NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The NFL Draft is headed to the Music City in 2019, and as a Nashville native, I’m fired up about it.
It’s great for the city, the Titans, and football fans everywhere.
But we have a season to play before then, and lots of mailbags.
Let’s get this one going.
You’re on the clock …
Kristan Wright from Lyles, Tennessee
Question: When will tickets go on sale for the draft?
Jim: Hey Kristan. There’s a lot to be determined with the draft, from the venues to the ticket information and beyond. If the draft is held at Ascend Amphitheater, tickets will be more limited. In Dallas, fans had an opportunity to register for standby tickets early using the NFL Draft – Fan Mobile Pass app. The NFL will determine the venues how they will distribute tickets when the event gets closer. In past years, typically, most of the activities have been free of charge, but require advance registration for a lottery-style distribution of tickets for access. Look for more information sometime later this fall or after the first of the year. Follow the @Titans and me (@jwyattsports) on social media and check titansonline.com regularly for details that we will share once the NFL determines how the events will work.
Bill from Spokane, Washington
Question: Mr. Wyatt. How will Coach Vrabel and staff be judged at the end of this season? Presumably, Coach Mularkey would not have been fired if a 10-7 record, including a playoff win, were good enough. Must Coach Vrabel win at least two playoff games to be considered an improvement over Coach Mularkey? Thanks!
Jim: Hey Bill. I think everyone has high expectations for this year, but it’s not going to be fair to judge coach Vrabel on one season no matter what happens. The reason Mularkey is no longer the team’s head coach has more to do with the big picture and his vision for the offense and Marcus Mariota than the results of last season. At least that’s my thinking. Winning 10 games (including the playoff win) was a step in the right direction, but there were clearly some trouble spots and concerns, so he was replaced. Vrabel is in the process of putting his stamp on the team, and players are adjusting to a new coaching staff. Again, while the goals are high, I think it’s unreasonable to suggest anything short of an AFC Championship Game is a failure in his first season.
Carlos del valle from Querétaro, México
Question: Hola Jim, soy fan de los titanes desde hace mas de 30 años (petroleros), mi pregunta es porque kevin Dodd no se presento en las OTAS? y si eso va a operar de alguna forma en su contra con Robinson y Vrabel?
Saludos cordiales Jim: *Hola Carlos. Aprecia tu apoyo leal. Sé que se habló mucho de que Kevin Dodd no estuvo aquí para una OTA a principios de la semana, pero tenga en cuenta que los entrenamientos en este momento son voluntarios, no obligatorios. ¿Ahora tendrá que ganar su lugar esta temporada baja? No hay dudas al respecto, y se enfrentará a una dura competencia esta temporada baja. ¡Buena suerte para ti! Gracias por la pregunta. *
Walter Surles from Raleigh, North Carolina
Question: To really say here jim will this team this season with great help for the team too. Also will mike and his crew have mad rushing on 3rd downs for other teams as well. Also this time jim will the titans really win there bracket for sure. And not the jags like they did last time now when this team pick up good free market players to win many games with mike and crew here? And the titans needs to win their home games the most and not coming up very short like last season i saw it. Also to start off every game very fast to score and play hard nose D and make turn overs as well here. And too jim will the run backs be more faster and powerful when finding open spaces as well. And for last jim will the QB play more smarter with mike as the new coach for sure while his staff call the plays on offence and D too jim. Thank You. Mr. Walter
Jim: Hi Walter. Well, going to do the best I can here. Third down rushing? Well, the team has some good options in Derrick Henry and Dion Lewis. The goal is to win the division, yes. Sweeping the Jaguars was nice, but they took the AFC South title and advanced to the AFC Championship Game. They had a great season. The Titans did well at home – went 6-2 to be exact. Starting fast will be a priority, and so will playing good defense. Marcus Mariota should have a chance to flourish under a new OC, and offensive scheme. At least that’s the hope. Thanks for the questions.
Mike Stiles from Pegram, Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim. Really enjoy your comments and insights. Keep up the good work! I saw coach Vrabel's comments about players fully understanding the playbook during OTA's. It struck me that with all the different positions and all the different schemes, the playbook must be quite complicated. How complex is it? Is it done electronically on tablets showing what each player needs to do on each play? Just curious. Looking forward to a great season and the NFL draft coming to Smashville in 2019.
Jim: Hey Mike. I can’t speak for the players on the playbook, because I’m not studying it. But I’ve heard some players speak on the subject so it gives me some insight. It’s a big playbook. To hear rookie safety Dane Cruikshank describe, it’s huge. It’s an adjustment for all the guys, especially with a new coaching staff. Guys do have tablets now and that makes it easier. They can watch plays and practices and take it anywhere. It’s a process, but from the look of things guys are getting it down and practices have been looking crisper each time out. Have a good one.
