Competition is a good thing for a professional football team, or any team for that matter, but for the Tennessee Titans it is a word that has become the catch phrase in the 2016 training camp.
Perhaps no other current Titans player has been the focus of more intense scrutiny, debate and speculation than current left guard Quinton Spain, who despite all the doubt has continued to hold serve at that position.
As part of the most talked about unit on the team entering this season, Spain is the first name mentioned when someone says the word competition and who is in the toughest spot to win a starting job up front. None of that seems to bother the former West Virginia Mountaineer one bit.
On Tuesday during his post practice press conference, head coach Mike Mularkey spoke of the offensive line.
"I mean, we've got a lot of work to do, there's no question about it. We're still working these guys in on the O-line trying to getting the best five up there, but I thought it was a good start," Mularkey said
Almost immediately everyone hearing that comments likely assumed Spain was the first on the list in jeopardy of being replaced.
While it could happen in the future, as of yet it has not and through all the questions and talk Spain remains unfazed and even jokes about it with reporters as when I approached him, I accidentally stepped on an empty water bottle that had landed in the floor near his locker.
"That's a fine right there, stepping on a water bottle costs you a thousand right now," Spain joked.
When asked the speculation surrounding him, while not joking, the second year player seems to in stride that some discount him so easily.
"It is what it is," said Spain. I've been doubted before so I've jsut got to keep working and to make the team better and competition makes the team better so I feel like it will help us win games around here."
Since his arrival in Nashville, Spain has always been an approachable, friendly sort who is quick to joke and equally quick to answer a question when it comes his way.
Asked what part of his game he feels needs the most work, Spain did not hesitate to respond with an honest critique of himself.
"I feel like I still need to work on a couple more things line my technique and stand but my mindset is still about competition," said Spain. "So I'm still working and looking forward to it everyday."
Spain is looking forward to the challenge and of course it starts with a big test on Saturday night when the Titans take on the Sand Diego Chargers at Nissan Stadium.
"I've just got to be consistent with what I'm doing," concluded Spain. "Saturday we get to go against new bodies so I'm looking forward and it should be better than to keep going against the same defense everyday in camp. So we'll see what happens Saturday,"
Spain and his line mates will get a chance to answer some questions that have hovered over them since this unit started together in OTA's, and the answers they provide will go a long way to the success or failures of this season for the Titans.