NASHVILLE – We’re rolling through May and now it’s time for OTAs – they’ll kick off on Monday at Saint Thomas Sports Park.
Meanwhile, the questions continue to roll into the Titans mailbag.
Justin Quattlebaum from Leesville, South Carolina
Question: Hey Jim, my question pertains to the Edge position. Which do you think would be the best route to address the position or do you think we stay pat with the five we have (Landry and Wake starting followed by Correa, Walker and Finch):
1. Sign Shane Ray to a cheap two- year deal (really a one year prove it deal with team option for year 2) and have Wake as the first off the bench. If he doesn’t work out he would be cheap and could be released after the season.
2. Start Evans opposite Landry with Wake first off the bench (Long and Bullough would be third and fourth MLBs).
Jim: Hey Justin. After you sent this, Ray was signed by the Ravens on Friday, so that’s no longer an option. Right now, the OLB spot is looking like Cameron Wake, Harold Landry, Kamalei Correa, Sharif Finch, D’Andre Walker and potentially a wild card. I’m looking forward to seeing Derick Roberson compete against the vets. Plus, some other free agents are still out there, or could become available.
Janell Wooten from Eugene, Oregon
Question: Jim - I go to your mailbag to get the real scoop. Here is my question: Having acquired Saffold and having Lewan in place, how would you rank or characterize the o-line's ability to protect Mariota? If you could provide a perspective, how does the current o-line measure to the 2018 season o-line? Thanks Jim!
Jim: Hi Janell. Saffold is definitely an upgrade at one of the guard spots. But right now there’s a lot TBD still. There’s a guard spot still open, and we need to see how Jack Conklin fares this offseason coming off another injury. In time, I think it will be much improved because I like some of the guys competing for the other guard spot, whether it’s Pamphile, Davis or Levin. But at this point, I need to see more.
Antonio Prestigiacomo from Buford, Georgia
Question: Rapid-fire action?
1) Have you heard any internal buzz about possible free agent signings that are still to come?
2) Who are your projected starters at WR? I was thinking maybe Corey Davis, A.J. Brown, and Taywan Taylor as the 3 main ones.
3) Are there any players that were on the roster last season that you don't expect to make the final 53?
Jim: Hey Antonio. Let’s do this:
1- I suspect the GM is exploring options and he has his antenna up for guys who could also become available. But this is the time of year he wants to see how guys fare in OTAs, and determine where the team still might need help. I have a hunch he’ll let guys compete first.
2- Davis, Brown and Humphries.
3- I definitely think there will be some that fit into this category, but a lot will be based on competition. We'll begin to get a lot more clues when OTAs start on Monday.
Caden DeLeon from Lakeland, Florida
Question: I am a first time writer and I have a couple of questions. My first question is concerning the rookie UDFAs. I saw a hyped up guy, Hamp Cheevers, was cut, I was wondering why. Injury or incident maybe... Also I saw parker Hesse, a DE in college, has signed as a TE, do u think the see him as a FB type player? Because I think that might be the reason for his signing, since we lost stocker. Does this elevate his chances of making the roster? Also we are very thin at running back after this year, I believe we will keep henry to a nice contract but I see Lewis fading out. I think RB will be a need and Maybe the guy from Kansas State may make the team. I also liked Akrum Wadley last year, is there a chance he comes back? Lastly, who do you see stating at WR #2, I would like to think our 2nd RD pick, AJ Brown, but as I have seen in the past, Never bet on a rookie beating out a Vet. I respect your opinion very much and look forward to reading your response.
Jim: Hamp was an injury. As far as Hesse goes, I could see him used in both roles in offseason competition. But I’ll be honest – he’s still a long shot with so many other guys ahead of him. I don’t view him as Stocker’s replacement. Don’t bank on Wadley coming back. I was really impressed with Brown out of the gate, but how he develops over the next few months will determine his fate.
David Kennedy from Hytop, Alabama
Question: In previous “Ask Jim’s, a number of comments involved the Stadium needing to be upgraded in order to host a Super Bowl. In your opinion, what is needed?
Jim: Hey David. Just keeping it real here – I think a new stadium might be needed, based on how the NFL has picked Super Bowl hosts in recent years. Nashville killed the draft, and I have no doubt it would shine at any big event. But Nashville weather in February is sometimes iffy, and too many other cities are ahead in the chase right now.
Jimmy Dee from Battle Ground, Washington
Question: Jim, I was 100% in favor of drafting Jefferey Simmons and still am. He is just too good not to select. But he can't play for some months and the team needs an upgrade at DT right away. I think the team should consider adding Corey Liuget or someone else soon because the team has a big investment in great players but the team is soft at a key position (DL) for the better half of the season until Simmons is ready to bring his A-game. We need another DL who can do a good job for one year. And I think Suh is fading and he's too expensive. I think we need someone to come in who can give the team a year of good play.
Jim: Hey Jimmy Dee. Some guys around Casey are definitely going to need to step up. And some guys are still out there, as you mentioned, and more will be available leading up to the season.
James Panos from Tuscon, Arizona
Question: Hey Jim. Long-time long-distance Titans fan here, read the column every week. Traveling to Nashville this year for the first time to catch a game with a group of friends (large group around 12-15). Any suggestions for getting that many tickets for good seats?
Jim: (OK, I included this question again since I got some updated information from Bryan in the ticket office that could be helpful for others.) Hey James. Bryan Fillet from the ticket office (BFillet@titans.nfl.com) told me to let you know the team offers discounted ticket rates to groups compared to what they can get via titansonline.com. So I'd contact him.
Joseph Dezine from North Miami, Florida
Question: Hey Jim. How goes it my friend? Thanks as always for you do for Titans Nation, especially for those of us who out of state or aboard. My first question is more of a thought really, people have been writing about Suh, Suh, Suh! It's like they have the Suh Flu lol. But what about Corey Liuget or Muhammad Wilkerson? I know these guys are coming off injury or a less than productive season. Also I was going through the roster recently and noticed Gimel President is a really big guy especially for an LB and saw he's originally a DL has anyone given any thought to trying him at that position with his hand in the ground. If J-Rob and Coach Vrabel wants to bring some of that Patriots culture to the team that is definitely one of their staples. And my second question is more of an opinion, legendary Vanderbilt receiver Jordan Matthews has been slept on for so long to me and he's a heck of a player and an even greater person off the field. With all this Dez Bryant talk has anyone in the Music City ever thought about calling up SF and just see what they're asking. He would definitely that well needed veteran presence that they need in that WR meeting room and the guy is a consummate pro. I'll let that one marinate, see you Jim! And thank you again for what you do!!!!
Jim: All is good Joseph, thanks. Sounds like you and Jimmy Dee have been talking. I hit on the d-line real quick with Jimmy Dee. As for Matthews, the team is very familiar with him and he’s actually visited Saint Thomas Sports Park in the past. Hey, I like Jordan Matthews, have since his playing days at Vandy. But the team is now in good shape at receiver with the additions of Brown and Humphries, and others developing. There’s no way the GM would give up a draft pick for him.
Have a great weekend everyone!