Weekend Mailbag: Jim Wyatt Answers Questions From Titans Fans

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NASHVILLE – On to Week 6.

The Titans leave Music City for Mile High on Saturday, and they’ll face the Denver Broncos on Sunday.

It’s time to change the subject.

And it’s time to start another Titans mailbag…

John Clark from Knoxville, Tennessee
Question:
Hey Jim!!! It’s me again John Clark retired Navy veteran. First let me say I apologize for putting the blame on Mariota he’s only 15 percent of the problem. I still think he holds onto the ball too long but our offense line really has some serious issues. I thought getting Saffold from the Rams was gonna make our O-line tuff to penetrate but so far it’s been the complete opposite. I think the other issue that’s not getting addressed is our WR’s and TE’s not getting the separation needed for Marcus to deliver the ball. I seriously feel for him all the criticism he has taken especially from me. I pray coach Vrabel makes some serious adjustments on the offense line and penalties are hurting us and costing us touchdowns. I’m still keeping hope and faith that we can make a playoff push but we must beat the Texans, Colts and Jaguars when we face them as well as win against teams I think we should beat the rest of the season. Honestly I wouldn’t be as frustrated as I am if I could seem improvements on the offense side of the ball our defense is playing at its best getting a turnover every game but the offense can’t produce any points off of them and our 3rd down performance is horrible. Defense is getting burnt out by the 4th quarter from being on the field too long. Coach Vrabel and Tennessee Titans staff we believe in y’all and this team we support y’all to the fullest please make the minor adjustments and y’all will see major improvements. Titans fan through the ups and downs thick and thin. Titans for life John Clark “FOR THE BOYZ”

Jim: Hey John. Good to hear from you again. Appreciate the feedback and for coming clean. Across the board things definitely need to be better. It’s hard to pin the problems on one thing, because it’s not one thing. Mariota as 15 percent of the problem is lower than some folks in here have projected, I'll say that. I’m not sure what the real percentage is, but I can 100 percent tell you Marcus knows he needs to play better. I know this: I’m ready for another game.

Michael Mosely from Phillipsburg, New Jersey
Question:
I’m going to be in Denver for the upcoming game. Is there going to be a Titan fan party on Saturday night like they did in Atlanta?

Jim: Hey Michael. Well, there’s not a Titans sponsored party but the guys with Two-Tone Blue Nation are holding a get-together at Rhein Haus at 1415 Market Street #1706 in Denver, starting at 7:30. So that sounds like a place to start!

Morgan Reynolds from Melbourne, Australia
Question:
G'day again Jim! The roller coaster continues but inconsistency is the dominant consistent for our team. A shame the offense couldn't match the defence, even with some pretty outrageous calls going against us. Even for me, as a newcomerr thought Cairo shouldn't have had to make those kicks to keep us in the game, ideally he would have extended leads or made the Bills have to fight harder. With his release, and the return of Succop not allowed for a few more weeks, can you shed any light on how Ryan is going with his injury recovery/rehab? I am hopeful that all signs are good for his eventual return in week 9, but I am just not sure where he is at.
Cheers mate

Jim: G’Day Morgan. I’m with you on Cairo. He let the team down by not doing his job, but the offense let him down by not doing theirs – those drives should have ended with touchdowns, not field goal tries. As far as Succop goes, all indications are he’s making good progress. You’re right that he’s not eligible to return until after Week 8.

Johnathan Rolin from Marseille, France
Question:
Hey Mr. Wyatt, I appreciate the voice that you give us fans by answering our questions. Many times they are more verbal processing than questions but you still answer them.
My first question is a simple one. I saw recently that Titans fans are considered the worst in the NFL. Do you think this is true? I have never seen as much animosity towards a team before. I’m frustrated too but most fans are livid now. There is no grace. I’ve been a Titans fan since they moved to Tennessee so I get it. Oftentimes, I’ve compared it to a bad relationship. I’m just not sure how to encourage other fans to hang in there. It seems like jumping ship is becoming more popular. Secondly, have you heard anything about the Titans coming back to London? I’d love to see them play. Thanks again for taking the time to hear us out and answer our questions.

