NASHVILLE – Hope everyone’s week is off to a good start.
It’s Tuesday, so that means it’s time for another Titans mailbag.
Thanks for keeping the inbox hopping.
Let’s do this …
Ryan Gilpatrick from Indianapolis, Indiana
Question: Jim, with it seeming likely that we will let Bennie Logan go in free agency, there is going to be a definite need at defensive tackle. Do you think we should pursue one of the top DT's in free agency, like a Grady Jarrett or Ndamukong Suh, or should we look towards the draft. I personally am a big fan of Ed Oliver out of Houston, and with such a loaded class of defensive tackles, I think he could fall to us at nineteen.
Jim: Hey Ryan. No doubt there’s a need in my mind, and I have no doubt it will be hit. I’ve looked at the d-linemen set to be available in free agency, and not ruling out the team investigating some of the veterans when the three-day negotiating period begins prior to the start of free agency. But it’s a great year for d-tackles in the draft, so my bet is that’s where the need will be addressed. Take it for what it's worth, but ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. has the Titans taking Clemson's Christian Wilkins with their first round pick.
Indiah Carter from Memphis, Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim, I have to be honest, I am only a fan because of my husband, --before I only watched college football:). Anyway, I was wondering could you help me understand the logic behind some of these mock drafts and rumors about the Titans drafting a tight end in the first round, now I understand that we had some injuries at the position this past season, and Walker is up there in age but that still isn’t an excuse in my opinion to make such a careless decision when we have so many other needs. I believe we have enough talent and depth and that this would be a waste especially when there will be great first round TE talent in the third round due to the lack of demand for tight ends in this draft, Tight Ends like Jace Sternberger and Kaden Smith should definitely make it to RD 3, if not we still are fine with what we have, and personally I think we should be going for an offensive guard in the first round, we need to protect our greatest asset. Titans fans want to win and we want to win NOW lol. Sorry I’m just very enthused. What do you think the TE mocks?
Jim: Hi Indiah. Glad your husband has you on board. :)
This came up in the weekend mailbag as well. I suspect it’s because of Delanie’s age, and him coming off a serious injury. I think I’d be surprised of the team went TE in first round. Delanie will be 35 when the season starts, and he’s headed into the final year of his deal. But I’m not betting against him. Luke Stocker’s contract is up, but I could see him being re-signed. Plus, Jonnu Smith and Anthony Firkser remain under contract. Like you, I think there are bigger needs myself. I like your enthusiasm btw!
Joseph Dezine from North Miami, Florida
Question: Hey Jim how are you? I know Corey Davis is the man and that's what they brought him in for. But I feel like ever since Rishard Matthews left, we've lacked a little at the WR Corp. What do you think about the Titans looking at TSU's Treon Harris? It could be like having a 2nd Tawan on the field. Checkout his film btw. Have a nice day and thank you for all that you do for Titan Nation.
Jim: Hey Joseph. I think there’s potential at the WR corps. Taywan Taylor made strides in 2018, and Tajae Sharpe was showing up before his ankle injuries. Cameron Batson and Darius Jennings flashed. But I think the team needs more alongside Corey Davis. I’ll look into Treon a little deeper. I’ve also been on record saying I think the team needs a veteran receiver to add to the youngsters.
Tyler Kuppler from Sullivan, Indiana
Question: Is the internal replacement for Quinton Spain already on the roster? The Titans kept Aaron Stinnie on the roster all season long as he was the surprising player to make the roster out of camp after struggling most of the preseason. He wasn't active in any game last season and survived being cut the whole season despite being the "53rd" player. So Jim, is Stinnie looked at as a project player who J-Rob & Vrabel think can develop into a starter?
Jim: Hey Tyler. Not necessarily. Yes, Stinnie remains on the roster, and he developed in 2018. But keep in mind he’s still inexperienced. He’ll be in the mix, but so will Corey Levin, who I thought made some really big strides in his second season. Levin can play guard and center. But I suspect we’ll see some outside additions as well, possibly in free agency and the draft.
Kyle Leach from Peggs, Oklahoma
Question: If the Titans draft Devin Bush or Chase Winovich from Michigan, how will their style of play fit in with what the D is doing? I think they both have a high motor and high football IQ. thanks!! #titanup
Jim: Hey Kyle. I like both players. Bush is a higher rated prospect than Winovich, but both would fit. Good, hard-nosed football players. I’m sure Dean Pees would love both, but other teams are obviously eyeing them, too.
Chris Strickland from Pensacola, Florida
Question: Hey Jim. I love your insight on all that is going on with the Titans. What are some of the needs that you see we need to address either in the draft or free agency? I know we need to upgrade the o line, QB, defensive line pass rusher. What do think we need to put us over the top and competing in the Super Bowl next year? Thank you for all you do. Titan up.
Jim: Hey Chris. I see your needs and raise you at least one receiver, an outside linebacker or two, and depth at a number of other positions. Adding a big and disruptive defensive lineman is key in my mind. I also like you’re thinking on the o-line.
Mike Tate from Chattanooga, Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim, long time Oilers/Titans fan. Is there any chance that we make an attempt to get Antonio Brown? I can't recall a big name receiver since Randy Moss and seeing that we aren't paying anybody (other than Lewan) right now what can we lose?
