MIAMI – It's Super Bowl week, and I know what you're thinking.
All of the Titans I talked to at the Pro Bowl feel the same way.
The mission now for the Titans is to find a way to get in the big game next year.
It's going to be a busy offseason, and it's barely under way.
Let's see what else you're thinking in this week's mailbag as the countdown to Super Bowl LIV continues…
John Murphy from Hoboken, New Jersey
Question: Was there a reason why Ryan Tannehill got such limited action at the Pro Bowl? He only had 2 attempts while the other two QB's had 20+ and (maybe I missed it) but I don't believe I saw him in any of the skills challenges. Hard to understand why that is when he was a top 5 QB most of the year. I get he was an alternate but we saw LJ put up 2 points in the accuracy passing skills challenge when Tanny should've been the logical choice.
Jim: Hey John. Keep in mind, Lamar Jackson and Deshaun Watson were voted in, and Tannehill was a late addition. But on the snaps, I just think the game played out that way. Ryan was third in line, behind Jackson and Watson, and he came in with about 3 minutes left in the 3rd quarter. Ryan's first pass went for a 60-yard touchdown, so that cut short his opportunity to get more throws there. And his second toss was intercepted. In the fourth quarter, I just think the AFC was focused on running the clock and collecting the $70,000 for each player. And I'm not going to knock Lamar. After the season he had, he deserved to be in there.
Jeremy Rodriguez from San Diego, California
Question: It was a good Pro Bowl for the Titans, loved seeing all the playful interviews that were posted on FB. Glad to see our guys having fun! I don't have a question just a little bittersweet moment because I highly doubt Mariota will be back and I know Titan Nation will always want to him do great things. He is such a great individual and I know he will be successful wherever he is next year. I now hope you can lock down #22 to a 5-7 year deal, get #26 on a long term deal and franchise #17 and have him get a full season under his belt. Thanks for fielding the thousands of questions every week, your dedication to us the fans, does not go unnoticed! TITAN UP!!!
Jim: Appreciate it, Jeremy. I think everyone is on board with keeping those three, but I wouldn't expect a seven-year deal for a running back…
Tony Lockhart from Sparta, Tennessee
Question: Every year I ask the same question about the Titans defense: Why will they not look to draft or spend money to get the cornerbacks that can shutdown other teams receivers? When I see corners laying off teams receivers 15 yards or more that is just not acceptable. I feel that the Titans have a good offensive foundation but really need to put together a dominating defense like the 49ers if they are going to take their game to the next level. Thanks for your time! Tony
Jim: Hey Tony. Just keeping it real here: Not sure how you could ask this every year. Of the team's starting cornerbacks at the start of the year, one of them (Malcolm Butler) signed a five-year, $61 million deal in 2018, one of them (Logan Ryan) signed a three-year, $30 million deal in 2017, and one of them (Adoree' Jackson) was the 18th overall pick of the 2017 NFL Draft. You can question things about coverage, and it sounds like that might be where your frustration is coming from, but you can't say the Titans won't spend money or draft corners high, because it just isn't accurate.
Kenneth Ospital from Roy, Utah
Question: First & foremost, thank you for all of your hard work. I wrote in earlier this year expressing my frustration with the team, I think I called for multiple people to be fired. I've never been so glad to be wrong in all my life. This team displayed so much heart, it renewed my faith in the organization. Ever since Amy took over, I've approved of nearly every decision she has made. That's part of the reason why it was so disheartening to watch this team struggle early in the season. I think Amy has what it takes to lead this organization to the promised land. I think ownership is a very underrated quality of a championship organization. Now to my questions, do you think Delanie will retire? I love Delanie, I think he might be the greatest Titan/Oiler TE of all time & that is saying a lot. But injuries & age seem to be catching up with him. Do you think Cameron Wake will retire? He's been a great player for a long time, but age & injuries seem to have caught up with him also.
Jim: Hey Kenneth, you weren't the only one. 😊
As for Delanie and Cam, I've talked to both of them about this subject, and both said they planned to play in 2019.
Here's what Delanie said: "This is not the end for me. If anyone knows the type injury I had, it ain't easy to come back and play at a high level like I do. I just want to get it fixed and be ready for next year. I still have a year on my contract, and I am a Titan. So as long as the team, the organization, wants me here and believes in me, I am always going to be a Titan."
Here's what Cam said: "I don't have any plans of giving it up. As long as there is a mutual desire from myself and the organization obviously as well, I'd look forward (to playing here again). It is not even a 'like' it here – I love it here (in Tennessee). In the past I knew of guys who had passed through this organization, and now having come here myself, it's an understatement to say how much I enjoy it. I've kind of had the appetizer version of what it is. This place checks all the boxes for me. I am blessed to have been given the opportunity and I appreciate every minute of it. And I look forward to whatever the future brings."
