Tennessee Titans Mailbag

Titans Mailbag: Answering your Titans questions!

  • Jadaveon Clowney
  • Jayon Brown
  • Jon Robinson
  • Kevin Byard
  • Mike Vrabel
  • NFL
  • Tennessee Titans
  • Training Camp
By TreJeanWatkins August 1, 2020 0 Comment

In this Titans Mailbag, we discuss what the Titans might do if Clowney signs elsewhere, Mike Vrabel potentially calling defensive plays, and more

I hope you’re all staying safe out there! Training camp kicked off this Tuesday for the Tennessee Titans, but instead of the usual physicals and immediate on field work, we’re getting multiple rounds of COVID-19 testing for players and weeks of conditioning to eliminate the consequences that arise due to the lack of organized off-season workouts.

Truly an abnormal off-season, that’s now joined by the unusual proceedings of training camp, and a season we’re all expecting to go down as the most unusual one we’ve ever experienced in our lifetimes.

So let’s try to inject as much normalcy as we can into this mailbag, and leave with a confident feeling about a football season going down somehow.

Who should the Titans sign if they miss out on Jadaveon Clowney?

To answer your first question, there aren’t a large amount of top quality options to fall back on. If Jadeveon Clowney indeed doesn’t sign with the Tennessee Titans.

Aside from Clowney, the only reinforcement you can really feel comfortable with is Everson Griffen. But, I believe Griffen’s asking price might be a little too far out of Jon Robinson’s price range.

These lack of options don’t bode well for a pass rush group that fell flat on their face in the AFC Championship game. The group is full of depth guys that you can depend on to bring some juice, and a young stud that still has some work to do in other aspects of his game. However, the position really lacks a dynamic talent that can take this group to the next level.

Clowney isn’t a Von Miller, nor is he Khalil Mack, but he’s an EDGE rusher that can terrorize run games and affect your overall pass rush in more ways than just racking up sack totals.

If the Titans can’t add that sort of talent, then their reinforcement could be none other than Vic Beasley. The team signed him earlier on in the off-season, but he hasn’t gotten off to a good start with his new squad, and we haven’t even gotten to the start of on field work yet.

Big, big yikes.

Titans Roster remains strong

For your second question, it’s hard to really pick out a weak position group on this roster.

If I had to pick out the 2 weakest ones on this roster though, I’d say the offensive and defensive lines. Not because of an overwhelming lack of talent, but because those 2 groups have the most amount of question marks on the team.

Dennis Kelly is the new starter at right tackle, but he’s struggled whenever he’s been asked to step in and start. Take the first 4 games of last season for example, and you’ll understand my point.

For the defensive line, Jeffery Simmons boasts an unbelievable amount of upside, but he’s being tasked with replacing Jurrell Casey‘s outgoing production, I’m sure you all know how difficult of a task that’ll be. DaQuan Jones will also be depended on to help replace Casey’s production. Jones is a veteran that’s made his mark as a run stuffer, but he isn’t the most disruptiveĀ as a pass rusher.

Again, both good players, but the Titans will be asking a lot more out of them compared to years past.

Will Cole McDonald make the final 53?

This is a somewhat difficult question to answer.

The Titans like McDonald, but he’s nothing more than a project at this point in time. The preseason would’ve been a great chance to see how far McDonald has to go in terms of being able to contribute on the field. Unfortunately, we won’t get that opportunity to observe due to COVID-19.

So when you take a step back, and examine the situation entirely, it doesn’t seem all that necessary to keep McDonald on the 53 man roster.

However, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, I think you’ll see a lot of teams around the league lean towards keeping more than 2 quarterbacks on the active roster. Plus, in the Titans’s case, Ryan Tannehill‘s previous injury history brings a smidgen of concern as well, so that’s another factor to keep in mind.

If I had to decide now, I’d believe McDonald stays on the 53 active roster. Although, the final decision will fall upon the shoulders of Mike Vrabel and Jon Robinson.

Should Derrick Henry be more involved in the passing game?

The harsh reality is, Derrick Henry lacks the necessary lateral movement and agility to be used in the passing game like an Alvin Kamara, or a Christian McCaffrey.

That’s why you see the Titans use screen passes the majority of the time when throwing the ball to Henry.

