NASHVILLE – The Titans wrapped up a minicamp this week, and the team won't be back on the field until training camp.
Don't worry, it will be here before you know it.
We're going to keep things fresh on this web site from now until then, however, starting with the latest Titans mailbag.
Let's dive in …
Here's the link to ask questions: CLICK HERE.
Josh Tiano from Grimes, Iowa
Question: I would like to know your feelings on something, as well as some of my fellow Titans fans. I'm sure I'm not the first one to think this but I can't help but feel like we should have given Corey Davis a new contract and put the Julio Jones money toward another pass rusher. I love the possibility of what Julio can do catching and blocking but Corey is younger and cheaper. It took him a while to come along but he also had Mariota throwing to him most his career not Ryan. With that said no disrespect to Mariota, great person and Titan, any team would be lucky to have someone of his character. It just didn't work with us like it should have. THANK YOU AND TITAN UP
Jim: Hey Josh. I know you're not the only one who probably feels this way, because Corey is respected by so many. And don't get me wrong for what I'm about to say, because I've always liked Corey Davis, and what he did for the Titans. I thought he was underrated, and he did a lot of dirty work. He's a class act. But give me the choice between Corey and Julio, and I'd rather have Julio. The guy is a future Hall of Famer who, in my mind, has several years left. He's a proven, big-time playmaker, and he's going to impact the way defenses plan for the Titans. The Titans weren't going to give Corey the monstrous contract he got from the Jets (three years, $37.5 million, $27 million guarantees). A year before, the team opted not to pay him the $15.68 million in 2021 by picking up his option. Well, Jones is scheduled to make $15.3 million in 2021, so Jones ended up being cheaper in 2021. We'll see what happens with the contract moving forward, but again, I'd rather have Julio. And, with the Bud Dupree contract, the Titans spent a lot of money to fix the pass rush.
Anthony Moore from Melbourne, Australia
Question: Hey Jim. Long time Aussie Titans Fan here. I'm curious to know the process of signing draft picks. Some seem to sign pretty quick and others seem to take a while. Why is this? Many thanks and Titan Up.
Jim: Hey Anthony. These rookie contracts are pretty straightforward these days, and already the team has signed six of its eight picks. Only third-rounders Monty Rice and Elijah Molden remain unsigned at this point. Some of the timing hinges on the contracts of players surrounding them in the draft. If there's a lag in a certain round for guys to get deals, it oftentimes impacts others. But I wouldn't sweat it. All these deals will get done before camp.
David Johnson from McKenzie, Tennessee
Question: This wrestler that was recently signed is a curious addition. Wasn't Karl Klug a wrestler?
Jim: Hey David. Yes, as a matter of fact, Karl Klug was a wrestler back in the day. In high school, Klug was three-year letterman in football and wrestling, and a two-year letterman in track. He qualified for the state tournament in Minnesota in football, wrestling and track.
Aaron Bulfin from Beerburrum, QLD, Australia
Question: Heard you're looking for a nickname. Personally, I would find 'YAC attack' fitting in that AJ and Julio are so dominant and physical with their yards after catch, and we know King Henry's most damage is also done after contact. I do believe Kittle and co. in SF already go by YAC Bros? But still, we can claim a similar moniker. On a more serious note, I believe everyone loves the offseason additions so far, but above all I love it for the fact that these guys are excellent culture fits, Julio is not a diva and has not shown such traits in the past he lets his play do the talking. This fits in well with both Henry and AJ where they want to be the best and let the film to the talking for them. Shoutout (no free shoutouts) to the bussin' boys who gave a good review of the Julio addition on their latest pod and what it would mean to the team and offense for the upcoming season.
Jim: Oh man, two from Down Under in the mailbag! Appreciate it, Aaron. And I think you're right on with your assessment of Julio and his mindset.
Rick Pinkerton from Terryville, Connecticut
Question: Thanks for keeping us in the loop. I am excited about the Julio trade. I have one question? With AJ on one side and Julio on the other and Derrick running the ball, it would seem to me that the slot receiver be it Dez Fitzpatrick, Josh Reynolds or someone else they could have a huge season, being the least on a defense list. What are your thoughts?
Jim: Hey Rick. Well, those guys are definitely going to benefit from Julio and A.J. getting most of the attention. Right now, because of his experience, Josh Reynolds is probably in the best position to take advantage of more opportunities. I've been impressed with Dez this offseason, however, and think he's going to help as a rookie.
