NASHVILLE – Welcome to the first NFL weekend without football since August.
Yes, I'm counting the preseason, and the Pro Bowl.
But hey, we're now less than two weeks from the NFL Combine, so it won't be quiet for long.
It's never quiet in the Titans mailbag.
Here's the link to ask questions: CLICK HERE
Jim Williams from Lubbock, Texas
Question: Hi Jim. Can you explain what Tim Kelly's role with the team will be? His title is senior assistant/passing game coordinator. Will he be designing the passing plays? Will he call the passing plays? Or is Tim just going to advise Todd Downing on ways to improve the passing game? And is hiring Tim Kelly a message that upper management thinks that Todd's game plan design and play calling was substandard in 2021?
Jim: Hey Jim. I can't tell you exactly what Tim Kelly's role will be with the offense. I can tell you exactly what Mike Vrabel told me when I asked him about the hire: "Tim Kelly will help the offense, very similar to how (senior defensive assistant) Jim Schwartz has on defense in his role. I really thought that was a positive thing for us, and I think that worked well for our defense. And I want to do the same thing on offense. Tim is a guy I know, and I have worked with and watched." Vrabel said he thinks Titans defensive coordinator Shane Bowen and Schwartz worked well together in 2021, and he believes Kelly and Titans offensive coordinator Todd Downing will do the same. "Those are all questions that everybody wants to know," Vrabel said. "Todd is in charge of the offense the same way Shane is in charge of the defense. And it's good to have guys who can help, and you can bounce ideas off of and communicate with and help us any way they can, and that is what Tim is going to do." I suspect in time we'll all get a better idea on his impact.
Dean Spaulding from Springfield, Missouri
Question: Dylan Cole joined the Titans early in the year as a linebacker and special team. We haven't heard much about him, do know he played some. Do you have knowledge as to Dylan's future with the Titans?
Jim: Hey Dean. I thought Dylan stepped in and did a nice job last year with his opportunities – he tied for third on the team with 10 special teams tackles, and he also forced a fumble. He was on a one-year deal last season, so he'd have to be re-signed to return.
Dale BigSam from Ronan, Montana
Question: Hey Jim! Do you see the Titans doing a mini overhaul of the offense this off-season like they did with the defense last season? Or do you see the offense just being a couple pieces away, ie tight end and a few receivers and maybe some o-line depth?
Jim: Hey Dale. I think some of this will come into better focus in the next few weeks before free agency, because the team has some decisions to make on the offensive line from a contract standpoint. But you're going to see some changes on offense, and some new additions. I think TE and WR are among the team's biggest needs, and the o-line could potentially look different as well. Stay tuned.
Rick Pinkerton from Terryville, Connecticut
Question: Jim, Thanks for keeping us in the loop during the off season. On reflection, I think Ryan should and will be our QB next year. He had one bad game but gave us 12 wins. He played every game without injury or enough to take him out. We sometimes forget that the players are the ones who feel the worst in a loss. Looking forward to next year. On resigning players. Do you see in any of the players who are free agents that they want to stay with the Titans so much that they would take a home discount, if it was close to an asking offer? The other question is: When an injured player is cleared to practice, do they go full speed with hard hitting, as if in a game situation. I always wondered if this was the case or if they risked further injury by doing this. Thanks
Jim: Good to hear from you, Rick. I don't know about the whole "home discount thing." Players oftentimes have tough decisions to make, just like teams do. Sometimes guys have to weigh how much they want to stay with a team, or start over somewhere else. A lot of factors are involved, and they're different for some guys. As for guys returning to play after an injury, depending on the injury, they're eased back in. But the team doesn't practice very often in pads during the regular season, and there's definitely not a lot of hard hitting.
Kelly McDowell from Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
Question: Hey Jim, I hope you and your family are doing well. I am curious about the TE position. I like Firkser, but he didn't really produce as a TE1. I feel out of every position on the team that is our most glaring need for improvement. With the free agent market opening up soon who do you think would make a good FA addition to the team to help improve the TE game?
PS. Thanks for writing your mail bag article I read it every week.
