NASHVILLE – It's been a week I'll never forget in Nashville and Middle Tennessee.
Sadly, the tornadoes that ripped through the area early Tuesday morning destroyed homes and claimed lives. The devastation in the city has been unreal, and I've seen it up close the last few days.
I was fortunate – my family is safe, and the area of town I live in escaped unscathed.
But Nashville is my hometown. It's where I was born and raised, so it's been tough to see the damage, and the heartbreak.
What's been uplifting is seeing so many people coming together to help others. The volunteer turnout has been massive. As an organization, the Titans were out in the community on Friday, cleaning up yards just a few miles from the team's facility and stadium in Nashville while also handing out supplies, food and water.
It's been yet another reminder that Nashville is a special place.
Thanks to all those who reached out to check on my well-being this week while also expressing concern for those in Middle Tennessee. I truly appreciate it.
And once again, thanks to all those who contribute to the mailbag.
Let's dive into the weekend edition…
Jared Mixon from Valdez, Alaska
Question: First, our prayers for your community while it recovers from the tornadoes. Second, I keep reading about how Titans needs more speed on our team. I think we have it with Dalyn Dawkins. He was so exciting to watch last preseason and I hope we get to see more of him this year. That guy is lightning quick. What are the chances he makes it back on to the field this year? Also, why do I see some mock drafts predicting we take a RB in round 1?
Jim: Hey Jared. I appreciate it. Well, Dalyn is going to be competing for a spot on the 53-man roster once again, and I'm sure he'd like to earn a bigger role. I'm still of the opinion Derrick Henry is going to be on the team and in a leading role this fall, but I won't be surprised to see a new No.2 back. Could that could in the form of a first-round pick? I've seen those same mocks. I'll say this: I take the mocks more seriously (or at least some of them make a little more sense) closer to the draft, once free agency is mostly complete and real needs are established.
Jason Knight from Cleveland, Tennessee
Question: I just want to start off by saying, we are all praying for you here in Cleveland, Tennessee. We also send our love, gonna send some supplies and canned food through our local Baptist Association. I'm not even gonna ask about football. Had tornadoes come through our town back in April 2011, killed 9 and destroyed many homes and businesses. I love coming to Nashville and I know Nashville will rebuild and be better than ever because Tennessee people are TRUE GRIT, roll your sleeves up and go to work, and help your neighbor kind of people. I know I don't have to tell VOLUNTEERS from this state to help because that is what we do, how you think we got the name. GOD BLESS the people and city of NASHVILLE. We LOVE YALL!!!!!!!
Jim: I appreciate it Jason. Well said.
Eric Brown from Bend, Oregon
Question: Prayers to all in Nashville and area.
Jim: Thanks, Eric.
Mahir Sindi from Nashville, Tennessee
Question: What will the Titans do to Logan Ryan?
Jim: This one will be interesting. I'd love to see Logan back. He's a great player, and a great locker room guy. He's a tone-setter in the offseason and on the field. But there's a lot to be sorted out in negotiations. As the HC and GM said at the combine, free agency is a two-way street.
Juan Pablo Moran from Mexico
Question: Hey Jim. Long time titan fan, first time writer. It's scary to hear all the Henry talk on the media. Do you see him in another team, or is coach Mike Vrabel and GM JRob going to pay the main face of the franchise?
Jim: Hey Juan Pablo. The Titans have two options with Henry – sign him to a long-term deal or keep him with the tag. I don't see a third. So I envision him in two-tone blue in 2020.
Roger Rock from Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Question: What's the likelihood the Titans may mortgage some future to trade up with Washington and snag Chase Young?
Jim: I say Slim and None, and I think just saw Slim waiting on a Lyft outside Tootsies on Broadway. Would I love to see Chase Young in a Titans uniform? Of course. But I think it would cost way too much to move up to get him.
Ross Williams from Portsmouth, England
Question: Hi Jim. Thanks for your updates as ever. I know us Titans fans this side of the pond are ever grateful as it really keeps us in the loop! I hope that the Titans are confirmed to play against the Jags for one of their two games at Wembley. It would be a great opportunity again for fans in the UK to see the team play again. Would you be expecting more production from Adam Humphries next year? I know that it was a bit of a funny season with injury, a great run game & breakout year for AJ Brown – but for the money tied up in him, I was expecting slightly higher production (or to at least be involved more). What are your thoughts on this?
