NASHVILLE – Hope everyone is enjoying July.
It's flying by, huh?
Titans training camp is now just over two weeks away.
This mailbag, meanwhile, kicks off now.
Here's the link to ask questions: CLICK HERE.
Joseph Carney from Anchorage, Alaska
Question: Hello Jim. I'll get right to it. I read some stats of our D from last season - wow, historically bad.
That said, is Caleb Farley expected to be a full-go in training camp? He could be the lockdown corner we've not had since...ever. You like what you've seen of Rashad Weaver? I'm not sure of the full details but any concern about the assault charge? And just a comment on Dillon Radunz - love the little tape I've seen of him and sounds like he's got the mental make-up to be a really good one! Elijah Molden as well. It's been discussed ad nauseum but makes one wonder how we blew the Isaiah Wilson pick. Still hurts from a football perspective but I wish that troubled young man only peace and love. Thank you, Jim, and take care.
Jim: Hey Joseph. Yes, the defense was bad last season. No sense on harping on that any further. Same with Isaiah Wilson. As for the 2021 defense, it will look a lot different. Caleb Farley will be among many new faces. When will he be out there? Right now, it's unclear. I don't expect him to be out there for Day One of training camp. I do expect him to be out there at some point in camp, however. It just depends on how his rehab continues to go. I hear he's making good progress. I like what I've seen of Weaver – he's long and athletic. I'm looking forward to seeing him in pads. Radunz is still developing. He worked all over the line in OTAs, and I expect the coaches to narrow down his positions in camp as the season draws closer. Take care, Joseph.
Mike Williams from Lakeland, Florida
Question: Hello Jim, do you think we can bring in Golden Tate into camp for a look at him for our return/ special team unit and back up wide receiver? It will bring more talent in the room. One more question: Could we bring in Delaine Walker into camp to see if he still got it and add him to our TE room for veteran guidance.
Jim: Hey Mike. I like Golden Tate. I remember watching him in high school when he played at Pope John Paul II. He's had a great career. But the Titans are deep at receiver, so I don't expect him to be added. I also don't expect to see Delanie Walker back with the team.
James Miller from Nashville, Tennessee
Question: Do you know yet what training camp dates will be open for fans?
Jim: Well, James, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but … it's not looking good for any open practices during this year's camp. Anyone who has read this mailbag over the last few months knows the construction at Saint Thomas Sports Park will keep fans away from the facility this year. It's just no going to be doable, and it has nothing to do with the pandemic. Unfortunately, the possibility of an open practice at Nissan Stadium doesn't look good either. The team planned to have at least one open session at the stadium, but other non-football events scheduled for the stadium in July and August have thrown a wrench into the plans. Nothing is official yet, but it's now looking like there might not be an open practice at the stadium after all. (And I'm not expecting one at a local high school either).
Cindy Pendergrass from Cleveland, Tennessee
Question: Hello Jim, when Ryan's contract was restructured, is the signing bonus paid up front or paid over the length of the contract? I think Ryan gets the money up front and the Titans spread it out over time. My husband disagrees. Can you explain this to me? Thank you so much for answering questions. Cindy
Jim: Hi Cindy. Tell your husband the wife is always right! When players restructure and turn base salaries into a signing bonus, they get the money up front and then the bonus is spread out over the life of the contract.
Nate Plugge from Omaha, Nebraska
Question: Hey Jim! First time submitting a Q to the ole mailbag. I've seen some concern about our pass rush, even after the acquisitions of Autry and Dupree. In a recent article, many league voices ranked Simmons as a top 5 interior-DLineman albeit his lack of experience/production thus far. If Autry and Dupree perform as they have in the past and Simmons continues to develop, I think that our DLine could quickly go from one of our weakest spots to one of the stronger fronts in the AFC! Do you agree with this? Or is this a cold take?
Jim: Hey Nate. I was in Omaha at the end of last month for the College WorId Series. The city does such a great job with the event. As for the chances of the d-line making a big leap this fall, I agree with your assessment. Plus, the addition of Bud Dupree and an improved secondary should benefit those d-linemen even more.
Neil Smith from Victoria, Australia
Question: Hi Jim. As you can see surname same I would just like to know how you see new punter James is progressing and fitting with the Titans Team going forward he had great numbers at Cincinnati college it's a big step
up can he make it in the big league he has a great left foot??
Jim: Hi Neil. You're referring to punter James Smith, who signed as an undrafted free agent, of course. I've watched James in practices, and he has a strong leg for sure. He should get plenty of opportunities in preseason games. The biggest problem for him in Tennessee is he's on the same team as one of the best punters in the NFL in Brett Kern. But if James performs well, other teams will notice.
Mark Clyde from Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Question: Can the Titans get to the Super Bowl this year?
Jim: Short answer: Yes, but they'll have to earn the trip.
Adam Finlan from Spring Hill, Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim. It's Adam. I am a Down syndrome. We went to the Tennessee Sports Hall Of Fame I got a Nashville Music City Guide please Tell Derrick Henry About it thanks.
Jim: I'll tell him Adam!
Carol Thomas from Chattanooga, Tennessee
Question: If one or more of our games should come down to a field goal, do we have the kicker(s) with experience to get us over the finish line?? I realize everyone hopes the Offense will score enough points until there won't be a need for a field goal to win a game. However, over the past 20 years I have watched our team lose some pretty important games because our kickers couldn't get the job done. I still worry that our Offense as great as it seems it will be this year might not be matched in talent and strength from the Defense and in the end it will all come back to the kicker. I hope it is a needless worry. I am looking forward to a great beginning and an even greater ending with a trip back to the Super Bowl with a win for our team and millions of fans. TitanUp!!
Jim: Not right now, Carol. As of today, the only two kickers on the roster – Blake Haubeil and Tucker McCann – have never kicked in an NFL game. The plan, for now, is to have them compete in training camp for the job. Keep in mind Stephen Gostkowsi remains on the market, living in Nashville. Other veterans also remain on the market. The youngsters will have a chance to convince management they can be trusted, and in turn keep the GM and HC from looking elsewhere. But this is a very fluid situation that will need to be monitored.
Braulio Cardenas Cantu from Saltillo, México
Question: Hi Jim!!! Hoping that you and yours are well, thank you for your exceptional work to keep us informed about what is happening with our beloved team. I think I agree with most fans that the big unknown will be the performance of the defense, however, with so many changes in key positions, at this time everything remains to be seen. Players in their second and third years who can make the big leap, the arrival of veterans with pedigree, and with first-round promises, the hope is that they all crystallize into a solid and effective group. On the other hand, the offense looks spectacular. Tannehill, Henry, Brown and Jones look to have a great season. I think Josh Reynolds, Darrynton Evans and Anthony Firkser may be the unexpected options to attack opposing defenses. I can't wait to see them in action, they can become the best offense in the league, let's hope in God that there are no major injuries. Frank Piraino's responsibility to prepare players to avoid major injuries is vital this season. Do you think he is up to the challenge?
Jim: Thank you for your comments, Braulio. Frank does a great job as the team's strength and conditioning coach. He'll put guys in a position to be successful. But as Coach Vrabel likes to say, there's a 100 percent injury rate in the NFL. And some of these injuries can't be prevented. The Titans will need a little luck in this category, too.
Have a great weekend everyone!