NASHVILLE – And, we’re on to Week 3.
It’s been one up, one down for the Titans so far – make that one down, one up – as the team prepares for Sunday’s game in Cleveland against the Browns.
Along the way, the mailbag has been hopping.
Let’s open up another batch of mail ahead of Sunday’s game …
Here’s the link to submit questions: CLICK HERE
Buck Amodei from Penn Valley, California
Question: Hi Jim. My question revolves around the offensive line in general and Dillon Radunz in particular after Sunday’s game. While I do agree that having one gadget player who can fill in and play four different positions on the offensive line on demand and do so rather effectively… that’s a nice gadget to have. However, I struggle to name five guys in a Titans uniform that are better offensive linemen at this point. I get Skoronski and Brunskill and… well… Brewer doesn’t count because he plays Center. On the bright side, we don’t need to rush Skor back into duty if he’s not 100%, but I would argue Radunz needs to stay on the field so long as he’s healthy, once Skoronski returns. What are your thoughts on this…. ‘problem’?
I remember last year where about 90% of us fans went around and around with anyone who would debate us … that the continuity thing with Brewer at LG and Daley at LT was not going to work. When Radunz FINALLY saw the field against these same Chargers, he didn’t even last a full quarter before going down with his ACL injury. Let’s just say the football gods were not smiling on us for the second half of last season.
One more tidbit about Radunz… I had to look this up too… our record when he’s been on the field at least 25% of the offensive snaps…. is 7-1. That includes wins against the Niners, Chiefs, Chargers (yesterday), Colts 2x, Commanders and Packers… and a narrow loss to the Bengals last year. Not bad.
Okay, for the rest of the team… I’m glad we use Henry in the passing game more… but now Burks needs more than two targets a game.
Our defense is really good. It’s mathematically impossible to have more depth at edge rusher than we have now. Simmons is a beast … blah blah. We give up a lot of stat sheet yards through the air between the 20 yard lines, but we do get stingy in the red zone and when we back teams up against their own goal line. For this, I do predict we will give up a lot of field goals over the season… and hopefully not a lot of TDs. No questions here, just observations. Thank you again for hearing my question on the O Line and Radunz in particular.
Jim: Hey Buck. Dillon did a solid job against the Chargers. He did a great job at tackle against the 49ers a few years ago. His issue has been consistency, and earning that full-time starting spot. The Titans will have some decisions to make when Peter Skoronski and Nicholas Petit-Frere come back. Until then, Radunz needs to keep doing his job well.
Matt Kucerk from New Hartford, New York
Question: First off what a great OT win that was and let’s hope to keep the momentum going! My question to you is what do you think our identity on offense will be moving forward and what changes from Tim Kelly have you seen are making the biggest impact? As much as I loved hearing the home crowd chant for Henry in the redzone, I think it’s wise to mix in Spears and others given Derricks age and usage in hopes to keep him fresh the rest of the season. That being said, my follow up question is who do you see other than Henry setting the tone on offense? I know it’s early and hard to say with so many young and new faces on offense, but I’m curious to see who that guy is and if they can fill the shoes of former team captains like Lewan and Ben Jones. I feel like we’re missing some of that grit and nasty attitude of years past, particularly on the OL, and fear Vrabel/Henry can only do so much! I’d love to hear your thoughts and who you think that guy could be! Thanks for the time and Titan Up!!!
Jim: Hey Matt. Well, I think it’s going to be different week-to-week, depending on the matchups. The team has more weapons than just Derrick Henry now, and that includes fellow running back Tyjae Spears. DeAndre Hopkins and Treylon Burks are going to be utilized, along with others. So, I see a lot of guys setting the tone on offense.
Ed Lake from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Question: Props to you, Jim, for posting so many “woe is us” messages after Saints’ loss. I could see your eyes rolling from out here in OK.
Obviously a must-have win. Folk’s kick was the difference, of course, but Landry’s sack at 3rd & 3 won the game, IMO. Interesting that Chargers chose to pass then-respect for our D line and/or lack thereof for our pass D?
And, unfortunately, the Titans’ well-known weaknesses going in-DBs and O Line persist. Still dismayed/dumbfounded Carthon didn’t do more to address O Line problems, but fingers crossed Houghtaling can coach ’em up fast and furious. Keep up the good work!
Jim: The mailbag was pretty packed after Week One, that’s for sure. … The o-line is definitely still a work in progress, with a lot of moving parts.
