NASHVILLE - The NFL playoffs resume this weekend, and yeah, I know, it stings because the Titans are no longer in the mix.
The mailbag has been overflowing this week with reaction from the end of the 2020 season. Some fans are looking back, while others are now looking ahead.
As always, I appreciate the feedback.
Let's dive into another mailbag.
Here's the link to ask questions: CLICK HERE
Robert Deutchman from El Paso, Texas
Question: Hey Jim, tough loss on Sunday but unlike a lot of the Titans fans out there that are upset and calling for peoples heads, I see this season as a huge success. We won 11 games and the AFC South for the first time in years, we had the most productive offense we may have ever had and a second 2,000-yard rusher. A lot to be proud of. Sure we obviously want to win a Super Bowl but we also have to be honest with ourselves. Our defense was never a championship caliber squad and if we won, we would get picked apart when we faced any of the remaining teams who have quarterbacks who could get rid of the ball quickly. We clearly have some areas that we need to address in order to take the next step, mainly on defense. With that, do you think that we are going to try to make a splash in free agency again and sign a big-name free agent again or that the team focuses more in the draft on finding a player and developing them?
Jim: Hey Robert. There were certainly successes in a season that ultimately fell short of expectations. Since the season ended, I've heard a lot of "hot takes" about the season being a failure. Hey, every season is a failure if you don't win the Super Bowl. Had the Titans won against the Ravens, then beat the Bills tonight, and then lost to the Chiefs next week, it would've been considered a failure because the team didn't get past where last season ended. With all that said, winning 11 games for the first time since 2008, and winning the AFC South during a year when Derrick Henry rushed for 2,000 yards is something to be proud of. But it's not good enough. Now, the challenge is fixing the defense, and finding ways to get better across the board. How the GM goes about doing it depends on a lot of things, from what the cap looks like, to who is available in free agency, which players can be re-signed, etc. We're just at the start of figuring all this out.
Hunter Phelan from South Pasadena, California
Question: Hi Jim, wanted to start off thanking you and the TITANS for a great and fun season. One we were lucky to even have with COVID 19. So many great games and was joy to watch this team fight and claw all year long. Tough loss to our ole pals the RAVENS! The rivalry is back to say the least. I know coach Vrabel is getting scrutiny for his 4th down call at the RAVENS 40-yard line. I'm sure he may have regretted it, buy i totally see why he punted it. I would not anyone else coaching this team. Question: It seemed Jonnu Smith's production really went down after Taylor Lewan went down. Do you think that was to help anchor the line, or was it more of the way the direction of the offense went? Thanks again Jim for all that you do! Let's come back stronger next year! Go Titans!!!
Jim: Hey Hunter. Hope all is well. I admit, there was a point in the offseason when I wondered if we'd get the season in, so I'm happy we were able to as well. As for Jonnu, I think his production went down as a result of him being called on to block more following Taylor's injury, as well as Jonnu's own injury issues that slowed him down. Like a lot of guys, Jonnu fought through some things during the second half of the season.
Warnis Hightower from Rosharon, Texas
Question: Hey Jim. Good Season. I live, eat and sleep Titan blue. I'm still proud of our guys for winning the division and giving me something to enjoy each Sunday. Hate to see the season end. The defense really surprised me and played well Sunday. However, (even though I hate to trash any player) I think Adoree Jackson is the worst DB in the league. He can't cover or tackle. The play calling was a bit bad. Derrick Henry is a great RB. But he is not superman. Arthur Smith tried to run the ball against a six and seven man front. BAD. But overall I am pleased with the season. I hope we can keep our receivers and get a couple DL's. I also hope our offensive coordinator gets a head coaching job. Let's keep bleeding Titan blue!! See ya' next year.
Jim: Hey Warnis. Adoree' Jackson is not the worst DB in the league. Not even close. Let's trace back to the beginning of this season for Adoree'. He was ready to go at the start of September, and he got hurt the week leading up to the opener. He was put on Injured Reserve, and when he was taken off, he wasn't physically ready to play. He was ripped by a lot of fans in here and on social media for being an inactive so long, or at least for the mystery surrounding his injury (which wasn't Adoree's fault). Then, when he returned and didn't play well, he was ripped by others for his performance after being sidelined for 13 weeks with an injury. Adoree' didn't look right at the end of the season after fighting through a lot mentally and physically to get back on the field. In my mind -- and I'm not saying you were one of them, Warnis -- anyone who ripped Adoree' or questioned his desire because he didn't play for 13 weeks because he was hurt lost the right to criticize him when he finally returned, and didn't play up to expectations, because he wasn't the same guy they remembered in 2019 when he was healthy. Here's hoping an offseason of healing helps get Adoree' right for 2021.
