Mailbag: Let's not overrate Tom Brady's 2019 yardage, tag talk, Dean Pees' departure

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Greetings for the first mailbag of the offseason. These will only get better!

Let's dive right in. BradyPissedPatriots

PK: We’re going a bit crazy with Tom Brady's 4,000 yards in 2019.

If we take Ryan Tannehill’s yardage over 10.5 games and push it to 16, he’d have 4,178, and that would have come on 436 throws. Brady’s 4,057 yards came on 613 throws. One hundred seventy-seven more throws. That's more than Marcus Mariota had in his six starts (160).

We’re talking 9.6 yards per attempt for Tannehill vs. 6.6 for Brady. That’s a significant difference.

Brady would throw the national interest level in the Titans to new heights, absolutely. I was completely on board before the season. Now, having seen Tannehill’s work and knowing he’s 11 years younger, it’s hard for me to turn away from wanting to see more with the people with whom the Titans just thrived.

Ian Feilmann How do players generally view being tagged and does that have an effect on a team’s decision to use that tag?

Jason Torrence I’d wondered this with regard to Ryan Tannehill. He seems like such a standup guy, but is there typically a worry that a player will be bitter about being franchised and not put in the same effort?

PK: Most players do not like it. After all, it stands between them and a big signing bonus/guarantee and long-term security. It could well be something they try to do away with, or at least revise, in a new CBA.

But it’s a tool a team has and the players union negotiated it, so while a franchise might try to massage using it when it comes down to needing it as the one way to prevent a player from leaving, a team is going to use it. They may worry that a player will be bitter about it and it can cause strained relations – but I would think the Titans have good relationships with Derrick Henry and Ryan Tannehill and would say they hope to negotiate long term, or wouldn’t use it more than once or whatever.KidTitansFlag

This idea that a team wouldn’t use it for fear that a guy would not put in the same effort is weak. The two players in question are professionals who, while not making their max, would still be making a great deal of money, and they’d be expected to put forth the same, maximum effort as they did in 2019.

It would amount to an additional contract year. What sense would it make for them to put in less effort? That would then make them less valuable as they tried, again, to earn a long-term contract with w big bonus and guarantee.

Patrick McKay How much of the defense's success do you contribute to Dean Pees? They definitely have some play makers, but I'm concerned we could see a significant drop in the defense similar to 2009 when Jim Schwartz left. Are there any candidates out there on the same level as Pees?

PK: Pees clearly had a great deal to do with the Titans’ defensive success over the last two years. Look no further than the excellent plan and execution at Baltimore. He was fantastic at helping the team disguise what the quarterback would ultimately see and at accentuating player strengths and at masking their weaknesses.

So now we will see what caliber of teacher Mike Vrabel can find to replace him. Dean Pees-level guys are not generally sitting out there waiting for phone calls.

PK: He was hurt and missed six games. There is no way a year into a big free-agent deal they are moving on from a guy they coveted and fought so hard to win. That's incredibly over-reactionary.

What the receiving corps needs is a consistent, vertical element. Kalif Raymond was a great story who did well with his chances. But they need a higher-level version of him who demands more snaps and can alter coverages by threatening deep. That guy would need to be able to block and would eat away at Corey Davis' role in what should be his last year with the franchise.

Sharpe was really a luxury as the fourth guy. I would imagine he expects to find a higher-ranking role elsewhere. We will have to see how the market plays out. He's not going to be ahead of a healthy A.J. Brown, Davis or Humphries.

apple icon 114x114 precomposedPK: We’re going to have to know who they hold on to and who they lose before we can totally talk about targets, and then we need to see who other teams hold on to.

But we know they don’t have a big-time pass-rusher top hold on to and are unlikely to find a premier one drafting as low as they will. They two most intriguing guys to me if they actually reach free agency are Yannick Ngakoue, who was a 4-3 end in Jacksonville, and Matt Judon from Baltimore. 

PK: I did not cry. Which was a bit of a surprise, because I am a relatively-easy movie crier and that was a very touching scene. Those two letters made that movie. Maybe I am broken.

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