The Tennessee Titans enter training camp 2016 with ten cornerbacks on the current 90-man roster following the move of Curtis Riley from corner to safety. Still the numbers are high and not all will make the roster meaning there will be some tough decisions given the fact that many players impressed coaches during mini-camp.
There is still competition for one of the two starting spots and that position might not be settled until late in training camp, but that level of competition can only be good for the position and team in general.There will also be some serious battles to fill the backup roles at the position which might be some of the best of camp.
So who's in, who's out and who will begin the season as the starters for the Titans at corner? We examine here.
STARTER CB- Jason McCourty: A return from injury for McCourty is a positive for the Titans as he will solidify a side of the defense that was in turmoil last season when the team struggled to find an adequate replacement for the veteran defender. Fully recovered from the two surgeries to repair his injured groin, McCourty looked good in mini-camp and is set to go barring another injury. Still with the roster depth, this years team should be better equipped to handle an injury than a season ago.
STARTER CB- Perrish Cox: Cox and free-agent addition Antwon Blake battled for this spot in mini-camp and while Blake performed well, we feel Cox will ultimately win the job while Blake will fill the slot-corner position entering the season. Cox struggled last season while dealing with injuries of his own, but he too is healthy heading into the season and looked good in the spring.
BACKUP- Antwon Blake: It's likely that he will fill the third corner (slot) starter position, and he will backup on the outside with the second unit. Blake, who signed as a free-agent knows the system, having played in it under Dick LeBeau in Pittsburgh. Though he has had his own issues outside, he is an instant upgrade over the backups at this position last season.
BACKUP- Brice McCain: Another free-agent addition during the off season, the former Dolphin brings starting experience to the second team and will be able to contribute on special teams as well.
BACKUP- LeShaun Sims: The rookie draft pick flashed the ability that lead the Titans to select him, but he had rookie moments as well. Still it is hard to believe that he is not on this roster come openig day. He would have to fall flat in camp to slide out of this spot.
BACKUP- Kalan Reed: Mr. Irrelevant as he will forever be known for being the final selection of this years draft, Reed is a burner (4.38 40 yard-dash) with impressive ball skills that seem better than his draft position. He also worked as a returner on special teams during mini-camp, which is something he did in college, and his speed could be a great asset in that area. He has some work to do as with any rookie at a tough position, but his physical abilities are impressive and it is hard to see him not making the roster at this point, and considering he is a draft pick while others at the bottom of the corner roster were not.
We feel that the Titans will keep six corners on the roster at this point, though not all of them will be active on game days, still the need and talent is there for these six players to earn their spot.
PRACTICE SQUAD- Cody Riggs: Riggs saw action, including a start last season and was solid, but is undersized and an undrafted free-agent which makes his chances of returning to the 53-man roster this time far less likely.
OUT- Blidi Wreh-Wilson, B.W. Webb and Bennett Okotcha: Wreh-Wilson is a former draft pick that has had his chances to produce, but has continually struggled in coverage. His time on the roster seems over.
Webb has had his moments as a free-agent addition, and he had moments in mini-camp, but numbers suggest he too will not find a place because of those in front.
Okatcha could find himself on the practice squad considering he was an undrafted rookie free-agent signing this season. He is the longest of long shots for the roster however.