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Weekend Mailbag: Jim Wyatt Answers Questions From Titans Fans


NASHVILLE – We're now rolling through training camp.

Seven practices down, and three to go before boarding a plane for Chicago for the preseason opener against the Bears.

The Titans are scheduled for a walk-through on Saturday before getting Sunday off. Then the team will be back on the practice field on Monday to kick off another week.

First, let's kick off this weekend's mailbag…

Here's the link to submit questions: CLICK HERE

Charlie White from Tampa, Florida
As always thanks for keeping us updated. I just read your top 10 things update and first off I think it's great to be getting closer to the start of the season. I'm gonna counter what everyone suggested the Titans were doing earlier this offseason with the we're rebuilding. It appears by your tone, as it should be that the team is looking solid at QB, WR, RB, TE, DL, LB, and improved in the secondary. But our O-Line needs more time to gel.
My question is this: The team looks much improved so what is the possibility of the Titans going all in on the next two seasons and trading draft capital to bolster the O-Line? We are 5ish years out from a new stadium, 2yrs out from rebuilding the QB and RB positions, so why not do as the Bucs did a few years ago and the Jets did this yr and go all in now? Just a thought. We know the team will need to retool when Levis takes over and DH starts to decline. We have a window now to be great, take a pause for a couple of years and be great again in time for the New Stadium.

Jim: Thanks for reading, Charlie. There's no doubt the team needs to bolster the offensive line, especially at right tackle, where Nicholas Petit-Frere has been suspended for the first six games, and after Jamarco Jones was released this week. Another guy in the competition, John Ojukwu, left practice early on Friday. Head coach Mike Vrabel praised Chris Hubbard, who is now working at right tackle, but he also said the team will explore other options. But I think he was talking about free agents, not a big trade. (UPDATE: The Titans agreed to terms with OL Justin Murray on Saturday morning; CLICK HERE for that story). Keep in mind, other guys will be available after roster cuts across the league. As for your strategy of going "all-in" now before a pause, I've said this in here before: Vrabel is not conceding anything and I don't think anyone else around here is either. I think the strategy is to be in it to win it every year, and being good in time for a new stadium down the road shouldn't even be a part of the thought process – that would be cheating everyone involved from now until then.

Brian Lane from Charlotte, North Carolina
Everyone is saying it's a given we stick with 3 QBs. But with the practice time being so restricted by the current CBA isn't it tough to properly prepare 3 QBs, getting them all the necessary reps?
If Malik is sent to the practice squad to start, we run the risk of him being claimed. But if he's claimed, I believe that absolves us of his remaining contract. This is creates kind of a win-win by cutting him if they aren't completely sold. Behind the positive media lately isn't this actually a tough spot for him?
Keep up the good work Jim we hardcore fans appreciate you, without you we're pretty much blind.

Jim: Hey Brian. My thinking is the Titans have to do what's best for them, not for Malik or anyone else. QB is the most important position on the team, and you can never have enough of them. Yes, it is tough to have enough reps and time to develop younger QBs during the season, and to keep three. But if the Titans like what they have in Malik and believes he has a future, then the team will keep three QBs. Plus, Malik's contract is very affordable right now.

Ernst Doornekamp from Almere, Netherlands
Hi, here in the Netherlands we would like to know how our own Thomas Odukoya is doing?!

Jim: Hey Ernst! Good to hear from you from the Netherlands. Thomas has had a great offseason. In fact, Coach Mike Vrabel singled him out for one of the top performers of the offseason. Here's a story I did on Thomas earlier this offseason: CLICK HERE.

Jake Voss from Windsor, Colorado
Hey Jim! My question pertains to former Titans LT Taylor Lewan. News about him has been very quiet since his release. My question is this: it doesn't seem likely to me like TL will land a starting job this season. That being said, he's a Titans legend, with a ton of experience and personality. Do you think there's any chance he would retire from playing and join the coaching staff in any capacity? Would the staff be open to that, by your estimation? Thanks!

Jim: Hi Jake. I do expect Taylor to retire, and I think he'll continue doing what he's doing with Bussin' With the Boys and Barstool Sports. Taylor is living his best life right now. I don't see him joining the coaching staff.

