NASHVILLE – Today is the day some call Christmas Eve around the NFL, even though some presents have already been shipped to teams across the NFL.
Free agency, however, officially gets under way on Wednesday.
Will the Titans be active right out of the gate? Stay tuned.
I hope this mailbag helps you pass the time, if your head is not spinning with all the activity.
If you read between the lines you’ll find out exactly who is going to be signed (either that or you’ll see blank space).
Let’s do this…
Armando Guerrero from Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico
Question: Hi Jim! It’s a pleasure to write you! I’m intrigued -- The team needs to improve on WR, OL and secondary. What’s the priority of the team? Because I see … Antonio Brown is no longer available, but there are a lot of good options like Tyrell Williams. I would like to know your opinion. Saludos desde Mexico!
Jim: Hola Armando! All three needs, in my mind, and will be addressed via free agency and/or the draft. But after the team signed safety Kenny Vaccaro to a multi-year deal on Monday, the need at secondary is more for depth. Edge rushers and d-linemen are also needs. I think a veteran receiver would be a great addition, and yes, I've already seen the reports linking the Titans to a specific receiver not named Brown or Williams. Of course the team can't make anything official until Wednesday for players on other teams scheduled to become free agents.
Kyle Bailey from Lewisville, Ohio
Question: With all of the talent out there going up for free agency, do you think there’s anyone out there the Titans need to pick up? And if so, who? Personally, I think if we could pick up Flowers to add to the d-line, him and Casey would be absolutely terrifying for any offense.
Jim: Hey Kyle. Wish I could roll off some names for you here, but I can’t for a number of reasons. You mentioned Flowers, who is Trey Flowers from the Patriots, of course. He’s a popular free agent pick among fans, and I can understand why. But there have already been multiple reports stating he's going to sign with the Lions for "$16 or $17 million per season" as early as Wednesday. So I wouldn't get my hopes up on him.
Bryan Lloyd from Hillsborough, New Jersey
Question: Hello Jim. I have a question and an observation. I think the Titans should place more emphasis on interior defensive lineman rather than edge rushers. In fact, I feel the edge rusher position is overvalued throughout the league. How often have you seen top edge rushers loop around the quarterback and effectively have no impact on the play? A decent pocket passer needs only to step up into the pocket to avoid them most of the time, and they have minimal impact on the running game. However, a disruptive defensive tackle can get in passing lanes and pressure the quarterback even if he does not put up the highlight sack numbers. Plus, they play a huge part in run defense. The absence of Jurrell Casey showed how big an impact a top defensive lineman can have on the passing and running game. What do you think? As for my observation, I happened to be looking through some quarterback statistics and I could not help but notice who occupied the 16th spot (out of 189) for career passer rating: Marcus Mariota.
Jim: Hey Bryan. Point taken. I think the Titans need both. No doubt a big and nasty defensive lineman is needed, someone who will help Jurrell Casey. But the Titans, in my opinion, need more game-wreckers off the edge as well. I think Harold Landry is going to be really good, and Kamalei Correa will help, too. Sharif Finch has promising potential. But the Titans need some guys who will explode off the edge, and pressure quarterbacks on a more consistent basis.
Brandon Green from Nashville, Tennessee
Question: Hey I’ve got an Antonio Brown question- lol jk. My question comes off your convo with McShay. I think a strong interior lineman would be a great pick BUT Nashville is hosting the draft and I feel like such a low-key first round pick wouldn’t play well to the immediate base in attendance and they’d want a flashier name. You’d hope that doesn’t factor into a big decision like that, but the team is a business. Would you give that line of thought any credence?
Jim: Hey Brandon. As you alluded to, McShay has the Titans taking N.C. State center Garrett Bradbury in his most recent mock, and I do realize that’s not a “sexy” pick. I get what you’re saying about the draft in Nashville, and wanting to make a splash. But the GM can't be concerned with the fan reaction on First and Broadway. His plan will be to pick the best player available when the team is on the clock at No.19, as long as there’s not a trade. I’m not saying it will be Bradbury, but you get what I mean…
Ross Williams from Southampton, England
Question: Hi Jim. I hope that this finds you well. I am a fairly new Titans fan, having been converted from being an ‘American Football Fan’ to a ‘Titans Fan’, having seen them narrowly lose in the nail biter at Wembley, London last October. I can fully appreciate that it may be frustrating to fans in the States to see their team play across the pond, but what is/was the general perception of the London games from the team camp and the fans following the game last year? Hope to see you guys here again soon (or maybe I’ll have to arrange a trip to Nashville!). Ross.
