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Weekend Mailbag: Jim Wyatt Answers Questions From Titans Fans

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NASHVILLE – Two games down, two notches in the win column, and now it's on to Minnesota.

Yes, so far so good for the Titans, at least when it comes to wins and losses.

But I think we all agree there's plenty of room for improvement.

What else do we agree on?

Well, let's find out in the latest edition of the Titans mailbag…

Here's the link to ask questions: CLICK HERE.

Bradford Bailiff from Raleigh, North Carolina
Question:
Hey Jim. My question concerns the secondary. I know with Adoree Jackson not be available till week 4 the secondary is a little thin. However, I would figure Fulton would hold down Jackson's spot on the outside and Hooker would be the slot CB. Those are the positions both excelled at respectively in college and have the most experience in. It seems the most logical. So I don't quite understand why Hooker remains with the safeties. Is there something we're missing at practices? Why does the coaching staff seem to go against conventional wisdom? I'm all for athleticism and versatility, but the secondary is getting torched with one starter gone this season with what should be a better pass rush.

Jim: Hey Bradford. Well, you're right in the fact the secondary is thin. Both Jacksons are out for Sunday -- Adoree' and Chris. The Titans have tried a lot of combinations in there, with a combination of Malcolm Butler and Kristian Fulton and Chris Jackson and Tye Smith. Hooker has been practicing with the safeties, and he's been working in situational packages. Patience obviously is going to be needed here, especially with the rookies, Fulton and Jackson. They're being used there because coaches like them there, and there's no doubt their progress was slowed because of a lack of an offseason program, and in Fulton's case, an injury. But I think both of those guys have battled, and improved. Keep in mind Dane Cruikshank's injury has thinned out the safety spot, which is where Hooker is now the back-up behind Kevin Byard and Kenny Vaccaro. And he's played well there at the start this season. It's a work in progress and I don't think anyone is ready to abort the plan.

Herman Blaauw from Groningen in the Netherlands
Question:
Hello Jim. I love the way you keep us informed, thank you for that. That does lead to my question, though. If I am correctly informed you are on the Titans payroll. Is there any form of 'control' from coaching staff or higher management about what you write? I can imagine they won't want to give information regarding injuries or play calling. Our opponents would obviously love to see that, or want to know which players might not like each other (that would be normal in such a huge organization, I don't like all my colleagues as well). In short, is there censorship? Though if there would be, the answer would most likely be censored. Cheers. TitanUP.

Jim: Hey Herman. This is a fair question. You're right – I work for the Titans, and I get paid by the team. And with that, there are things I can't reveal, or say. Censorship? Not sure I'd call it that. I get to decide what I write, and the head coach and the GM don't read my copy in advance. No one does. I'm my own editor. With that said, there are things I know I can't write, or give away. I get to watch practice every day – from the beginning to the end. I see what's being worked on every week, who's practicing where, what trick plays are in, etc. Obviously, I can't reveal the details. If I did, I wouldn't be allowed to watch practice. And if you're looking for someone who is going to criticize the head coach for a questionable decision, or the GM for a free agent or draft pick that didn't pan out, you're probably not going to find it on the team website. I don't track down off-field incidents or police reports like I did when I was with The Tennessean. But I also don't write about Brett Kern having a great game after a 16-0 loss, how great the weather was at Nissan Stadium after a clunker, and I don't ignore things when the team is struggling in certain areas. In my mailbags, and in analysis pieces, I try and tell it like it is, although I don't belabor the point when it comes to negativity. My job is different compared to when I covered the team for the paper of record in town, when a big part of my job was digging, and telling folks what the team didn't want you to know. Now that I work for the team, there's a lot I know that I can't tell. But I can tell you I'm happy with the job that I have, working for the NFL team in my hometown. And I'll continue to do the best job I possibly can even with some journalistic limitations that come from working for the team. Hope this gives you some insight on the subject.

Luke Carter from Westmoreland, Tennessee
Question:
Hey Jim. As a young Titans fan at 14, I have grown up listening to stories about the late great Steve McNair and the amazing Eddie George. My question is how important is it for the rookies and for the young staff and fans to learn the history of the Titans/Oilers? And my second question is from your insider opinion do you think that Taylor Lewan will step up as a main leader on the Titans? Thanks Jim.

Jim: Hey Luke. I love your line of thinking here, because I do think it is important. I think it's valuable for the young guys to know who paved the way before them, and help make the Titans, the Titans. Maybe that's because I was around for the Steve McNair, Eddie George days, and I remember how hard those guys worked to establish the team in Nashville. Some of the guys arriving these days were born around that time, so they obviously don't remember. Some of them do know, however, either from being told stories, or studying up themselves. As for Taylor Lewan, well, he's doing all the right things so far. He's speaking up to establish himself as more of a leader, and he's been accountable. He's cleaned up his penalties (knock on wood). But he obviously has to be consistent. I like what I've seen – and heard – from him so far.