Jim: Hey Ross. I'd love to go back to Wembley Stadium, and have been optimistic about the team's chances. I did text a buddy of mine with the Jaguars and he has a theory that doesn't include the Titans going back to London this year. He suspects the Jaguars will be playing the Lions and Browns. I hope he's wrong. As for Humphries, I do expect him to be more involved. The injury obviously set him back, and the great year by Brown led to him getting a lot of targets. With a year under his belt in Tennessee, though, I think you'll Adam being more comfortable, and targeted more.
Darin Wood from Bountiful, Utah
Question: Please tell me Tom Shady isn't going to come to the Titans! I would rather have Tannehill than Brady. I have been a diehard Titans (and Oilers) fan since 1997, and never once in all those years did my loyalty waiver, but this might make me have to renounce my fandom until he's off the team. I cannot understand why JRob and Vrabel would even seriously consider signing Brady over signing Tannehill.
Jim: Appreciate the feedback, Darin.
Kenny Gore from Horse Cave, Kentucky
Question: First let me say: Prayers to everyone in TN... My family has been through the destruction of a tornado 10 yrs ago. It destroyed numerous homes in our area. Praying & donating money. I know money does not replace what is lost in these situations; however, I also know if I cannot be there to help, money can help the people there to do so. EVERYONE please help as much as you can. TN WILL NEED IT!
On to Titans Football. With everything being reported, you never know what is real or fake this time of yr. I do know that Conklin is getting a lot of interest from teams... With that being said; & the team VERY unlikely to be able to bring back all of our good players... If the team can work out something long term with Henry or Tannehill & is not planning on paying Conklin long term; isn't Tag/Trade the ONLY Good Business decision to be made here?? I would love to have Conklin back, however, it seems unlikely with his price going up daily. It would be VERY BAD business to just let him walk with NOTHING in return!! We invested a lot in Conklin. Picking him at #8 was a lot. Trading up to get there adds to the cost... Letting him go in FA without ANYTHING in return seems like a VERY bone-headed thing to do... We see Tag/Trade nearly every yr now; & this team is in desperate need of Pass Rush help. Conklin would need to be replaced, but with a deep OLine class & teams willing to pay top dollar for Conklin, I think this is the smart move... Unless of course the plan is to keep him long term.... Which I just do not see... It would be hard to maintain a competitive roster with 80 million at LT, 44 at LG, & likely 70-80 at RT... It's just too much to carry at one position group IMO. Also, the Brady stuff is crazy to me! This team has messed up the QB position for YEARS! When you FINALLY find a QB who is playing VERY well; you are going to let him reach FA???? That's nuts!! Tannehill was better than Brady last yr. Even if he is not the same this yr, I just do not see betting it all on a 42yr old QB who likely only has a couple yrs left... Not when you have a GREAT QB in your lap who has PROVEN he can play at an ELITE level IN YOUR OFFENSE!!! I know there are changes every yr to every team in the NFL. I just hope the team is smart this yr. It is MUCH easier to find a RB who can replace Henry's production than to find a QB who will play at the level Tannehill did this yr... Don't get me wrong, I like Henry & hope he is back. However, QB is the most important position on ANY team. Even this team that seems dead set on running the ball more than anyone in the NFL. Smart teams do not let great QBs get away, do not let big investment players walk away in FA without any return, & find ways to get pressure on opposing QBs... I hope the Titans are smart this yr. A lot of change is coming. I hope it is the right change.
Jim: Good to hear from you again Kenny. And thanks for the well-wishes. There's a lot to take in here. Starting with Conklin, he earned the right to hit the market, and I'm sure he's set to get paid somewhere. I'd love to see him back in Tennessee, but this is the way free agency works. I hope the team doesn't lose him, but I admit, I think it's a definite possibility. And we'll have to wait another week or so to find out how the whole quarterback situation plays out.
Have a great weekend everyone!
Titans players, coaches, staff and their families hit the streets of North Nashville to help those impacted by the deadly tornado. (Photos: Donald Page)