NASHVILLE – And just like that, we're now approaching the halfway point of the season.
It's hard to believe, but game No.8 for the Titans is on Sunday.
Get to 4-4 with a win over the Buccaneers and things could get interesting in the second half of the season.
Hope you find this mailbag interesting…..
Cason Romero from Thompsons Station, Tennessee
Question: Hey Mr. Jim. I'm a Fifth Grader who loves the Titans and I'm a big fan of yours! I look forward to reading The Mailbag every Tuesday and Saturday with my Mom (she loves the Titans, too). We also tune into to your live pre-game broadcasts on Twitter and listen to your interviews on the radio. We also tune in to The OTP and really appreciate your insight on all things Titans. I was lucky to meet you in person after the Titans 5K this past May. I had a cast on my arm and you signed it. (Thank you!)
Here's my question: how do you think Adam Humphries will be able to use his time with Bucs to the Titans advantage against their defense?
Also, do you think Ryan Tannehill will make a big impact on the game this Sunday, like he did vs. the Chargers? Thank you so much for taking the time to read this. Hope to see you on Sunday! #TitanUp #BeatTheBucs
Jim: Hey Cason. Thanks for writing in! And thanks for being such a loyal reader of the mailbag. I hope you don't find any typos in here and offer further proof that I'm not smarter than a fifth grader. 😊
And I remember meeting you! Did I see you at the Spring Hill Caravan stop in May, too? I remember seeing your mom there. I hope you've healed up well. Casts are no fun – I know that too well. About ten years ago I broke both of my arms skydiving (after falling from a ladder 🤕😬) and I had a cast on both my arms. No fun.
Now, on to your questions.
I do think Adam could use the knowledge and experience to his advantage this weekend. In fact, I asked him about that this week. Are you a mind reader? But keep in mind some of those Tampa Bay DBs know him pretty well from practicing against him. So it kind of works both ways.
As for Tannehill, I do think he'll perform well again. I was really impressed with what I saw from him in his starting debut. He was accurate, he was decisive, and he gave his receivers a chance to make plays. The more he plays, and the more he gets comfortable with his receivers, the better.
Hope you have a great weekend – and I hope you get a lot of candy on Halloween!! 🎃
Rick Smith from Union, Kentucky
Question: I do not want to talk about QBs and OLs and Coaches, I want to talk about something great and that is Jeffery Simmons. I stood on Broadway as his name was announced at the Draft, although I was pleased to get him I figured it would be for the 2020 season with his injury and was still ok with it. To see his emotion when he was drafted, when he was announced by Amy Adams Strunk and the promise he made to her I knew we got something special. Well here we are in week 7 and here he is playing in the NFL. Like many other fans I was focused in on him Sunday, what a beast and he plays smart. What a spark for an already very good Defense but maybe an extra spark for the whole team, his emotion fired me up and I thought we were going to lose the game. It was a nice 4-hour ride back home. Let's get back to .500 with Tampa Bay at Nissan. Have a great one Jim.
Jim: Hey Rick. Appreciate the email. His early return, and his debut, were both pretty amazing. He made such an impact, it's hard to believe he played just 21 snaps. He's going to be fun to watch. And I'm glad your trip was worth the drive last weekend! Here's hoping it's another good day tomorrow.
Peter Palmer from Orlando, Florida
Question: I'm not saying Tannehill is the solution but his confidence level is way above Mariota. I've been saying from day one Mariota is nothing more than a backup QB. He lacks all the attributes of a great QB. He lacks confidence as it appears he 2nd guesses himself on the field and seems lost. All season long he's walked into sacks because of his inability to go through his progressions to find an open receiver. Your thoughts?
Jim: Hey Peter. This much we know: Tannehill was the solution for one game so far, and he's going to have to keep it going. I'm not going to discredit Marcus. I do think somewhere along the way his confidence has taken a hit, probably around the same time he started taking so many hits. And his struggles during the first six games of the season resulted in him being replaced in the starting lineup. But he's also proven he can be successful in the NFL. I'm not writing him off, and a look at his stats—76 TDs vs 44 INTs -- shows he deserved better than to be called "nothing more than a backup." Especially when you take into consideration he's been sacked a whopping 155 times in his 61 starts. Has Marcus been guilty of holding the ball too long at times, resulting in some of those sacks? Yes. But some of his issues can be traced back to some issues around him as well.
