NASHVILLE – The virtual offseason program for the Titans is officially over.
Now, picture this: Titans on the field in training camp.
Well, that's next up in what's been an unconventional offseason because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
There's once again lots to discuss this week in the mailbag, so let's get to it…
NASHVILLE – Happy Father's Day weekend to all the dads out there.
Hope everyone is staying healthy and safe as we've crossed the midway point in June.
Thanks for stopping in to check out the latest Titans mailbag. And thanks for keeping the questions coming during what has been an interesting offseason for sure.
Let's kick this thing off…
Ramón Fidalgo from Laredo, Texas
Question: Hi Jim. How would the Titans approach the RT position with the first pick Isaiah Thomas and Dennis Kelly that just earned a contract? Because, I can see a great impact on players drafted after, Darrynton Evans, Kristian Fulton and even Larrell Murchison, but I don't see that big fella in the mix as much. So, do you think it was a waste of a first draft selection not much needed for now? Thank you so much... TitanUp ⚔️⚔️⚔️
Jim: Hey Ramon. It's a fair question, because the expectation a lot of times is for a first-rounder to step in and start from Day 1. But I don't think that was necessarily on the GM's mind when the team picked Wilson. Like you said, Dennis Kelly earned his new contract, and if I had to bet on it, I'd bank on him being the starter in the opener against the Broncos. That's not a knock on Wilson, who I think is going to develop into a really good pro. I just think Kelly has the edge heading into this season because of his experience, and the lack of a true offseason program and OTAs and minicamp kept Wilson from really developing. Keep in mind Taylor Lewan didn't start right out of the gate as a rookie himself. He didn't make his first career start until Week 6 of his rookie season. Wilson's time will come - it just might not be in Mountain time in Denver in the opener.
Joshua Arnold from Francisco, Indiana
Question: So, are the fans going to be able to go to open practices this year or are they even allowed to have (open practices)?
Jim: A lot remains in the "to be determined" category. Two factors, however, have me thinking the team probably won't have fans at training camp at Saint Thomas Sports Park. The Titans are not just dealing with question marks related to the coronavirus pandemic -- the team's practice facility is also undergoing major renovations, with a huge addition. There's construction, and the sideline that used to house fans and bleachers is no more. Right now, the parking lot is a mess. We'll have to wait and see about a potential open practice or two at Nissan Stadium, but I'd brace myself for a training camp unlike those we've seen since the team moved to town 20 years ago. Right now, I'm just hoping for fans in the stands when the season starts.
Garrett Jones from Johnson City, Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim, thanks for all the Titans updates! I have a Titans history question for you. With our current safety tandem in mind, Kevin Byard and Kenny Vaccaro, along with the backups Dane Cruikshank and Amani Hooker, who was your favorite safety duo in Titans history?
Jim: Great question. I really like the Byard-Vaccaro duo. But it's hard to forget 'Fire and Ice' – Blaine Bishop and Marcus Roberson. The Chris Hope/Michael Griffin combo was a good one, and I have fond memories of Lance Schulters and Tank Williams – two completely different personalities, but two good players who were fun be around.
David Brown from Las Vegas, Nevada
Question: Could you see this team considering Colin Kaepernick as a backup qb? My guess is his asking price/terms are reasonable and I would love for our team to be on the right side of history. Let's be honest football ability isn't the reason Kaepernick isn't in the NFL. Bringing him in on a 1 year contract with a small signing bonus would give us the flexibility to cut him if he doesn't have the goods at the end of camp, I know it takes 2 to make a deal, but I would think if a team said they were going to give Keapernick an honest prove it shot he would take the chance. It really seems that our owner, coach and gm are good people and I could see them willing to fade the heat and short term distraction. I would think Kaepernick would be an upgrade over our current situation and somebody the players would love to play with.
