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Weekend Mailbag: Jim Wyatt Answers Questions From Titans Fans


NASHVILLE – Welcome to Conference Championship weekend.

I know, I know. It's not as exciting without the Titans in it.

Still, the games should be fun, and we're now closing in on Super Bowl Sunday.

But you came here to talk Titans, so here we go…

Here's the link to ask questions: CLICK HERE

Dean Barber from Melbourne, Australia
Hey Jim, long time reader, first time writer. Despite having a great (regular) season, I can't help but feel like we shot ourselves in the foot in the way we played offensively against the Ravens. Running into an 8-man box 20+ times a game for 2 yards per carry is never going to win you games. My first question is: Do you feel this is more a Arthur Smith or Mike Vrabel influence? My second question is "Why?". We have a QB who accumulated 40 total touchdowns and only 7 interceptions. How much of this success is attributed to DH22 can be debated, granted. But we've played 4 playoff games with RT17, and they've effectively taken the ball out of his hands in all of them, except when the game was slipping away from us vs the Chiefs in the 2nd half. The Ravens were inviting us to throw the ball, but instead we'd rather run into a 8-man brick wall over and over again. Mind boggling. Especially considering how good we looked in our lone TD drive when Tannehill was slinging it. Your thoughts on this? Do you sense that Vrabel doesn't trust Tannehill? And more importantly, will we learn from it? Cheers mate! Appreciate you.

Jim: Hey Dean. Well, Arthur Smith was the O.C calling the plays that day. But let's keep in real here: Whenever the Titans opted not to use Henry extensively during games this season – especially after losses – I heard about it in here. So, I'm not going to let the "Derrick Henry ran the ball too much" take go without some resistance. The Titans rode Henry all season with success, and they just didn't do it well enough in the playoff game against the Ravens. But it's time to let it go. The 2020 season for the Titans is done, and the same goes for the Ravens. Cheers.

James Rowland from Clarksville, Tennessee
Hey Jim, hope all is well. Thanks to you and the entire Titans staff for a successful season. In the beginning, I did not expect to have a season this year and to walk away as the AFC South champions, I'm nothing short of ecstatic! I feel much better now that karma caught up with the Ravens. That was the most classless act I observed all year long. My question to you is how do you feel about the upcoming season? Do you expect to have a training camp this year with a vaccine on the horizon or is it just too early to tell? I know there is no possible way to tell for sure just curious about your thoughts.

Jim: Hey James. Way too early to know much about the upcoming offseason, or camp. We need to see how the vaccine rollout goes, and how effective it is. At this point, I'm not so sure we'll have OTAs and minicamps across the NFL, but I do think we'll have camp starting in July. Will fans be allowed this year? Well, keep in mind some major construction is going on at Saint Thomas Sports Park right now and it will continue into the summer and fall. Because of that, I don't think there will be open practices at STSP again this year no matter what happens with the virus/vaccine.

Alejandro Contreras from Jupiter, Florida
Hello Jim. Again, thank you first of all for keeping us informed and for being our group psychologist week in and week out. Now that Mr. Smith is going to Atlanta I would like to: Thank him for two amazing seasons and keeping our hopes so high to the very end. I so much wish he could stay for at least another year, but he has to see after his career, family and professional growth first. I can't imagine anyone passing on such a promotion when available: "I think I'll stay in the mailroom for another year, but thank you" Haha. Anyway, I wish him the very best. He has my admiration and I will be watching Falcons games to see how he does.Wouldn't it be something if the Titans defeated him in (next year's SB)? For my question: I was totally on board when Mr Smith was promoted internally after LaFleur left us two years ago. Are there any position coaches being considered for the OC Job? Is it too soon to ask?

Jim: Hello Alejandro. Jupiter, huh? What a great spot. My in-laws have a place just down the road, and I spend some time down there in the offseason. Been to Guanabanas, U-Tikis, Hog Snappers (on man that Crab Crusted Hog Snapper!) and the Square Grouper, just to name a few of my favorite spots to eat. As for what Vrabel might do, well, I'm curious myself. He has several guys on the staff who are capable – TEs coach Todd Downing served as OC with the Raiders, and QBs coach Pat O'Hara was OC in the AFL. Vrabel has some other sharp guys on the offensive staff as well. But so far, he hasn't given any solid clues on what he might do. If he goes outside the building, it could have a ripple effect, and I'm sure he has that in mind as well.

