and others. Unfortunately, he's also missed a lot of time with injuries, and that's kept his career from really taking off. He still has an opportunity moving forward, but whether or not he becomes a more regular piece is really up to him. Since last year, the team has added Bud Dupree and Rashad Weaver alongside Harold Landry, so it's getting more crowded. Derick's future here hinges on his play, and his health.
2) If the team ends up grabbing another receiver as you mentioned, I don't think he'd end up with a contract close to what Corey got with the Jets (3 years, $37 million, $27 million guaranteed).
3) I've seen the Delanie videos, too. I hope he get another chance, because he's a great guy. The Titans ultimately went a different direction because of his injury. I hope he can prove to someone he's healthy now.
Iain Sneddon from London, Canada
Question: Hi Jim. I wanted to get your take on the Titans' schedule and give you mine. I have seen pundits and Titans fans stating the schedule is really tough. I disagree. The Titans knew who they were playing before the actual dates were released. They have 6 games against their division rivals. I don't know any other division winners who wouldn't trade places. Who knows, maybe the Colts, Jaguars and Texans will be great this year, but the tough schedule is based on last year's results. I've heard they have a bad bye week. I'll wager no Super Bowl has been determined by the timing of the champion's bye week. The Titans draft wasn't great. Well, Farley has started as many games as Isaiah Wilson did for the Titans last year. Also, think of all those great Titans who were late draft picks or undrafted like Cortland Finnegan and Drew Bennett. So, my early prediction is the Titans go 11-6 and win the division ... and then the Super Bowl of course. I know you won't give your prediction on the Super Bowl but I am interested in your thoughts on the schedule and the bye week. I can't imagine the Titans players or management are having any sleepless nights about those issues.
Jim: Hey Iain. It is a tough schedule if you ask me, which you did. And while the Texans and Jaguars are trying to bounce back from the bottom, the Colts are going to be good. So are a lot of other teams on the schedule. The Titans' strength of schedule is the 13th most difficult in the NFL based upon their opponents' combined 2020 winning percentage of .507 (138-134). The schedule includes eight games against teams that went to the playoffs in 2020. Right now, we don't know for sure how teams are going to be in 2021. Each year brings out teams that end up being better, or worse, than expected. I'm not worried about the late bye week. It could give the team a chance to heal up before a big run late. Cortland was a 7th round pick, btw. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
Aidan Hoover from Mobile, Alabama
Question: Hey Jim. Me and my dad have been Titans fans for 21 years now. I'm on my 10th year as a Titans fan. I am wondering with all the new coaches/coaches being promoted coming on to the team do you think that they will keep the same concept on the offensive side of the ball where we run Henry then take a shot down field or are they going to change to a pass play offense? The same question applies to the defense. I hope you have a good day.
Jim: Hey Aidan. While I think new OC Todd Downing will make some changes and adjustments, I also suspect you'll see a lot of similarities as well. And as long as Derrick Henry has success, the team will continue to ride him. But the personnel on the offensive side of the ball has changed as well, so that's going to impact things. Defensively, I think you'll see the Titans being more aggressive while using more man coverage with some new, physical corners. Looking at my list, with all the new additions – and departures – there's no doubt things will look different in 2021.
Denver Dan Keen from Franklin, Tennessee
Question: I'm disappointed that the Titans didn't draft a "sure thing" Kicker. After what we've been through it would've been worth a late draft pick! What do they plan to do about the disastrous revolving door at Kicker? Thanks, Jim!
Jim: Hey Denver Dan! TBD on the kicking situation. Right now it's Tucker McCann, the former Missouri kicker who spent a good chunk of last year on the practice squad, and Blake Haubeil, the former Ohio State kicker who was signed as an undrafted free agent last month. Depending on what happens in the competition, someone else could be added.
Jordan Bell from Tampa, Florida
Question: Is it just me or is there a common theme to the receivers Jon Robinson has added to the team this year? I can see a lot of big body picks for A.J. To get free down the middle & do what he does best in open field. I love the defense versatility with all the hybrid players to! Let's go Breeze!! YOU'RE A TITAN!!!
Jim: Hey Jordan. It's not just you – both of the draft picks are big. Dez Fitzpatrick (6-2, 208) and Racey McMath (6-3, 218) look the part. I can attest to that after seeing them in the rookie camp last weekend.
Todd Wilder from New Braunfels, Texas
Question: Jim. Just a question and a few notes coming out of the draft and going into off season programs. Special teams seems to be an emphasis this off season. With the drafted/ undrafted and free agents players we've brought in, most of them have been crucial, if not serviceable special teams players. From Ola Adeniyi to Racey McMath to Morgan Cox (and there's a lot in between). Not too worried about to the coverage unit, but other than Tucker McCann, Blake Haubeil or Gostkowski do you see any other players (barring injury) kicking for us this season? Don't get me wrong, it's awesome to see our offense be one of of the most productive and dangerous units in the NFL. But I am fully expecting offensive regression (with the losses of Arthur/ Johnuu Smith and Corey Davis) Hence the emphasis on special teams.