Alan Ray from College Grove, Tennessee
Question: I’ll tell ya, Jim. I just don’t understand some Titan’s Fans. Last week it was “Tannehill is a bum and Tim Kelly’s Offense is pitiful. Complaining about the frustrating way in which the Titans lost. The O-line sucks. And all that negativity after just one game against the Saints who have a stout Defense, good QB and who were favored at their House. And the Titan’s still only lost by a point. What a difference a win makes. This week its “What a team effort! Tannehill was sharp, tough, confident and aggressive. And accurate. He came back from 11 down, drove us down the field with his excellent play in OT and set us up for Nick to win the game!” Tim Kelly called a brilliant game and Players on both sides of the ball executed when they had to. Yes, I don’t understand how I could have ignored that little voice of reason last week that told me, “Don’t hit Submit Form.” But I did. Oh me of little Faith. So to all Titans, Fans, Coaches and to you, Jim, for reading my rant and saying “Hope you feel better, Alan,” I humbly remove my plumed Cavalier and sweep it low before you all in heartfelt apology (my Therapist said it would help me heal). Titan up! Let’s go two in a row!
Jim: All good, Alan.
Bob Luciano from Easton, Pennsylvania
Question: Stonehouse is an amazing punter. Does he kick the ball too far? Last year he led the NFL by 3 yards on average length of punt. Yet he was only 4th best in net average.
Watching the game versus the Chargers was awe inspiring and scary at the same time. He boomed some kicks. These kicks out kicked the coverage and allowed for a dangerous kick returner to have lots of space. When you are at Titans practices do you ever see them working more on hang time? Taking a few yards of distance off of the kick and sending it higher to make a fair catch or at least allowing the tacklers to be in position to allow a short return. Your thoughts are appreciated.
Jim: Ryan has a heck of a leg, that’s for sure. Vrabel was asked about this earlier in the week, and he had no complaints. It definitely puts a strain on the guys covering punts. But the guy is a heck of a weapon, one of the best punters in the league for sure.
Jon Cowart from Seattle, Washington
Question: Hi Jim. Curious about why Trevon Wesco got the roster spot and playing time ahead of Thomas Odukoya. By all accounts, Thomas had a much better training camp and played much better in the preseason. After 2 games of watching Trevon attempt to play professional football, why not make the switch?
Jim: Wesco has experience, and while he needs to be better, coaches think he’s a better option right now.
Something else to keep in mind: Odukoya, since he is the international player exemption, can’t be elevated to play in the games just yet. He can start there and then move over to become a member of the practice squad, but there is a three-week waiting period (at the start of the season) before he is eligible to be elevated. The team also loses the exemption for the remainder of the season.
Here’s the full language on a little-known rule:
Promotion. Beginning with the 2021 season, an assigned club may add its IP to the Active/Inactive List by removing the international exemption and counting the IP on the Practice Squad for a minimum of three consecutive games (a bye week will count as a game). During the three-game period, no club may sign the player to an NFL Player Contract.
(1) The IP must first terminate his International Practice Squad Contract by signing the Termination by Player form. The club may then sign the player to a standard NFL Practice Player Contract. After the IP has counted on the Practice Squad for a minimum of three consecutive games, any club will be permitted to add the player to the Active List. The IP may be added to the active roster either by terminating his Practice Squad Contract and signing an NFL Player Contract, or through the Standard Elevation Addendum.
(2) Once the club has removed the player from the International Practice Squad exemption, it will not be permitted to receive an exemption for the player for the remainder of the season. Such exemption will be available for any future seasons that the participating club has remaining.
John Fleming from Guelph, Ontario
Question: Hey Jim, quick question about The Titans in London. I’ll be making the trip with my wife and two boys. I’m plotting out our itinerary, you know, Abbey Rd and War Museums and other stuff that little kids love , but I have had no luck finding info on what events the Titans will be hosting that week. We went in 2018 and by happenstance found the Titans event. My wife even got to witness Jevon Kearse do a quick wardrobe change (she’s never been the same since). Cheers.
Jim: Timely question, John. The team plans to announce the London activities on Wednesday, September 27. So, stay tuned.
Tom Holler from Oak Ridge, Tennessee
Question: Hi Jim. Thanks for everything you do to keep us all informed.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but through two Titans games (one preseason and one regular) plus a Vols game, I’m not aware of any serious issues with the new turf. I know it’s early, but I’m just wondering if there’s any comparison between the number of leg injuries between this year and last?
Jim: I feel like this is talking about a no-hitter, Tom. I don’t want to jinx anything in here.
Jim Williams from Lubbock, Texas
Question: Hi Jim. The vast improvement in Tanny’s play in the second game demonstrates the importance of playing in the preseason. Practice can’t prepare a QB for being hit in a game and the red practice jersey keeps all the QBs from even being touched in practice. Getting that game mentality of being hit on nearly every play takes time to develop in each new season and that’s why the QB looked rusty and off in the Saints game. Once he got that game mentality established, he was back to his old self against the Chargers. Also, some Titan fans complain about the team not getting much attention from the national media. A couple of ways to get national attention is for a player to publicly blame the coaching staff for his poor play. Or, a QB and WR could be yelling at each other on the side line. That doesn’t happen in Tennessee because the players are all devoted to the team being successful and not looking for individual gratification. That’s a good thing, in my opinion. So let’s not worry about what the national media says or doesn’t say about the Titans. Now for my question: Do the practice squad players watch the game from the sideline, or do they have to be in the stands or the press box?