Jim: Hey David. You're the first of three straight emails asking about Kaepernick, and I could have included more. I haven't heard anything new about potential interest in him. I do know the Titans were one of eight teams that attended his workout in 2019, but nothing transpired. All I've heard so far this offseason has been the HC, GM and OC raving about Logan Woodside, who is in line to be Ryan Tannehill's backup.
Joe Eyolfson from Sanford, Manitoba
Question: Really appreciate the mailbag, and the insight and information you provide around our team. Question for you: What are your thoughts around a Kaepernick signing by the Titans? While I agree that both Woodside and McDonald both have potential, do we really need two backups with no NFL starting experience? I wonder if having a more experienced backup QB in the event Tannehill gets injured makes the chances better for the team to keep rolling along? Sure worked well for us last year. Not sure what he's looking for in terms of dollars or contact length, but I'm guessing he could be a much cheaper option than a Cam Newton or any other potential seasoned QB's still available. Anyways, just wanted to throw that out there and get your take. Thanks Jim. Cheers!
Jim: Hey Joe. Just touched on it. I have mixed feelings about Kaepernick. A part of me remembers the guy who had some really good moments with the 49ers, and think he'd be an intriguing addition. But I also can't help but wonder how he'd do after not playing for so long. Keep in mind, he hasn't played in a game since the 2016 season.
Kevin Klix from Santa Fe, Tennessee
Question: Hi Jim, longtime fan here going back to Luv ya Blue days when they drafted Earl outta UT. I am submitting my first question about the team and would like to know if you think Mr. Kaepernick might contribute to the team and fill seats in a positive way. The positive PR wouldn't hurt either. His credentials do run to Lombardi Land.
Jim: Hey Kevin. Thanks for weighing in on this as well. We'll have to see how this plays out. I can tell you the GM or HC won't make decisions based on whether a guy might fill seats. From Day One their top priority has been to find guys who can help the team win. And when you're talking about a back-up QB, you're talking about a guy you hope will never play. Back-up QBs usually don't fill seats.
Jesse Cano from Corpus Christi, Texas
Question: What's up Mr. Jim.....Chuy here all the way from South Texas! I love watching the game highlights from the Patriots game...then watch the Ravens game...watch a little of the Chiefs game as well. Love watching the energy, passion and strength of my team! Just makes me feel PROUD of them of how they turned the regular season around and how they did in playoffs. I still get friends and people telling me still...how shocked they were with how well the Titans did and played! I LOVE MY TITANS! TITAN UP MR. JIM!!
Jim: Hey Jesse. Sounds like you're staying fired up! Thanks for spreading good vibes.
Anthony Richey from Dallas, Texas
Question: I have a request rather than a question. I am a Titans fan and I would like for someone in the organization to ask that running back #22 to get a haircut and tuck in his jersey - that don't look good.
Jim: Hey Anthony. I have a better idea: Why don't you tell him the next time you see him? But keep in mind what happened to Earl Thomas…
Ayan Natarajan from Mason, Michigan
Question: In the game against the Ravens, why did Tannehill run into the end zone for a touchdown?
Jim: To get to the other side of the goal-line? Is this a trick question?
William Click from Old Hickory, Tennessee
Question: I am opposed to any player kneeling during the National Anthem. The Anthem and flag represents the country that is giving them the privilege of playing football and earning much more money than the regular "Joe" who buys a ticket. How do I make the Titans organization understand this? I am a season ticket holder (2 tickets) and could not renew my PSL, but that hurts me - as well as any player who doesn't insult the anthem and flag. I know I am in the majority opinion on this.
Jim: Thanks for sharing your thoughts…
Jonathan Wright from Bishop Auckland, Co. Durham, England
Question: Hi Jim. Thanks for helping keep us all up to date. Not really a question just an observation after the two letters in Tuesday's mailbag. People need to read up on history and learn from the past not continue on as if the world's a good place to be for all. I don't agree that peaceful protests - taking a knee - are disrespectful to anyone, when there is so much inequality around everybody should respect the right of peaceful protest to bring about change for all. Don't fall into the trap of those preaching hatred and division. The words of Pastor Martin Niemoller have probably never had more relevance than now:
First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
Thanks for hearing me out and to all Titans fans out there, keep believing in the team and work together for a better future, on the field and in society as a whole. Hope to be back at a game as soon as the world allows it.