Jim Williams from Shelton, Connecticut
Do you think the Titans should pursue Tim Kelly as OC? Think that would a great hire. Also, would love for them to draft Christian Barmore from Alabama and Vrabel's son from BC. I've seen him play this year and he reminds me of Conklin. Barmore teamed up with Simmons would solve a lot of problems on that D. Getting Vrabel's son would add depth to OL and help make up for the 2020 debacle draft!

Jim: Hey Jim. I like Tim Kelly – he's done a nice job with the Texans. Not sure if Vrabel has inquired about him or not, but I did see a report from the Houston Chronicle on Friday saying the Texans had denied multiple requests to interview him. As for your draft desires, some good players there. But Tyler Vrabel elected not to come out early so he's not in this year's draft class.

Gary Moore from Goodlettsville, Tennessee
Hi Jim. 1st time writing, but constant reader of your great work. Are they allowing more "futures" signings than in the past? I don't remember 18 signings in previous years. Also wondering about offseason dates? When does free agency begin? Draft? Thanks again for good work.

Jim: Hey Gary. You're right – I can't remember the last time the team had so many futures guys. It's just a product of the roster count. These deals don't guarantee anything as far as roster spots go for the season, but it does give more guys a opportunity to compete. Free agency begins on March 17. The NFL Draft kicks off on April 29.

Benigno Ayala from Tocluca, Estado de Mexico, Mexico
Hola Jim. Te saludo desde México, esperando te encuentre bien en este tiempo de pandemia. Yo he sido fan de este equipo desde la época de los Houston Oilers, desde que lo formaban Robert Brazil, Elvin Bethea, Curley Culp, pasando por Dan Pastorini, Earl Campbell, Warren Moon y su impresionante arsenal aéreo, con Steve McNair, Eddie George, Chris Johnson, hasta Derrick Henry y Ryan Tannehill. Me emocionó mucho el rumbo de esta temporada, teniendo el antecedente de la temporada pasada, esperaba que se hubiera llegado más lejos. Me gusta el trabajo del Coach Vrabel, pienso que le hizo falta un Coordinador Defensivo y con la partida del Coordinador Ofensivo, no dudo que el HD seleccionara muy bien quien lo apoyara, la temporada baja será muy interesante para ver como se refuerza la Defensiva, ya que la apuesta de Vrabel por Clowney y Beasley no funcionó, nos hace falta alguien como JJ Watt o Bosa, el Draft tambien agregara talento para todas las unidades. La temporada 2021, será la de la culminación del proyecto Vrabel en el Super Bowl LVI en el SoFi Stadium. Saludos

Jim: Hola Beningo. Es bueno saber de ti y gracias por tu lealtad y compromiso. Parece que eres un gran admirador. Espero que tenga razón sobre la conclusión de la temporada 2021, con un final de Super Bowl. Pero los Titans tienen mucho trabajo por hacer de aquí a entonces. Estoy de acuerdo contigo en el hecho de que los Titans necesitan un cazamariscales temido. Gracias por la pregunta y que tengas un gran día.

Andrew Ryan from Knoxville, Tennessee
My name is Andrew Ryan I've been playing semi-pro football for over 30 years I am down in Knoxville Tennessee and I am requesting to come to the trial please give me any information that you have available and the dates and times and I will be there to assist pay in the tryouts.

Jim: Hello Andrew. No tryouts on the horizon with the COVID-19 world we're living in. Titans scouts are headed to Mobile for the Senior Bowl in the coming days. Best of luck to you.

Tony Johnson from Ewa Beach, Hawaii
Hey Jim, gonna miss Arthur Smith, and I wish him the best of luck in Atlanta. Regarding is replacement, I know this is a longshot, but what do you think about Adam Gase? He wasn't a good HC, but I don't think he has a good offensive mind and can be a a good OC.

Jim: Haven't heard any rumblings on this Tony. Mahalo.

