The Tennessee Titans entered training camp with several undrafted free agent players hopeful of making the opening day roster or practice squad, and as the preseason came to a close on Thursday night some of those hopefuls have positioned themselves to be in the conversation as they await the final decision.
Second year offensive lineman Gabe Ikard and Will Poehls, both of whom were in camp last season have played increased roles as camp and the preseason has progressed. Both will likely be in the discussion on Friday and Saturday as Titans general manager Ruston Webster, head coach Ken Whisenhunt and their staff sift through the film and impressions of these and other such bubble players.
Undrafted rookie linemen Quinton Spain and Josue Matias along with corner back Cody Riggs, who all are in their first training camps of their young NFL careers are also positioned to have their names in those conversations.
Spain is a massive young man, but he was limited in OTA’s and mini-camp so he must hope that his efforts in training camp and his performance in the preseason is enough to win him a place with the Titans.
”Right now I’m one hundred percent healthy, but I had to get back into the rhythm and condition so it took some time,” said Spain. “Right now I feel like I can play multiple positions and I feel like I did a good job showing them that I can do that so I’ll just leave it in God’s hands and see where it goes from there.”
”It’s hitting me right now, that’s why I said I’ll leave it in God’s hands,” added Spain. “I left everything I have on the field and if things don’t work out, I know I’ve put out good film so somebody will pick me up so I’m just leaving it in God’s hands.”
Likewise Matias has had moments where he has shown well in the preseason. The former Florida State product was part of a national championship and entered the draft process with a draft-able grade. Injuries forced him into the ranks of the undrafteds and now he too awaits his fate with the Titans.
”I haven’t watched the film-of Vikings game- but I felt like I played pretty good,” said Matias. “But I won’t know until I watch film.”
”I’ll just play it as it goes. I’ll show up at the building just like I’ve always been doing,” said Matias. “If it happens, it happens. I know I did my best and I can’t look back and have regrets.”
Riggs has perhaps had the best camp of all the undrafted rookies, and he has also received the most praise and mention from media and coaches alike along the way.
Riggs has undoubtedly benefitted the most from the injuries to Jason McCourty and fellow undrafted rookie Curtis Riley-who suffered a broken ankle early in camp- to make a name for himself.
He acknowledged that the injuries benefitted him so far.
”Yes, I definitely got some more chances because of those injuries, and I did my best every time and I hope it was enough,” said Riggs.
He admitted the waiting will be difficult, but attitude will help.
”I try to be positive and in my mind I’m only thinking positive, “ said Riggs. “I’m thinking that I will make the team and it’s all in God’s hands, but in my mind, I have to stay positive. I can’t let the negative in and I just have to stay positive and have a smile on my face no matter what happens. ”
With McCourty expected to be out a while longer following groin surgery, Riggs chances of making the roster seem good, but for Spain and Matias, they have a crowded position group to overcome to make the roster. However, they certainly could find a place on the practice squad because of their play and potential for the future.
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