Jim: Hey Mike. I’ve been answering this question for weeks. I’m sure every team is looking into him. The question isn’t about talent, and what he brings to the team. It’s about whether he’d be a disruptive personality on the team. Brown isn’t reportedly available because he can’t play.
Dantee Warren from Aurora, Illinois
Question: We going to go get AB or what?
Jim: See above.
Allister Banasiak from Clarksville, Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim! I have a few questions about free agency and the draft for the Titans. I have been looking at a few of the top free agents at each of our need positions and I noticed that Matt Paradis ( C - Denver Broncos), Tyler Lockett ( WR- Seattle Seahawks), and Dee Ford ( Edge- Kansas City Chiefs) are all set to become free agents. I also noticed that Rob Gronkowski is as well. I was wondering if we didn't get to someone like Golden Tate of one of the Big D-Line men we could some of these guys. Paradis would give our O-Line a huge boost, Lockett would give Mariota a deep threat, Ford or even someone like Za'Darius Smith would allow other rushers and himself to get sacks while adding Gronkowski or someone like Jared Cook adds a reliable target for Mariota for a short time and gives a mentor alongside Walker for our young tight ends. Now on to the draft. If we get someone like Tate or Lockett do we need to go for a DL, LB, or CB. By then someone like Deandre Baker, Devin White, or Brian Burns/ Dexter Lawrence should still be on the board. Do we go with them or take a young WR? Later on in the draft, the Titans are scheduled to pick at number 211 would the Titans consider drafting a QB to compete with Gabbert that has a good scrambling/ running ability like maybe Easton Stick? Stick would be a better backup to Mariota than Gabbert in my opinion because of his mobility and team leadership. Thank you for keeping the mailbag going and informing us Titan Fans.
Jim: Holy smokes. My head is spinning with all the possibilities. Yes. Maybe? :)
Jake Taylor from North Hollywood, California
Question: Hey Jim, thanks for taking the time. Big Titans fan here in Cali. Been a faithful fan since my days stationed at the 101st back in the late 90's. My question, which I'm sure always comes up around this time of the year, is do the Titans have any plans in the near future to retire the jerseys of Steve McNair and/or Eddie George? I know both are considered fringe HOFers, but for most, if not all Titans fans, these two are forever greats who were pivotal during the "glory years" of this franchise.
Jim: Hey Jake. Well, I haven’t heard any internal buzz about this. I will say this: No.9 and No. 27 haven’t been worn since McNair and George played, and I’d be surprised if those numbers are worn any time soon, or ever again. Will they eventually be retired? I’ll make a note to remind myself to ask the owner the next time I see her.
Tyler Ross from Durham, Pennsylvania
Question: Hi Jim. Huge Titans fan since their inception in 1998 despite them getting zero attention here in Pennsylvania. Obviously it's early to start talking predictions for 2019 considering the draft and free agency, but even if we get a sleeper or two in the draft and some decent pickups in free agency, I have a hard time seeing the team going much better than 5-11. The offense is inconsistent, and the defense is star-studded but can't always be relied on to bail out the offense. They haven't been able to solve Andrew Luck yet, the chemistry between DeShaun Watson and DeAndre Hopkins is constantly improving, so that's potentially four losses, and killers since they're division rivals. They're also looking at tough games against the Saints, Chargers, and Chiefs. Would Mike Vrabel already be in the hot seat if he misses the playoffs a second straight season, and potentially (but hopefully not) drops to a losing record this year? Could we be looking at a new head coach and starting QB in 2020?
Jim: Geez, Mr. Optimistic aren’t you Tyler? Way too many negative hypotheticals in here and I'm not going down that road …
Eli Decko from Pittsurgh, Pennsylvania
Question: Hey Jim. You have such an uncanny ability to not flip your lid on some of these people who write you, I admire that. Marcus is our man. People need to deal with reality. The dude is an incredible player and playing a position where he touches that ball every play the reality is you're getting hit and you know it. So right there is the answer to the toughness question. He's a proven leader. He wins games and makes people better. Personally I saw we win both Indy games with Marcus healthy. Winning the division is most important and I think Marcus is our edge we need if available. Our line needs to be as good at pass protection as there are run blocking. Lewan was a run block first tackle as Jack was in college. THEY are both still growing and I think they both show up big time next season. I understand you're skeptical about AB, but he is the best player in all of football. I think if he played for a Belichick or similarly minded coach he would be even better. Tomlin is known to be a "favorites first" coach. He simply fell out of favor. But the Rooney family isn't dumb and won't trade him in the conference because they don't want to get destroyed by him. So I don't think he is a real option for us. I think our offense is a couple lineman away from being dominant. That doesn't mean scoring 35 a game, it means dominating your opponents physically. I say draft and FA heavy on DL, OLB and OL. What do you think about that?
Jim: Hey Eli. Good to hear from you again. Take a five-hour drive across state to Durham and give Tyler a pick-me-up talk why don't you? Let me be clear: I’m not skeptical about Antonio Brown as a player. The guy is a game-changer. But there are clearly other things that have to be dealt with, and I’m just not 100 percent sure what teams, including the Titans, might decide when considering him. You're in Pittsburgh, so this is not news to you obviously. As for your positions of need, I agree some work needs to be done up front. In addition to OL, DL and edge rushers, I list receiver as another area that needs to be upgraded further.
Have a great week everyone!