Jim: Hey Johnathan. Glad to give fans a voice in here. I appreciate the passion of the fan base, and to see where these questions are coming from. Back-to-back questions from Australia and France show the range of the fireball. I don’t know who came up with the stat that Titans fans are the worst in the NFL. I think that’s crazy. The Titans have a lot of loyal fans that keep showing up on Sundays no matter what. Hopefully they’ll be rewarded with something special in time. As for returning to London, sign me up! That was among my favorite moments covering the team, which dates back to 1999. But I haven’t heard anything about a return trip. I didn’t hear about last year’s trip until days before it was announced, so it’s not like I’d get a long advance notice.

Rick Smith from Union, Kentucky
Question:
Hey Jim, Thanks for all your work to keep us fans out of town, up to date. Short story, I live 20 miles south of Cincinnati in KY I supported the home town Bengals although my favorite team was the Oilers. Living through the good years with the Bengals in the 80s and the bad (well from then on for the most part) I was ecstatic when the Oilers moved to Nashville. My favorite team in my favorite town and only 4 hours away how perfect! We call Nashville our 2nd home. We are there for the games, the Draft, Uniform unveiling, anything Titans, you get my point. I bashed MM8 a few weeks ago out of frustration, I do not want to comment on each player you already have your share of them. When I leave a game to head back home I listen to the radio has long as I can, I read your mail bags every week I watch the press conferences, The Mike Vrabel Show etc. My concern is this, when I hear "We have to get better" (no kidding) "We have to work harder" (how about working smarter) and when they start a comment with " I Think" instead of I know. This may sound ticky tack but it is comments that are made by losing teams. Bill Belichick may be rude and dry but he does not make up excuses. He will sit a guy if he does not do his job, we run them back out there week after week and point out the good things. They get paid to do good things! it is not a bonus. Do you get paid extra for showing up to work on time? Just once I would like to see Vrabel meet Lewan or Conklin at the sideline after one of their many penalties and get nose to nose with them and sit them for a while. We have won with and without them. I am starting to get a sick feeling like my old Bengal days. I don't even want to drive down there for the LAC game after being silenced by the Bills fans, but I am sure I will. This team has got to get it together and take Titan Up for what it means. These 4 hour drives back home feels like 10 after a loss. We get no respect because we have not earned it. Please Titans get it together!! Thanks for your time Jim and have a great day.

Jim: Appreciate you sharing your story, Rick, and for your loyalty and commitment. Hey, I feel your pain. The first two home games have stunk. I’m not going to waste your time telling you things are going to get better. I can’t promise you that, even though I think they will. I also understand fans are tired of hearing it, so it’s time to deliver.

Jacob Butcher from Fairfield, Illinois
Question:
The offensive line has been a liability and least improved unit on the team. If this trend continues through the next 2-3 games, what are some options for correcting this? It is very disappointing to see most of the pressure coming from Saffold. Do you believe the current line needs more time to play together before any serious measures are taken? Very thankful for your work and for keeping this impatient fan base in the loop.

Jim: Hey Jacob. Overall, the o-line play has been a disappointment. My thinking is it will improve as Nate Davis gets more comfortable at right guard, and as left guard Rodger Saffold and Taylor Lewan get used to playing side-by-side on the left side. If not, then the most realistic option would be to get Dennis Kelly on the field in someone’s place. His most natural spot is right tackle, where Jack Conklin plays, but Conklin hasn’t been the biggest culprit in my opinion.

Connor Scully from Erie, Pennsylvania
Question:
Hi, Jim! Usually there is a lot of negatives after a loss, so I wanted to try to draw on the positives we have seen. Marcus is definitely my favorite player in the game, so I may be biased, but I think he has played very well recently, especially in the hurry up scenarios (still not perfect, but a nice strong start). I also think the defense has been playing mostly great, and Jeffery Simmons is still recovering and can hopefully play this year. The biggest thing I have seen is the offensive line play. Sometimes it looks like they just get bullied (needs to be fixed), but other times it looks like a lack of communication with each other, so hopefully time together will help them. Even with all of the bads, though, we are still only one game out of the division lead (though I would love to leave 9-7 purgatory). My question is where do you think is the biggest issue so far? Thanks, and hopefully you can survive the usual onslaught of negativity this week!

