Jim Wyatt,SENIOR WRITER/EDITOR
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Titans won on Sunday against the Eagles, and yeah, it was a big time W.
I consider in one of the best games in the history of Nissan Stadium.
Now, it’s on to Buffalo. The Bills probably don’t want me going down memory lane thinking about other memorable finishes in the stadium …
So let’s get to this mailbag…
Matthew Olivares from Fresno, California
Question: Hi Jim. Long time Oiler/Titan fan from California. Jurrell Casey!! This man is on fire! It seems like every game he is in the backfield so much I would swear he is playing fullback for the other team. Is he benefiting from big Bennie Logan or on his way to an All Pro selection based on individual effort?
Jim: Hey Matthew. I’m going to credit Jurrell for wreaking havoc. Sure, the defense all works together, but he’s relentless in his effort, and he’s been great. It’s already earned him a trip to three Pro Bowls, and if he wouldn’t have turned down a pair of trips before that, he’d be a five-time Pro Bowler right now. Jurrell added a little weight to help him combat double teams heading into this season, and it’s paying off.
Armando Guerrero from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico
Question: Hi Jim. Nice to meet you. I’m Armando. I’m a really big fan of the Tennessee Titans. My question is, with the walk out of Rishard Matthews, who’s next for the number one receiver spot? And is there any interest on Dez Bryant?
Jim: Hey Armando. Expect to see more of what you saw on Sunday. Corey Davis is going to get a lot of chances to make plays, and he’s proven he can do that. Taywan Taylor and Tajae Sharpe had some big catches as well, and will be a big part of things moving forward. Nick Williams and Darius Jennings will get opportunities. Don’t give up on Jennings after his drop against the Eagles. I’ve seen him make a lot of plays. And a running back like Dion Lewis can take pressure off of guys with the production he had catching the ball as well. As for Bryant, the answer is still no.
P Chan from Portland, Oregon
Question: On the topic of Derrick Henry. He’s a very good football player and can do outstanding things for the team. However what’s your thoughts on if he was moved to the tight end position? He would be a huge mismatch and is good at catching the ball. And he would be able to slip into a roll like Gronk, Ertz, Kelce, and Jimmy Graham. With his running speed, that would add another huge advantage after he catches the ball.
Jim: Not only is it too late in his career to make a switch, but he’s proven during his career to be a good running back. So this isn’t a move that’s going to happen. Derrick hasn’t been pleased with his performances during the first quarter of the season, and he hasn’t had a lot of success so far. But I suspect he’ll get things rolling. Any footballs he catches will be coming out of the backfield.
Taylor Roberts from Jackson, Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim. I’ve always wondered why Marcus always seems to be wearing long sleeves/hoodies during practice. Is there a reason behind him wearing it? It may not happen as much as I think, but just seems like he is always wearing one under his gear. Thanks! And TitanUp!
Jim: Hey Taylor. I think it’s as simple as him just trying to work up a good sweat, because it helps keep him loose. He’s also said before he hates wearing sunscreen, so that’s at least part of the reason as well.
David Roy from Columbus, Ohio
Question: Always appreciate your work around the team seeing as I’m up here in Ohio it’s nice to know the mindset surrounding the team. That said, I really like Marcus Mariota and I know his 5th year option got picked up recently. Is there growing concern that Mariota’s health or lack of availability is a detriment to the direction this team is trying to go? Is there something that he needs to do to earn a long time spot and silence some of the doubters? Always appreciate your hard work man and thanks for the time!
Jim: Hey David. It’s a faiir question. What Marcus needs to do is just keep doing what he did on Sunday against the Eagles. I understand he’s been banged up, but the guy is going to take some hits and shots the way he plays. And he’ll have to deal with setbacks as a result. But he played through some of it on Sunday, and as long as he keeps performing at a high level, he’s going to help his chances of sticking around long term.
Thomas Yates from Lillamay Tennessee
Question: Hello Jim. I would like to say that Derrick Henry may find inspiration by watching film of Earl Campbell since he is unhappy with his performance. It fires me up and I’m a couch potato coach.