Jim Williams from Lubbock, Texas
Hi Jim. Living in Texas, I was an Oiler fan way back when and continued to follow the team when it went to Tennessee. I go back all the way to Bum Phillips and the "Don't let go of that rope" days. I'm so old that I still vividly remember the early days of Monday Night Football and listening to Howard Cosell's somewhat humorous attempt to explain the significance of "Don't let go of that rope." Now there is all the interest in the throwback uniforms and the two games they will be worn for. Is there any possibility at all that the team might change its name back to the Oilers permanently? After all, the only people who think that there's no oil in Tennessee are the ones who have never watched The Beverly Hillbillies? OILER UP!!! Thanks, Jim.

Jim: I'd say the possibility is Slim and None, and I just saw Slim waiting on a Lyft outside of Tootsies.

Beau Siddens from Covington, Indiana
Hi Jim, Thanks for your practice updates. Super informative. At the end of last season, I had anticipated this season to be a bit of a rebuild. Ran, Coach Mike and Company have done a fantastic job putting together a competitive group to choose the final team. Hats off to them and that's a huge reason I'm a Titans fan. The support system to the players is the best in the NFL in my opinion.
With this season ramping up, I have a totally different take. I now think this team will be a force to be reckoned with. I'm so ready to see this team, led by Tannehill (who is a great QB) on the field. Do you think this group has what it takes to change the opinion of a media group that is still giving them a bad wrap for last season? Titan Up Y'all, we're about to kick off a great season 🤘🏼

Jim: Hey Beau. I think this team has a chance to win the division, and give itself a chance in the postseason. That's been my feeling all along. The key is to stay healthy, and come together as a team.

Hiatt Williams from Nashville, Tennessee
Howdy Jim! As a Clemson student and die-hard Titans fan I have been enthralled with any and all things DeAndre Hopkins related recently and I recall from the introductory press conference both Vrabel and Hopkins referred to Hopkins missing some time that week for personal/family reasons. However, as far as I can tell he has been out there every day they have had practice. Do you know if his absences are coming still or if that has already happened and it was just on a day with no open practice?

Jim: Hey Hiatt. DeAndre left the second practice of camp, back on July 28, about an hour early, and he returned a day or so later without missing much time. So it's my understanding this is a thing of the past.

David Kennedy from Scottsboro, Arizona
Regarding Training Camp: What is the "Sand Pit" and how is it used for punishment?

Jim: Hey David. The sandpit is just what it sounds like. The team put in a sandpit a few years back, in between one of the practice fields and the indoor practice facility. It's great for conditioning – a lot of guys actually run on the sandy beaches in the offseason. But it's hard work. And, if a player gets in a fight at practice, he gets sent to the sandpit for extra conditioning. Believe me, guys would rather be practicing than running in the sand.

Christopher Dupeyron from St. Louis, Missouri
Hey Jim. Hope you're surviving the heat at camp. Question regarding NPF. Since he's suspended the first 6 games does he get to practice during training camp? I haven't heard anything about him at all. If he's able to practice is he doing so with the 2s while they train others to be ready to start the season. Thanks for your time.

Jim: Hi Christopher. NPF has been practicing in camp, and he's looked good. It's a tough situation all around. The team is giving him some work, and he's benefiting from the work. But he's going to have to step away once the regular season starts, and it will be up to him to stay in shape and be ready when he comes back.

Scott Shields from Reno, Nevada
Mr. Wyatt. No question. Just wanted to say we made it to training camp last Saturday. Great experience. I was on the yellow line. Saw you. But didn't want to bother you. You were working. But glad I saw you. We had an amazing time at the George Strait concert. We went Friday. We were at the Opry when the storm came in. Anyway, we had a wonderful trip to the Nashville area. All the players I met, too many to name, were so professional, and courteous. That was truly a Titan Up moment for my son and I. Thank you again. From Titans Central here in Reno. All the best to you and your family. Scott.

Jim: Oh man, Scott. Hate I missed you. Glad you had a great time. Next time, give me a shout!

Tyrone Moten from Germantown, Maryland
: How has Racey McMath been looking in training camp? What are his chances at getting significant playing time compared to the other non-starting receivers?

Jim: Racey has been solid, but he's in a competition with a bunch of other guys. He's going to need to perform well in the preseason games, and prove he can be a big asset on special teams.

Have a great weekend everyone!

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