Dan Baird from Nashville, Tennessee
Question: Jim. What a great ride this last season was! Didn't expect that at all when the team was 6 weeks in. My question is: who on the team are free agents? I understand the financial angle and we can't sign all of them back up, not gonna whine about that, just wanted to know who's contracts are up. Henry and Tannehill are the big obvious ones, and we have some cap space. But I get it takes a 53-man roster to make a team. I'd like to know. Thanks, Dan
Jim: Hey Dan. The free agency list is a long one, and they include unrestricted free agents, restricted free agents, and exclusive rights free agents. Derrick Henry and Ryan Tannehill are two of the unrestricted free agents. Cornerback Logan Ryan, tackle Jack Conklin, quarterback Marcus Mariota, linebacker Wesley Woodyard, tackle Dennis Kelly, linebacker Kamalei Correa, cornerbacks LeShaun Sims and Tye Smith, tight end MyCole Pruitt, defensive lineman Austin Johnson and receiver Tajae Sharpe are also among 20-plus guys scheduled to become free agents. Some of the 20-plus free agents will be re-signed, and some of them won't be. It's going to be interesting to see how some of these play out …
Casey Moore from Nashville, Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim & the rest of Titan Nation.. it sure was a heck of a run this season. I work security sometimes for the Titan games & I remember working the Titans kickoff party back in late July one night (which is basically just a glorified scrimmage between the offense & defensive units, & a firework show, & a concert. But I remember Coach Vrable getting up & taking the stage that night right before I think it was Jake Owen took the stage & told everybody how the team was really gonna fight hard everytime they took the field for the fans & try to win every game. BOY! That guy wasn't kidding even a little bit! So much props to Coach Vrabel & the entire team for keeping his word on that hot & humid stormy July night. I gotta admit, I could already feel a little magic brewing even then, but by the time they were 2-4 I was sure that any magic or good vibes that were created during the preseason was long gone. So even though the Boys came up short I couldn't be more proud of their effort week in & week out throughout the season especially the 2nd half of the season. My question is though what do you think we will need to beat the Chiefs with a QB like Patrick Mahomes? I've noticed the Denver Broncos & John Elway has had a pass rush mentality. Which won them a couple Super Bowls most recent being Superbowl V over the Cam Newton Panthers. Also pass rush in my opinion was what helped properly the Giants over the undefeated Pat's in 2007-08 Superbowl? Just would like to know what you think?? There once was a king named Ole Henry who rumbled & roamed. Until one day he ran into a Chief names Mahomes. Old man winter sure didn't come fast, as he left the Titans defense bewildered & gassed. Now King Henry will have to lay down his crown. As it's the Kansas City Chiefs who are the toast of the town. TITAN UP!
Jim: Hey Casey. I remember that night. Hey, the Titans beat Mahomes and the Chiefs in November, and that was a winnable game in Kansas City. The end of the first half changed the game. In future games against Mahomes and the Chiefs, the Titans need to tackle better, and not have dry spells on offense. And getting more of a pass rush should be a big offseason priority. Not a bad little rhyme there, Casey. Doubt Jake Owen will write a song about that…
Eli Decko from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Question: Hey Jim. In the spirit of keeping our team competitive for years to come here is my wish list lol. I wonder if you agree and if not your take.
1. Resign Tannehill and Henry, they are equally important.
2. Resign Jack Conklin, he was our best lineman in 2019
3. Hire Rex Ryan as DC. He's great as a coordinator.
4. Sign either, Clowney,Yannick, or Chris Jones.
5. Get a top-flight CB, Jalen Ramsey.
6. Call it quits on free agency, unless Kareem Hunt is cheap.
7. Draft Jalen Hurts
8. Go straight up depth/ future replacements in draft.
9. This should leave us money for round 2/ post draft free agency and I believe we're good at this point for extensions on Corey Davis and Adoree Jackson financially as well. Cuz they have both earned extensions without a doubt.
Jim: Hey Eli. I agree with 1 and 2 for sure – re-signing Tannehill, Henry and Conklin are key. But I must say some of these are a little far-fetched. :)
And while I'm on board with 9, a lot of other things need to transpire as well before going down this road.
Joao Gabriel Schutze from Campinas, Brazil
Question: Oi Jim! How are you? What a season!!! Almost perfect. This team allowed us to dream higher and higher. We grew up as a franchise, a team, a supporter, we're feared by other teams and we reached more countries than ever. Could you please say my thank you to everyone who worked directly and indirectly this season? Even you, thank you for your time and work! May I organize the post-season here?? Hahahahah.
Jim: Oi Joao. Appreciate the kind words. Will spread the word. I know a lot of folks enjoyed the ride, and it was a season to be proud of. But being in Miami this week makes coming up short even tougher to think about. The Titans need to find a way to take the next step in the future.
Have a great week everyone!