TAMPA – It's been a lively – and lovely – week here as the Titans prepared for tonight's second preseason game against the Buccaneers.
The two joint practices were intense, especially on Day 2. And, the weather has been great for anyone who loves the heat.
Now, it's time for a football game.
But first, another edition of the Titans mailbag.
Here's the link to ask questions: CLICK HERE.
Andy Stambene from Lethbridge, Canada
Question: Hi Jim. Hope things are going well with you. Now that game 2 of the preseason is just about here, I wanted your take on the receiver position? Looks like the Titans have some tough decisions to make. 10 pretty decent to great receivers and they can only keep 6 maybe 7! Jones, Brown and Reynolds are a lock of course. Then Batson, Fitzpatrick, Johnson, Rogers, Kinsey, Westbrook-Ikhine and McRath. I've heard so much good from all the rest of the 7 that I'm trying to devise ways for the Titans to keep them all. What's your take? Who are the front runners and does age factor into the equation since the Titans have 4-5 over 25 WR's? PS Hope the Titans don't release a "Joiner" and "Largent" type amongst the group! All the Best to you Jim and the Titans of course!!!
Jim: Hey Andy. It's probably going to be one of the toughest position decisions they'll have to make. Right now, my top five receivers are Julio Jones, A.J. Brown, Josh Reynolds, Marcus Johnson and Nick Westbrook-Ikhine. Chester Rogers and Cameron Batson are next in line, but I'm thinking they'll only keep one because they're similar. But maybe my thinking is off on that logic. Either way, that's six, or seven. Now what? The reality is Mason Kinsey has outperformed Dez Fitzpatrick in my mind, and after a fast start, Racey McMath has been quieter of late. Fred Brown had a great two days in Tampa, but the numbers probably won't be kind to him. A lot of factors will come into play in making these decisions, and hopefully health won't be one of them. These decisions will be made above my pay grade, I can tell you that for sure.
Douglas Sullins from Johnson City, Tennessee
Question: Dear Jim. I love your "Mailbag". My cousin from up in Bills territory and I watched the Falcons game together during his brief visit and we were both impressed by Woodside and Barkley BOTH! Ken is a former HS QB and HS coach. I was also VERY impressed by (RB Mehki) Sargent and the Defense. A couple of things. Unlike many of your readers I do not know the names of all of the players and so when some fellow fans ask questions about someone who I've never heard of before could you please place in your answers what position they play? Also I know that we lost 3 of 4 CB's I know we picked up Jackrabbit Jenkins but outside of that I know very little of nothing. Could you please educate me as to who we have now and how much experience they have? One last thing. My cousin and I are working on our family tree and know that there are some Sullins in your part of the state. My cousin and I would like any data that on the family we could get. Thanks Jim and God bless you
Jim: Good to hear from you, Douglas. I can help you on the Titans cornerback tree, but unfortunately I don't know a lot about the Sullins family tree. As for the CBs, outside of Jenkins, a 10-year vet, the Titans drafted two guys – Caleb Farley (first round) and Elijah Molden (third round) who will be factors for years to come. Kristian Fulton, a second-round pick from LSU last year, will be in the mix this year. Breon Borders, who played some last year, has been solid in camp, and Chris Jackson, a seventh-round pick from Marshall a year ago who played as a rookie, figures to be in the mix this year as well. A lot of things will come into focus in the next few weeks as the team puts pieces in place for the regular season. But for now, these are the guys to keep on your radar.
Chad Murray from Cartersville, Georgia
Question: What are the chances of Miller Forristall making the cut? He is a very smart player who does a lot of things well (evidenced by receiving one of the highest player grades in preseason game one). However, he seems to get zero press at all. In all of the write-ups, he is barely mentioned. You certainly cannot find anything about him in the practice notes. I guess I can understand that with an UFA. I'm pulling for him but the crystal balls don't like him making the 53. Just wondering what your thoughts are on him.
Jim: Hey Chad. Miller is getting better – I'm sure you saw where he had a touchdown catch against the Falcons, and he's also had some good practices of late. I've actually mentioned him several times in my practice observations during training camp, and I've posted several videos of him. With all that said, he's going to have a hard time making the 53. Frankly, I'd be surprised if he made it. The team has more experienced tight ends in front of him. If Miller could make the practice squad, that would be great for him because it would give him a chance to continue to develop.
Rashad Mitchell from Memphis, Tennessee
Question: Hello Jim. Long time reader first time writer and I just want to thank you and Turron Davenport AKA TD for the great coverage you provide. Between the columns and video I feel like I'm at every practice. My question is with the Raiders being the first team to require fans to show proof of vaccination to enter the stadium do you think this will start a trend for other stadiums around the NFL? Thanks again for the great content Jim and #TITANUP!!!
