NASHVILLE – We're now just over a week away from the regular season opener.
After a busy week of roster moves, the Titans have their sights set on the Arizona Cardinals.
My sights are set on knocking out another mailbag.
I'm diving right in.
Let's goooo …
Here's the link to ask questions: CLICK HERE.
Reuben Alvear from San Francisco, California
Question: Ah, Jurrell, Jurrell. The game's losing a good one. Yet, it sounds like he's content to walk away on his terms, and plan for his next chapters. In Dec 2019 I went to the Oakland Coliseum to see Titans-Raiders. In the parking lot efore the game a gentleman spotted me in my Titans gear, we shook hands and chatted, and he said his cousin played for TEN. I asked who is cousin was and he said, "Big #99" :-) I'm tickled that Casey is from Long Beach, CA. In June I vacationed there several days. So, it's cool to know I was in his old stomping grounds. And I'm touched that Casey does community work that involves re-entry programs, mentoring and halfway houses. I myself am a social worker. So, all this considered, I feel like I "know" Jurrell.
Jim: Hey Reuben. Jurrell will remembered as one of the all-time greats for his work on the field, and off it. He was a leader from the day he walked in the door in 2011. He was a beast on the field, a guy who showed younger players the way in the locker room. He did so much to help people in Nashville and beyond. He's one of the most accommodating guys I've ever been around. It was really cool to see him get such a nice sendoff this week.
Steve Furry from Cape Canaveral, Florida
Question: Hi Jim. My wife Sherry and I are planning on coming up for the first game of the year. We can't wait. It has been 11 years since I have been in Nashville since moving to Florida. This will be Sherrys first time to visit Nashville. We are staying downtown close to the stadium. Could you name a few good restaurants you would recommend? Is there any other game day activities you could recommend in the area? I want to thank you for doing a Great job! I look forward twice a week for your mailbag. It keeps me in tune of what is going on with my team. Thank you again Jim! Titan Up! See ya the game!
Jim: Hey Steve. You're going to be surprised to see how downtown looks now. It's a different place than it was 10 or 11 years ago for sure. My restaurant recommendation guy is Dave McGinnis, or "Coach Mac." He knows the best spots, so I asked him. He recommends: The Southern, Kayne Prime, Bourbon Steak, San Anejo, Virago, Whiskey Kitchen and Martin's BBQ. Personally, I've been to The Southern, San Anejo, Whiskey Kitchen and Martin's and I know all those are good. Superica is another good Mexican restaurant. If you're looking for casual, Martin's BBQ is top-notch. I like Acme Feed & Seed, too, it's casual, and fun. I know you can't eat at all those places in one weekend, but check the menus and see what you like best. Another place I'd definitely recommend you going to is the new Fifth + Broadway, a shopping and dining complex that has options galore. As for as gameday activities, a lot is going on. Inside the gates at Nissan Stadium, you'll find the Pinnacle TitanUp Tailgate. Here's a little info on that:
Located in the South Plaza – near Gates 7-10 (anyone can enter, it's free, no special ticket needed)
Live musical acts, appearances by T-Rac and cheerleaders, Tailgate games – cornhole and Jenga, face painters, photo opportunities ("Photo Bus"), discounted beer.
Outside the stadium before the game: Right outside the south plaza, there will be a zip line sponsored by Rackley Roofing. Near a grassy area adjacent to Lot D, there will be a Delta Dental Smile Zone, where kids inflatables are. Outside the Pro Shop is the 40-yard dash, also 104.5 the Zone broadcasts its pregame show out there. Check this link in a few days and it should have updated info: https://www.tennesseetitans.com/stadium/gameday. Have a great trip!
Rafael Hernandez from Florida
Question: The Titans cutting Dez Fitzpatrick 4th round selection after trading up in the draft does not bode well for this regime. I mean they had a chance to grab Amari Rodgers. This is a big miss on Jon Robinson after the Isaiah Wilson fiasco. What do you make of this?
Jim: Hey Rafael. Dez hasn't lived up to the expectations so far. I'm not going to argue with you there. He didn't do enough to earn a spot on the initial 53. But he was signed to the practice squad, so the team has time to develop him further. This doesn't have to be the end of the road for him here. Go back and look at the cutdown list to 53 last year and you'll see OL David Quessenberry, DL Teair Tart, TE Tommy Hudson, WR Nick Westbrook-Ikhine and RB Jeremy McNichols on there. Mason Kinsey was also on there. So Dez has a chance to keep grinding, and to get better. He's not ready yet, but the reality is he was never going to bump veterans like A.J. Brown, Julio Jones, Josh Reynolds and
others as a rookie. He needs to keep working.
Geoff Snyder from Owensboro, Kentucky
Question: Outside of the regular football question, are you aware or hearing anything about stadium entry requirements due to Covid? Similar to the Raiders and Saints? Will there be any restrictions or test/vaccination requirements?
Jim: Hey Geoff. Right now, the Titans don't have plans to require proof of vaccination at games. But I know the team stays in communication with Metro, the state, health experts and the NFL, so I imagine things could be reassessed periodically in light of the information and guidance received.
Mike Harrell from Franklin, Tennessee
Question: Jim, can you please verify for fans if there is a change in policy on tailgating with a propane grill. I have heard 3 different people, as well as interviews on the radio (104.5) bring this up and I have not and cannot find any definite policy or statements with answers. Thanks for what you do and maybe you can help with the answers to this question.
