NASHVILLE – Well, we’re another week into March, and we’re closing in on the start of the offseason program (April 15) and the NFL Draft (April 25-27).
I’m headed to Phoenix on Sunday for the NFL owners meetings, and we’ll have content from there in the coming days here at Titans Online.
But first, I banged out another Titans mailbag.
Let’s roll it out there …
Connor Scully from Erie, Pennsylvania
Question: Hi, Jim! After the initial wave of free agency has settled somewhat, I think that the Titans management has recognized the weaknesses of the team (OL, WR, EDGE) and done really well in helping those positions out. There is still some free agency left of course, but I think for the draft that getting a solid DT/DL would really help the team take the next step up. Christian Wilkins has become my favorite player to get, but there is a good chance that others will be available as well. I was just wondering after these signings, who do you think will help the team the most, and what is the biggest area to target in the draft? Thanks as always, Jim!
Jim: Hey Connor. I’m a big fan of Wilkins myself. Great player, and a really impressive young man. Did you know he graduated in 2 ½ years and he already has his Masters? When I look at the team, I still see needs on the d-line, edge rusher, interior line and even receiver for depth and competition. And, adding a tight end wouldn’t surprise me either.
Chip Barnes from Tullahoma, Tennessee
Question: Jim, what's your thoughts on the signing of Ryan Tannehill? To me doesn't seem a bad deal. However, he only seems to be a single step ahead of Gabbert. Seems e got a solid backup if anything let's just hope he doesn’t have to start.
Jim: Hey Chip. I think he was a great addition. Tannehill is the best back-up QB Marcus Mariota has ever had behind him. If Marcus goes down with an injury, Tannehill will give the team a great chance to win. I give Blaine credit for the job he did last season. He guided the team to two wins (Houston and Washington) and deserves more props that ridicule. But not sure I agree on Tannehill just being 'a single step ahead' of Gabbert. I’ll roll off these categories with the two QB, listing Tannehill’s numbers first, and Gabbert’s second: Games (88-56), Wins (42-16), Comp % (62.8-56.2), Yards (20,434 –9,063), TDs (123-48), Rating (87.0-71.7), Rush yds (1,210-631), 2018 rating (92.7-74.9).
David Crank from Fort Mahave, Arizona
Question: Hey Jim first-time writer I have a quick question any chance that we can get Dion Lewis and Derrick Henry in the backfield at the same time? I would also like to see Henry get more involved in the pass game. Ready for the Titans to take the AFC South.
Jim: Hey David. Well, it happened some last year, so I kind of expect to see it more moving forward. But with a new OC in Arthur Smith, we’re kind of heading into a period of unknowns. Stay tuned.
James Gordon from Spring Hill, Tennessee
Question: Hi Jim. Wow, I must admit that the Titans have nailed it this year. Even if there was no draft, I feel really good about the makeup of the team. I have been replaying games from this past season and mostly focusing on Marcus and the offensive line. I see a line that struggled to keep the pocket clean and a qb that didn't trust his protection and had to escape like Houdini. Getting the best guard available will go along way to helping Marcus take it to the next level. Marcus is amazing and now giving him a receiver that will get open quickly will allow Marcus to get rid of the ball quicker when he feels the pressure. I'm really excited to see the offense this year.
Jim: Hey James. Rebuilding the o-line was definitely a priority at the start of free agency, and it’s been proven by the addition of guard Rodger Saffold and the release of Josh Kline. Also, Quinton Spain hasn’t been re-signed. It’s still a work in progress, and in time the expectation is the QB will be able to settle in and not feel uncomfortable in the pocket.
Demario Patterson from Nashville, Tennessee
Question: Hello Jim! How's it been? I love the resigning of Kenny Vaccaro and signing Adam Humphries. My question; is there a possibility that John Robinson and Mike Vrabel will go defense heavy on draft picks due to the quarterbacks we will have to face this season in division play? The best available free agent edge rusher or DT to collapse the middle of the pocket would be nice if there are any worth signing. I know we need an interior offensive lineman, which I believe we need to get, but with the Jaguars signing Nick Foles and we already have to battle DeShaun Watson & Andrew Luck twice a season, we need to start drafting to win our division first priority. Any team we put together to solidify supremacy in the AFC South division will be great to win playoff games and Superbowl!!! Thanks for the time!