Pat Keeley from Wheaton, Illinois
Question: Hey Jim, great season for the Titans but something to build on for next year. Honestly I had a feeling the road team was going to win given the history of the series between these two teams.
My top 3 priorities in the off-season...
1) resign Corey Davis (hope he wasn't benched near end of game or that's a big red flag)
2) hire a DC!! (Broken record I know)
3) revert back to a 4-3 defense and draft a few linemen that have not just skills but positive character traits.
Also, I really think not having Adam Humphries for the game hurt....your thoughts?
Jim: Hey Pat. Thanks for weighing in.
Quick thoughts: Corey didn't finish the game because he was hurt, and the Titans missed Humphries for sure.
Jose Aguila from Hendersonville, Tennessee
Question: This is not really a question but a comment. (i mean i am just 11 so) well this game was tough. But the titans did well. I just love Derrick Henry he my fav. I actually have a titans jersey that i got for 5 bucks when i went to the tampa bay vs titans game in 2019. I think they were cheap cause i got lockers jersey. Hmm. Well if you ever see the Titans tell great job and to keep their head up. Oh and tell derrick (if you see him) that he is my favorite player and to not leave the titans
Jim: Good to hear from you, Jose. I'll let the guys know...
Joao Gabriel Schutze from Santa Rita do Sapucai
Question: Hi Jim. Como esta? I was going to write about our last game but I gave up. I think our team wasn't happy this season, maybe because of the last year and missing our supporters in the stadium. Reading your answer about "roster changing", I hope we get stronger, our team comes getting better each day and we can't give up. Next season, the happiness will be back with us.
Jim: Muy bien, gracias! Cuidate y gracias. Joao!
Jeffrey McRae from Hartselle, Alabama
Question: Hey Jim, thanks for keeping us fans informed. Proud of the accomplishments this season. Would've rather lost to anyone but the Ravens (Except for the Jaguars... Jaguars are worse to lose to). In your opinion, if Titans would've scored on last drive do you think Vrabel would've gone for the extra point tie, or do you think he would've gone for two for the win?
Jim: Hey Jeffrey. I suspect he would have kicked the extra point to tie, and then tried to win it in overtime like last time in Baltimore...
Chuck Rhoten from Kingsport, Tennessee
Question: Proud of our Titans. With our free agent bust this year on defense and our first-round pick in the draft being a bust for this season, we will have to wait and see if he wants to succeed or not. With all that being said what does the Titans need to do to get better and make it to the Super Bowl? Also is there a chance D.P. comes back next year to coach the defense?
Jim: Improving the defense is priority No.1 with me. More specifically, finding edge rushers. I'd attack the position in free agency and the draft. As for D.P., are you talking Dan Patrick? Dan Pastorini? Dr. Pepper? Dolly Parton? Danica Patrick? David Price? Donald Page? I'm stumped...
Kevin Yoshizu from Honolulu, Hawaii
Question: Aloha Jim, just would like to thank Owner Amy, GM John and HC Mike in giving us Titans fans a super entertaining football season! We finally got over the 9-7 hump after 4 yrs! To go to a record of 11-5 this year was pretty amazing and I'm especially thankful to all the players who fought their hearts out in each and every game. I was certain from the very beginning of the season that Titans were going to the playoffs. But I was also certain that they wouldn't get very far either. My belief is that for any playoff team to be successful they would need to be balanced on OFFENSE AND DEFENSE. Unfortunately the Titans were kicking butt on offense but getting their butts kicked on defense. And that is no fault of any of our defensive players because they have so much talent on that side of the ball! When you look at all the playoff teams this year in the AFC, they pretty much are balanced offensively and defensively except for the Titans this year. Last year the Titans were pretty much a balanced team with Dean Pees being our DC. That being said, do you think JRob would insist on having a DC next year even tho Coach Vrabel might not want one? I mean if OC Arthur Smith leaves, we are surely going hire an OC right? Concerned in Hawaii
Jim: Aha! Dean Pees. So that's who Chuck was talking about... The whole DC thing is up for the HC decide ...
