NASHVILLE, Tenn. –** Cody Riggs wasn't intimidated when he was thrown into the fire as a rookie last season.
Yet as he prepares for his second NFL season, Riggs knows he has to prove himself all over again. And he plans to do just that when training camp begins at the end of next month.
"I got a taste last year, but I would like to play a little bit more,'' said Riggs, who made the team as an undrafted free agent out of Notre Dame last year. "I feel like I held my own out there when I got a chance and I just have to go out there and prove myself again and make the coaches trust me.
"I have a new DBs coach now, so I need to continue to improve every day."
Riggs, the son of three-time Pro Bowl running back Gerald Riggs, played in 11 games last season and was credited with six tackles, two passes defensed, and a tackle for a loss. He forced a fumble and also recovered one on special teams.
In his first game in the defense, Riggs found himself squared up against Falcons receiver Julio Jones during a game in Nashville. He made a big third-down pass breakup in that contest at a time when he was needed -- veterans Perrish Cox and Jason McCourty were out with injuries.
Riggs said he feels even more comfortable this offseason. He's packed 10 pounds on his 5-foot-9 frame, and is now roughly 195 pounds.
"Last year I got a chance to play safety, nickel and corner,'' Riggs said. "The defense is very similar to what I ran at Notre Dame my last year. I felt comfortable last year, and this year it is more picking up on little things and taking advice from the older guys and try and take my game to the next level."
Titans coach Mike Mularkey complimented Riggs at the end of last week's minicamp.
"He has made some plays out here,'' Mularkey said of Riggs. "Really, there is nobody back there that I've been disappointed with on the back end. It has been pretty impressive on all their parts. But Cody has made some plays. Cody hasn't had a lot of opportunities because of the numbers. We have more than we'll probably bring to camp, so we'll have to make some decisions back there."
The Titans are definitely deep at the position.
In addition McCourty and Cox, the team signed veterans Brice McCain and Antwon Blake this offseason, and then drafted LeShaun Sims and Kalan Reed. Blidi Wreh-Wilson and B.W. Webb return from last year's team, and they have more experience than Riggs. Marqueston Huff can play cornerback and safety for the Titans.
Riggs is ready to compete, and he's worked at cornerback and nickel this offseason, under the supervision of new secondary coach Deshea Townsend.
"We have a very talented group,'' Riggs said. "I am trying to fit in where I can and just hoping for opportunities. I just have to do like I did last year and hopefully make a lot of plays. I just want to catch their eye and try and avoid making mistakes. I need to make sure I play up to par with everybody around me so I can find a way on the field."