Jim Wyatt, SENIOR WRITER/EDITOR
ATLANTA – Welcome to Super Bowl LIII weekend.
And welcome to another edition of the Titans mailbag.
I’m really not wasting any time this week. It’s been a busy week and I need to get this mailbag out there.
1, 2, 3 go! …
Oswald Blugh from Bristol, Tennessee
Question: Do you the Titans will be aggressive in free agency to address team needs or will they be patient like they have been known to do in years past?
Jim: Hey Oswald. I think the GM will pick his spots. Last year, I wouldn’t exactly say he was patient. The team jumped out and signed cornerback Malcolm Butler and running back Dion Lewis, then added some others along the way. I think a lot depends on how the market goes, and what thinks are looking like in the three-day negotiating period prior to the start of free agency.
Dylan Edwards from Houston, Mississippi
Question: Hey Jim! I have quick questions for ya!
1: Since we have a new OC, will be running a new offensive scheme and if so, any clues as to what it will be? 2: What are some of the Key off-season dates? (Resign Deadline, Start of Free Agency, etc.).
Jim: Hey Dylan. Very similar to last year, although OC Arthur Smith will have his own twist. The good news is not major overhaul and changes in terminology. As for key dates, March 13 is a big one coming up – that’s the start of free agency.
David Stalder from Albuquerque, New Mexico
Question: Hey Jim! Just read the piece on Warren Moon and have a question about the comments he made concerning Marcus Mariota’s weight. I know Marcus has fluctuated in weight over his career trying to stay healthy. Do you know if he will bulk up a little this offseason, as Moon suggested, or will he remain lighter to help with speed?
Jim: Hey David. Thanks for reading. For those who missed it, here’s what Warren told me in the interview about Marcus and his weight: “You have to take really good care of your body. I think that is something Marcus could probably do is put a little more time in the weight room to build himself up a little bit more. He has a long, thin frame, is close to 6-4, around 220 pounds. He can handle a little more weight than that. He could probably put on about 10 more pounds of muscle, which I think would help him, especially with the type of game he wants to play, running the football. And I think it also helps you mentally. It makes you mentally tougher when you know you have the strength and the bulk in your body. That would be one place I would maybe have him look at this offseason: ‘Do I want to put on a little more muscle and get a little bit stronger so I can handle the punishment that’s going to be out there?’ And maybe that will cut down on some injuries.”
I thought the comments were interesting. Mariota’s weight has fluctuated in past years, like you mentioned. He’s out of town now – haven’t seen him since season’s end. So it might be a bit until he reveals the answer to that question.
Scott Arnold from Columbia, Tennessee
Question: Hey, Jim! Looks like you’re enjoying Super Bowl Week in ATL. My question was triggered by your interview with Michael Irvin and here it is. What are the chances we can talk Corey Davis into wearing #88 instead of 84? Why? Well, let’s “look at the numbers”. Marcus wears #8 and Derek Henry wears #22. Sound familiar? It should. Dallas’ big three were Aikman (#8), Smith (#22) and Irvin (#88). We are just a number change away from a couple of Super Bowls! Ah, well, tis the (off)season to dream! Enjoy the SB! I have to root for the Pats as this would make the Titans about the only team to beat the previous season’s SB winner and the current year’s SB winner in the same season. Besides, the Pat’s Right Guard is none other than Shaq Mason, the pride and joy of Columbia, TN!!
Jim: Hey Scott. Again, I appreciate you reading. It was cool to be able to chat with “The Playmaker” and I thought he had some interesting things to say as well. Oh man, some fun with numbers by you! I like it for a number of reasons, from the similarities to the Cowboys and their terrific threesome to the simple fact 22 x 4 = 88. Maybe Corey will read this mailbag and it makes him think about it. 🙂
Aiden Conklin from Spring Hill, Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim. I had a question about Dion Lewis. With how well Derrick Henry finished off the season, how do you think that the new OC will utilize Lewis? I personally think he could definitely be used more for passing plays. Henry is definitely a better fit for our style of our play but Lewis can still pick up chunk plays every so often.