Xander Maynard from Signal Mountain, Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim, thank you for all that you do. I was pretty disappointed with how the season ended but we were 11-5! That's the most wins we've had in a while! Obviously it isn't Ryan Tannehill's fault that he threw that pick. Kalif Raymond fell down. Watching the Steelers get thrashed by the Browns made me feel better. Then the other night when I was watching the College Football Championship game I saw this Alabama DT that is entering the 2021 draft named Christian Barmore. He is graded at a mid to late first rounder. In 2020 he had 22 tackles, 8 sacks, and 3 forced fumbles. He ran rings around the Ohio State offensive line. In the championship he had 3 tackles and a sack. He got pressure pretty much every snap. Might this be the pass rusher the Titans are looking for with the 22nd pick. I don't know but I do know that next season will be great! TITAN UP!!
Jim: Barmore is a beast. But it's way too early in the draft process to start pegging guys to the Titans. I don't think anyone really knows what draft pick range Barmore might go in right now.
Barbara Timmons from Hermitage, Tennessee
Question: At the end of the 2019/2020 season, our DC retired, and was not replaced. Now, it seems that Head Coach Vrabel is trying to send our OC to be some others' team' for a possible HC position. Did the Titans organization not learn that playing musical chairs with the coaching staff ends up with more problems for the players? Then again, I may be way off on this?
Jim: Hi Barbara. I'm sure you've seen by now Arthur ended up getting the head coaching job with the Falcons, but it's not because Vrabel sent him away...
Mike Tate from Chattanooga, Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim what's up. Well it was a helluva season but now its over. My question is why is the HC so secretive about players status? Corey Davis for one " not able to go" what does that even mean? It wasn't injury related so will we have to wait and hear something from the national media.
Jim: The HC is so secretive about the injury status of players, in large part, because he's a former player. If the players want to discuss their injuries, then that's up to them. "Not being able to go" means he was hurt. I saw Corey struggle to make it off the field in the fourth quarter, and I saw him walking off the field after the game like he was in discomfort, too.
Harry Prentiss from Sunbury Pennsylvania
Question: Jim I thank you for thorough reporting on this football team. As a fan from central Pennsylvania since George Blanda was the quarterback in 1965. I think many people have missed the good from this season. For example if at the start of this season if you'd have told me we'd finish with our third string left tackle but still get Derrick Henry to 2,000 yards and our best corner would miss 13 games and we'd get only a handful of tackles and no sacks from our two big defensive acquisitions and still win the division by going 11-5 I bet every fan would have signed on. It was a disappointment to end like this but overall, I think we have a lot to look forward to. Thank you once again Jim for all you do.
Jim: Appreciate it, Harry.
Doug Poling from Franklin, Tennessee
Question: Any chance Vrabel will get fired? He's a nice guy but he's not getting it done.
Jim: The c_hances are Slim and None, and I saw Slim waiting for a Lyft down by Tootsies. I'll let Mike know you think he's a nice guy, though. I'm sure he'll be flattered ..._
John Shadix from Lawrenceburg, Tennessee
Question: Jim; Not one player or coach can be singled out as the cause of the loss to the Ravens. The Ravens were keying on Henry and the Titans just could not get their ducks lined up on offense. Sure, there were mistakes made by the Titans but there's mistakes made during a win also. It's just that the mistakes made here were not recoverable. I'm sure there'll be some new faces on the field next season and as a Titan fan, I believe they're on the brink of taking it all. Enjoy the off season and we'll keep up with you.
Jim: Appreciate you taking the time, John.
Terry Anderson from Glasgow, Kentucky
Question: Hello Jim, season came to an end with a lackluster performance after the first quarter. Hot start for Ryan throwing the ball. Defense played well I thought. Lamar is a game changer. Pretty much every play is in the wildcat. I asked you last week where you rank this team compared to other historical Titan teams. I feel this team compares to the post Super team. I would rank this edition of the Titans, the Tannehill and Henry, to the McNair George era. We competed every year for the division and were stout in the AFC. I'm really happy with this team. The foundation is there. Just need pieces. I hope we get some help on the defensive side of the ball. Where are we at on Clowney? Do we run that back after he recovers? Thank you for taking the time to read and respond. Titan Up!
Jim: Hey Terry. Not sure I'd compare this team to the 2000 team to be honest. I think that team was better than the 1999 Super Bowl team. If I had to compare, I guess I'd say the 2008 team that won the division, and lost in the first round to the Ravens. As for Clowney, he'll become a free agent in March. What happens with Clowney pretty much hinges on Clowney and where he wants to be/how much he's willing to play for. But not sure I'd refer to him with the 'run it back' lingo. Not sure anyone wants to duplicate his 2020 season in Tennessee.
