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2/16: News and notes from Jon Robinson’s press conference

NFL: Tennessee Titans-Training Camp The Tennessean-USA TODAY NETWORK via Imagn Content Services, LLC

The Titans announced yesterday that general manager Jon Robinson would be holding a press conference today. Rumors started to swirl about what it could mean, since the timing seemed curious. But Broadway Sports’ John Glennon was quick to point out that Robinson would typically hold a press conference at the NFL Scouting Combine this time of year. Since the Combine won’t look the same this year, and in-person attendance is largely not being permitted, Robinson decided to call this press conference in its place.

That was pretty much the case. Robinson spoke about the draft and free agency and fielded questions from reporters. These were some of the best takeaways from the media session:

  • Robinson confirmed that the team has had several Zoom interviews with NFL draft prospects in the past week and have more coming up. The team is trying to maximize the amount of time they are allowed to spend virtually with prospects given the restrictions. Trying their best to get to know the players despite all the difficult limitations.
  • The team is currently working with schools on Pro Day restirctions. Robinson is in the process of figuring out if it’ll be worth worth traveling to Pro Day’s based on state and school restrictions.
  • Robinson is waiting on more info on the salary cap before figuring out a plan of attack in free agency. Mentions that the final number will have a big impact on the franchise tag for example. The team is ready for several scenarios. “We have work to do.”
  • It’s too early to rule out bringing any on their own free agents back.
  • How big of a need is EDGE rusher? Robinson mentions that they have to find more ways to impact the QB. Says it’s more than just rushing the passer off the edges. It’s also going to take better coverage. “There are lots of way to impact the pocket.”
  • On JJ Watt: Robinson drops a little tidbit that he actually worked Watt out when Robinson was still with the Patriots. Most importantly, Robinson confirms that he’s been in contact with Watt’s reprensentation. That pretty much confirms interest! Says the process is still in the early stages, though.
  • On Isaiah Wilson: Robinson hasn’t spoken to him since he went on the Reserve/Non-football Injury list. Yikes. Mentions that the team did a lot of predraft work on him. Visted and spoke with him many times. “For whatever reason, the player that was in Nashville this fall wasn’t the same guy we met before the draft.” Says it’s on Wilson to determine if he wants to be a pro footnall player or not. Says that other people within in the organization have been in contact with Wilson and Robinson is monitoring the situation through them. Ends with “Wilson has a lot of work to do. We’ve exhaused a lot of resources on trying to help him.” This sounds like it’s close to reaching a boiling point.
  • On Jayon Brown, who’s set to hit free agency: A really instinctive player. Been a good player for us. We could have used him down the stretch last year. We’ll see what happens.
  • On Shane Bowen as DC: Continuity is a good thing (ew). A lot of things go into the execution of a defense. “Looking forward to improving on this side of the ball.” It sounds like Robinson and Vrabel are on the same page on here: They don’t think the defense was Bowen’s fault. Interesting.
  • Says the team would love to have a dominant edge rusher that commands double teams. “We’re looking for that guy.” Says that Harold Landry is a good player, and Clowney had moments before his injury.
  • Says the team will continue to monitor the health of Adam Humphries.
  • On the 2020 draft class: Fulton was just getting back to form after an injury, Evans contribued late after an injury. Murchison developed well, got some contributions from UDFA’s such as Brewer, Tart and Westbrook.
  • Says the team will try to keep Corey Davis and Jonnu Smith, but needs to see how their market develops financially.
  • On Dean Pees taking the DC job in Atlanta: Have a ton of respect for Pees. Did a good job here. Won’t get into any specuatlion about whether or not they had convos with Pees before he wound up in Atlanta. Alright then.
  • Robinson says he doesn’t overly value speed at the wide receiver position. “We just want guys that get open and run with the ball after they catch it. There are lots of fast receivers in this league that can’t get open or catch.”
  • What he learned about the playoffs: Health is important. Important to find tough-minded football players that are willing to play through injuries. Says the team already has a bunch of those guys, and will try to have even more of them in 2021.

This was a fun session.