Jim: OK Thomas, I’ll pass it along…
Andrew Barry from Silverdal, Washington
Question: Hey Jim, HUGE Titans fan here. Always appreciate the updates and insight from you, Mike Keith, and Amie Wells, think you guys always do a fantastic job! I love the direction that J-Rob has taken this team the past few years and Deontay Burnett was one of the guys we wanted to keep on the practice squad before he signed with the Jets to reunite with Sam Darnold. With the release of Rishard Matthews do you think there is any chance they reach out and try to snag him back from the Jets with the possibility of a larger role as the season progresses? Thanks again and keep up the great work!
Jim: Hey Andrew. Appreciate the question, and the comments. I’ll answer the same way I did when I was asked about receiver Devin Ross in the Saturday mailbag. Deontay is a guy the Titans were impressed with, and they were interested in bringing him back to their own practice squad before he opted to go to the Jets, to be reunited with Darnold, as you mentioned. So I wouldn’t rule it out at some point. But ultimately the decision is made above my pay grade.
Ronnie Flair from Nashville, Tennessee
Question: Who got the game ball this week?
Jim: I asked coach Mike Vrabel that during the presser on Monday. He said the entire team will get one.
Kenny Anderson from Columbia, Tennessee
Question: I’m sure you’re getting plenty of questions about Marcus. So I’ll ask something that no one else will ask. I am a season ticket holder (section 341). I enjoy going to the games with my son. There’s one thing that’s bugged me. Who is the guy that is on the Pain Train video getting everyone hyped up? #TITANUP
Jim: Hey Kenny. It’s Pain Train Terry Tate, aka as Office Linebacker, who starred in television commercials for Reebok back in the day. His real name is Lester Speight. He, of course, is paired with the great Johnny Cash and his ‘Folsom Prison Blues” at the beginning of the fourth quarter each Sunday.
Joey Coburn from Port Saint Lucie, Florida
Question: Hey Jim. Long time Titans fan. Been a fan of them all the way back to when they were the Oilers. I really don’t have a question. But just want to say I love the direction of this team and the fact of having a head coach like Mike Vrabel. You can see he has such passion not just for the game but the players and the team in general. By the way made it a point this year to finally go to an NFL game for the first time. Well not just one game but both the Miami and Jacksonville game. It was amazing to see the team playing in person instead of just seeing them on TV. Wish I could have had the chance to meet some of the players. But anyways Good luck to the team this weekend. TITAN UP
Jim: Hey Joey. Appreciate you taking the time. Glad you enjoyed it. You should make a trip to Nashville to see a game at Nissan Stadium.
McKeeg Russell from Colorado
Question: Hey Jim. First time writer here. Thanks for the info and keeping us fans in the loop! I’m a longtime fan, my first game was in the Dome watching Earl Campbell. I lived through the 93′ season, and I stuck out the move staying with my Oilers. I’ve seen seasons that “feel different” and have always kept the faith. My question is regarding the lack of respect this organization has in the media. Elliot Harrison is the worst offender, all last season (while I admit that our offense was underwhelming)he stuck to his guns that the Titans wouldn’t make the playoffs. Then after we won in KC, made it to the divisional round, no respect. This year it’s obvious he’s already on the attack having ranked us in the 20’s in his popularity, I mean power rankings. Not moving us up a single notch after yet again beating the Jags. So my question to you is this… Being someone in the media, having followed this team for some time, what do you think is the real driving force? Do we need to win a Super Bowl? Do we need to move to LA? It’s hard watching a highlights show and being lucky to see a 30 sec blurb about the Titans beating the Eagles while they gush over Luck’s comeback (1-3 comeback) or Brady beating the Dolphins… again…
Jim: Hey McKeeg. I’ve covered the Titans since 1999, and it seems to always be a topic when the team is good. I think a big part of it is because Nashville is a smaller market. But I do think the Titans are on the map, considering the team was awarded a number of primetime games this year, following a year when six guys played in the Pro Bowl. I know several guys made it as alternates, but it’s a sign of respect following a year when five others made it. I know this doesn’t impact the power rankings, but I’ll be honest: I am somewhat annoyed by those anyway. They don’t mean anything in the grand scheme. I almost think it’s better for teams to be down on the list, because I think players enjoy playing the no-respect card, and they like to use it as motivation. It’s sometimes better to be the hunter instead of the hunted. What’s most important is who is standing in January and February. After wins over the Jaguars and Eagles, I definitely think folks will start taking the Titans more seriously.
Have a great week everyone!