Jim: Hey Rashad. Good to hear from you. And I appreciate the comments, and I'm sure TD does, too. As for regulations at Nissan Stadium, it's my understanding that right now the Titans don't have plans to require proof of vaccination at Titans games. But I know the team stays in communication with Metro, the state, health experts and the NFL, so I imagine things could be reassessed periodically in light of the information and guidance received. Right now, I've just seen proof of vaccination required at NFL games in New Orleans and Las Vegas. Hope this helps.
Jim Williams from Lubbock, Texas
Question: Hi Jim. A first-round draft choice is nearly always expected to step right into the starting lineup and be an impact player right away. How is Caleb Farley doing in camp and in the preseason games? The Titans sure could use a shut-down corner. Does Caleb look like he's going to fit the bill?
Jim: Hey Jim. Well, he's looking better each week. Caleb was slow out of the gate as he worked his way back from his back issues. The team held him back, and he didn't look real comfortable in his first few days either. But he's showing more and more positive signs of late. I thought he had a good day here a practice on Wednesday, but he struggled a little more on Thursday. It's part of the growing pains for a rookie. But it's clear the talent is there, and he's going to be a good one. You may be able to see for yourself tonight – I have a hunch he'll make his preseason debut against the Buccaneers.
Izzi M from Sugar Land, Texas
Question: I've been a crazy Houston Texans fanatic since I was seven, but the Deshaun Watson situation is driving me away. I'm moving to Nashville for college this year, so I thought I'd give being a Titans fan a try. Given that I've spent eleven years cheering, well, against the Titans, I was wondering if you could give me some good things about the Titans to focus on this season instead of bad things about the Texans! Now that I can't cheer for Watson or DeAndre Hopkins and J.J. Watt is on another team, I'm trying desperately to find some fun in football again.
Jim: Hi Izzi. Well, good luck as you start your new adventure. You're going to love Nashville – my hometown – and I think you'll love the Titans. You should definitely check out some games at Nissan Stadium while you're in town. As for good things about the Titans, well, the team has been winning – they're one of only three teams with five consecutive winning seasons, behind only the Seahawks (9) and Chiefs (8). The Titans have been to the playoffs three of the last four years. The Titans won the AFC South last year, and they made it to the AFC Championship Game in 2019. The Titans have marquee players, from Derrick Henry to Julio Jones to A.J. Brown, and an underrated quarterback in Ryan Tannehill. You're picking a good time to get on board!
Michael Schlitz from Columbus, Ohio
Question: Good afternoon Jim. First and foremost, thank you for your continuous efforts to keep us informed on everything Titans. I'm appreciative of your insight and dedication. We've seen several injuries across both the Offensive and Defensive lines which has the team looking at more depth players. I know Aaron Brewer is on the NFI list, but is there any chance he'll be back before week 1? I think he's very versatile for being a young player.
Jim: Thanks for reading, Michael. Great question. Aaron is the only guy who remains on the list from the beginning of the season. I wish I could tell you for sure, but Coach Vrabel hasn't given any specifics on his timetable. What I can tell you is I see him pretty much every day rehabbing, and working. He made the trip to Tampa as well. He remains in the team's plans, and folks remain high on him.
Chris Chapman from Hermitage, Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim! Hope you're enjoying the Florida weather! It's been awhile since I've posted a question but still an avid reader of course. I've been reading all the observations you've posted in training camp practices and it seems as though we have a better defense than last year, do we not? Do you feel like that's due to new players, different scheme or is it just a combination of things? My next question is I've seen where A.J. Brown and Julio Jones haven't been out there as much as the other receivers have; is that by design or are they still rehabbing some? Also curious about Ben Jones? I know Coach isn't real forthcoming on injuries and I love that about him! I don't get too excited about preseason games cos it's well... preseason and alot of changes are bound to happen. We still did very well with 2nd and 3rd string guys without showing our hand too much. Gotta say my bro you are doing a phenomenal job keeping us fans informed as usual! Hope this finds you and your family healthy and happy considering everything going on. Looking forward to the season! Big shout out to our players and staff for the vaccination rate! TITAN UP!
Jim: Hey Chris. Yeah, it's been a while! The defense has definitely been more active, and better, so far. The unit is making more plays on the ball, and playing with great effort. But I'm not about to say everything is fixed, because it's too early for that. And, let's be honest, they've been working against an offense that has been without half its starters every day in team periods, from Derrick Henry to Julio Jones to A.J. Brown to Taylor Lewan and more. So, we're really not going to know until the season opener on September 12 against the Cardinals. A.J. and Julio are trying to get as healthy as possible for the season, which explains their absences. Same for Ben Jones. Take care and hope to hear from you again soon!
Have a great weekend everyone!