Jim: Hi Ross. Well, I can tell you I loved the trip. I enjoyed London, and the atmosphere at Wembley Stadium on game day was off the charts. And I know a lot of others feel the same way. Yes, it’s a lot of work to make that trip from a travel perspective. But personally, I’d love to make a return trip!
Darris Mays from Lewisville, Tennessee
Question: My question is why didn't the Titans staff consider looking at QBs at the draft? Tyree Jackson is a really good QB I watched this young man all season long -- he's the next Doug Williams or Tom Brady. You heard it here first Jim. Tyree Jackson remember that name.
Jim: Hey Darris. You’re talking about the QB from Buffalo, of course. Well, a lot of folks are calling him the sleeper QB of the draft. He’s a big guy that can wing it. You talk about the draft in past tense. I’m not saying the Titans are picking a QB, but it’s still a possibility at least…
Bailey Dale from Harrisburg, Arkansas
Question: 1. Protect Marcus 2. Feed Derrick the ball. 3. Deeper Passing. 4. New backup QB. 5. That’s a Super Bowl team.
Jim: I hear ya, Bailey.
Len Wilson from Edwardsville, Illinois
Question: I know the Titans just got new unis, and have to keep them for a few more years, but if I had a suggestion for a new logo, who would I send it to?
Jim: Hey Len. I should probably save you the time and pretty much guarantee you the logo isn’t changing any time soon. With that said, the address at the facility is 460 Great Circle Road, Nashville, 37228. Maybe put it in care of Jeff Harding.
Jordan Marbury from Birmingham, Alabama
Question: Hey Jim, thanks for your hard work and time in advance. I have only two questions. 1. Have you heard anything in the Titans organization or around the league about teams giving DL Shawn Oakman a chance to workout for their team? 2. Is it possible for Jon Robinson to create a live feed on Facebook or some other app so that they can look and see what the fans thoughts are on who we would like drafted, our reactions to the pick? I know it’s ultimately up to management and we probably will fall on deaf ears but I think it will make the fans feel like we are a part of the decisions and/or closer to the organization/team.
Jim: Hey Jordan. For starters, I’ve heard no internal buzz on Oakman, but I’ve received at least a half-dozen questions about him in the last week. As for question No.2, with all due respect, the GM and his staff spend countless hours on the prospects, and they’re going to be picking the guys without outside help. Sure, it sounds great to include fans on decisions, but who would have to answer for the pick if the popular opinion of the fans didn’t pan out? Yep, the GM.
Ricky Davidson from Paducah, Kentucky
Question: No questions yet, just waiting to see what moves, if any, we make in free agency and what the draft brings. But I would like for you to talk to the powers that be and see if you can convince them to bring the Titan's Caravan back to Paducah. There are a lot of fans in Western Kentucky and Southern Illinois that would love to visit with the team. Any help you could give on this would be greatly appreciated.
Jim: Thanks Ricky. Will pass along…
Jimario Moon from Goodwater, Alabama
Question: Top of the morning to ya Jim. I have a few questions in the form of a vent so please bare with me.I just want to end the fan debate hate of Marcus Mariota.People underestimate the IMPORTANCE, SCARCITY AND IMPACT OF AN O-LINEMAN. You don’t just make to the NFL as a lineman just by being big.Its about memorizing the different snap counts, its about having good footwork and finesse to make a screen play look like a regular player without the defense recognizing it, its about moving all of that weight to block these quicker and more powerful DTs and DEs in this day and age, its about memorizing and adjusting to different blitz packages that even a QB might not recognize. That’s the problem with these “fans” they don’t know football and probably have never played. What good does a WR do you when a BIG lineman is weak and lacks skill and football IQ?? What playoff are we going to make it to with just a good defense in a league of high powered offenses? Different head coaches, offensive coordinators and weak lineman; Most of all, if we don’t get an OL in the draft and Mariota gets injured again, who should get the blame VRABEL OR ROBINSON?? We have NEVER given Marcus everything he needs to succeed, we need to stop pointing the finger at this man AND GIVE HIM WHAT HE NEEDS TO SUCCEED! Thanks Jim. Sincerely, A very passionate and concerned fan. P.S. That’s my quarterback! (Terrell Owens voice)
Jim: Glad to give you a place to vent, Jimario.
Steven Crosio from Brick, New Jersey
Question: How big do you think Titans will do in Free Agency?
Jim: Well, Steven, we’re about to find out. Get your popcorn ready. ….
Have a great week everyone!