NASHVILLE – Welcome to summer, which officially started on Friday.
And welcome to another Titans mailbag, which starts now…
Tim Sparks from Denver, Colorado
Question: Hi Jim. I noticed that the Titans recruited a slot receiver Joseph Parker to the team - What is your feeling on this young kid? Seems like he has the speed and hands to make a solid impact on the Titans. Just curious your thoughts.
Jim: Hey Tim. You're referring to Joseph Parker from Chattanooga, of course. Joseph did a nice job in the offseason work, in OTAs and the minicamp. He caught the ball well and looked shifty. But shooting you straight here: He’s facing an uphill challenge to make the team. Doing the math, you can get to six real quick: Corey Davis, Adam Humphries, A.J. Brown, Taywan Taylor, Tajae Sharpe and Darius Jennings. And I’m thinking six is the number on the final 53, and even that’s not a given. Plus, Cameron Batson has had a really good offseason, so that’s seven. Joseph just needs to keep working and do his best to either earn a spot on the practice squad, or notice from another team in the preseason.
Zeke Mackey from Canastota, New York
Question: Hey Jim. Think we finally have what it takes to end Andrew Luck's winning streak against the Titans or if not what is the team missing to turn the tables against Luck and his streak? And what's your opinion of the Colts as a team.
Jim: I think the Colts have a really good team, with a really good quarterback. There’s no shame in losing to them. There is shame in losing to them every game when Luck is behind center, and that has to stop. Sure, the Titans have what it takes to beat the Colts. But it does no good talking about it. The Titans need to do it.
Robbert van Giffen from Boise, Idaho
Question: Hey Jim, thanks for doing these mailbags, it's always fun to get your input. I was wondering who you think will be returning punts for us this year? I saw that coach Aukerman mentioned Adoree, Adam Humphries and Amani Hooker. I'd rather not have Adoree back there because of the injury potential and he hasn't always made the best decisions back there, Humphries hasn't been that great back there in the past (less than 7 YPR) and Amani only returned 1 punt last year. I was also wondering why Jennings isn't on the list because he is pretty electric in the return game, which I know is different, but is he that bad at returning punts? Anyways, thanks for your insights. Have a great day.
Jim: Hey Robbert. A big TBD as far as returning punts goes. Adam Humphries, Cameron Batson, Kalif Raymond, and Joseph Parker were the four guys back fielding punts in the final day of minicamp, and Adoree’ would have been if not for his injury. Amani was working on coverage teams, but as you mentioned, Aukerman mentioned him as a possibility. Jennings has proven to be more of a kick return specialist, but I think he’s capable. I’m interested to see how this plays out a well. Plenty will be determined in camp, and on numbers at certain spots on the roster and how tight things are at positions.
Braulio Cardenas from Saltillo, Mexico
Question: Hi Jim! Greetings from Saltillo, Mexico. I hope you and your family are all right. Thank you for keeping us informed about the currents of the Titans to all the fans. The mantra for this year is great!" Going from good to great" clearly shows the difference between being a champion or being simply a contender. This brings to mind a quote from Albert Einstein: If you want different results, you can't keep doing the same thing. In your opinion, what aspects, or routines, are different this year that allow the team be great?
Jim: Hola Braulio. Well, a lot of changes took place, from the NFL Draft to free agency. So there have been changes in personnel. Mike Vrabel has had another year to spread his message, and the team has a new OC. The main thing is the Titans have to find a way to be more consistent. It’s hard to go from good to great when you lay an egg in Buffalo and get blanked at home vs the Ravens. Yeah, beating the Patriots and Eagles last year and winning at Dallas was great. But great teams find a way to play at a high level every week and that’s what Vrabel and GM Jon Robinson are trying to fix in 2019.
Pat Johnston from Ottawa, Ontario Canada
Question: Jim just wondering if the 2019 training camp schedule has been released? If so when would bit be open to the public and are passes required? We are coming from Ottawa (Canada) on the 1-5 August and hopefully to catch some of the training camp.
Jim: Hey Pat. The training camp schedule probably won’t be released until the second week of July, so stay tuned. I do know the big event practice is Saturday, August 3 at Nissan Stadium so you’ll be here for that one. It will be open for fans.
Leona Ruz from New York
Question: How is Anthony Firkser progressing? Has he been active in camp? Roster spot secure?
Jim: Hi Leona. Anthony did a great job last year, stepping up when other guys were injured. He was dependable, pretty much catching everything. He has been wearing a yellow jersey in camp, which means he’s not 100 percent himself from a health standpoint. But he’s moving well, and once again catching the ball. I think he'll be good to go for camp. But I don’t know if he’s one of those guys who can automatically say his roster spot is “secure.” He’s going to have to earn it again, but he knows this.
Have a great weekend everyone!