Connor Scully from Erie, Pennsylvania
Question: Hey Jim! Just wanted to try to have a positive note after the game since I am assuming a lot of negatives will be coming in. It's not how we wanted the season to end, but all in all I would say in a very strange season, the Titans had a successful run. Winning the AFC South, getting to the playoffs, Derrick getting 2,000 yards, AJ getting 1,000 yards, and the offense as a whole being so explosive all were great to see this year, not to mention the insane amount of injuries we dealt with. I have some obvious bias, but to me that game looked more like the Titans lost it than the Ravens won it, especially with the defense playing with some energy finally. I wish some playcalling / coaching decisions were different, but now it's on to next year. My question is do you have any info as to what happened with Corey near the end of the game? He had a great year, and I really hope that is not how his Titans days will end, and I would love to see him back with us next year. Thank for all the work you do throughout the season!
Jim: Hey Connor. I agree with your assessment. I didn't leave Nissan Stadium impressed by the Ravens. They are who I thought they were, and the Titans let them off the hook. Where have I heard that before? ... But it's true. The Titans laid an egg on offense on Sunday, and it cost them a chance to advance.
Steven Crosio from Brick New Jersey
Question: Hey there Jim. Here's what I think Titans will get in 2021:
OC: Either Arthur Smith Stays or Tony Dews gets promoted
DC: Hire Matt Patrica
No. 1 Re Signing has to be TE Jonnu Smith
No. 1 Free Agent to go after: Bud Dupree
The 1st Round pick either has to be an Edge player or Trade Down That's Final
And that's my prediction!
Jim: It's now on record, Steven.
Wayne Tippett from Clayton, North Carolina
Question: Hi Jim appreciate all your hard work keeping everyone informed. Congrats to our boys in blue on the divisional championship. Tough loss but we are on the verge of something special here in Titan nation. The defense actually done their part this week and the offense struggled. Just wanted to point that out since week in and week out they get put on blast for poor play the did quite well this week in my opinion. I would have loved a win but not sure we would have went any further ... We aren't ready for an elite passing attack. Just watch the Packers film for the proof. We are almost there, and I know the front office is already planning the next move. Do you think they will go exclusively defense in the draft or pick best player available regardless of what position that may be minus QB and RB of course that's pretty set. Also, could you update us on Corey Davis, was he hurt? He was missing on the field on several key plays.Titan Up and again Proud of the boys in blue!
Jim: Hey Wayne. The draft won't be exclusively defense, I can tell you that. In reality, we'll have a much better idea on which way the draft goes after free agency. But as I've said before, I think edge rusher should be priority No.1. And as I've said in here a few times, Corey was hurt. I've seen a lot of people suggest he quit on the team, which is kind of sad. It's just a lazy and uninformed take.
Bill Bohall from Portland, Tennessee
Question: Jim. Good year...not great but good...on to 2021 and the dreft.
What is the purpose of a futures contract ??? Do the players receive a salary ???? If so, what ??? Are they free to sign with another team to their active roster ??? Just wondering what the real need for the team and the player to have executed a "futures contract"...???
Jim: Hey Bill. The Titans have signed 17 players to futures contracts so far. Here's the 411 on futures contract: Futures contract go into effect on the first day of the new league year. Since there are no practice squads during the offseason, teams are allowed to sign players for the offseason as they prepare for the next season.
David Simms from Hendersonville, Tennessee
Question: Hi Jim. Thanks for what you do here, long-time fan! I am off topic a little bit today but I would like if in any way possible that you could let Brandon Galloway, NFL fan of the year award finalist, let him know how much other titans fans out there appreciate what he is doing. I didn't really even know that this was going on but his interview on GMFB was heart warming. I love the way that he is representing the Titans Nation. I also would like to know if there is a way we can support what he is doing? Thanks again for your awesome works and TITANUP!
Jim: Hey David. Will do, and I hope Brandon reads the mailbag. For those not familiar, Brandon was named one of the three finalists for the NFL 'Fan of the Year' Program this week. He's a Titans season ticket holder who was born in Memphis, and he now lives in Clarksville. Galloway mentors at-risk youth and he has taken many of them to Titans games. He was chosen as a finalist because he met the criteria: The NFL "spotlights fans who have a special affinity for their local team, provide inspiration to others and showcase how football unites their family, friends and local communities." And I thought Brandon represented himself well on NFL Network. I hope he wins it all!
Have a great weekend everybody.