Jim Wyatt, SENIOR WRITER/EDITOR
NASHVILLE – We’re another week into May, and after the rookie minicamp over the weekend, next up is a round of OTAs.
Those kick off next week at Saint Thomas Sports Park.
But first, another Titans mailbag…
Kurt Pomrenke from Abingdon, Virginia
Question: Hi Jim. When will the Titans post information regarding the details for the 2019 training camp? I would like to make plans and request time off, if needed, but I cannot find any information posted yet. Thanks!
Jim: Hey Kurt. That’s going to be a while, probably not until late June or early July. I suspect it will kick off around July 24-25 and run until the third week of August. And bank on the practices against the Patriots (guessing on August 14 and 15th here) leading up to the August 17 preseason game.
James Panos from Tuscon, Arizona
Question: Hey Jim. Long-time long-distance Titans fan here, read the column every week. Traveling to Nashville this year for the first time to catch a game with a group of friends (large group around 12-15). Any suggestions for getting that many tickets for good seats? Also, where should we eat?!
Jim: Hey James. Appreciate it. I’d try Titansonline.com for tickets first, and if you don’t find what you’re looking for then the secondary market options are probably the best bet. That’s too many to try and find on the streets when you get here. As for where to eat, man, a ton of great options. Martin’s BBQ downtown is great. Acme is a fun place, and The Southern is spectacular. Have a big time!
Johnelle C from Kaneohe, Hawaii
Question: Aloha Jim. Can you explain what could happen with Marcus’s contract next year please? Long term deal vs. Franchise tag vs. other options. Is franchise tagging a player negative because the agent and team couldn’t come to an agreement or a team isn’t sure about a player? I hope Marcus can stay healthy this year and shows everyone how great he is. Do you know if he is having any meet and greet events this summer in Hawaii? Looks like we might get Adam Humphries. Do you think his personality would be a good fit for our locker room? Could you ask him once he gets situated how he likes catching footballs from the number 1 and 2 pick of the 2015 draft? Is there any difference in how the ball comes out and leadership style etc.? My boyfriend took me to see the Titans vs. New York Giants game last year. Wow that was the best, but it was so cold and rainy. Did you get to stay dry? Thank you for all of the tips for my first NFL game. We are definitely going to fly over to Nashville for our next game. Can’t wait to see where it all happens and I’m super interested in the new tour of the facility. Will be watching the Draft from the 808. Mahalo Jim and have a great week. Titan Up!
Jim: Hi Johnelle. A lot of potential options with Marcus. He’s in the final year of his contract in 2019, the option year. Next year the options are this: A- Marcus plays well, stays healthy, and he gets a long-term contract next offseason. B- Marcus plays well, stays healthy but the two sides can’t come to an agreement on a long-term deal, so the team opts to use the franchise tag to keep him while working toward a long-term deal, or use it to keep him while keeping the window open for further viewing. C- The events of 2019 lead to Marcus playing his final year with the Titans. Of course the Titans hope Marcus plays well, stays healthy, and the two sides can talk about moving forward with him as the franchise QB. But there’s a lot TBD here.
Sergio Escobar from El Paso, Texas
Question: Hey Jim, lifelong fan of the Oilers/Titans. I liked the unis the team had this year and was wondering if we will get to see the throwback oiler unis anytime in the future. Thanks
Jim: Hey Sergio. You bring up another popular question of late. I get the sense folks are more interested in wearing the slightly redesigned Titans light blue unis (with bigger, easier to read numbers), than the Oilers uniforms. Could the team wear the Oilers unis one day? Well, controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk said she’d only wear them if the NFL approved a second helmet, so the team could match them up with the Oilers helmet. Until that happens, I’m not expecting to see them.