Malcolm Sell from Louisville, Kentucky
Jim. Unfortunately, 2020 happened and I believe we had the worst offseason. I do put a lot of this on COVID and the lack of preseason or ability to bring players in for proper evaluations. The questions I have are more speculation and I know you won't have answers. But I have some comments to go with them.
1) This is one of the best years I've seen us have on offence and I believe Tannehill deserves a lot of the credit. Yes, Arthur Smith and Derrick Henry also had a lot to do with it, but Tannehill has elevated our receiving core. Corey Davis has been relative no show before this season and Tannehill has made very few mistakes himself. Even the interception that ended our hopes against Baltimore, was due to a receiver falling.
2) Now that we have lost our last two OC's to HC gigs, where are we at in the replacement process? Have they started interviews? Any Names Being thrown around?
3) Huge Kudos to the O-Line as well. Except for our #1 pick, I was as proud of the O-line as I have been since Bruce Matthews anchored that group. I thought we got great Pass and Run protection on most plays. Most years, we get one or the other, not both.
1) As good as the offence performed this season, the defense regressed. I know we had a lot of missing pieces all season long and could never get healthy on D, but we really reached on Beasley and Clowney and both were a huge swing and a miss.
2) Give credit where it is due. Malcolm Butler had one hell of a year, plus every player that came off the practice squad to fill in deserves a standing ovation.
3) Same questions about DC as OC. Has there been any movement on this front?

Jim: Thanks for taking the time, Malcolm, and for your comments. No movement at OC or DC yet. Believe me, when something happens, we'll let you know here. Vrabel is in the process of making those decisions, but the only names he'll throw around will be the ones he ends up hiring.

Randy Jim Galloway from Gallatin, Tennessee
Jim don't have a question, I know I wrote you last year and was very hard and critical of the two tone blue but after reaching the AFC championship game you see JIM I Knew the guy's had it in them but just reaching down and pulling it out of themselves is what had me so frustrated, they still have a chance to go all the way but my God they have to do something about the D wouldn't hurt to add another weapon or two on the offense I know with the good year the guy's had we will be picking way down the draft order and Devonte Smith will be gone most likely to the jets God help him but don't see any world beater in this year's draft on defense and I would love for coach to quit being so stubborn and hire a DC being head coach put's enough on his plate as it is, Dallas just hired a good one that was out there but now the pickings are slim to none really now, I'm all for the guy's but frustration sets in a bit too much at times, they just need to reach a little deeper now and be determined to be the best they have a lot of core players to build with too bad JD and the bee's didn't work out my heart nearly stopped when I heard they signed beasley guess that's the nature of the business take a chance and win or it's a swing or a miss sports fan's, thanks Jim, God bless

Jim: Oh man. A lot to take in here, Randy. Good to hear from you. Don't be afraid to drop some periods in here next time…

Andy Stambene from Lethbridge, Canada
Was pulling for the Titans hard all year as usual. Jackson and Baltimore would not be denied though and they are a good team. Tennessee Titans just need to go back and address their weaknesses and get this team back into Championship contention! Clowney was a disaster, ditto for Beasley. Trading Casey hurt the most I think, that and not having a bunch of regulars in the DB backfield and regular Offensive linemen playing due to injuries. My wish is that WR Humphries gets bought out and C Davis is brought back to go with budding Super-Star AJ Brown.Jonnu Smith is no slouch either and should be signed long term! Ditto for J Brown a great ILB! T Lewan should be back full speed and I hope that I Wilson was not a wasted pick...and the Titans need/want to draft a DL/OLB or 2-3 of them! And of course the Titans will have to find a replacement for OC Arthur Smith(ouch). I expect the DC to be replaced...what do you think Jim? And what's your take on the team's weaknesses? Titans have some great players players...but...

Jim: Holy smokes, my head is really spinning now. The team's weakness in 2020 was defense, until the playoffs, when it was the offense. Work needs to be done across the board.

Kenneth Tripp from Newport, Vermont
Hi Jim. I want to be one of many fans to Congratulate Coach Smith on his New position, but more importantly thank him for everything that he did to help foster the culture from 3-13 to 11-5 AFC South Champions. TitanUp we are a team and have overcome many issues, In JRob, Miss Amy and Coach V we trust!!

Jim: Have a good one, Kenneth. Thanks for writing in.

Fred Barnes from Nashville, Tennessee
I may not be the smartest guy in the world but even I can see that the only choice for Defensive/Offensive coordinator must be Jeff Fisher. Jeff was the heart and soul of the Tennessee Titans. Bring back the Music City Miracle, bring back Jeff Fisher.

Jim: Hey Fred. It would take a miracle for this to happen.

Have a great weekend everyone!

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