NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Two Monday Night Football games, a Thursday night contest, and a bunch of Sunday slugfests highlight the 2018 schedule for the Titans.
In the world of the mailbag, it's all about Saturdays.
Let's get this week's edition out of the bag as we gear up for the NFL Draft …
Michael Newsome from Drexel, North Carolina
Question: As soon as I saw the schedule, I noticed 3 things that popped out to me. The good: We only have road games on back-to-back week 1 time all year. The bad: We have a stretch from Week 7 to Week 12 that will see us only play in Nashville 1 time, and that lone home game will be vs New England! That is a tough stretch right in the middle of our season. @Chargers (London), bye week, @Cowboys, vs Patriots, @Colts, @Texans ... wow! Which brings me to the 3rd thing ... we close out the season with 4 of our final 5 games in Nashville! vs Jets, vs Jags, @Giants, vs Skins, vs Colts. So, if we can come out of the tough stretch mid-season going at least 3-2 with at least 1 divisional win in that stretch, then we could be set up beautifully for a push to the playoffs (and possibly the division title) in front of our home crowd.
Jim: *Hey Michael. Good observations. It is a tough middle stretch of the schedule, but it's a tough beginning as well. And while the ending might look somewhat favorable, it's hard to say in April. When the schedule came out last year, I thought ending against the Rams and Jaguars would be a good thing. The Rams, of course, turned into a juggernaut in the NFC, and the Jaguars ended up being one the AFC's best teams. One thing is for sure: It's an exciting schedule with the two MNF games, the Thursday primetime contest and the London game. The season can't get here fast enough, huh? *
Francis Parkman from Fargo, North Dakota
Question: Hey, Jim. I'm loving the additions Jon Robinson has made since taking over as GM, especially in the speed department. With all of these weapons and speed we have on the field, I feel we should change our playing surface from grass to an artificial turf, which I think would help showcase our speed. My question are there any plans to change the playing surface this summer or sometime in the future? Thanks for the feedback.
Jim: Hey Francis. Personally, I prefer the grass surface. I know it's tougher to maintain late in the season, especially when there's a string of games like there will be this December (four games in the final month). And most players prefer the grass over the artificial turf. It's better on the body. Right now, I can't see a change to artificial turf happening. At least there's been no buzz about it inside the building.
Andrew Myers from Maryville, Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim. Thanks for all of your clarity when doing these Q & A with us fans. I was just wanting to know what the status is on Aaron Wallace, I've been trying to watch the site closely, but haven't seen any news lately thanks again for your work.
Jim: Hey Andrew. Aaron is a guy I'm going to keep an eye on when the minicamp starts in the coming week. As you know, he ended the 2017 season on Injured Reserve, and that came after an impressive offseason. He was looking good before his setback. He's healthy now, and he'll be in the competition this offseason for a spot on the roster. The team likes his versatility at the linebacker position, and he's a guy who can help on special teams.
Alex McCormack from Madison Alabama
Question: With the Titians new addition like Deion Lewis and Malcolm Butler, are the Titans ready to make a run at the Super Bowl? I think the Titans need to trade up in the draft to get Calvin Ridley.
Jim: Well, that's the plan, Alex. At least to make a run at the Super Bowl, that is. I think the team will be better in 2018, and the 2017 squad made a pretty good run. As for Ridley, he'd be a great addition. But there's no guarantee he'll fall into striking distance in the draft, and the GM I'm sure has a pool of players he'll be keeping an eye on. I think Ridley is going to be a good one, but the team has other needs to consider as well. When the mailbag drops next week, we'll know.
Tom Woxland from Mount Juliet, Tennessee
Question: Mr. Wyatt. When did the Titans release Eric Decker? Thanks
Jim: Hey Tom. The Titans didn't release Decker. He signed a one-year deal last offseason, and it expired at the start of the new league year, when he became a free agent. Right now, he remains unsigned.
Samuel Stevenson from Yonkers, New York
Question: Hey Jim. How's it going? Wanted to know do you think the Titans should go after Dez Bryant now that's he's a free agent?
Jim: *Hey Samuel. I'm sure this is a popular question in mailbags across the NFL. Well, Dez hasn't been signed by anyone since the Cowboys let him go. I'm sure teams are focusing on the draft right now. While he's a great player, I'm just not so sure he's a good fit, but that decision is above my pay grade. *
Bill Bohall from Portland, Tennessee
Question: Not a Question, Jim but a comment re: the red jerseys...One of my wife's prize possessions is a red Marc Mariani AFC Pro Bowl jersey. Maybe this is the red jersey people are talking about. And, Yes, they are rare!!!!!
Jim: Hey Bill. Yes, those things are unique. I still see them around town. And I know a lot of fans thought/hoped the team would one day wear them in a game. But it was always a novelty/commemorative jersey, and now it's not a part of the jersey colors, at least as a primary. Glad she was able to get a hold of one. And I'm sure Marc is happy she's reppin' his jersey, too
Josh Bomar from Knoxville, Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim! I blew up your email last year every week, and now that the draft is right around the corner, I'm back from my hiatus. In the Mularkey era, the team always went heavy on offense in the draft. Now that we have a defensive minded head coach, do you see the staff switching to a heavy defensive draft? It makes the most sense, especially sense, in my opinion that is where we are the weakest, especially in the secondary and linebacker group. I am excited about Malcolm Butler. I just finished reading an article about how Danny Amendola and many of his teammates were upset that Butler didn't play in the super bowl, so that gives you excitement as a Titans fan, because who knows his talents better than the guys he practiced with and played with each week? Last question. Why did www.titansonline.com get rid of the million dollar opportunity to pick the draft in correct order? That was fun. I would guess that it was because someone won it … Thanks for all you do Jim. Titan up!
Jim: Hey Josh. Good to hear from you again. I actually think the background of the head coach doesn't necessary influence the picks as much as the needs of the team. And keep in mind, GM Jon Robinson is the one making the calls. With that said, it wouldn't surprise me if defenders outnumber offensive players in the draft, based on current needs and depth. Right now the team is scheduled to make six picks, so a 3-3 split isn't outside the realm of possibility as well. As for the contest, which allowed contestants to correctly pick the first 15-20 players or so, no one ever won it. And it doesn't sound like it's going to be up and running this year. Heck, anyone who could pick the first 15-20 players/teams in the draft deserves more than a million dollars anyway!
Have a great weekend everyone!
TitansOnline.com looks back at some of the team's #1 draft picks over the years. (AP Photos)