Podcast: Defending Titans QB Ryan Tannehill

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Ryan Tannehill is not an elite quarterback, which means he has deficiencies. But his demonization by many Titans fans has been too extreme.

The Paul Kuharsky PodcastSo I lead this week's podcast with a rundown of some stuff from his 12 games last year that was actually encouraging considering the line he worked behind, the targets he threw to and the coordinator who called his plays.

The Titans will hardly be doomed because Tannehill is their QB if he's their QB, at least until the playoffs if they make the playoffs.

The new episode of The Paul Kuharsky Podcast awaits you on Apple, SpotifyGoogle PodcastsTuneIn and YouTube, which is below.

Whichever platform you prefer, please subscribe, rate, review, share, put on a billboard and do with whatever else you are able.

Subjects I dive into:

💥 The reasons we're over-discounting Tannehill and the prospects for a bounce-back.
💥 Why Will Levis is a risky prospect and the scary comps analysts are placing on him.
💥 Jeffery Simmons' mindset after his new deal.

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Jeffery Simmons now the Titans' longest-range plan

Ran Carthon, Jeffery Simmons and Mike Vrabel
   Ran Carthon, Jeffery Simmons and Mike Vrabel

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Presuming the Titans move into their new stadium on time, just two players from the team they will field in 2023 are in line to run out for the first introductions there.

Jeffery Simmons, who talked about his new four-year extension in a Wednesday press conference, and their first-round pick, who will be revealed on April 27. Ideally, that guy will be playing under his fifth-year option or at the start of a second contract.

That’s how big of a foundational player Tennessee’s star defensive tackle is: He's the centerpiece of Mike Vrabel’s defense and the touchstone for everyone else on that side of the ball.

He is the long-range plan. [Unlocked]

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Mike Herndon: A case for the Titans to draft Jaxon Smith-Njigba

Mike Herndon: A case for the Titans to draft Jaxon Smith-Njigba

By MIKE HERNDON, columnist

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- We are just over two weeks out from the start of the 2023 NFL Draft and the Tennessee Titans are set to make their highest selection since taking Corey Davis fifth overall in 2017.

Offensive line is still certainly in play, and I do believe Ran Carthon’s reported quarterback interest is real, but there is one player that I keep coming back to as an ideal selection for this franchise: Ohio State’s Jaxon Smith-Njigba.

Jan 1, 2021; New Orleans, LA, USA; Clemson Tigers cornerback Andrew Booth Jr. (23) upends Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba (11) during the third quarter at Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
Jaxon Smith-Njigba/ Russell Costanza-USA TODAY Sports

Before I make the case for Smith-Njigba specifically, let me talk about the value of the wide receiver position at large and why I think it’s become more and more clear that it’s the second-most important position on offense and arguably the second most important position in modern football period.

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Scout's take: The receivers who can help the Titans in the draft

Scout's take: The receivers who can help the Titans in the draft

By BLAKE BEDDINGFIELD, special correspondent

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee Titans are in need of playmakers at the wide receiver position.

Oct 15, 2022; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; USC Trojans wide receiver Jordan Addison (3) scores a touchdown against Utah Utes safety R.J. Hubert (11) in the first quarter at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports
Jordan Addison/ © Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

They have relied on Derrick Henry to consistently push them into the playoffs but have stalled there. Henry has been a great player and has taken the pressure off the offense for not having a top quarterback and without A.J. Brown a top wide receiver.

After trading AJ Brown before the 2022 draft the need for wide receivers on this team has grown even larger.

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Titans' offensive staff continues crafting playbook, even with some pieces unknown

NASHVILLE, Tenn. --  The pieces aren’t all in place yet, but still some of the Titans' biggest offensive moments of 2023 may have been mapped out in recent weeks.

While Mike Vrabel’s offensive staff has spent afternoons studying and evaluating draft picks who can come in and help, mornings have been devoted to crafting the playbook players already on the roster and the ones who will join them in a few weeks will start with as a baseline.

Tim Kelly
Tim Kelly/ © George Walker IV / Tennessean.com / USA TODAY NETWORK

There will be plenty of times on Sundays in the fall and winter that have their origins now. And around the league, the building that’s taking place with new or shuffled staffs can have long-term meaning.

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With deal for Jeffery Simmons, Titans assure a tent pole stays in place

Jeffery Simmons
   Jeffery Simmons

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – There was a bunch of nonsensical fan panic about Jeffery Simmons.

It was as if because the franchise blew it with one foundational player in A.J. Brown a trend had begun and there was no way they’d retain the next.

Brown made clear he was going to be a squeaky wheel with one year left on his contract and was dealing with a GM who thought he could magically fill any hole who sent him away far too quickly.

I didn’t imagine Simmons going down the same path in terms of disrupting the team, though his inexperienced agent was a concern. [Unlocked]

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Mailbag: The state of the Titans, the idea of a RB at 11, a first-round surprise

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Happy Easter and welcome to the ever-popular Titans mailbag.

If you’ve somehow missed the podcast, you’re going to want to hear from Matt Harmon on the Titans' wide receiver situation and the draft possibilities at the position.

The new episode of The Paul Kuharsky Podcast awaits you on Apple, SpotifyGoogle PodcastsTuneIn and YouTube.

Here's the snippet on Jaxon Smith-Njigba.

Without further ado, onto your best questions...

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With giant stadium investment coming, Titans' football side has 'zero issues' financially

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – With a great deal of non-football costs since 2020, I’ve wondered just what kind of financial shape the Titans are in on the football side right now and will be in by the time they move into their new stadium for the 2027 season.

Amy Adams Strunk
Amy Adams Strunk/ Angie Flatt

It was one of the primary questions I took to Phoenix for the NFL annual meeting recently and a league source with a clear understanding of the team’s finances told me there were “zero issues.”  

I also raised the question with general manager Ran Carthon, who said owner Amy Adams Strunk or anyone in ownership and management had not mentioned any big-picture team finances as having any bearing on football outlays to him. [Unlocked]

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