Jim: Good to hear from you as well, Jonathan. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
J Smith from Nashville, Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim, thanks for giving fans a platform for comments and questions. I noticed a couple fans in the previous mailbag brought up the kneeling issue. I have a few thoughts if you'll allow me to share. Sports and politics have always been intertwined, we shouldn't expect athletes to just shut up and dribble. They are human beings with thoughts, feelings and viewpoints, not robots performing for our pleasure. Maybe we should take the time to actually listen to what they're saying. See what happened when Drew Brees actually listened to his fellow players? Participating players have always stated that kneeling is not about disrespecting the flag. It is possible to kneel and still respect our country and the armed forces. If I'm not mistaken, members of the armed forces swear an oath to defend the constitution. Peaceful protest is included in the rights that they are fighting for. Maybe we can all approach this with an open mind. I'd hate to lose any loyal fans over it. Thanks again and Titan up.
P.S. Did we sign Clowney yet? :-)
Jim: I expected more feedback on this subject, and appreciate hearing all sides. So thanks to you as well, J.
As for Clowney, nothing new. The GM said this week there have been no recent conversations while adding: "I know he wants to play. I think we would be a pretty good fit for him. There was some mutual interest there when we started the discussions, but I would say that really hasn't grown legs since we spoke last."
Randy Porter from Hendersonville, Tennessee
Question: Hi Jim! Can't wait to soak-up another season of your wisdom and insight ! I won't ask you to respond to the kneeling issue, that fans are already asking about. However, I would like to echo their concerns and comment. Recent events, whether the sickening incident in Minneapolis, or the disgusting protests that turned violent, destructive and murderous, are caused by bad people..period. Not good police, not good protestors. Bad people, with an agenda. The U.S. flag didn't cause or encourage these things, nor did the National Anthem. Using either of these during sporting events, as a vehicle for personal protest, will not solve these issues either. What it WILL do, is offend even more people, cause fan disdain again and hurt many past and present military members and fans, who hold these institutions dear. We don't solve one injustice by committing another act that further divide Americans. Right now, in many ways, good people of all colors are united more than ever and have joined in demanding change. Most everyone supports peaceful protest right now, but at an appropriate time and place. However, no one would tolerate attending a movie, or a show at TPAC and be forced to watch several minutes of political campaigning, a sales pitch, or someone speak about their political views, before every show. That's not why fans are there and not what they paid to see. Ticket buying fans should not be "forced" to watch a Trump ad, a Biden pitch, or anyone's "protest", while attending a football game. It offends a massive number of fans, just like social injustices do. There is no place for any of that at an event, where people are forced to watch and have paid to attend. Yes, peacefully protest if you like, take a knee, recruit for your church, or campaign for a candIdate if you want to. But, there's a reason you can not do those things at the polls, or at church, and wouldn't dream of doing them at a wedding ceremony, or school play. Why? It's not the appropriate place. Well, neither is a football game. Here's a thought.. Organize kneeling events, much like a political rally. Publicize it and all fans who want to attend, can come and watch players kneel. But then, they are not "forced" to be there and are not paying for it. Fans want Titans football and Mailbag. That's ALL they want. Best of all, those unite ALL fans.
Jim: Hi Randy. Good to hear from you again. And thanks for weighing in on what's been a popular topic this week. I imagine this could be a hot topic all offseason.
Dorinda Wilson from Dickson, Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim: I guess I missed your answer to this question before. Just wanted to know if Daren Bates was still a Titan? Thanks!!!
Jim: Hi Dorinda. Daren's contract with the Titans expired after last season. He remains a free agent who is currently without a team.
Have a great weekend everyone!