Jim Wyatt, SENIOR WRITER/EDITOR
NASHVILLE – We’re a week into April and a week closer to the NFL Draft.
The city is getting ready, and so am I.
And the questions keep flowing into the Titans mailbag.
Let’s get rolling ….
Jason Lloyd from Murfreesboro Tennessee
Question: Hi Jim. What difference, if any, is there in OTAs, Mandatory Minicamp, and Training Camp? Are they just 3 different names for saying the team has practice those dates, or does the team do something different at each one?
Jim: Hey Jason. Good question, and they all do mean different things. OTAs (Organized Team Activities) have different phases, with restrictions. At the start, the first few weeks, the focus is conditioning, and eventually coaches can be involved, on the field. All of it is voluntary. The minicamp is the only mandatory part of the offseason work, and the biggest difference is the time spent in the building – it’s a lot more. And while there’s no contact, the practices are even more competitive. During training camp, the pads come on and the players and coaches are pretty much at it all day.
Joao Gabriel Schutze from Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil
Question: Hi Jim! Greetings from not-so-hot-now Brazil! I have to admit, I regret what I said about last chance to Marcus. Honestly, I read that article “Titans QB Marcus Mariota Focused on Health, Success — Not Contract” and I felt he’s really focused and calm now. I think it’s going to be his year, you can write it. I could easily make a bet that he’s going to rock this season! I really enjoy your answers and your knowledge about the team, the managers, the league and everything that happens behind the stage. Also, for people out of US, I suggest to use the official app. I use and I love it. I feel close to Titans now. Is there a chance I get a Titans 5K t-shirt? Hahahahah. Take care and keep rocking!
Jim: Appreciate you taking the time Joao. You should make the trip to Nashville and run in the 5K!
Anthony Gomes from Eugene, Oregon
Question: Hey Jim. Jon Robinson recently said that the Titans two biggest areas of need were DL and TE. Do you agree with that? The two names for pick 19 that seem to be cropping up these days on the mock draft boards are Christian Wilkins and Noah Fant, both of whom I can’t disagree with. Fant had a B+ combine and at 250 is athletic enough to play WR so that would be a plus for the titans. But don’t they need an interior offensive lineman now that both Spain and Kline are gone, with only Saffold acquired in free agency? Pamphile is penciled in at RG right now….do you think he qualifies or are the titans almost committed to drafting a guard with one of the first 3 picks? Finally, what do you think about Myles Boykin at WR instead of D. K Metcalf? Neither one of them have as much film as you would like to see but Boykin actually did much better in the agility drills at the combine than Metcalf and his 43 inch vertical leap is off the chart. Also there is the question of Metcalf’s insanely low 1.6% body fat. I have seem medical analysts who claim that extremely low body fat can lead to injuries. Anyway from what I have seen its 50/50 Metcalf falls that far anyway so maybe Boykin in the third round as a red zone weapon?
Jim: Hey Anthony. Not sure what you saw, but I’ve never heard the GM be that specific when discussing needs. I’ve been on record saying the biggest needs are at edge, d-line, interior o-line and receiver, and it wouldn’t surprise me if the team added a tight end. As for Pamphile, he’s clearly in the mix, but I think more additions – and competition – are coming to the o-line. As for Boykin, he’s impressive. And so is Metcalf, a player I am both intrigued by, and scared of. He’s extremely talented, and could end up being a star. But he’s had injuries and his college resume isn’t off the charts because of it.
April Barnett from Oxford, Alabama
Question: Will the red carpet be open to the public or do you have to have a pass?? Thank you Jim!!
Jim: Hi April. At previous drafts I’ve attended, the red carpet includes families of the prospects, VIPs, media and some fans. I asked this question to Butch Spyridon, CEO of the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp., and he said it’s going to be open to the public (fans will be required to go through magnetometers).
Carlos Berry from Tupelo, Mississippi
Question: I would love to see Dez Bryant in two tone blue on the other outside WR of C Davis then sign Suh r draft D Lawrence team up with Casey a front 4 of Landry, Suh, Lawrence, Casey, Wake. Let dem dogs hunt for QBS would be fun to watch. TITAN UP
Jim: Dez? Oh man. I’m having flashbacks to 2018 mailbags…
Alind Ahmad from Nashville, Tennessee
Question: Have you tried to sign the Titans with a better wide receiver than Adam Humphries like Brandin Cooks or Allen Robinson?
Jim: Hey Alind. Only have Dez on my mind right now… As for Cooks and Robinson, they’re under contract with the Rams and Bears, respectively …
Jalone Rothchild from Kingston, Tennessee
Question: Hi Jim. I have a few random questions that are NFL related that I’ve always wondered, and since it’s the offseason, maybe this would be a good time to ask them.