Jim: Hey Aiden. Great question. And I think everyone is anxious to find out. Henry clearly outperformed Lewis in the second half of the season, and earned more playing time. But every year is a new year, and they’ll both compete in the offseason, and in camp. I still feel both guys will be utilized, but how much – and how – is something we’ll have to wait a while to find out.
Chad Alexander from Jacksonville, Tennessee
Question: Hi Jim greetings from Duval….I live in enemy Territory but Tennessee will always be my home.
What are your thoughts on addressing the Offensive Line woes with a scheme change? It wasn’t long ago that the unit was top 10.
What are your thoughts on Anthony Barr as a FA edge solution? I think he could be a game changer in a 3-4 and the Titans really seemed to like him before MN stole him in the draft.
Jim: Hey Chad. The o-line will addressed, but more with personnel changes. I expect to see some new guys in the mix, and the expectation will be for them to play a lot better as a unit. Another year removed from ACL surgery should benefit tackle Jack Conklin as well. Edge rushers will be a big area of need, and I think GM Jon Robinson will look at free agency and the draft. I do remember the Titans liking Barr back in 2014, but keep in mind Ruston Webster was the GM back them.
Brandon Mckenzie from London, United Kingdom
Question: Jim hello mate, I’ve been following the mailbags and you do a great job. Before i get to my question, i just want to say that I believe Senior Bowl players OL Tytus Howard is a 1st Rd pick along with WR Andy Isabella who had 200 receiving yards against Georgia. I’ve heard a few people wanting Golden Tate, i think this would be a bad decision if the Titans picked him up, the guy is 30 yrs old and was only effective at the slot in his last years in Detroit and Philly, there are PLENTY WRs in the draft who would be more effective on the inside and outside that are faster, bigger, and more skilled. It makes more sense to get a DL, CB, or a backup QB in free agency, what are your thoughts on this?
Jim: Hello mate! Appreciate the love from the UK! Good observations from the Senior Bowl. I must admit, I couldn’t watch practices this year like previous years. The session was closed on Day 2 after being moved indoors, and I traveled to the Pro Bowl on what was Day 3 of the Senior Bowl and have been on the go since. I’ll catch up, and you listed some good ones. As for Tate, you’re right – I’ve had others email me they want him. He’s a local prospect, and he’s had a heck of a career, so I get it. I’ll be curious to see if the team makes a push myself. I do think the Titans attack the receive position in free agency and the draft. As for the other positions you mentioned, I think DL is among the top priorities, but I list edge rushers and interior o-linemen among the needs as well.
Steven Crosio from Brick, New Jersey
Question: After the Senior Bowl I made a Mock Draft what do you think about it?
Round 1 Pick 8 (DET): Williams, Quinnen, DT, Alabama
Round 2 Pick 19: Allen, Zach, DE, Boston College
Round 4 Pick 19: Stidham, Jarrett, QB, Auburn
Round 6 Pick 1 (ARI): Hall, Emanuel, WR, Missouri
Round 7 Pick 1 (ARI): Tate, Trevon, OG, Memphis
Round 7 Pick 25 (N.E.): Adams, Paul, OT, Missouri
Round 7 Pick 31 (N.E.): Sapp, Quart’e, ILB/OLB, Tennessee
Jim: Hey Steven. Interesting. I need to see the NFL Combine, and free agency. Some of these needs match up now. Will they in April,, after free agency?
Leila Albihani from Nashville, Tennesse
Question: Hello, my question is how is Mariota doing and feeling? How is Jonnu Smith and Delanie Walker doing and feeling? What do you think the record will be? I think the Titans should resign Kenny Vaccaro. I’m so ready to see Derrick Henry continue his success, a healthy Mariota, and a successful new season. I miss watching the Titans games.