Art McDonald from Nashville, Tennessee
Question: (With the signing of Adam Coon) there seems to be some discussion about college wrestlers playing football in the NFL. Way back near the merger of the AFL and NFL, the Denver Broncos drafted Curley Culp from Arizona State University where he was a 2-way lineman. Part of the intrigue of Culp was he was the NCAA heavyweight Wrestling Champion. Denver was unsure of what to do with him and traded him to the Kansas City Chiefs where he practically originated the "Nose" Position on the D Line. He played 14 years in the League, and was the NFL Defensive Player in the league in 1975 with the Houston Oilers, who had acquired him from The Chiefs. Reportedly, he was one of Bum Phillips favorite players. He was a 6x Pro Bowler and is a member of the Chiefs Hall of Fame. He was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 2013 and is the perfect example of a wrestler who became a legendary defensive lineman in the NFL.
Jim: Good history lesson here, Art.
Randy Porter from Hendersonville, Tennessee
Question: Hi Jim. In the last Mailbag, mention was made of a needed "nickname" for the triple-threat of Henry, A.J. and Jones. I wanted to remind everyone that while no doubt a threat, it includes more than the three mentioned. It all starts with Ryan Tannehill, who has proven to be a threat on his own. Without him, the other three can't accomplish much. Then there's the O-line, that everything hinges on. Then the quality of play design and coaching.. The point is, I like monikers and fun nicknames and look forward to this one. But, I think it's been created already and embodies everyone mentioned - A blue skull and crossbones, with "Pick Your Poison !" - Hopefully there will be no antidote! Thanks for everything Jim!
Jim: I hear ya, Randy.
Brendan Brunet from Saskatchewan, Canada
Question: Hi Jim! Titanup from Saskatchewan, Canada! I'm sure you're going cross-eyed from reading Julio Jones' name, and like everyone else I can't wait to see what defences are going to be up against this season! I think this years team has a legitimate chance to lead the league in some major offensive categories, and potentially set some records (looking at you King Henry!). Anyways I have two questions for you... First, our kicking game and special teams definitely contributed to a couple losses last year, what is the outlook at the kicking position and special teams in general? Second, my wife and I will be traveling to Nashville in October to watch the Bills Mafia get disappointed, I have heard of stadium tours being potentially available, what are the other ways to get as close as possible to some of the action of the team? Seeing some of the players up close would be awesome, maybe I can even get lucky enough to snag an autograph or two! Take care Jim, it's going to be a great season...hopefully one for the record books!!!
Jim: Hey Brendan. The kicking position remains a question mark. Blake Haubeil and Tucker McCann are battling during the offseason, but I'm not so sure either will be the kicker this fall. Depends on how they do in camp. But neither guy has NFL game experience. Stephen Gostkowski lives in Nashville and I understand he's still interested in playing. Other options are also available. Put this in the TBD category. As for the stadium tours, unfortunately the team will not be bringing back the public tours this fall. Maybe you can get lucky on game day?
Giovanni Cruz from Maple Grove, Minnesota
Question: Hey Jim! Titans fan over here from Minnesota. Hope all is well. I've been a fan since they played at Liberty Bowl and I haven't been more excited. I think JRob and Vrabel have done an awesome job this off-season and the time is now to go win big. Now, I'm just confused on why everyone thinks that the Titans need to sign a TE?!? I understand Anthony Firsker isn't name that everyone knows but he has done a great job every time his number is called. He doesn't drop a lot of passes and he is a good blocker. Isn't that what you need from your TE....block, block, block, catch?! I think with adding Julio is going to open so many opportunities for Firsker and everyone will know his name by the end of the season. Thoughts?
Jim: Hey Giovanni. Appreciate your loyalty. Tight end does remain a topic of conversation for sure. I've been pretty consistent in saying I think the team will add another tight end myself. It's not that I don't have confidence in Anthony Firkser, or Geoff Swaim. It's just the team is really young and inexperienced after those two. Personally, I think guys like Tommy Hudson, Miller Forristall, Briley Moore and Jared Pinkney are probably battling for a practice squad spot, which leaves open a spot for a third tight end on the 53-man roster. I still suspect someone else is going to join the mix at some point. But I will say Anthony has looked really good this offseason, and there's no doubt in my mind he's going to help the team just like he did last year.
Randy Martell from Las Vegas, Nevada
Question: How did Hasahn French look during practice? Does he have any promise?
Jim: Hey Randy. You're referring to the 6-foot-7, 240-pound former Sant Louis basketball standout, of course, who tried out for the team this week. He's a big boy for sure, but he's still finding his way as a football player. He wasn't immediately signed by the team like the other tryout guy – cornerback Kevin Peterson – was on Friday. I'll drop in a few videos I shot of French below.
João Gabriel Schutze from Brazil
Question: Oi Jim! How are you doing? I've just watched your observations. I see the mood is great. I see committed and determined players but I also see a great atmosphere! I'm sure they are going to do the impossible for the team. Take care!
Jim: Oi Joao Gabriel!
Mario Collier from Nashville, Tennessee
Question: Do you expect the Titans to add another pass rusher or TE? Also do you'll think they'll add another DB to the mix because of the recent retirement?