To be honest, there’s nothing really wrong with that either. Henry’s job is to pound the rock, excel in pass protection, and do the most he can with the occasional pass he receives.

Nothing more, nothing less.

Should Mike Vrabel give up playcalling duties?

I don’t know of any recent examples, in regards to the specific question you’re asking. But it couldn’t have been easy, I’ll tell you that.

For starters, handling the duties as a head coach in the NFL are extremely difficult, especially on gamedays. To add playcalling to the existing plate of never ending responsibilities, is pretty risky.

I’d trust Floyd Reese’s opinion more, when it comes to matters like this, since he’s probably been around an NFL organization more than I’ve been alive.

But if I were to throw my 2 cents in, I’d tend to agree with Reese here. Plus, Vrabel has some capable assistants ready to help out with playcalling duties if needed. In Shane Bowen and Jim Haslett. Haslett comes to the team with some past experience playcalling experience on the defensive side of the ball.

My advice to you, don’t worry too much, I believe Vrabel has it all under control.

Who’s the answer at WR 4?

The WR4 spot was a role of surprising importance in the Titans offense last season. Tajae Sharpe was the man who held the role down all year long, but he’s now in Minnesota, leaving the Titans with no concrete answer on who’ll step in and replace Sharpe as the WR4.

Kalif Raymond is a strong candidate to assume Sharpe’s previous role within the offense, and in all honesty, I think he’d be just fine if he does in fact come out of camp with the WR4 spot.

But Raymond hasn’t won this role just yet, to do so, he’s going to have to work for it.

Rashard Davis should be Raymond’s main competition, which should lead to a hard fought battle when on field work ramps up within the next couple of weeks.

Can Kevin Byard win Defensive Player of the Year?

Interesting question.

To give you a short answer, I think it’s highly unlikely Kevin Byard wins DPOY. For starters, in order for a safety to have any shot at winning Defensive Player of the Year, they’ll have to do two things.

One, stuff the stat sheet, to the point no one around the league can ignore the impact said safety is having on their respective defense.

Two, have some sort of versatility in coverage.

Whether that’s being able to play centerfield and combine that with the ability to play as a box safety. Acquiring the dangerous skill of being effective as a blitzer. Or perhaps even stepping down to play some lockdown coverage against tight ends and wide receivers.

That’s the name of the game this day in age, versatility.

If Byard can do both of those things, and if the Titans as a whole start that journey towards climbing out of that 9-7 hole, lookout. He would acquire a lot more in terms of national recognition, and I’m sure get some votes for Defensive Player of the Year.

But the odds of those variables all coming together, are closer to zero anyways.

However, I’m sure Byard himself would rather win a Super Bowl, than win a DPOY award. He’ll value team success over any sort of extra hardware that comes with elite levels of individual success.

Is Jayon Brown still hurt?

Earlier this week, Mike Vrabel announced that Jayon Brown would start camp on the PUP list. Now it’s wrong to assume any sort of injury, and even then, any assumption would probably be off base since Vrabel doesn’t like to reveal what specific injuries his players are dealing with.

But if we had the opportunity to bet what’s bothering Brown right now, we’d probably bet on his shoulder being the problem.

Brown went down twice in the same game, with a shoulder injury during last season’s playoff win against the New England Patriots. Brown played through the injury up until the Titans’s loss in the AFC Championship game. However, there was no further update on the injury after the loss.

It’s likely we won’t 100% know what’s going on with Brown until the first training camp injury report comes out. Which won’t happen for some time.

Until then, we can just keep on guessing.

Podcasting tips and tricks

Ah man, to be honest, I’m the last guy you would want to ask for any sort of podcast advice.

But I’ve learned some things during the short time I’ve been covering this team, and engaging with the community, so I’ll lob what I’ve learned to you.

First off, just be yourself. If you try to mimic what anyone else is doing out there, then what’s the point you know? Second, be creative. You can’t put out content that’s boring and dull, and expect big results, come up with your own criteria of creative content, and make your mark.

That’s about all I can give you, hope it helps!

Favourite Side?

Ooof, that’s a tough one.

Let’s roll with potato salad, you can’t go wrong with a good ole potato salad.

That’s all the questions, stay safe out there folks!!!

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