1. How much free Titans merch (shirts, shorts, hoodies, etc) do players on the team receive? You always see them in videos wearing Titans gear, and I’m curious if they could have unlimited amounts of things to wear, and if not, what the cutoff might be.
2. I’ve always wondered who is responsible for the coach having his red challenge flag on game day. Does he have to remember to bring it with him onto the field? Does he get it from the referees before the game? Is it the equipment manager’s job to be sure he gets it?
3. Finally, why is it a rule that if a player fumbles the ball through the endzone, it counts as a touchback and the ball goes to the other team? That seems like a silly rule to me. If you fumble anywhere else on the field it goes back to the spot of the fumble, so why is it different in the endzone? Has there ever been talk of changing that rule?
Jim: Hey Jalone.
Let’s knock these out.
1. All the players have access to the new merchandise each year, from the workout gear to the sideline gear to practice gear. Team employees get a specific allowance each year for the new look, but players pretty much get whatever is new for that season.
2. It’s my understanding the equipment guys keep the challenge flag in their possession, and make sure it is in Vrabel’s hands before the game, along with the rest of his game day necessities.
3. You’re correct on the touchback rule. It’s definitely a costly blunder. There has been some chatter about changing it, but nothing has picked up steam yet.
Ernie Dunbar from Nashville, Tennessee
Question: Hi Jim. Thanks for all you do and taking my questions. I do have a couple of questions but first let me state what my thinking is behind the questions. Our team today somewhat reminds of our 1999 season when we were in a similar team building situation. Not expected to make a SB run just trying to get into the playoffs. That year we drafted Jevon Kearse trying to improve our pass rush. I think Jevon was the spark that ignited the Titans that year to get over the hump and back into the playoffs and eventually to the SB with his 4.43 speed, high motor and long reach which was truly freakish. My questions are what do you think about Montez Sweat DE coming out of Mississippi State? He also has freakish speed in the forty of 4.41, a 6′ 6″ frame, a 245 pounder with a high motor and long reach, another prototypical Titan. Do you think we have a chance to get him and secondly with his speed and quarterback rushing ability that could truly help our secondary and overall defense ability would Jon Robinson draft him if possible or is there another position more pressing?
Jim: Hey Ernie. I like the comparison, and I like Sweat. He’s a game-wrecker, a game-changer, whatever you want to call it. He has a big frame and long arms. But I’m not sure he’s around at 19. Heck, he might not make it out of the top 10.
Ammon Worthen from Houston, Texas
Question: Hey Jim. I’m a long-time reader and a first time writer. I appreciate all you do for Titans Nation especially for fans like me that live in Houston listening to all annoying Texans fans haha. I’ve been a Mariota fan back in his days at Oregon and have been a Titans fan since 2015. My question to you is how do you think Mariota will thrive this year heading into the same offense as last year? I know it’s been said that the offense will remain almost the same but just wondering how much Arthur Smith will change it. With Smith being the OC this year, im hoping for the 2016 version of Mariota or even better. I definitely believe in Mariota being the franchise guy and cant stand when other so called ” Fans” say otherwise especially when they question his toughness, knowing all the injuries he fought through this year. I was very fortunate to attend the Cowboys and Texans game where Mariota played well . Anyways, I could go on forever with other question but I look forward to writing again. Thank you once again for everything you do! TITANUP!
Jim: Hey Ammon. I’ve been on record saying I think Marcus is going to make big strides in 2019. I just think the offense is in a position to be better because of personnel, and he has a good comfort level with OC Arthur Smith. I think some things will look similar on offense, but Smith is going to want to do things his way, and right now, we have no idea what that means or what it could look like. It will start to present itself in September, when regular season games start.
Darris Mays from Lewisville, Texas
Question: Hello Mr. Jim! My question is why haven’t the Titans met with any QBs from this draft class? I hope they don’t go into the season with 2 injury prone QBS. Marcus is a really good qb but, we know the story with him. Ryan has, had his share of injuries too, so we can’t trust either guy to be healthy the whole season. I love the Titans, but it seems like we’re afraid to draft a good young qb. My favorite qb in this class of qbs is Tyree Jackson a stud, and if we draft this guy I promise you the titans will have drafted the best qb in this year’s draft. Please tell Jon to look into this guy Please Jim. Thanks
Jim: Hey Darris. Who said the team hasn’t? As far as I know, no quarterbacks have been to Nashville for pre-draft visits. But I know the team has communicated with quarterbacks during the process, at the Senior Bowl, combine, Pro Days and workouts. But don’t read too much into this. I think it’s safe to say the team has met with players at every position.