NASHVILLE – New Titans cornerback Roger McCreary likes sugar on his baked beans.
He doesn't like sugar on his coaching, however, and he thinks he's found the perfect ingredients to get better in Tennessee under head coach Mike Vrabel.
"They don't sugar-coat nothing," McCreary said of the Titans coaching staff. "They are going to tell you the truth – they are physical (minded), and they are going to coach you hard in everything. I learned from them – they don't care about your feelings. This is all business, and we are coming to work to get better, and that's what I love being coached by him. I am happy I am getting coached by this staff."
A second-round pick by the Titans in the NFL Draft, McCreary passed his first test during rookie minicamp earlier this month, before the start of Phase Three – and organized team activities (OTAs) with the veterans – this week.
On the two days open to observe during rookie camp, McCreary was solid on both days. During group and competition periods, McCreary ran stride-for-stride with receivers down the field, and he was right there on short to mid-range throws. He didn't bite when quarterback Malik Willis tried to juke him on a run to the boundary in space.
During a 1-on-1 non-contact tackling drill designed to help with footwork and technique in space, he was spot on.
McCreary, selected with the 35th overall pick out of Auburn, said he arrived with his new team taking nothing for granted.
"I want to show them I am a competitor, and I came here to compete in everything," he said. "I am trying to get better. Going to the next level I am trying to get better. I am not at my top, so I am going to keep working no matter what.
"I got drafted second round, but that means nothing. I am not worried about where I got drafted. It is just me trying to get better. … I am just trying to compete and get better at my position."
McCreary (5-11, 190) was a first team All-America by The Athletic, Associated Press, and ESPN in 2021, when he was a Bednarik Award semifinalist. McCreary started 12 games for Auburn in 2021, when he tallied 49 tackles, one interception and 16 passed defensed.
At Auburn, McCreary tallied 135 career tackles with six interceptions and 32 pass breakups.
He knows the challenge at the next level will be even bigger.
"Mentally, it is all in your head," he said. "Stuff happens faster, and it's different stuff going up against bigger and taller guys now, stronger guys. It is the mental part of competing to be more physical."
OK, so about those baked beans.
McCreary is known for his love of baked beans. He eats them with sugar on them, before games. When he got to Auburn he started making it part of his pregame routine.
His favorite? "Bush's baked beans," he said.
McCreary revealed during rookie camp he's working on a new diet.
"I haven't talked to (the Titans) yet about the baked beans," he said with a smile. "I am just trying a new diet, trying to get healthy a little bit. I am trying to stay away from baked beans for a while."
But McCreary made it clear he's not cutting baked beans out of his life.
"I am not giving up (beans)," he said. "I trying to get better on my diet and everything, but I am not giving up beans."