NASHVILLE – Hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving.
The Titans have been making some folks happy recently with the results, but there's still a lot of work to be done and a lot of season left.
Let's discuss in this weekend's mailbag…
Patrick Keeley from Wheaton, Illinois
Question: I feel that the scheduling is always putting the Titans in Indy during Thanksgiving weekend and the results have been ugly in favor of the Colts...I just think it isn't fair with this common trend.... Have you noticed this with the scheduling, too? I always feel that they come off a big win the week before and then play in Indy around this time of the year. I just hope the Titans are up and ready for the challenge this weekend...I know they were fresh off the bye week and hope the trend continues their way. It will be difficult I feel mentally more than physically...your thoughts?
Last question...Brett Kern going to be on Pro Bowl roster or be on All Pro team? I do feel that he's been the team's mvp with his pinpoint punting this year even though 17 and 22 have really turned it up a notch... Here's hoping for a 'W' this weekend...Titan Up!
Jim: Hey Patrick. Well, it's happened before. The Titans played in Indy during Thanksgiving weekend in 2017. Let's face it, the results have been ugly in Indy in September, October, November and December in recent years. And the Titans need to find a way to win more often so the Colts are thinking it's not fair to play Tennessee, because that hasn't been the case in the last 10 years. As far as whether the team will be mentally prepared, it better be. Despite having some guys out with injuries, the Colts have a good team and if the Titans don't play well, their struggles against Indy will continue. As for Kern, he's been superb again and has a great chance to earn postseason honors.
Jeremy Rodriguez, stationed in San Diego, California
Question: Jim. I was one of those fans that did not want to see M8 on the bench and was not wanting Tannehill behind center… Well, I am here to eat crow and say GREAT job on that switch. This offense that was at best mediocre, now gives the defense time to rest, it's exciting, and most of all it can compete. It looks like it can make a great post season push. On a side note, being an Active Duty Sailor, I ask we not just wait until a holiday to say thanks to our Men and Women in uniform and Veterans who have served this Great Nation, but we say thank you EVERYDAY!
Jim: Appreciate it, Jeremy, and thanks for what you do. There's no doubt Ryan Tannehill has provided a big spark. He's playing extremely well.
Ryan Van Fleet from Laurel, Maryland
Question: Here's my question: I know when Malcolm Butler went on IR, the Titans called on LeShaun Sims to step in and play behind Adoree Jackson and Logan Ryan.. Do you know how bad Sims' ankle injury is at this point? And could the team potentially look into playing Amani Hooker in the slot, while pushing Logan Ryan to the outside when we need to bring in extra DBs? Hooker was graded as the #1 slot corner in the FBS last year at Iowa (allowing only a 53.0 passer rating), and earned the highest slot coverage grade among all college defensive backs (90.4), per Pro Football Focus. It seems like we would want to put the best coverage guys on the field that we can, and it's not like Hooker is a stranger to the slot CB position. Let's give him the chance to step up and show us what he's got!!
Jim: Hey Ryan. Sims hasn't practiced all week, and he's been ruled out for Sunday. You'll continue to see Amani Hooker play a good deal in extra DB packages – he played 39 defensive snaps last Sunday vs. the Jaguars. But look for Tye Smith to get bumped up and into action alongside corners Logan Ryan and Adoree' Jackson – and Logan has been really good in the slot. Joshua Kalu will be in the mix as well.
Patrick Meadows from Dripping Springs, Texas
Question: Jim. I just voted on Pro Bowl and I am in shock. Why are Taylor Lewan and Malcom Butler not even on the Ballot. This will end Taylor's Pro Bowl Streak. Also, please mention Pro Bowl voting to fans. Our Boys need our votes. By the way you can vote for only Titans to not give other players extra votes. Thank you for all you do Jim. Been a fan of Oilers/Titans since 1978 (The Tyler Rose)
Jim: Hey Patrick. Lewan is not on the ballot because players suspended for PEDs are automatically blocked from the Pro Bowl. Butler, of course, is done for the season with the broken arm. As for the voting process, well, you're right -- Titans players need the votes. As of this week, Brett Kern is ranked sixth among punters in Pro Bowl voting. No other Titans are ranked in the top 10 at their respective positions.
Jefferey Fradsham from Crewe, Virginia
Question: Jim. Happy playoffs, can you tell us about the change, if any, in the atmosphere of the locker room, club house and practice field over the last few days. Go Titans!
Jim: Playoffs? Playoffs? The atmosphere is good around the team, but I can guarantee you no one is talking playoffs. The team is one game over .500 and if the season ended today, well, the Titans wouldn't be in the playoffs.
Matthew Verner from Australia
Question: Hi Jim. Don't have a question more of a statement. To me Amy Adams Strunk acknowledging Matt Neely and family on Twitter and for 12th Titan for the Jags game makes me glad i am a fan of the Titans. It's not that I had any type of relationship with Matt, more that i felt he cared so much for the team and for the team to elevate him the only way they could I find honorable. I am typing this not for any gain for myself but to say good on the Titans.
Jim: Thanks Matthew. I thought it was really cool, too.
Robert Conlon from Baltimore, Maryland
Question: Hopefully Tannehill keeps up his impressive play, and seemingly then the Titans would want to bring him back. My question is do you think the team and/or Mariota would consider coming back next season as the backup? I don't see a team signing Marcus in the off season and promising a starting position. Or is a fresh start best for both? I know it's all conjecture now, but maybe Marcus is comfortable here and understands he may have to be a backup at this point.
Jim: Hey Robert. Thanks for the question. So many unanswered questions at the QB position right now. Right now, though, I'd bet Marcus wants to be a starter somewhere.
John Clark from Knoxville, Tennessee
Question: Good morning Jim!!!! I'm proud of our team. Adoree' Jackson finally stepped up and played like a true cornerback the offense line got dirtier than a bunch of country hogs. Great job coaching staff on game preparation and making adjustments during halftime. Now let's go smash them Colts. I can say it feels great to be able to walk into a sports bar wearing my Titans gear again. I pray they continue to stay focused, play for their respect and don't get to relaxed because this is when it comes down to the nitty gritty. Super Bowl Champions I'm calling it now JIM!!!!!!
Jim: Hey John. Adoree' was great on Sunday – he had 10 tackles, and was solid in coverage. But he's really been playing well for a while. He needs to keep it up because, and he'd be the first to admit it, he has had some struggles against the Colts. And I hate to be the party pooper here, but the Super Bowl chatter needs to be put on hold. No one should be planning parades at 6-5. There's way too much season left and work to be done.
Have a great weekend everyone!