Jim: Hey Demario. I’m doing great, thanks. Busy, but busy is good. A defense heavy draft? Well, some needs still on that side of the ball for sure, at DT and edge. Currently with six picks in the NFL Draft, I’ll say 3-3 offense/defense right now, just to play it safe.
Ryan Gilpatrick from Indianapolis, Indiana
Question: Hey Jim, with quality free agents like Justin Houston, Ndamukong Suh, and Ziggy Ansah still available, do you think the Titans will remain active in free agency, or will they be satisfied with the additions they have already made and turn their eyes toward the draft? Personally I would like to see at least one more splash signing. Even if it isn't one of the top guys on the board, even landing a Shane Ray would help us out.
Jim: Hey Ryan. Well, the first phase of free agency is over. But that doesn’t mean the team is finished. I still suspect the team will make an addition or so, but I can’t make any promises on which players might be of interest. I’m thinking some one-year deals are still out there. Here’s what GM Jon Robinson said when asked about the potential of more moves: “I haven’t gotten the update from Vin yet,” said Robinson, referring to Titans VP of Football Administration Vin Marino, who handles the contracts. “But he hasn’t told me to put the phone down or to stop fielding calls yet. Until he says stop, I’m going to keep going.”
Joshua Cline from Covington, Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim. I have been a Titans fan since their move to Tennessee from Houston and this is my first time writing you. My question is do the Titans have a scout for the AAF league? I have been watching the games and there appears to be some talented guys shining through. Have you watched, and what are your thoughts about the potential of the league in regards to the Titans roster?
Jim: Hey Joshua. The pro scouts are definitely keeping an eye on the AAF. I’ve noticed some talented guys myself. I wouldn’t surprise me to see some of those guys resurface in the NFL, maybe even with the Titans? We’ll see…
Brandon Tademy from Lake Charles, Louisiana
Question: Since we have now signed Adam Humphries I assume to run the slot position where does that put Tajae Sharpe?
Jim: Hey Brandon. Tajae, like all the other receivers, will be in the competition for a roster spot, and playing time. Humphries will line up primarily in the slot, and we all know Corey Davis will be out there. Tajae, Taywan Taylor, Darius Jennings, Cam Batson, Devin Ross, Roger Lewis and others will be battling. But don’t rule out more additions at WR. It’s early. And every new guy that’s added should make things even more interesting in camp. I like Tajae, and coaches do, too. He had some really good moments last year but was slowed by a pair of ankle injuries late. I think Tajae would tell you himself he’s going to have to continue to bring it.
Peggy Locke from Saint Augustine, Florida
Question: What is the status of Delanie Walker? I’m hoping he makes a full recovery.
Jim: Hi Peggy. Last I talked to Delanie was after OC Arthur Smith was hired, and he was on the road to recovery then. He’s expected to make a full recovery. The offseason program starts on April 15, so we may get a better idea on his current physical condition then.
Ernie D from Nashville, Tennessee
Question: Hello Jim and thanks for keeping the Titan fateful up to date. I'm a season ticket holder from day one. They say that defense wins championships and offense sells tickets. The Titans need to sell more tickets and get better first and foremost. What do we have to do to move up to get D.K. Metcalf from Old Miss in the upcoming draft? He would really ignite the flame of the Titans. The passing game could become unstoppable. I know we need a good offensive linemen but there are always good offensive linemen available but a receiver like D.K. Metcalf doesn't come alone that often. If we want to put some behinds in the seats D.K. is just what this team needs. I'm just saying. Check him out on Youtube. D.K. Metcalf is the name. As far as winning championships we need to improve the secondary. Not near enough pass defensives by the DB's. We've been a top 10 defense a number of years. There are only two teams going to the SB. If we want to be in that game we need to be a top five defense. Stop giving teams first downs after first downs thinking we will stop-em later. That plan has holes in it, its like telling the DB's take the first two downs off and we'll stop em on third third down. Lets make them earn every down, that's my thinking. Go Titans and Let's Titan up.
Jim: Ernie D from Nashville, Tennessee. Man, that has a nice ring to it! Some Titans fans, like you, think hearing Metcalf’s name at 19 would have a nice ring to it, too. He’s a physical specimen, and he tore it up at the combine. Others are obviously skeptical about him because he wasn’t incredibly productive at Ole Miss, in part because of injuries. I’m on the fence on Metcalf. I must admit, I like the looks of his teammate at Ole Miss, too – receiver A.J. Brown.
Have a great weekend everyone!