Jim: Hey Mike. Checked with someone on this and was told they are not permitted. Hope this clears it up.
Cliff Reinhardt from Chapel Hill, Tennessee
Question: I noticed Tuesday that OL Cole Banwart was included in the list of players released by the team. However, Wednesday I see he was added to the COVID list. Since Cole wasn't listed as being added to the practice squad, how is he on the COVID list after being released.
Jim: Hey Cliff. Cole was waived, but he then tested positive in that window. So, he reverted to the team's Reserve/COVID-19 list, per instruction of the league.
Dan Baird from Nashville, Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim. This might be one of the most ignorant questions you have to field here, but I don't know the NFL practice squad rules. Can a player be claimed by another team, or are they still under contract to their team?
Saw the whole preseason and Mason Kinsey flat impressed me. I had a feeling the last spot on opening day receiver roster went to Batson, and deservedly so. Experience does matter, I get it. Just hope he can't be claimed by another team, develops and gets the call when the first receiver goes down due to injury or COVID list. He seemed like a real strong 3rd down receiver from the Humphries /Welker mold. Didn't see him drop many passes. Seemed like a tough SOB going over the middle, and who has too many of those?
Jim: Hey Dan. The practice squad rules can be complicated, so there's no such thing as an ignorant question. Players can be signed by other teams off the practice squad, but the original team has a chance to keep that player first. So, let's say another team wants to sign Mason Kinsey, and offers him a spot on their 53. First, the Titans would have an opportunity to clear a spot for Mason themselves, but they'd have to release a player from their own 53 to do it. If they elected not to, then Mason would be free to go elsewhere if he chose to.
Alberto Armando Téllez Salcedo from Durango, México
Question: Una vez más escribiéndote Jim, estoy muy emocionado cómo cada año en esta época del año. Quizá esta vez más que las anteriores, por qué se que se están haciendo las cosas bien. Sobre los jugadores que hicieron el equipó estoy muy sorprendido y contento por Mekhi Sargent con un estiló muy a la Emitt Smith los buenos corredores nacen en Florida así cómo el Rey Henry. Estoy algo consternado, desepcionado por qué Dez Fitzpatrick no hizo el equipó, viene de Louisville dónde jugó el gran Ernest Givins. Muy contento por el desenvolvimiento de Cort 2.0 el buen Elijah Molden que lo comparó con Cortland Finnegan y Blaine Bishop por su estructura y su estiló de juego. Esperó que está sea la temporada soñada, tenemos una ofensiva imparable y una defensiva que ha mejorado mucho, aún me gustaría si pudiera llegar un Tackle Defensivo suplente ó NT. Saludos desde México, tierra dónde amamos a los Titans.
Jim: Hola Alberto. Mekhi se ganó su lugar seguro. Trabajó duro y corrió duro. En cuanto a Dez, puedes ver dónde acabo de hablar de él con Rafael. Seguro que ha sido una decepción hasta ahora, pero la buena noticia es que el equipo tiene mucho talento en la posición de receptor. Molden va a ser uno bueno, me gusta su estilo. Ha comenzado la cuenta regresiva para el primer partido. ¡Que tengas una buena semana!
Collin Hesselrode from Franklin, Tennessee
Question: Hi Jim! First time writing in! I am 12 years old, and have been raised a diehard Titan fan for life. My question is, what happened with Dez Fitzpatrick? I didn't see him much in preseason, but I am disappointed in how this turned out. He was our 4th rounder, and had high praise. So what happened between the Draft and the preseason that got him cut? Thank you Jim! God Bless, and stay safe
Jim: Hey Collin. Good to hear from you! Thanks for writing in. The reality is, Dez simply wasn't good enough. And, to no fault of his own, he happened to arrive in Tennessee at a time when the team is loaded at the position. Dez was inconsistent catching the football, and he was inconsistent as a blocker. He didn't show enough fight. Watching practices, I've seen him get corrected, and pushed to do better, too much. It's a source of frustration for the folks who invested in him. But as I mentioned with Rafael, this doesn't have to be the end of the road for him. He can develop on the practice squad. There's no question he has some talent – I've seen that, too. But he's going to need to do more to earn a spot on the team, and on the field.
Daniel Cotterell from Clarksville, Tennessee
Question: Jim, Help! I have to understand why Marcus Johnson made the team and Mason Kinsey got the axe..? I know the coaches see more than just games like us fans, but from reading your daily updates, it seems as though Johnson was hot early, and died off. While Kinsey got hot and stayed both hot, and fairly consistent.
As for the games, Kinsey had 14 catches on 18 targets, for 131 yards and a TD. Meanwhile, Johnson caught his only target for 6 yards. You earn targets by getting open!!! As for special teams, neither guy had a single tackle. But Kinsey had one return for 11 yards... I can't be the only guy who can't wrap my head around this one? Please make this make sense.
Jim: Hey Daniel. I'm going to start with Johnson – he got hurt, and that's what slowed his momentum. And now he's starting the year on Injured Reserve. Before his injury, I'd say he was the best receiver in training camp practices on a consistent basis. As for Kinsey, you're not alone. And I get it – he's been consistently good, and he made plays in practices, and preseason games. He's a guy who is easy to root for because he's scrappy. Mason remains on the practice squad, so he's still in the mix. But this is a team that's deep at receiver, and that kept him off the initial 53.
Have a great weekend!