Jim: Hey Connor. Biggest issue imho has been on the oline, where protection hasn’t been up to snuff. There have also been too many drops, and I do think the quarterback needs to rise up and make more plays. Yes, he hasn’t turned the ball over and he hasn’t been the biggest issue by any stretch, but he can play better. The same goes for a lot of guys. The defense has been good, but it’s given up too many big plays as well at inopportune times. And the kicking game has hurt – the Titans could be 4-1 if not for misses vs. Indy and Buffalo.

Chris Wardlow from Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Question:
First time ever asking a question here, but I was just wondering why does it seem like our offense never lines up in an I formation to give Henry a lead blocker to follow in the backfield? Have we used the I formation any this season? It seemed like it worked pretty well when Stocker was with us and he would line up as a fullback in the I. With Stocker being gone, I feel as if Jonnu could fill in that gap as an occasional fullback really well. I feel as if there's so many things that we can do out of an I formation and a Power I, such as misdirections and etc. Also, with the way our offensive line has been getting bull rushed, wouldn't it be helpful to run more screens to get the defense to ease up on their pass rush? Thus giving the offensive line a better chance at protecting Marcus, which in turn, should give him enough time to progress through all his reads while giving the receivers a chance to run their routes? I feel as I the screen to Jonnu in the Bills game was probably the best offensive play call all game. It took advantage of the defense's aggressiveness for a big gain. Thank you for reading. Titan Up!!!

Jim: Hey Chris. Not making any promises here, but I suspect you might see that some moving forward. In fact, new running back Rod Smith has some experience playing some fullback. Jonnu is another guy who could do it with more regularity.

David Siler from Thousand Oaks, California
Question:
So I was just reading on NFL.com they rank the Titans offensive line as 4th worst in the league. Do the players ever read those articles and take it personally?

Jim: Hey David. I don’t think the players are motivated to prove anyone wrong based on the press clippings. As they say, “the film don’t lie,” and that’s what players are trying to fix. Statistically the Titans are ranked 27th out of 32 teams in total offense, so there’s that…

Chris Gunter from Nashville, Tennessee
Question:
Hi Jim. It Chris can you plz try to get some new wide receiver plz like Dez Bryant plz? Also, can you try to get Jay ajayi plz” Thank you. Have a nice day.

Jim: Chris, this has to be a joke…

Gary Loyd from Thompsons Station, Tennessee
Question:
Hi Jim! First time asking a question. I am a huge fan of the Titans and was wondering if the team has considered playing Dennis Kelly at right tackle if Conklin continues to struggle? Thanks!

Jim: Hey Gary. I don’t think anything is imminent, but as I mentioned earlier, it’s certainly an option.

Ludwig Kerlegand from Mexico City, Mexico
Question:
hi, who will be the new kicker for the team and when Succop will be ready to play? tanks!!

Jim: Hola Ludwig. Cody Parkey is the new kicker – he was signed this week to take the place of Cairo Santos. As for Succop, the earliest he could return would be for Week 9 at Carolina.

Tyler Harrell from Carterville, Illinois
Question:
Tyler here from Carterville, Illinois (Not anywhere near Chicago). Huge Titan fan and I appreciate all that you do as well with providing news on the team. I have a whole lot of thoughts and opinions about this team (positive I should add) but I’m going to keep this short and sweet. Titans fans we are still in this and there’s still a lot of football to be played so hang in there. My one question is can we get an update on Jeffery Simmons please? Have a nice day Jim and Thank you! TitanUP!!!!

Jim: Hi Tyler. Well, the news on Simmons is he’s making great progress and he’s eligible to return to the practice field as early as Monday. There’s a scenario he could even play in the team’s Week 7 contest against the Chargers. A lot will depend on how Simmons does in his first practice week since his college days at Mississippi State. But there’s a reason to be optimistic, even if he doesn't play at the end of his first week back.

Scooter Kelly from Ocala, Florida
Question:
First I want to say that I live right around the corner from Jonnu's high school lol. My question is off topic. Can you and Mike Keith grow a mustache like Vrabel? Maybe for "NoShaveNov"?

Jim: Hey Scooter. This is a great suggestion … for Mike. I couldn’t pull off a mustache, but I’m betting Mike Keith could. I’ll try and find the right time to broach the topic. It’s a hairy subject, ya know? ….

Have a great weekend everyone!

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