Anthony Ochoa from Menifee, California
Question: Jim, I hope you are having a great week. 2019 seems to be the year of the first-time champions, NHL- St. Louis Blues, NBA - Toronto Raptors, and MLB - Washington Nationals two wins from capturing their first title. Do you think Tannehill can help the Titans offense get over the 9-7 "hill" and get the Titans deep into the playoffs and continue this trend, I sure hope so. I do know that they have the best back-up quarterback in the league, and who knows maybe the backup will once again be the Super Bowl MVP.
Jim: Well, we'll find out. Not making any Super Bowl predictions here just yet, though …
Heather Mims from Nashville, Tennessee
Question: I don't have a question but I would like to say congratulations to the TITANS football team won Sunday against the Chargers that was amazing also we want to keep this going so the TITANS football team can earn the playoffs Spot because I remember when the TITANS MADE THE playoffs also beat Kansas city chiefs then lost to the patriots I know that Steve Mcnair is Looking Down from Heaven smiling for the TITANS football team doing what they supposed to Do as a Team and Eddie George Knew what he was talking about also knows about football I wish the TITAN Family could hired Eddie George as assistant coach for the TITANS also Help The titans team to win the first Superbowl since 1999 lost to the Rams that was before I became a fan of the Tennessee Titans to J-rob Amy great Job with the Team Now I have a question for Jim why they won't get Antonio Brown for the trade after he Left the Steelers? He was playing for the patriots he left them so now he's coming Back to NFL To play football can the TITANS family can get Antonio Brown for the trade to the Tennessee titans? The reason I asked the question is Because when he played for the Steelers he helped the team to win 6 super bowls when the TITANS went to the Superbowl and lost ever since then the TITANS had not been to the Superbowl so Jim can you ask j-rob and Amy to get Antonio Brown on our Team.
Jim: Hi Heather. I love the enthusiasm. And who needs periods, huh? As for Antonio Brown, you have heard what happened to him since he left Pittsburgh, right?
Scott Weaver from Brownsville, Pennsylvania
Question: Hi Jim, first I want to thank you for taking our questions it is really great to hear your insight, lol even though some questions may make you scratch your head. I have really supported Marcus but seeing Ryan play against the chargers you could see it was really day and night with him getting the ball out and the way he distributed the ball, kudos to him. I believe Marcus lost his confidence and needs a reset and wish him the best, but I also believe that Ryan is not the long-term answer and we def need to draft a QB in the 2020 draft. I really hope J Rob breaks the trend of us drafting athletic first QBs I mean Young, Locker and Marcus look how that turned out. I would like to see the possibility of a Burrow or Eason as they are big strong armed QBs rather than a Hurts who you would have to get an OC to cater to his style. I know its early but what is your opinion. Also thank you for giving us the uniform updates each week, last weeks were nice my face home combo is the navy on the titan blue and least fave combo is the all white. Have a good one.
Jim: Appreciate the email. But in my mind, it's way too early to start projecting what the Titans might do in the draft in my opinion. We don't know how this Titans season is going to play out, we don't know what is going to happen at QB down the stretch, we don't know where the Titans might be picking in the draft, and we don't know how the QBs coming out will be ranked through the draft process that includes the NFL Combine, Pro Days, etc. So hit me back in the offseason. As for the unis, glad to pass along. I liked the unis last week, too, but I think you might have some folks disagree with you on your distaste of the all-white uniforms. I get the sense a lot of folks dig the Stormtrooper look. It's navy blue on navy blue this week, btw.
Patrick Bruga from Petaluma, California
Question: Hi Jim. Any idea if/when Pamphile will play?
Jim: As a starter, he's now out of the mix as far as a starting spot goes. Unless someone gets hurt, I see him being a back-up who could find himself as an inactive a lot of Sundays.
Jonathan Wright from Bishop Auckland, England
Question: Hi again Jim. Glad to get a win again. Just reading your Tuesday mailbag. I'd like to say, that I believe a confident Mariota would have managed the game as well as Tannehill did. The key offensively to me was that we weren't as predictable, first and second down weren't just try to run up the middle, Henry was running around not through the line, the QB was rolling out, so there was not as much pressure up the gut and as one writer said our receivers were catching balls. Nice to see a trick play in early as well, every team has to expect an awesome kick from Kern, so the pass was totally out of and to left field. Once again the D stepped up to the plate, when it looked like Rivers was gain having his way with us, I had the misfortune to experience his magic first hand in San Diego 9 yrs ago. Anyway here's hoping for another win on Sunday, I'll be there on Game Pass not in person, but we need more of the same aggression on both sides of the ball.
