NASHVILLE – It’s CMA Week in Nashville, and OTA week.
And on Tuesday, I’m set to join Mike Keith, Amie Wells and Dave McGinnis for an OTP.
But enough with the initials.
Let’s get to this Tuesday’s Titans mailbag, OK?
Todd Wilder from New Braunfels, Texas
Question: We're in an interesting year. Two quarterbacks who aren't under contract past this year. A 2nd year head coach and new OC. Getting a Pro Bowl TE back from injury. Plus some added pieces at WR and a lot of young 2nd and 3rd year players who could/SHOULD make a big leap this year (Talking to you Corey Davis, Harold Landry, Rashaan Evans, Adoree Jackson). The team mission statement this year is let's go from good ... to GREAT. It's a great book, and a great philosophy ... but only if its implemented. Championships aren't won on paper. Vrabel, Dean Pees and a lot of players on our team have experienced that pinnacle in different uniforms. It's about time we as Titans fans do too. We've been "just good", for a very long time now. It's time we change that.
Jim: Way to start us off Todd. Issuing a challenge right out of the gate …
Franco Grassi from Boca Raton, Florida
Question: Hey Jim, thanks for keeping us entertained during these long summer months. Got a quick question for ya. You think we might see Ryan Tannehill line up out wide a few times this year on a some trick plays seeing that he has the experience at wide receiver? Could even throw in a play where it's screened to him and then he launch's down field seeing that I think he has a little bit bigger of an arm than Marcus? Anyway thanks for all you do... #TITANUP
Jim: Hey Franco. Some trickery, huh? I haven’t seen anything like this in practice, and I couldn’t tell you if I did. I’m really doubting we’ll see this, to be honest. He’s been so busy working on Home Run Throwback 2 I just don’t think he’ll have time to work at receiver anyway 😉….
Jon o Jensen from Hinnerup, Denmark.
Question: Hey Jim. Thanks for the awesome job You are doing for us titans fans all around the world. I myself live in Denmark but I bleed titans blue all year long. Now for my question. Would it be possible for you, Mike and Amie to make a series a la MTV cribs with our Titans players so that we as fans can see how they live when not in action on the field. Think that would be great. Have a great day. All the best.
Jim: Thanks for dropping in from Denmark, Jon. Now that’s a nice idea, and I’m sure some of our videographers might be intrigued. But I’m not sure the players would grant that kind of access on a regular basis. And the focus has now gone from offseason fun to football with the season creeping up on us.
Joe Rice from Fort Worth, Texas
Question: Hey Jim. I am loving what Vrabel and Robinson are doing with the roster, smart moves and always seem to be great character guys. I think Derick Roberson will be a great situational piece to our puzzle among the EDGE defenders. I have 2 questions, the first is do you think we will be able to re-sign all the talent with expiring contracts at the end of this year? Our cap situation is pretty good but when you see how many players we have to re-sign, it's looking kind of iffy. The second is what are the release dates for new episodes of Igniting the Fire? I saw the first one over a week ago but haven’t seen episode 2 come out yet? I can’t get enough of those!
Jim: Hey Joe. Roberson, an undrafted free agent from Sam Houston State, is starting to surge, but we’re going to have to wait until the pads come on to find out more of what he’s about. Now, onto the questions. No.1, no, I don’t think the team will be able to or willing to re-sign all the players with expiring contracts. Frankly, just too many deals are up and some tough decisions are going to have to be made. Some of the decisions will hinge on performances in 2019, no doubt. As for the release date of new episodes of Igniting the Fire, I’m hearing the week of June 17. Look for more episodes compared to the six a year ago as we lead up to the season.
Tim Smedsrud from Waukon, Iowa
Question: Hi Jim! Wondering what your thoughts are on Parker Hesse coming in from Iowa as an undrafted free agent from the defensive side of the ball to the offense side, how his progress in the transition is going, and how his knowledge of the game and leadership is going to help him impact the Titans? Thanks!
Jim: Hey Tim. Parker is competing, and I’ve been watching him in the OTAs. But he has his work cut out for him to make the roster. In my mind he’s currently behind Delanie Walker, Jonnu Smith, MyCole Pruitt, Anthony Firkser, Keith Towbridge and Cole Wick. Sure, he could make up ground. And a lot will be determined by what happens when the pads come on. He’s battling, and I think he’s scrappy. But he faces a challenge.
Brendon Hicks from Fort Drum, New York
Question: Hey Jim, I have a 2 question note for you. With the team starting to practice more together, and seeing where players are currently at, what players do you see as under the radar players that can make an impact in a big way this year? And also, I would love to hear how you think Marcus is doing in regards to recoving from his nerve injury. Will it continue to affect his play this coming season? Thanks for your time, and can't wait to hear back from ya!
Jim: Hey Brendon. It’s still early for under the radar guys. It’s just hard to tell without pads on. This time last year I was raving about receiver Jordan Veasy because he looked great in OTAs. But he couldn’t keep it going. I will say undrafted cornerback D’Andre Payne has impressed me, and is a guy to keep an eye on. Outside backer LaTroy Lewis has flashed in OTAs. I mentioned Roberson earlier. Linebacker Riley Bullough, who played previously with the Buccaneers, has made some plays. Next week’s minicamp should provide more clues. As far as Marcus goes, he’s had no issues in non-contact practices in May or June.
Have a great week everyone!