Ernie D from Nashville, Tennessee
Question: Hi Jim. Myself having been a fan and season ticket holder from day one when the Titans first move here to Nashville. I haven’t had this much optimism since the very early years mostly because of the new staff starting with Jon Robinson and Mike Vrabel, the Offense and Defensive Coordinators and all the assistant coaches seem to be excellent choices and most importantly they seem to understand what it takes to win in this day and age with so many “elite” teams in the league. I guess I could also say the “elite” teams have receivers and running backs that do not drop a pass if they can get their hands on it. I occasionally hear about receivers from other teams practicing with a jugs machine to the tune of 400 and 500 catches a day to make sure they can make any catch they can get their hands/hand on. In all these years I have been going to the Titans Open Practices I have never seen a jugs machine on the field or have I ever heard about one of our players putting in the extra time and effort with a jugs machine to make sure they can catch 99 out of 100 passes. My question is: Do the Titan Receivers & Running Backs use a Jugs machine to help sharpen their receiving skills in addition to the passes they received from the QB’s? Or are the players expected to do this on their own in the off season? I think it’s important not only for Mariota but also the coaches and play-callers to have complete confidence in a player’s ability to make the catch. Go Titans!
Jim: Hey Ernie. I’ve covered the Titans since 1999, and as far back as I can remember the team has used a JUGS machine. And I’ve regularly taken photos and videos for social media of guys using them. I actually did a slo-mo of Taywan Taylor working on the JUGS machine this week. Every day after practice the skill position guys line up to use them (the team has several). And guys go out on the field on their own all the time to use them.
Perry Haynes from Naples, Tennessee
Question: Hello Jim. First off I want to thank you for keeping us TITAN Fans up to date with all things TITANS. My question is... How do I go about getting tickets to be a part of the NFL Draft next year in Nashville? I would really like to be a part of the next BIG WAVE that the TITANS will ride into the future. I am so excited to see what awesome changes will be made this year and going forward. It is time for the TITANS to Forge Ahead and make history. We are the TITANS.
Jim: Thanks Perry. Check my response to Kristan earlier. Details will emerge in the coming months. It should be a lot of fun.
Alberto Tellez from Durango, Mexico
Question: Buenos días Jim, una vez mas realizando algunas preguntas. Con la salida de Antwaun Woods no podrían buscar a Jonathan Hankins para tener 2 NT en Logan y Hankins. otra pregunta por que nose busca a Jeremy Maclin o a Brandon Marshall para que los jovenes tengan un tutor. Creo que Deontay Burnett se quedara en el equipo.
Por ultimo por que no mueven a Kevin Dodd a su posición original en Clemson que es DE. Su estatura, peso y velocidad son mas de un DE de una defensiva 4-3. Gracias saludos a todos y #TitanUp
Jim: Hola Alberto. Agregar a Bennie Logan fue un gran logro, en más de un sentido. Y el equipo también tiene a Austin Johnson, que puede jugar por dentro y por fuera. No estoy diciendo que agregar otro jugador en la línea defensiva esté fuera de discusión, pero no es una gran prioridad en este momento. Lo mismo ocurre con la posición del receptor, donde los más jóvenes tienen la oportunidad de cargar en las repeticiones. Siempre hay una posibilidad de que alguien pueda agregarse más tarde. Recuerde, Eric Decker fue agregado a fines de junio del año pasado. Pero tendremos que esperar y ver.
Kenny Gore from Horse Cave, Kentucky
Question: Hello Jim. Been a while since I wrote in... I have a couple of questions & 1 BIG statement.
1.) When will there be open practices that fans can attend?? Any suggestions/Rules for those who attend?? I have always wanted to make it & never have been able to do so...
2.) What will it take for Amy Adams Strunk to get the media Love she so very much deserves?? (Statement is here) Amy Adams Strunk has been the heart/catalyst for the change of culture/direction of this team. Amy Adams Strunk changed everything for the Titans! Consecutive 9 win seasons. Playoff WIN! Outstanding GM. Innovative/Energetic/Promising Coaching Staff. Franchise/Facility modernized. Talks of Draft in Nashville. ALL started w/ Amy!! She DESERVES MUCH MORE CREDIT FOR ALL SHE HAS ACCOMPLISHED!! A Male Owner accomplishing HALF this would already be a media Darling & spoke of as a Franchise Savior/Owner of the Year! Coughlin in Jacksonville has done half as much & gets 2 times the credit!! I LOVE that my daughter (Who is studying at WKU to become a Trauma Nurse) has a local female role model to look up to...
She really deserves MUCH MORE credit than she gets!!! I love JRob & Coach Vrabel.... However, they would not be here if not for the forward thinking of Amy Adams Strunk!!! Thanks.
Jim: Hey Kenny. Hope all is well!
1: Dates for open practices will be released closer to training camp, which is set to begin in late July. They’ll be open for all fans – and free – and there will be at least one practice at Nissan Stadium, too (on August 4). And keep in mind the Buccaneers will practice at least one day with the Titans as well (week leading up to August 18 game).
2: I do think Amy is starting to get recognized more for her work. Folks were raving about her this week in Atlanta. And the legendary Gil Brandt gave me this great quote on her this week: “She’s doing a great job. I think Amy speaks softly, but carries a big stick.”
Have a great Memorial Day weekend everyone!
Nashville Mayor David Briley, Titans CRO Stuart Spears and Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp. President/CEO Butch Spyridon discuss Nashville being selected to host the 2019 NFL Draft. (Photos: Kristen Sheft, Nashville)