The defense will improve. You can't get much worse than what we saw last year. I've never seen a worse 3rd down defense in my life. Bud Dupree/ Denico Autry/ Caleb Farley/ Elijah Molden, etc. will all help .... On paper. It's up to this group and coaching staff to put it all together and show a reset button was needed. If not, we will see a Super Bowl window shut and closed right in front of our own eyes.
Jim: Hey Todd. As I mentioned with Denver Dan, right now it's McCann and Haubeil. Both of those guys have a chance to keep others from being added to the competition. Vrabel mentioned Gostkowski before the draft, but his name hasn't come up again since. Gostkowski lives in Nashville, so he'd be easy to find if the team is interested. Appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts.
Jesse Haynie from Kossuth, Mississippi
Question: Hey Jim! Hope all is well. Just curious if you know who needs to be contacted in regards with the Titans 5k? I know it was virtual but participants receive a game ticket to this years game against the Cardinals I believe. Do you know how the tickets will be given out by mail or mobile tickets?
Jim: Hi Jesse. I asked someone with the ticket office, and here's the reply I got back:
We will be sending out an email to all 2020 Virtual 5k participants in these coming days on how to access their mobile tickets for the Titans vs. Cardinals game this fall. In short answer, the tickets will be mobile and accessible via the Titans Mobile App using their email address to login. Here's the link to our Mobile Ticketing site with some tips and steps in the meantime: https://www.tennesseetitans.com/tickets/mobile-tickets/.
Brett Heard from Nashville, Tennessee
Question: Jim, have you ever eaten squirrel? I think we all need to know.
Jim: I haven't been able to catch one...
Charliy Nash from Melbourne, Florida
Question: Not long ago the hot topic of conversation was the loosening of restrictions on player numbers, then Tom Brady whined about it and the conversation stopped. Is this still happening? When?
Jim: The NFL relaxes its rules, which means certain groups can now opt to wear single-digit jersey numbers.
The new options:
Position group/Number options
Running backs 1-49, 80-89
Wide receivers 1-49, 80-89
Tight ends 1-49, 80-90
Offensive line 50-79
Defensive line 50-79, 90-99
Linebackers 1-59, 90-99
Defensive backs 1-49
Joe Likavec from Telford, Tennessee
Question: With the draft over and the undrafted and free agents signed, what is the most glaring weakness Tennessee needs to address this upcoming season?
Jim: Hey Joe. Well, I haven't seen an OTA with veterans on the field yet, so it's still early. On paper, I still have questions/concerns at WR, TE, interior DL, and kicker.
Scott Spurlock from Leander, Texas
Question: Well guy, it has been a good run, But I'm done.. Just canceled my NFL Game pass account. Won't be watching this season.. it has nothing to do with the Team or the sport.. At age 58, 59 in a few months it is time to move on... I got married a couple of years ago have a young bride and a 1 year old son, Got new priorities, The wife is from The Philippines I'll be spending most of my time there, US Basketball is all the rage over there.. Gave up on that so called sport about 10 yrs ago... I found Girls Volleyball while living over there.. Much more fun to watch... If ya know what I mean... I wish you guys nothing but the best... But I can't keep spending money to help a bunch of Millionaires that seem to not know how good they have it.. Okay got almost into a rant about stuff.. Lets just say TA TA For Now NFL.. maybe someday I'll be back and spend some of my money on your product.. but for now I have a family to provide for and a son that needs to see that sports is ??? well something less like what we see on TV. Thanks much.
Jim: Thanks for the heads up, Scott. Happy trails to you.
Hunter Phelan from South Pasadena, California
Question: Hi Jim, hope all is well with you in TITANLAND, and thank you again, for always of keeping us in the loop. Well the schedule makers must of known when my birthday was, as they put us on SNF vs the RAMS on my BDAY weekend Haha.. I already got my tickets. 6 of us will be making our presence known cheering on the fellas, at the new Sofi Stadium. "I can't wait". Now that we have most of the rookies signed, I was curious how much cap room is available moving forward, if Mr. JROB decides to sign any other unsigned FA'S going forward? Also wanted to ask How Mr. Taylor Lewan is coming along with his rehab? Lastly out of the blue, was curious how long it takes you to get through the mailbag on average? I'm sure it's very entertaining with both positive, and negative emails haha.
Jim: Hey Hunter. Hope all is well. I'm already looking forward to the L.A. trip! Last I saw on cap room was around $3 or $4 million, but some money could be freed up with restructured deals. As for Taylor, I haven't seen him in person since I saw him on the field – from the press box – after the loss to the Ravens. But I've heard nothing to suggest he's not on schedule. Based on his timetable, I think he'll be ready to go at the start of camp. Lastly, time on the mailbag depends on in-season, offseason and how things are going with the team, good or bad. Some weeks I easily get over a 100, so it takes time to sort through them all, especially when I'm chasing squirrels.
Have a great weekend everyone!