NASHVILLE, Tenn. – After back-to-back wins, the Titans are now headed to Indianapolis.
A meeting with the Colts, and quarterback Andrew Luck, is on the horizon.
But first, another Titans mailbag…
Jamie Konitzer from Manitowoc, Wisconsin
Question: Hey Jim. I’ve written in a few times this year to vent but I’m keeping it positive this time (sorta)! I loved watching us get revenge against the Evil Empire last Sunday. I’ve been told that Andrew Luck has some kind of winning streak against us in his career! I think it’s time we deal him a loss! I know specifically Coach Vrabel has pointed this out to his players this week. If that doesn’t motivate the Titans to play at a high level on Sunday in Indianapolis, then we don’t deserve to go to the playoffs! Agree or disagree?
Jim: Hey Jamie. Well, it’s nice you have some positive stuff to write me about! Yeah, that losing streak to Andrew Luck is an ugly one – he’s undefeated in nine games vs. the Titans. I’m not so sure losing to the Colts would cause anyone to feel they’re not worthy of a playoff spot, however. It’s a challenge, because the Colts are much improved. But no matter what happens, six regular season games remain, including a big one at Houston on Monday night the following week.
Daniel Fernandez from Santa Barbara, California
Question: What is the Titans plan to put pressure on Andrew Luck?
Jim: Hey Daniel. I think defensive coordinator Dean Pees is up to something. Let’s face it – it’s not going to be easy. He hasn’t been sacked in the past four games, and he’s been hit just nine times in those four contests. They do a good job of protecting him, and Luck does a good job of getting the ball out quick. The Titans will try, of course, with different rushers, and probably some blitzes. Another key will be to get hands up, and try and knock down some footballs at the line of scrimmage.
Arthur Williams from Thompsons Station, Tennessee
Question: I like the way the offenses shaping up. I particularly like lining up Derrick Henry in the Wildcat. The problem is other defenses know exactly what we are going to do. Do the Titans have options like a power sweep to a wide receiver or a lateral to the quarter back for a deep pass?
Jim: Hey Arthur. The mark of a good team is the ability to have success even when the other team knows what is coming. The Patriots saw Henry in the Wildcat on Sunday, and they couldn’t stop him. I get what you’re saying, though. As far as other options out of the formation, I’ll just say … stay tuned.
Dale Stephens from Memphis, Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim. Quick Question. Do you think Delanie Walker can return this year and if so what is the time he allowed to come back?
Jim: Hey Dale. I asked Delanie this question this week. He’s not ruling it out. Since he was placed on IR after the team went to 53 players, he’s eligible to return at any time. This is exactly what Delanie said when I asked if there’s a chance he could return this season: “In my mind, it's just to get healthy. But in the back of my mind, if I can get healthy earlier where I can come back and play, I’m going to do that. But like I told you guys, I really don’t know. I don’t know what the time length is going to be. I feel good right now. Could I feel better when the time comes when we’re in the playoffs? Yeah. We’ll see. But right now, I’m just worried about taking it day by day just to get healthy and be able to come back next year. But if I can play this year, I will."
Rasheem Harrison from Farrell, Pennsylvania
Question: Kenny Vaccaro has been a nice addition for the secondary. Are there any plans to give him an extension this offseason?
Jim: Hey Rasheem. I think Kenny’s been very good. I like his physicality, and I think he’s brought an edge to the defense. But this is a question that won’t be answered until after the season, when the team will have some decisions to make at the postion. Vaccaro’s contract will be up, but safety Johnathan Cyprien remains under contract. Cyprien is currently on IR (he’s not elgible to return this year since he was placed on IR before the roster cut to 53).
Nicolas Delamare from Laval, France
Question: Hi Jim. How are you? Just a question about Derrick Henry and Coach LaFleur.... When we saw last year of Coach LaFleur with Todd Gurley, could we be hopeful about Derrick's improvement? Jim, what's your thoughts about the season of Derrick? Could we see him more in the next weeks? Thanks Jim and Go Titans
Jim: Hey Nicolas. Good to hear from you again. I think Derrick got off to a slow start – something he’s admitted. And I think Dion Lewis has outperformed him a lot of weeks, and that’s why he’s been used more in the offense. With that said, I think Derrick played a great game against the Patriots. He ran the ball well, and in limited opportunities he scored two touchdowns. Coach Mike Vrabel has talked about players earning more chances, and I think Derrick might’ve done that. Plus, he’s been very successful against the Colts in his career.