Matthew Gross from Tinton Falls, New Jersey
Question: Hello Jim. Was wondering if Arthur Smith is going to call plays from the field or the booth and what would the benefits of either be. I’m sure he has an idea of how he’s going to do it since he’s seen it done from both perspectives. Kind of tired of all the Mariota questions, he’ll answer them this season with his play. Looking forward to many seasons with consistency. Thanks for the time
Jim: Hey Matthew. I suspect Arthur will weigh his options before deciding. A year ago, as a first-time playcaller, Matt LaFleur worked from the booth and the sideline during the preseason before deciding he’d rather be in the booth to call games. I suspect Arthur will do a similar experiment before making a decision.
Kevin Berkner from Kitty Hawk, North Carolina
Question: Which of the UDFAs might have a chance of making this team?
Jim: Hey Kevin. It’s always fun to watch. The most highly-touted UDFA coming in was probably OLB Derick Roberson (Sam Houston St.), and I watched him a little on Saturday. He’s a good-looking prospect, but I’ll need to see a lot more before making any big predictions.
Charles Conklin from Smyrna, Tennessee
Question: Hi Jim, I’ve been missing football! Baseball and summer sports just aren’t the same as football season, so I’m excited for rookie camp and OTAs that have started!
As a graduate of MTSU I was excited to see Brent Stockstill in rookie camp this week. I have a question related to him that I’ve wondered for some time. Since he’s a left handed QB, if he had to play for the Titans because of injury, how does that affect the offensive line? Would Taylor Lewan switch from LT to RT to protect his “blindside?” There aren’t many, if any left handed QBs in the NFL and I’ve always wondered how that would be handled.
Jim: Hey Charles. Brent took part in the rookie minicamp on a tryout basis, but he wasn’t signed…
Dave Maniaci from Honolulu, Hawaii
Question: Aloha Jim! I am so excited about the 2019 draft picks! I hope Simmons can rehab his knee and get it to where he will be a solid contributor for years to come! If not for 2019 then certainly 2020 (hindsight hehe) and beyond. I do have to reflect on Kevin Dodd though and with the same idea of him rehabbing and being a contributor, it just didn’t happen for KD and the Titans. It was a bust. So I am a little gun-shy and skeptical for those reasons on the Simmons pick. That aside, AJ Brown will finally bring us to the promise land. He is such a complete receiver and in my opinion is more like Andre Johnson than any other receiver out there. Most people say Calvin Johnson but I’m not too sure about that. AJ (Andre Johnson) Brown has awareness on the field like no other receiver in this draft. Like Vrabs said, “just get open and catch the ball”, I believe he will. If Nate Davis wins the RG position holy smokes! We have ourselves a formidable wall. Long, Walker, Hooker, are not positions of need in my opinion but hopefully will result in a happy ending as well. If the Titans can beat Andrew Luck and Indy, they will be going to the Super Bowl. Prediction: Rams vs. Titans Act 2. Keep up the great work you’re the best Jim! Mahalo.
Jim: Aloha Dave! Dodd was a different case, and he got hurt early during his time in Tennessee. Simmons seems like a different kind of guy. I like Brown as well. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
Kyle Young from Sparta, Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim. First-time writer, and I really appreciate the work you put in for us Titans fans. I’ve watched a lot if Titan football and my question is this: Do you think with the addition of Humphries and Brown, Walker’s return, that maybe we see Marcus Mariota given more control of the offense? No secret MM is in a contract year, it makes sense to me that you put all the chips in and let him do what he does best. I hope we see #8 in two-tone blue for a long time, and believe he is the best we have had since the great #9. Titan Up!
Jim: Hey Kyle. I think you’re going to see a mix. While a lot of folks want to see Mariota handed the reins to do more, I get as many questions – heck, probably more – wanting to see Derrick Henry fed the football more moving forward. I think you’re going to see a split, but with Walker’s return, the addition of Humphries and Brown, and the continued improvement of guys like Corey Davis, Taywan Taylor and Tajae Sharpe, I do think the passing offense should be in a much better position to be successful in 2019.
Have a great week everyone!