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Titans CB Roger McCreary Excited About Changes Around Him, and What it Could Mean for Secondary


NASHVILLE – L'Jarius Sneed has two Super Bowl rings, and a boatload of regular season and playoff experience.

Chidobe Awuzie is headed into his eighth NFL season, with 86 games of experience himself.

The cornerbacks arrived in Tennessee this offseason, and they'll bring a veteran presence that should bolster the team's secondary in 2024.

But there's another Titans cornerback who seems poised to have a big year himself – Roger McCreary.

The newcomers know him well.

"That guy moves like he's been in the league for 10 years," Awuzie said of McCreary. "He has great professionalism, obviously great athleticism. Off the field I see a guy who is really focused and who wants to be really great. Also, it matters to him.

"And he is the guy who has the most reps in the secondary currently, as a corner, nickel (in Tennessee). So, obviously he knows how things go in this division, the AFC South, and playing in Tennessee. So, he is definitely one of the leaders in the secondary, and on this team. We'll definitely be listening to him any time he has something to say. He's earned that right, and he's definitely stepped into a leadership role."

Sneed, formerly of the Chiefs, and Awuzie, formerly of the Cowboys and Bengals, will join McCreary in a secondary now coached by defensive coordinator Dennard Wilson.

McCreary, a second-round pick of the Titans in the 2022 NFL Draft, is now headed into his third NFL season.

He's excited about the aggressiveness that's being preached, and executed, on the practice field.

And he's looking forward to carrying it out on the field this fall.

"In the slot and the outside, that's one of the main focuses, is I try and focus on being aggressive, talking, being vocal more," McCreary said. "Just the coaching style and the plays that we have that make us aggressive, that's what I like.

"(Coach Wilson) puts fear in offenses heart, trying to be aggressive, loud communication, pressing, guys on the outside pressing, being more physical. That's what he brought over here."

McCreary was solid in 2023 while playing over 80 percent of the team's defensive snaps.

In 15 games, McCreary totaled 86 tackles, two sacks, seven tackles for a loss and six passes defensed. He ranked third on the team in tackles.

This offseason, McCreary said he bulked up, which he thinks will help him being more physical when he lines up inside, in the slot.

"I have to get them tackles on those big boys coming up on me," a smiling McCreary said. "That's one of my main focuses, to be more physical."

Titans Coach Brian Callahan said the aggressive nature of Awuzie and Sneed could have even more of an influence on McCreary.

"I think we have a scheme that's in place now that ends up being aggressive-minded," Callahan said. "Doesn't necessarily mean aggressive and we're going to blitz all the time, but there's an aspect of challenging people, and I think that we have two corners that are really, really good at that. That's part of what makes them good corners, and that hopefully permeates to the rest of the secondary, Roger included. Where you get a chance to, to play with a more aggressive style. There's a huge need for guys to play that nickel spot in the NFL the way the teams are. You're playing 60 percent, sometimes more, of your snaps in your nickel defense. And he's involved in the run fit, which Roger is really tough and gritty when it comes to those things. So having those guys out there, that sort of let him know you can play this way and be successful, is encouraging. So I'm excited to see what that brings for him."

This offseason, McCreary has been named to an "underappreciated list" by one NFL analyst, and tabbed "underrated" by another in a grouping of NFL cornerbacks.

McCreary, who started all 17 games as a rookie in 2022 and has been a dependable player in his first two NFL seasons, is looking to be an impact player once again this fall.

"I'm just trying to improve every year, trying to get better for myself," McCreary said. "We have a new defense, new play style, and I just have to adjust to it and be aggressive and improve every year, that's my main focus."

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