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Ask Jim: Titans Close Out Improved Season Sunday

Posted Dec 31, 2016

TitansOnline.com Senior Writer and Editor Jim Wyatt tackles your questions in his latest installment of "Ask Jim."

Well, this is the last Titans mailbag of 2016.
 
I appreciate all the questions, and sorry if some slipped through the cracks.
 
It’s been a fun year.
 
Let’s go out with a bang. Here we go…
 
Michael Newsome from Drexel, NC
Question: Obviously, Christmas Eve was a massive disappointment for every Titan fan.  Every possible nightmare situation was realized.  Marcus Mariota fractures his leg, Bills miss a field goal to open OT against Dolphins, Dolphins make field goal in the final minute of OT (eliminating us from Wild Card contention), then Bengals miss a field goal to officially end out hopes of the playoffs ... and it definitely took the air out of me.
 
Looking on to the Week 17, I still feel like there is a lot to play for, though.  With a victory, we will claim our first winning record since 2011 and will finish tied for 1st in our division.  That is a display of improvement in leaps and bounds over last season.
 
Also, how good does the prognosis look for Mariota's future?  Obviously, this brings up fears of career-defining or even career-ending, with Joe Theismann's injury.  However, from my understanding, Joe Theismann's was much worse, with both the fibula and tibia cleanly broke and one of them even broke through the skin. Marcus's injury, on the other hand, was a simple fracture of only 1 bone, I believe?
 
Jim: Hey Michael. Yeah, it was a brutal weekend for the Titans. Every scenario went against them. And, of course, the Titans didn’t take care of business. Guys are still ticked off about it. I can’t give you the specifics of Mariota’s injury. I haven’t seen x-rays, and even if I had, I couldn’t share. Just being honest here. But my understanding is he should be back at 100 percent when next season starts. His recovery time is 4-5 months. And I’ve seen a ton of players come back from a similar injury and be very successful.


 
NK Miller from Alberta, Canada
Question: Wondering why the Texans clinched the AFC south division with a 9-6 record yet if the Titans win against them they would both be 9 -7?  Thanks. I’ve follow the Titans ever since Marcus became the quarterback.  Thanks for a good year of rebuilding.  Titans have come a long ways since last year.  Thanks
 
Jim: Hey NK. You’re right. They could both finish 9-7. But Texans are 5-0 in the division, and the Titans are 1-4 right now. The Texans would win the tiebreaker (behind head-to-head).
 


Wyland L from Hononlulu, HI
Question: Hi Jim. It's been a sad Christmas for us fans here in Hawaii this year. I was completely deflated when we saw Marcus go down and heard about the extent of his injury. And with the Texans win, playoff dreams were shelved until next year as well. We are thinking of and praying for Marcus during his recovery.
My question is...with the loss of Marcus and the playoffs, what is the mood and feel of the team? And when is he expected to return to full strength? Also, what happened to the mindset of the offense and line...two weeks they keep Marcus clean from Miller and Houston, then in Jacksonville, they allow defenders to wreck them at the line and pour into the backfield. Really enjoyed watching this season as well as reading your posts. Thanks Jim.
 
Jim: Hey Wyland. Yeah, it was a bad weekend. And the mood, it hasn’t been great. No one is moping, but guys are ticked off. They know they let a great opportunity slip away. It’s a long wait until next year. The offensive line was solid all year, but it definitely struggled more against the Jaguars compared to previous weeks. The unit had a solid year, though, and the foundation is in place. Appreciate the email.


 
Randy Phillips from Mount Vernon, IL
Question: What do think about the Titan's targeting Mike Williams from Clemson with that 1st pick in the first round, or would you rather see them get Corey Davis with the 2nd first round pick? Any chance the Titans go after a proven CB in free agency, or maybe striking up a deal with the Browns for Joe Haden? I am already excited about the upcoming season and this one isn't even over! This team’s arrow is definitely going in the right direction!
 
Jim: Hey Randy. I like Williams. I need to see more of Davis. And there are plenty more receivers out there. It’s definitely a position of need. So is cornerback. The top two needs in my opinion. Will be interesting to see how the puzzle is put together for 2017.
 

Mark Hankins from Madison, Alabama
Question: Hi Jim: I must say it has been a definite improvement on my experience as a Titans fan, seeing some brighter days ahead for the team.  While some players also have been put in the Pro Bowl, I was wondering what coaches are saying about our DLs, outside of Casey and Klug.  I know Jones shows up some, but assignment plays sometimes aren't "seen" in the stats. What's been the assessments on Angelo Blackson (inactive 1 game at least), Austin Johnson and Al Woods?  Thanks!
 