Jim: I get this argument, Jim. But I still don’t think it makes sense to play the starters a lot in the preseason. It’s just too risky. What would people say if that Nick Chubb injury on Monday night happened in a preseason game? I think we all know. … I agree with you on not caring what national media thinks. … Practice squad players regularly watch the games from the sideline.
Joel Tanaka from Aiea, Hawaii
Question: Aloha Jim, I just watched re-runs of the Titan’s victory over the Chargers. Ryan has a hell of an arm IF given the time but a few things kept nagging at me as I watched him get sacked.
We seem a little slow in reading receiver options while pocket movement to buy extra time is just not there. Additionally, holding the ball too long while waiting for a receiver to get open creates more opportunities for sacks. In watching teams where there is great trust in the QB and their receivers (such as the 49ers) the ball is quickly out even in blitz situations. I think we need to work on our short-passing quick release game or we may be on the short end on elite team matchups. Just my opinion.
Jim: Mahalo, Joel.
Steve Boxwell from Corpus Christi, Texas
Question: Trevis Gipson
Why isn’t he playing as pass rusher
Or playing 3rd long
He is dynamic player
He can create problems for the other team
Long time Titans fan
Corpus Christi Texas
Appreciate Your insight on the team
Jim: Right now, this is a case of the team electing to use the snaps on other players ahead of him.
Arden Key played 49 snaps last week.
Harold Landry played 54 snaps last week.
Rashad Weaver only managed nine snaps.
Count Denico Autry in this group – he played 45.
The team likes Gipson; that’s why he was added.
He’ll get his chance at some point.
Wesley Pendleton from Denver, Colorado
Question: Hey Jim. Hope you are well. This isn’t so much a question, but rather a comment on the win over the Chargers. I enjoyed your comment in your ‘Six Things’ after the game about the rain that fell possibly washing away the sins of the team. Watching the game, my first reaction was far from that when I saw it was raining. It felt like ‘not only does the team have to battle all the way to overtime to get a chance at their first win in what feels like ages, but now we have to also battle the elements on a day that otherwise seemed a great day to play some football?!? You have to be kidding.’ But as often happens with these Titans, they pushed through and put an end to the losing streak. I’m proud to be a fan of this team, however this season plays out (but here’s hoping a Lombardi trophy is soon to reside in Nashville!) Always appreciate the reporting! Thanks Jim!
Jim: Appreciate you taking the time, Wesley. It was a really good win. Now the team needs to find a way to win another in Cleveland.
Jason Petty from Lebanon, Tennessee
Question: How ya doin Jim? I hope all is well good sir. My question is about Colton Dowell. The first 2 games of the season he’s been a “coaches decision” inactive, according to the Titans app. Is this because we’re carrying so many receivers they need to make him inactive? I just wondered, if he’s healthy, and on the 53 man roster why he’d be inactive? Thanks for your time. Have a good weekend.
Jim: Colton is doing a great job on the practice squad. The reality is the team has veteran receivers playing in front of him.
Mik Harris from Manila, Philippines
Question: Hi Jim. I’d just like to build on the comments made by the Swiss fan on Saturday about DAZN. Here in Asia we’ve had the same experience. Problems with account transfer, missing features, clunky interface and slow data rates leading to poor picture quality (very obvious on a big screen tv) and buffering. We have to log out and back in to change games.
The old GamePass worked great, DAZN has been a massive negative.
Their customer service is awful, particularly the robot assistant. If this is AI at work we humans have nothing to fear. I eventually got through to a real person who, to be fair, was quite helpful but this appears to be due to extreme good luck.
I’m sure someone somewhere is making a ton of money out of this so we’re stuck with it but your megaphone is much bigger than ours so please help!
Jim: Thanks for weighing in on this, Mik.
John Burnett from Dickson, Tennessee
Question: For all those doomsday folks out there after one game here’s an I told you so. One game doesn’t make a season. The O line needs work but having Henry in there more took the heat for the most part off Ryan. He may not be Johnny Unitas but he’s a lot better than some give him credit for. Jim, Hubbard seems to be doing a good job at right tackle. What do you see happening when the Titans get back their starter from last year?
Jim: I agree, John, Hubbard has been doing a solid job. As I mentioned to Buck, a lot of things TBD here. NPF isn’t eligible to come back until October 29 against the Falcons. That’s well over a month away.
Have a great weekend everyone!
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