NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Well, the Titans rookies are in town for this weekend’s minicamp.
Later this month, the entire team will be on the field for organized team activities.
Before hitting the field to watch the rooks, I banged out another mailbag.
Let’s do this…
Jerome Lhurriec from Nantes, France
Question: Hi Jim. I'm very excited by our offseason but one movement is very surprising for me. I don't understand why we let Avery Williamson go. He was an anchor in our defense and a very good player. Why did we not resign him? It remains me the departure of Zach Brown which was a terrible mistake (and the beginning of a lot of bad years). Do you have a clue? Regards, Jerome.
Jim: Hey Jerome. The reality is Avery got more money than the Titans were willing to pay him, so he went to the Jets. I like Avery, as a player and a person. But the team has made some solid moves to replace him, from drafting Rashaan Evans to signing veteran Will Compton. Look for Evans to be an impact player for years to come. The team thinks he has a chance to be a special player. As for Brown, he’s done well for himself since leaving Tennessee. But he wasn’t great with the Titans, and he wasn’t necessarily easy for his coaches at the time to deal with. The reality is if Evans turns out to be as good as expected, you won’t be wishing some other guys were still around.
Terry D from Tucson, Arizona
Question: Hey Jim. As always I am excited and hopeful about the upcoming season. I predict 12-4. How's that for a limb? I just wanted to give a shout out and say thanks to the former coaches and players for all they did for the Titans. A lot of good people no longer with the team, and I wish them well. I'd like to especially say thanks to DeMarco Murray. He is a good guy and I am sorry that injuries cut short his time with the Titans and I for one will miss seeing him on the field. Any chance he will get another shot somewhere? Thanks.
Jim: Hey Terry. Bold prediction there. As for Murray, he did a lot to change the culture here. He was a real pro for sure, and I hope he gets another shot. I think he will, but it might be closer to training camp. Some of the places he visited in free agency filled those spots with other backs.
Ryan Mumaw from Northwest Ohio
Question: Hey Jim! Thanks for the time! And Titan Up!! Feels like football time again finally!! So, I know last time I wrote in, the helmets/uniforms had me kinda let down; but we are worlds away from that now!! I mean we are back down to football business now! And I must say I have absolutely love what Jon and everybody else in the organization has been able to do with the drafts the past couple years!! And this year has been no different throughout the first few rounds! I am stoked we made the move for Rashaan -- he is a beast and will (hopefully, and most likely) be able to fill Williamson's spot in the middle with mental and physical dominance and minimal time! And the fact that we got him that low was pretty crazy! Then to turn around and make the move on Harold Landry in the second round, just wow.. First, most thought he would be gone before where we got him .just like most thought the same about Rashaan and that our best bet was to take Landry there .. so the fact that we were able to get both of those guys is impressive, and that's an understatement!! Clearly I'm very excited about these guys, as is everyone else that knows anything about football, the way our titans play it, and the type of players we want! .. so with all that said my question is, where do you see Landry fitting in the lineup just at first look? I'm wondering if maybe me aren't seeing/ didn't see on tape, enough out of Dodd with the new coaching staff; or if we just see something special in the near future with the duo?, or is it more of a depth/ side of the ball thing? .. thanks for the time and can't wait to see what we have up our sleeves for the rest of the draft and off-season!
Jim: Hey Ryan. Thanks for the question. Well, as coach Vrabel said, the players – and their performance -- will determine how they fit in, and what kind of role they might have out of the gate. I expect Evans to compete for a starting spot alongside Wesley Woodyard, but Will Compton is going to fight for the job as well. He has something Evans doesn’t have -- experience. Same for Derrick Morgan and Brian Orakpo, two OLBs ahead of Landry and Dodd and everyone else in the pecking order. Landry should give the team another dimension -- and weapon -- from a pass rushing standpoint. I hit on Dodd extensively in this mailbag last week, but I’ll say it again -- clearly he’s going to have to raise his game to earn snaps. The competition is on for playing time and roster spots at that position and across the roster.
Chris Hamilton from Lake Worth, Florida
Question: Hello Jim. I’m a long, long time Oilers/Titans fans and growing up in South Florida when I told people I am a fan of the franchise it always earned me a sideways look. I’m talking back to the days of Dan Pastorini. I used to get up at 3:00 am to listen to the Oilers on armed Forces Radio when I was stationed in Germany. And to this day I still listen to the radio broadcast while watching the Titans on the NFL package. Anyways, I saw last week that a fan wondered if the titans would ever change to a synthetic turf and I sure hope they never do, having said that - the turf at Nissan Stadium always looks a little worse for wear and tear even at the beginning of the season. I’m sure it’s just me, but have you heard any similar complaints? Thanks for reading my question. I’m super stoked for the upcoming season.
Jim: *Hey Chris. Appreciate your support, and your service. Well, the grass late in the season at Nissan Stadium actually used to be a bigger topic of conversation, especially in the early 2000s. I actually think it’s held up a lot better of late because the groundskeepers have done a good job re-sodding the field – or at least portions of it -- at certain points of the season. It’s not easy keeping it maintained, with 10 home games (two preseason and eight in the regular season) and Tennessee State playing some of its home games at the stadium. It will be a challenge this season as well, since the Titans have four December home games on the schedule. The good news from a turf standpoint is the Titans have just one home game at Nissan Stadium from October 14 until December 2 (on November 11 against the Patriots) so the field should be in good shape going into the final stretch. *
Braden Green from Juneau, Alaska
Question: I know that the draft buzz is palpable, but I have a jersey question. Have you heard if there any plan to make a #12 fan jersey for those of us that may just want to wear our team’s colors and support our whole team? This would also tie nicely into the Titan’s Greek mythology since there were originally 12 titans, so it’s not like we would be trying to blatantly copy another team’s fan jersey. If one isn’t in the works...could you just run that up the flagpole for us fans. I’d wager that they would sell truckloads, if the powers to be factor such considerations into their decision. Thanks Jim, you’re doing good work down there.
Jim: *Hey Braden. Appreciate the email, and comments. You’re in luck if you want a No.12 Titans jersey. At titanslockerroom.com, there’s an option to customize any jersey, from number to name. I think it would be a big hit in Juneau – and at Nissan Stadium! *
Dale Stephens from Memphis, Tennessee
Question: Hey Mr.J. 1st thanks for letting us the fans be apart this column. I enjoy every week. Thanks again. Which brings me to this question: Do you think the players can respond to some of our questions? Just thinking out loud lol. I’m sure they read it Wassup #22 I luv your attitude you helping me teach my sons (Humbleness). Well. Mr J -- I’m sitting at my desk at work trying think of a name for our rbacks what you think about? Double D Dynomites because they are going blow up this year and years to come!! We got a short fuse with the speed of Dion and a long fuse with the strength of Derrick. Also, Action Jackson for Adoree which i know is common but he plays all over the field. Wow!! I love the Titans and what we represent!! We Work and We Play just to say "I Love Football" Titan Up!! Babeeeeee! Let's Go!!!!!!!! See Ya at the Training Camps.
Jim: Hey Dale. Appreciate the feedback, and for taking the time. I don’t know if you’ll see players answering questions in mailbag form, but guys have done some social on Facebook live in the past and I’m sure that will continue moving forward. Hit them up on Twitter, too – you may get a response. See ya at camp!
Have a great weekend everyone!