NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Around this time last year, Antonio Andrews was nervous.
The running back had just wrapped up his first NFL training camp with the Titans, and was hoping to land a roster spot.
It didn't happen. Andrews was released, though he was signed to the team's practice squad and eventually was promoted to the roster in October.
Cuts are on the horizon again – NFL teams must trim from 75 players to 53 by Saturday. This time around, however, Andrews isn't necessarily sweating it.
"Trying to make the 53-man is not my ultimate goal any more. Being a starter is now my goal,'' Andrews said. "All that 53-man (talk), I am not nervous about it or anything like that. It is not in my mindset. God is going to take care of everything as long as I do what I am supposed to do.
"Last year my ultimate goal was to make the 53, and I guess I kind of sold myself short last year worrying about that."
Andrews has done plenty to feel secure. He's performed well during the offseason and in preseason games, and with the recent injury to rookie running back David Cobb, he's squarely in the mix at running back with backs Bishop Sankey and Dexter McCluster.
Andrews has 39 rushing yards and two touchdowns during the preseason on 10 carries. The former Western Kentucky back also has two catches for 25 yards and a touchdown.
Coach Ken Whisenhunt said he's been impressed with Andrews, and his underdog approach. Andrews played in four games with the Titans at the end of last season.
"As an undrafted free agent, you feel like you are always on the bubble,'' Whisenhunt said. "I don't know if you ever feel like you are not off the bubble. I like Antonio, he has done a nice job. I hope he continues on that trend."
Andrews said his mission heading into the preseason finale on Thursday against the Vikings is no different than the past. Roster spot secure or not, he feels he has something to prove.
He's taking nothing for granted.
"At the end of the day, anybody could be cut from the 53-man,'' Andrews said. "I just try to take advantage of all the reps I get. I am in the mix, competing for a starting spot, and I am real excited, confident in myself. I am doing everything I am supposed to do."