The battle for the Tennessee Titans’ starting cornerback position opposite of Pro Bowler Cortland Finnegan has become one of the team’s more interesting battles as training camp approaches.
With Nick Harper no longer wearing the two-toned blue and an injury to veteran Rod Hood that unfortunately ended his season before it even started, a motley crew of youngsters fight on as they attempt to earn the right to team up with Finnegan as the Titans’ starting corners.
Here’s a look at the guys competing for starting cornerback position #2.
Jason McCourty: The favorite?
Through OTA’s, the second-year corner from Rutgers has been on the receiving end of most of the reps at the “other” starting CB position. According to many, he’s made great strides over the course of the offseason and is poised to present a formidable challenge to his fellow competitors in the race to win the coveted #2 starting CB spot.
I’m certainly a fan of McCourty’s and wouldn’t be shocked to say the least to see him emerge as the winner in this competitive battle.
Ryan Mouton: Road to redemption?
Like McCourty, Mouton has also been the recipient of some reps at the team’s second starting CB position. After getting his Titan career off to a tough start due to some issues returning punts/kicks, Mouton is hoping to carve his niche by getting more playing time on the defensive side of the football in 2010.
Personally, I like McCourty’s upside better than Mouton’s. While he was selected higher in the ’09 draft, Mouton’s skills are more suitable for the nickel position, covering guys on the inside, whereas I’m a lot more comfortable with McCourty taking on all comers on the perimeter of the football field.
Tye Hill: The underachiever
When the Titans signed the former first-round draft pick a few months ago, I was somewhat excited about the move. Why not take a flier on a guy such as Hill who obviously has the talent but unfortunately, has been short on production?
Through OTA’s, thanks to a bum hammy, Hill has yet to make his mark in the race to start opposite of Cortland Finnegan. When training camps starts in a little over a month, hopefully, Hill will be ready to strut his stuff because I’m curious to see what the former first-rounder can do in the team’s secondary.
Alterraun Verner: The wildcard
Verner, selected in the 4th round of the 2010 NFL Draft, has raised some eyebrows with his performance during OTA’s. He’s been the anti-Nate Washington on the practice field, snagging interceptions left and right and recently, was rewarded with his stellar play by seeing some starting reps at CB.
Although he’s a rookie, Verner has already captured the praise of Titan veterans such as Vincent Fuller, who had the following to say about Verner:
“He’s a rookie that’s come in and stayed around the ball, getting interceptions and falling on the fumbles,’’ Fuller said. “He’s got great football instincts. He lets the game come to him. He doesn’t try to do too much. He has great football skills.”
Needless to say, I’m a bit intrigued by Verner’s talents and will definitely be keeping an eye on his progress as training camp unfolds in a little over a month.
Your turn, guys…Who will emerge as Finny’s sidekick? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section below.