TRAINING CAMP PREVIEW: CORNERBACKS
In camp (8): Malcolm Butler, Adoree' Jackson, Kristian Fulton, Johnathan Joseph, Tye Smith, Chris Milton, Kenneth Durden, Kareem Orr.
Offseason developments: A big move here came at position coach, as the Titans hired former Texans assistant Anthony Midget as the team's new secondary coach. Midget replaced Kerry Coombs, who left to take over as defensive coordinator at Ohio State. The Titans signed former Texans cornerback Johnathan Joseph in free agency and drafted former LSU cornerback Kristian Fulton in the second round of the NFL Draft. The Titans picked up the fifth-year option on Adoree Jackson's contract, ensuring he'll be with the team for two more seasons. The Titans also re-signed cornerbacks Tye Smith and Chris Milton to one-year contracts. The Titans opted not to re-sign cornerback Logan Ryan earlier this offseason, and Ryan made it known on social media he plans to sign elsewhere. At this point, Ryan remains a free agent. Former Titans cornerback LeShaun Sims signed a one-year deal with the Bengals. Tramaine Brock, who ended the 2019 season with the Titans, signed with the Jaguars earlier this week.
In the spotlight: Johnathan Joseph. The 36-year-old Joseph, most recently with the Texans, is a savvy veteran who is headed into his 15th NFL season. Drafted in 2006 by the Bengals, Joseph played from 2006-2010 in Cincinnati before joining the Texans, where he played the previous nine seasons. Joseph ranks fourth among active NFL players for career interceptions (31) and leads all active NFL cornerbacks in career tackles (750). He also leads all NFL players over the last 20 seasons for passes defensed (194) and can become the first NFL player to reach 200 passes defensed since the statistic became tracked (2000). So, what does he have left in the tank? And what kind of role will he have in 2020 with the Titans? It will be worth watching on a team with veterans Malcolm Butler and Adoree' Jackson, and a talented newcomer in Kristian Fulton.
Battle to watch: Nickel spot. Logan Ryan will be missed. Over the past three seasons he was a true pro who could be counted on in the slot. Now the Titans must replace him, and a number of players will be given a opportunity inside. Adoree' Jackson finished last season on the outside, but could he shift inside in 2020? Kristian Fulton is a talented player with a skill-set that could excel inside as well. The Titans have some other options they'll consider as well, and how this one shakes out in camp will be interesting.
Keep an eye on: Fulton. The former LSU star is fast (he ran a 4.46 at the NFL Combine), and he has skills. Fulton (6-0, 200) started all 15 games for LSU in 2019 and was in on 38 tackles, 14 pass break-ups and one interception. He earned second team All-SEC honors. Pro Football Focus gave Fulton a first-round grade, and the Titans picked him because of his versatility. The Titans are hoping Fulton can get up to speed in a hurry. How quickly he develops in the NFL could go a long way in how the secondary looks this fall.
Next up: Safeties.