NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Titans defensive lineman Matt Dickerson went above and beyond to get ready for the 2019 season, and he's been rewarded for it.
Titans coach Mike Vrabel named Dickerson one of the stars of the offseason the day the team kicked off training camp.
Among the benefits? A parking spot close to the door at Saint Thomas Sports Park.
"It's prime," Dickerson said. "It's right in front."
The only problem?
"I don't have a car," Dickerson said with a smile.
The Tennessee Titans take the field for Day 2 of the team's 2019 training camp at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Photos: Donald Page, Jourdan Gottlieb)
The second-year defensive lineman left his car in California to let his family use it. Instead, he uses his buddy Jayon Brown's car if he ever needs one, although this time of year he admits it's hardly a necessity – players are staying at a hotel just down the street.
Dickerson offered Brown – his college teammate at UCLA -- use of the spot, but the third-year linebacker said Dickerson earned it, not him. So, the prime spot sits empty.
On the defensive line, Dickerson is taking up more space and making more noise in his second training camp. The 6-foot-5 Dickerson has added roughly 8-10 pounds to his frame and is now roughly 308 pounds.
Vrabel gave Dickerson props for his work.
"His transition from Year 1 to Year 2," Vrabel said of Dickerson, "and the effort and the consistency in which he was able to get stronger, and his attitude in the weight room and on the football field."
In addition to the parking spot, the Titans also rewarded Dickerson with a nice suite at the team hotel, and some extra clothes. His picture hangs on the wall leading into the weight room with the team's other offseason stars – quarterback Marcus Mariota, running back David Fluellen and receiver Cameron Batson.
"It's an honor being recognized," Dickerson said.
What Dickerson wants most is to make the team once again -- and to contribute in a big way in 2019.
Dickerson was a force at UCLA, racking up 97 tackles, seven tackles for a loss, and 1.5 sacks in 44 career games.
After being signed as an undrafted free agent by the Titans last May, Dickerson made the team's 53-man roster out of training camp last season. He played in three games during the 2018 season and he recorded three stops. Dickerson was inactive for 13 games, but he said he grew a lot during the course of the season in practices and in meeting rooms.
"I learned a lot from the guys in front of me," Dickerson said while also praising his defensive line coach, Terrell Williams. "Coach T has a lot of experience. Really, sitting in the back watching how all the guys worked and what worked for them, what it takes to be a pro, it helped."
Dickerson said he worked to put on "the right weight" during the offseason with a smart diet. He also improved his technique and strength on the field.
He hopes it will pay off in camp.
"I have an opportunity here and I'm trying to make the most of it," Dickerson said. "I'm trying to compete for a spot. I'm hungry, but we're all hungry. I just have to continue to improve."