Travis Richardson from Minot, North Dakota
Question:
How's it going Jim!! Huge Titans fan here. Been following the team since 1999. Speaking of 1999 I'm a big fan of the dark blue jerseys with white britches look in the old uniform. With the new uniforms we haven't seen that look on the field since the preseason game against the Eagles I believe last season. Wonder if that will ever be a uniform combo during the regular season this year? It looks great in the photos but would like to see it more on the field.

Jim: Hey Travis. It's definitely a good look. I'll be honest: I get the uniform updates week-to-week, so I don't know if it's on the schedule. I do know it's white-on-white this week, after white over blue the first two weeks. And you're going to see some navy jerseys this fall. We'll just have to wait to see what color britches they'll be wearing with them …

Tom Hagins from Cincinnati, Ohio
Question:
Have Titans announced anything about attendance for the upcoming home games? Thank you.

Jim: Hey Tom.
Here's the 411:
The team's October 4 game against the Steelers will be open to season ticket members up to 10 percent, which is roughly 7,000 fans in the lower bowl and club levels.
The October 11 game against the Bills will allow 12.5 percent, or roughly 8,600.
The October 18 game against the Texans will allow 15 percent, or roughly 10,400.
After that – the Titans are scheduled to play two games at Nissan Stadium in November (vs. Chicago and Indianapolis) and two games in December (vs. Cleveland and Detroit -- capacity could reach 21 percent, roughly 14,500 fans, which is the maximum capacity the facility can accommodate under current CDC guidelines. Outside of the seating bowl, suites will operate at a limited capacity.

Michael Kennedy from Muscle Shoals, Alabama
Question:
Hi Jim. I'm a long-time reader, but first-time writer. This isn't so much a question as it is a request. Please pass along to the organization how thankful I am for the opportunity to buy tickets to games this year. As a season-ticket member I have realized that I take for granted the fact that I get to enjoy gameday Sundays every week. It really hurt seeing the stadium empty and having to watch the game on television. I was so excited to get the email stating that fans would be allowed back. The process to buy was easy when it was my turn and I feel very safe with the layout they have put together. I look forward to seeing my brothers and sisters in two tone blue very soon. Titan Up!

Jim: Hey Michael. Glad things worked out, and I appreciate you sharing the story of your experience. I'm looking forward to seeing Titans fans back at Nissan Stadium. I'll never get used to games in empty stadiums.

Tyler Ebert from Hanover, Pennsylvania
Question:
Hey Jim! As usual, you are killing it with these mailbags... It is most appreciated coming from out of state and wanting to keep up with all things Titans. I have a quick comment and a question for you today. First, I think those first 2 tough wins will be very important for our long-term success. Once we can get healthy on defense and get The King warmed up, we are going to be a force to be reckoned with. This is the most excited I have been for our squad since our Super Bowl run. My question is in regards to single game ticket purchases. I typically go to Nashville once a year for a game and I would like to do the same this year (preferably the Thursday night game against the Colts) but I am curious how ticket purchases will go. Any information you could provide would be a huge help. Thanks again for all you do and TITAN-UP!

Jim: Appreciate it, Tyler. Well, the ticket buying process started this week, and it was open to season ticket members. The team has not put single game tickets up for sale, and at this time, due to capacity restrictions, tickets will not be made available to the general public. If anything changes, it will be posted on TennesseeTitans.com/tickets. Already, at least one game has sold out. Right now, you're best bet could end up being on the secondary market, like StubHub. But they're pricey and not many are available.

Michael J Lucas from Idaho
Question:
With regard to your article about tight ends coach Todd Downing, I am glad to see that someone is doing something positive about race relations. There is one race: The Human Race.

Jim: Appreciate you reading, Michael. Here's the story, for those who missed it: CLICK HERE.

David Kennedy from Hytop, Alabama
Question:
Stupid Quick Question: What does it mean when the team does a "walk through"? Are they in street clothes? Do they wear cleats? Always wanted to know. Thanks.

Jim: Hey David. There's no such thing as a stupid question in here. Only stupid answers. A walk-through is pretty much a slower-paced practice, with no pads or helmets. It's a way for players to go through their assignments and plays, usually in a jersey and shorts.

Alex Garcia from Monterrey, Nuevo León
Question:
Hey Jim! This is Alex from Mexico, I'm a huuuge Titans fan since a long time ago. I have followed your work for so many years and I love what you do and your resilience with our team. For my question here, I just wanted to ask you if there's any update on Big Isaiah? I would love to see him, despite the great job that Dennis have made. Thanks for your awesome daily work and you already know, if you need some help I'm at the entire disposal of our team. #TITAN UP!

Jim: Hey Alex. Isaiah remains on the team's Reserve/COVID-19 list. He's working to get himself back and available, but he has to be cleared first. In the meantime, as you said, Dennis has done a solid job, and I expect him to continue to do a solid job. I've always viewed Isaiah as the future, and it all hinges on his progress as well as how Dennis continues to perform.

Have a great weekend everyone!

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