Jacoby Ford Trying to Prove Himself in Crowded Room

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Jacoby Ford's roster spot looked pretty safe in January.

Kendall Wright and Justin Hunter were the only returning receivers under contract.

Then, the Titans signed veteran free agents Harry Douglas and Hakeem Nicks in March, before drafting receivers Dorial Green-Beckman and Tre McBride.

It's a pretty crowded room now, making Ford more of a long shot.

But Ford, a fourth round pick of the Raiders in 2010 who has played in 38 career NFL games, isn't giving up the fight.

"Being out last year, I definitely have a chip on my shoulder, regardless of who came in after me,'' Ford said. "I am just thankful to have another opportunity in the NFL, just to get back out there. I am going to do everything I can to not let this opportunity slip past me and try and go out there and help this team the best I can."

Ford didn't play last season. After four seasons with the Raiders, he signed with the Jets last April, but was released in August. He didn't find a home, and watched NFL games on television.

In addition to Wright and Hunter, the Titans have Douglas, Nicks, Green-Beckman and McBride in camp, among others. The 5-9, 190-pound Ford is small in stature, but he brings something to the table that's important – world class speed. He ran a 4.3 flat when he worked out for the Titans in January, he said.

"It is definitely one of the most talented groups I have been around,'' Ford said. "We have a lot of veterans and a lot of guys who have great talent, and to come in here and be a part of this group is a blessing. We all work hard, and it is a friendly competition here."

So does Ford have a chance to stick? He'll need to prove himself as a receiver while he also works on special teams.

Ford was among those returning punts and kicks in Wednesday's practice.

Coach Ken Whisenhunt said the returners will need to show something. Ford has 57 catches for 848 yards and three touchdowns in his NFL career. He has four career kickoff returns for touchdowns, including three in 2010.

"I'm just going to keep working hard and try and be consistent,'' Ford said. "I'm going to give it everything I've got."

Titans players take the field for training camp on Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2015 at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Donn Jones Photography.com)

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