Jim: Hey Jonathan. I think more than one writer said the receivers were catching balls – because they were. But let's give credit where credit is due. Ryan was accurate, decisive, and in control. Enjoy the game in England!
Terry Anderson from Glasgow, Kentucky
Question: Jim, Have a couple points and a question. Thank you for taking time to read. Ryan looked like a quarterback out there against the Chargers. Quick decision making and confident throws. Very decisive and was making the correct changes at the line of scrimmage. I hope Marcus doesn't lose any more confidence. Hopefully watching Tannehill go out there and run the same offense effectively he will learn. Marcus had the third worst qbr rating before he was benched. He can only improve from here. I don't know if it's going to happen in Tennessee. Not ready to give Tannehill the franchise yet but he did look good Sunday. Number 8 defense in the league will improve their rating because our offense will sustain drives and score points. Do you get the feeling Tannehill could be the franchise quarterback? TITAN UP!!
Jim: Thanks for taking the time, Terry. As for Tannehill, I'm going to sound redundant here, but I need to see more because making any bold statements about his future with the team, and whether he's a franchise quarterback. Ryan was asked about his future this week, and his answer was a smart one. To paraphrase him, he's focused on this week. Smart. I just hope fans out there give him a chance. He's not going to be perfect. He's going to make mistakes. And I get the sense – based on a lot of feedback on Twitter and in my emails – that some folks are ready to pounce when he doesn't do well. If you're a Titans fans, you'll support him no matter what your feelings are about the way the QB change unfolded.
Euan Cartney from Laurencekirk, Scotland
Question: Hi Jim just wondering what's up with Chris Milton. Don't know a lot about him apart from we claimed him from the Colts. It just seems like he is on the injury list every week and just thinking why haven't they put him on IR to free a roster spot with some of the roster churning that's been going on?
Jim: Hey Euan. Chris has been hurt. He's dealing with a calf injury and he's already been ruled out for Sunday's game. I'm not ruling out the possibility of him going on IR at some point. But if the GM, coaches and trainers think there's a chance he could get healthy and help the team in the not-so-distant future, then I bet they'd like to give him a chance because he's a really good special teams player.
Linda Baker from Hendersonville, Tennessee
Question: Of the 85 players welcome back Sunday why no Kerry Collins?
Jim. Hi Linda. You're referring to Homecoming Weekend, of course. All of the former players are extended an opportunity to come back. Everyone is invited. Some guys have conflicts/family commitments that keep them from coming. Not sure what Kerry's situation is this weekend, but he's always welcome.
Seneca Alexander Sr from Portland, Oregon
Question: Good evening from Portland Oregon. Hello Jim I and the biggest Tennessee Titans fan on this side of the Mississippi and the other side. Been that way ever since they came to Nashville I'm an avid reader of your work I want to thank you for your great insight all your hard work your great articles and everything you do to keep us up on our team. I feel blessed to be corresponding with the GJW or as I call you the "Great J. Dubb". My first question is this: is there any way Marcus and Tanne can be on the field at the same time in certain packages? We know Mariota can catch and throw the rock. I think it would be an advantage to us to have two starting quarterbacks on the field at the same time. And the second is: With all your knowledge and experience do you think Mariota will be on the squad next year? I'm a fan for life and want nothing but the best for our team and really want #8 to work out. Until later, Peace. Oh one last thing who's your favorite Titans player past and present? Mine are #90 "The FREAK" and #58 "Gumby"(his bend is insane) Landry.
Jim: Hi Seneca. I appreciate the kind words. Can you put in a good word for me with my wife? 😄Interesting question on the two QBs being on the field at the same time. I'll just say I won't rule anything out. I can't say what happens in practice, because if I did I wouldn't be allowed to watch practice. But it's something I would have to consider if OC, and maybe Arthur Smith already has? As for Mariota's future, I need to see some more things play out. Stranger things have happened. As of today, October 26, it's hard for me to envision that happening. He's now a back-up QB with an expiring contract. But what if Tannehill gets hurt, and Mariota steps in, lights it up, and guides the Titans to a Super Bowl title? After the parade, it would be hard to see the team letting him walk away. OK, we're getting ahead of ourselves now…. Favorite player past and present? Well, Eddie George goes down as one of my all-time favorites. I don't want to pick a favorite player on the current squad because I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings and have them lose confidence… 😉
Have a great weekend everyone! I think I set a new mailbag record for emojis in this one. 😎