Jim: Hey Mark. The depth has been good. I’ve heard good things about all of them. Blackson has really made strides. They’ve been more patient with Johnson, and he’s had to adjust, and I think you’ll see more from him in Year 2.
 

Jason Sansom from Palm Harbor, FL
Question: Hey Jim, I have a question regarding the Pro Bowl. I live pretty close to Orlando and am thinking about going up to support our fellas there. I was wondering if there are any meet and greet type things with the players or if they have times they do autographs or anything? Keep up the great work pal, enjoy reading your articles and watching the videos. Thanks.
 
Jim: Hey Jason. I’ve been to the Pro Bowl twice, once in Honolulu and once in Fort Lauderdale. Both times the access for autographs at events was pretty good. I haven’t seen the schedule for Orlando yet. I imagine most the events will start on Tuesday or Wednesday. Check back with me in a week or so and I might be able to tell you more about the schedule.


 
Rob Smith from Aiea, HI
Question: Hi Jim! Can't believe how fast this season went by! Looking forward to seeing how the Titans play in the Texans game and what moves will be made in the off-season.
My question is, why is Mariota's rehab time so much longer than Carr's? I assume the breaks are quite different but what is being written is Carr might be back in 6-8 weeks and Marcus in 4-5 months. Have you heard anything regarding this?
I also want to make a statement. Marcus Mariota is REALLY TOUGH! I didn't even think it was something really serious at first, even when the air cast went on I thought it was precautionary. He looked calm and cool, emotions under control and did not seem in a lot of pain. Carr's break, you could tell right away that he was injured. I know he's a tough guy too but you could tell it was something major, which is why I'm confused as to the vast difference in rehab times. I would figure Carr would have the longer time frame based upon the reactions of both.
Thank you Jim! Have a spectacular New Year's holiday!!!
 
Jim: Hey Rob. Michael asked me this as well. I can’t tell you the specifics about Mariota’s injury. I did read a piece from David Carr about his brother Derek that described his injury. He said he had no ligament damage, I know that. I just thing all injuries/breaks are different. I broke a wrist when I was younger and it healed relatively quickly. I broke it again – I actually fractured both wrists at the same time – in an accident later in life because the breaks were more complex and needed plates and screws to repair. So the rehab/recovery times were dramatically different. Have a good one.


 
Jonathan Tulloss from Brentwood, TN
Question: Hey Jim. First time submitting a question. Sorry if this has already come up.
Let's be honest, the majority of the Rams have already booked their flights to Jamaica. I'm loving the collapse, and the inevitable top 10 pick makes John Robinson my hero. That being said, what do you think Robinson will do with two first rounders? Many mock drafts have us taking a wide receiver with our first pick. That might have been a Ruston Webster move, but don't you think Robinson can find value deep in the draft (again)? I wouldn't even put it past him trading back and acquiring more picks. What do you think?
 
Jim: Hey Jonathan. Yeah, the Rams sliding has been a good development for the Titans. Makes that trade last year look even better. I’m not sure what Jon will do, but I trust he knows what he is doing. Just look at all his moves last year. Receiver, cornerback, tight end, linebackers are all positions of need in my mind, and there’s more. Another trade, based on his history, wouldn’t shock me either. Stay tuned.   


 
Seif Hussein from Cairo
Question: Hey Jim. So I've been a Titans fan since the Drew Bennett, Derrick Mason and Samari Rolle days, and ever since I've been watching on NFL game pass the Vince, Young, Kerry Collins, and Jake Locker years and all the pain and heartache that came along with it. I decided this year that it was a bad investment and should save my money on something that doesn't make me scream at my laptop every Sunday. Of course this year the team is great and I was going to renew my subscription but next game up was Kansas City at Arrowhead and I wasn't too optimistic. Of course the Titans won, so the question here is should I watch in fear of jinxing it, or just check the game score and watch highlights when it’s all said and done. 5 PRO BOWLERS. Wow it’s been a while. JON ROBINSON u da man. Keep it up Jim your work has been awesome ever since The Tennessean.
Yes I'm from Cairo, Egypt
 
Jim: Hey Seif. Thanks for the email. And way to represent Cairo! Don’t worry about jinxing moving forward. Fork out the money and enjoy the games! (Easy for me to say since it’s not my money, huh? I do have a feeling you’re going to want to watch in 2017!
 
Happy New Year everyone! Be safe!