Jim: Thanks for reading, Kelly. I know some good tight ends will be available in free agency and the draft. I read on Friday that roughly 10 starting TEs will be available in free agency, and a good number of TE prospects will be available in the draft. As I mentioned previously, I consider it a big need. I'm curious to see when the team attacks the position as well.
Jack Walker from Calabasas, California
Question: Simple question for you today. How's Da'shawn Hand? I always liked him with Bama... Thought he'd be a huge NFL success then he fell into the injury trap. How's he doing physically? Any chance of developing into a bookend for Mr. Simmons?
Jim: Hey Jack. Da'Shawn joined the team at the end of the 2021 season, and he was healthy then. He was re-signed earlier this week to a futures contract. Right now I view him as a guy who will compete for a roster spot. But he's got his work cut out for him to be in the lineup with Simmons. We'll see what happens in competition.
Donnie Kidwell from Berea Kentucky
Question: Hey Jim I have a little statement and then a question. First of all if people think that the Titans ownership doesn't care or wants to win well their crazy. Because if they didn't they wouldn't have locked up the Coach Vrabel and J Rob to long term contracts. They have the core returning and there are things that need some tweaking. Thank you for your time and Titan Up!!
Jim: Appreciate you taking the time, Donnie.
Chris Berry from Cleveland, Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim, I've seen a lot of rumblings about NFL overtime rules since the Chiefs/Bills game. I honestly don't think the rules are that broken. It was just a weird game where two great QBs were better than the defenses that day. There is 1 simple adjustment that I do think would make it more fair: Have the overtime coin flip determined at the beginning of the game. Simple, but then everyone knows who wins that OT coin toss and can adjust their regular time in-game decisions accordingly.
Jim: Hey Chris. I don't foresee this happening, but I admit, it is an interesting suggestion.
Adrián Lopez from Caracas, Venezuela
Question: Hey Jim espero estés bien...ya en modo temporada baja lamentablemente... Quisiera saber porqué este año no se hicieron las presentaciones de los partidos con Eddie George u otro Titán Legend? Igualmente porque no se siguió con las ilustraciones de Tom Bancroft para presentar los juegos de la temporada fueron geniales la pasada temporada y por último porque no se siguió editando el segmento sonidos del juego? Eran excelentes resúmenes de los partidos de los Titans... No sé si manejas está información...y ya en cuanto a lo que se viene que tan factible es mantener a Foreman en el back field de Tenn? Se debe habsr revalorizado mucho con su año, pero creo que es importante mantenerlo como respaldo de Henry... Que opinas?
Jim: Hola Adrián. No estoy seguro de entender tu pregunta sobre Eddie. Lo siento. Y no sé nada acerca de por qué se detuvieron las ilustraciones de Bancroft. En cuanto a Foreman, creo que sería genial volver a firmarlo. Hizo un gran trabajo, y creo que sería una buena pieza para seguir adelante. Sospecho que otros equipos también quedaron impresionados con su desempeño esta temporada, por lo que será interesante ver el interés que despierta en otros lugares.
Jimmy Dee from Battle Ground, Washington
Question: Jim, the reason I want the Titans to keep Julio Jones and also draft a WR with their 1st pick is that I want the Titans to have 3 WRs with good hands and the ability to get open, just like the Bengals have. The Bengals came very close to winning the SB this year and that looks like a winning formula to me. Having 3 starting caliber WRs looks explosive and unstoppable to me. Plus, when Julio was on the sidelines the Titans had to start backup quality WRs long term and there was a scary amount of drop-off in talent in those situations. IMO backup receivers are not supposed to be long term solutions at the receiver positions so it's best to have 3 starting caliber WRs. I would like to see a WR unit of -
1. AJ Brown
2. Julio Jones
3. New WR drafted in round 1 or round 2 of the 2022 draft.
5. Chester Rodgers or Marcus Johnson
6. Dez Fitzpatrick
I think that would be a pretty good-looking WR unit.
Jim: I agree the group needs some new additions. Appreciate you weighing in.
Have a great weekend everyone!