Johnelle C from Kaneohe, Hawaii
Question: Aloha Jim. Being from the 808 I've never been to an NFL football game before. We are super excited about this year and really want to finally see Marcus play live. I was wondering what your thought were on the pros and cons of coming to visit for home vs away games? Potentially looking at the Giants game for the away game. Which one has better opportunities to get Marcus's autograph? Will the Metlife stadium have Titans apparel and shopping opportunities? Most importantly will we win? Mahalo for your feedback Jim... we have a very important decision to make this year. Hope we can see you at the game too.
Jim: Hey Johnelle. We’d love to have you in Nashville. It’s a great city, and if you love the Titans and Marcus, you’d love a home game. With that said, New York in December would be beautiful as well. As for autographs, I’ll be honest – you’d just have to get lucky. Game days are tough beforehand, so you’d have to be in a position where he could see you coming off the field, and that comes with no guarantee. As for Titans apparel at Metlife, your best bet is the Titans Locker Room store online or at Nissan Stadium. I just don’t think you’d find much in New York. Safe travels wherever you go! Aloha.
Rick Pinkerton from Terryville, Connecticut
Question: Jim, I want to thank you for the tip about Broadway. It was awesome. You have a great city. We attended the Patriots game. What treat for me. What a great win. My wife is a Giants fan but rooted for us Sunday. I did not get a chance to meet you. We plan on coming back next year to another game and your awesome city. A couple of things. I wore my Titan gear downtown on Fri. and Sat. and was greeted with Patriots fans everywhere. They said that I was the only Titans fan they had met, and they were right. I found out from a local that they come out on Sun. and did they ever. MY family whom are Patriot fans said we played a great game and deserved to win. My 7 year old grandson, whom is an avid Patriot fan also called me to congratulate me which was VERY difficult for him to do. Finally I loved what Kevin Byard said about it being only one game and we need to take them one game at a time as we a looking up at Houston.
Jim: Hey Rick. Glad you enjoyed it. You came on a great weekend! I noticed a lot of Patriots fans myself – How could you miss them racing to the exits midway through the fourth quarter? Hey, I get why they flooded the city. Nashville is a destination city, and the Patriots don’t play here much. So this was their big chance. But the Patriots now have fans everywhere – that comes with success. They have a great organization, and what they’ve done over the last 15 years is what every NFL team wants to do – win Super Bowls, and be a perennial power. I must say, as a Nashville native, I love seeing out-of-towners come to town and enjoy the city, and boosting the economy.
Wilson McArthur from Luton, England
Question: Hey Jim. The Titans are doing so well at the moment and my word Marcus is back. But no one seems to give us any credit for it. Why??!!! It kinda makes me angry. So can you tell all the others that we are good! Because we are!! Thanks Jim!!!
Jim: Hey Wilson. Shhhhhhh…..
Ardie Melton from Fair Oaks, California
Question: Hi Jim. Two great wins have put the Titans in a decent spot to make a run at the playoffs. Very important and tough divisional games coming up. Can you share with us fans how Henry got himself into the doghouse? He has 3 TD's in the past two games and his YPC has been higher than Dion's. I think the majority of fans want to see him get his fair share, but there has to be something we aren't seeing. Also, is Dennis Kelly strictly a back-up tackle or can he play guard as well? Good things seem to happen when he's on the field. Is there any chance he can move inside at maybe Kline's spot? Or maybe move Conklin in and let Kelly stay at tackle?
As much as Ii want Henry to take the reigns, I still believe Lewis is a very good back. I just don't believe he's the guy who should be getting 20 carries per game. I also feel bad for Flue, the guy has been a professional about his jobs for years, finally gets a chance and has a freak accident. Since I can't ask if we're going to go after Dez Bryant, can I start a new trend? Can you ask coach if he'll let Derrick run back a kick or two? We all know he needs a running start to get going, what better way than from 25 yards back? Lol.
Jim: Hey Ardie. Derrick’s not in the doghouse. As I mentioned earlier to Nicolas, Lewis has earned more snaps and carries because he’s simply been more effective. If Derrick performs well, he’ll play more. Yes, he has three TDs, but you can’t ignore the impact Dion has made. The offense is most effective when both of them play well. As for Kelly, he is capable of playing guard. I think he could play every position on the o-line with the exception of center, and that includes both guard spots, both tackle spots, and tight end. He’s a valuable guy. I don’t see him supplanting Kline, however – he’d be an injury replacement. As for Henry returning kicks, the chances of that happening are probably less than they were regarding Dez being signed in Tennessee. The Titans are No. 1 in the NFL in kickoff return average on the strength of a 35.9-yard average from Darius Jennings.
Have a great weekend everyone!