Pickers mailbag: Dark uniforms in the sun and Marcus Mariota's health

pickers vodka 847x63NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- We've arrived at the weekend and after a week with no mailbag, it's clear you were craving one.

So post uniform-reveal and pre-start of OTAs, let's dive into your best questions.

ProShopPK: Home teams get to choose what they wear, so in early season home games at Nissan Stadium, if they want to be in white they can so choose. You’re going to wind up in dark in warm conditions sometimes. I don’t know if it factored into their helmet color

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Titans strength coach Steve Watterson retiring after 32 seasons

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Steve Watterson, the Titans strength and conditioning coach for 32 seasons, is retiring.

TitansWeightRoomHe was the longest-tenured coach in the NFL with one team.

The 61-year old Watterson became an assistant head coach in 2006 and has been a real part of the franchise’s fabric since it was the Oilers in Houston

A prankster who liked to show off his own strength while mapping plans for players was regarded as a guy who evolved with the times. Multiple times he had repair surgery – I recall one on his neck and one on his back, but there were more -- and returned to work in short order against doctors orders.

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After sleeping on it, I like the Titans' uniforms less

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – So I went to the radio station last night because it’s close to downtown and I knew I could get on the Internet.


I wrote my initial review of the new Titans uniform look, did a Periscope/Facebook Live, posted a bunch of pictures on Twitter and Instagram, and put together a post on Frank Wycheck.

And I had a chance to see the more formal pictures the Titans sent out.

Then I got some sleep.

And after considering the Titans tradition evolved, I like it less.

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Frank Wycheck says he's doing well: 'Hopefully I'll show up somewhere some time soon'

Frank Wycheck, Former Tennesee Titans Tight End

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Right before we saw what the Titans deemed "tradition evolved," we saw the four guys who unveiled the original Titans uniforms in 1999.

It was visually interesting to watch Craig Hentrich, Blaine Bishop, Frank Wycheck and Eddie George take the stage on Broadway in front of a screen with images of them from back then. 

 I get constant questions about Wycheck, who I worked with for a long time at 104.5 The Zone.

He's said in the past that he believes he has CTE. He seemed surprised, and touched, when I told him of how many people are concerned about his well-being.

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My Titans' uniform review: Better than I expected, but oh those numbers

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – It kind of lived up to the hype.

I don’t love the number font, and I think the tail on the upper right of the numbers is too insiderish.

TitansHelmetBut the Titans new uniforms are far more attractive as a complete package than I would have expected from the leaked photos. The reaction of an incredible crowd the team said was 20,000 that I would have guessed was bigger suggested it felt the same.

The jagged numbers kind of interrupt a sleek look that comes in packaging that is 29 percent lighter than what the Titans wore last year. 

Jon Robinson called the new look “fierce.”

“They are fierce,’ Amy Adams Strunk said. “And they come with a big attitude.”

“…It was important to me that y’all would be proud of the product that our players are going to wear.”

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The basics from Nike on the meaning in the Titans' new uniforms

Titains Uniform

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Bullet points from Nike on the details of the Titans' new uniforms that were unveiled this evening.

The Titans have three primary uniform color combinations that consist of:
Home: Navy blue jersey
Away: White jersey
Color Rush: Titans blue jersey (light blue)

  • Formerly white with two navy blue stripes, the helmet is now the Titans’ primary navy blue with one two-toned silver stripe, which mimics the sword from the team’s logo.
  • The shoulders of the jersey feature the two-toned silver in the shape of a sword to mimic the sword from the team logo. This is the first time Nike has done a two-toned coloring like this.
  • Red accents the uniform, including the red stars on the inside back of the neckline, inspired by the three stars from the Tennessee state flag and gets inspiration from Greek lettering.
  • Every number on each jersey is shaped in a way that exemplifies the Northeast corner of Tennessee as the state appears on a map.
  • The contrast insert on the under-arm of the jersey is a new addition to the uniform.
  • The two-tone silver stripe on the uniform pant signifies the sword in the team logo.
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I don't care much about uniforms, but Titans' new look will have big bearing on franchise perception

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – This has been Amy Adams Strunk’s baby, a two-year project culminating in a big uniform reveal Wednesday evening downtown.

IMG 7664As we’ve gotten closer to learning what the team will look like during its 20th year and for at least the next five, the team’s teases have been well done. It has taken advantage of massive fan curiosity to create maximum anticipation and hype.

Anticipation is one of the great elements of sports and the Titans get that. The build-up has been clever, all the way to a shadowy player outline on the team’s website that die-hards tinkered with to try to find any small detail.

What they got after they turned all the dials was a hidden message: “Nice Try.” (Enhanced picture here from Titansonline.com thanks to @TitansUni.) It was probably a smart response to an earlier fail by the Detroit Lions.

In my judgment, Strunk has made just three major errors in her time as controlling owner, which began in March of 2015: She didn’t conduct a sufficient coaching search before hiring Mike Mularkey as coach; She didn’t attend the NFL owners’ meeting that same spring right after hiring a GM and a coach even though it was in Houston, a short distance from her Texas home; She ousted VP of communications Jimmy Stanton, who has been hired to oversee unified messaging. (Full disclosure: I consider Stanton a friend.)

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Everything I've written during the Titans' two-year uniform change

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Here’s a handy collection of everything I’ve written about the Titans uniform change since Amy Adams Strunk told me a change was in the works way back at training camp in 2016.

Titans owner considering uniform changes for 2018

Aug. 3, 2016 (at ESPN.com)evolved

“We can refresh and they definitely could use a little updating, but it takes a while to get that done,” Strunk told ESPN.com at Monday’s training camp practice. “I kind of visited with the league office about it a little bit a couple months ago. But we got so busy that I didn’t go back to it.

Titans uniform alterations for 2018 are complete; Amy Adams Strunk: 'It's not minor'

Aug. 1, 2017

It’s not minor. It’s not a total color change or anything like that. I think everybody is going to be very pleased with where it went.”

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