Jim: Hey Mario. I just hit on the tight end position. The GM used the OTAs and minicamp to see where things stand at certain positions. I have a feeling you'll see some more roster shuffling at some point before camp.
Chris Strickland from Pensacola, Florida
Question: Hello Jim. My question is with the addition of Julio Jones will we see a lot more one on one opportunities for AJ Brown in the slot against linebackers and safeties?
Jim: Hey Chris. He's definitely going to get more one-on-one situations. But I think you'll see a lot of guys working in the slot. That's where Josh Reynolds had a lot of his success with the Rams.
Brad Withrow from Mount Juliet, Tennessee
Question: Did any of the Titans players seem star struck during OTA'S that Julio Jones is their new teammate and he was on the same field as they were practicing?
^I hope this makes sense
Jim: Hey Brad. I'm sure a lot of the younger guys – who undoubtedly watch the NFL and play Madden – had to be thinking it was pretty cool when he strolled out there. But they're all pros and teammates now, so there's no time for spectating.
Steve Seburn from Haileybury, Ontario, Canada
Question: Hi again Jim! I wrote in March 15th talking about what Jrob had been doing with the lack of moves he was making in the first wave of FA and being a bit gun-shy after last year's mistakes with the draft and Clowney signing. I'd like to apologize now that I'll be the first to admit I don't watch college ball but from what I've read and seen looks like Caleb is the polar opposite of our self-destructing first round pick from last year and now that we are 3 months into the new league year I think our GM has defiantly made the splashes needed with Dupree and now Jones. Thanks again to JRob for restoring my faith in him!
Jim: I'm sure J-Rob accepts your apology.
Heather Mims from Columbus, Ohio
Question: Hi Jim How are you It's been a minute since I comment on here. I want it to say how exciting it is that we have JULIO JONES for the Tennessee Titans Football team. We are Ready for some Fresh start when football starts Back in September also In preseason. My question for you Jim is true that the Titans Let go a former saints they call him Jack Rabbit His Last name is Jenkins or is he still on the Titans? The Reason I asked that Because after the season was over the Titans got some New Players on the Team Like Dupree, AUTRY, Lamm, Jenkins and some more players. Titan UP all the Way Let's go TITANS Let's Go
Jim: Hi Heather. Jackrabbit is indeed still on the team, and I must say he looked great at minicamp this week. The guy is feisty!
Kevin Klix from Santa Fe, New Mexico
Question: I am excitaning up with all the positive energy as we wait to hear the first new teammates say "all four phases of the game", my sure fire indicator of a buy in. May I offer a Titan sized Thank You to the person who made it all possible, Amy Adams Strunk. I have been having the most fun watching the team ever and I go back farther than "Luv ya Blue ", we've always had grit, with the addition of this staffs dedicated work preparation is meeting opportunities window. When might we expect to win swag in the q&a for ...oh anything? Cue the 2
Jim: Cue the 2, Kevin…
Calvin Spadafore from Houston, Texas
Question: Hey Jim. Calvin back at you from Htown. Keep up the great work that you do for us die hard fanatics out here in the South!! As you know I've been reppin the Oilers/Titans since I was 7 years old(1978). I used to go the Astrodome when I was young and watch Earl Campbell run over everybody like BamaTrain#22 does now!! Last time I wrote I raved about Dez Fitzpatrick and you accused me of being his agent lol. But it is what it is. Obviously that ain't true and that was before the Julio trade and that's what makes my point even better about Dez!! He will benefit from Julio being there,,along with the rest of the guys!! But my question today is this?? The media is dogging us as usual and their main focus is that our defense still sucks and we can't defend the pass! I believe they have us listed at 7th in the AFC behind the Chiefs which is total bs!! My opinion is this, ,don't they realize that we got the most underrated and overlooked signing this off-season that's even better than Julio and Dupree in my opinion which is JIM SCHWARTZ!! These so called "experts" done forgot what this man is capable of,,do you agree?? I believe our defense will be top 10 at least!! So with that talent we have on defense along with Schwartzy helping Shane out,,we will be a force against K.C. BOOK IT!!! But thanks for your time my man and thank JRob, Vrabes, and Miss Amy for everything they do for our Titan Nation!! I've been waiting 40 years for a Super Bowl victory!!! I'd love to see that Lombardy Trophy in Nashville before I pass away,,God forbid!! Love you all,,#Titan Up!
Jim: I like the enthusiasm, Calvin! I'm not going to make any bold predictions about the defense yet, though. These guys are going to have to come together and prove it.
Russell Ries from Nashville, Tennessee
Question: Now that the dust has settled and Julio Jones is a Titan, what do you think the team needs to accomplish in order for this trade to be considered a success?
Jim: Win a lot of football games.
Have a great weekend everyone!