Jim: Hey Leila. All healing up, but all not there yet. The good news is the offseason program won’t start until the middle of April, and the OTAs not until May and June. There’s time. Too early to make prediction. Right now, we don’t know who will be on the team without free agency and the NFL Draft. Same goes for the other 31 teams.
John Sims from Cookeville, Tennessee
Question: Long time Titans fan. As a KFC &Taco Bell franchisee, I enjoy second guessing trades, contracts. Business decisions.
I have had great success with 2nd chances.
I believe Kaepernick is the perfect backup QB.
Titans can structure a contract for 1,2,3 years that could end at anytime.
Pass it on. Thanks.
Jim: Thanks John. But you’re not breaking new ground here. Others beat you to the punch a few years ago.
Ramon Powell from San Antonio, Texas
Question: Hey Jim, I know a lot everyone is wondering about our needs and WR always comes up. With Arthur Smith becoming the new OC, the return of Delanie and Jonnu, as well as Marcus ability to quick throw, you do you think that WR will be top priority? I think the WR corps took a step up towards the middle to end of last season I can only really recall the Taywan drop against the Giants. I’m thinking Defensive lineman, offensive lineman, outside linebacker, backup QB, then wr is the order of resource allotment.
Jim: Hey Ramon. I’ve been on record saying WR is an area of need. Is it No.1? That’s debatable. My areas of need are edge rushers, receivers, interior o-line help, big and nasty d-linemen, and depth at other spots. Sounds like we’re on the same page here…
Paige Bivens from Canton, Ohio
Question: Is there a fan day, where my son can meet the players?
Jim: Hi Paige. Best bet will be in training camp, but that won’t begin until the end of July, when they’ll sign autographs.
Korniljus Popaj from Nashville, Tennessee
Question: Hi Jim I am 19 years old and I am very passionate for football. I wanted to know how can I be a scout for the Tennessee Titans? I came here this morning from Dallas, Texas off my gut feeling thinking Tennessee will be a great place to start my journey as a scout.
Jim: Hey Korniljus. I hope you didn’t book a one-way ticket. Not trying to discourage you, but it’s not easy to break it. All these guys have paid their dues, and worked their way up. Some of them have experience coaching, and found their way it. Some have connections in the business, which helps. But it’s not a first job. Keeping plugging, and best of luck!
Chris Chapman from Hermitage, Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim! Man I just read your article about the Todd Downing hire! SWEET! I’m gonna just go ahead and predict that Arthur Smith, Rob Moore, and newly hired Todd Downing and staff are gonna help Marcus graduate into the franchise QB we drafted him to be and that so many negative fans are clamouring for. I’ll go a step forward and say that they are gonna make it a no-brainer for JRob and Co to keep Marcus a Titan for a very long time! I don’t see it taking multiple seasons for them to help him become greater than he already is in my book! The Titans finally understand that the only way for Marcus to succeed is to give the guy a chance at some semblance of continuity hence the Arthur Smith promotion. I’m not leaving out the rest of the team here; everybody’s play will also elevate with the staff that are being put in place. Shoot Jim, I ain’t mad at Matt Lefluer for liking “Cheese”!!! LMAO! There’s a few mad folks out there who are ticked off about him jumping ship. Ant 1 of em would jump at the chance to get to coach Aaron Rodgers and have the chance to get on the fast track to a Super Bowl appearance and a very possible Super Bling! I believe we will be a helluva force considering we get D.C. Dean Pees back with a lot of good core players plus JRob’s draft picks! Not gonna ask about draft cos its a lil too early for me bro, I need to watch some guys do their Combine thing 1st. Thanks in advance for the feedback and for all you do man! I still think they ought to let coach Vrabel suit up and catch at least 1 more TD pass from a future 1st ballot hall of famer we have at QB, and they what the hell go ahead and let coach get him another sack on record. I believe the man can still do it! TITAN UP PEOPLE!
Jim: Hey Chris. Glad to see you’re still fired up!