NASHVILLE – The pads came on for the first time on Monday, and rookie cornerback Roger McCreary showed out.
McCreary got his hands on a half-dozen footballs during today's session. It continued a stretch of good practices for the team's second-round pick.
His teammates – on both sides of the football – have taken notice.
"He's sticky," cornerback Kristian Fulton said of McCreary. "He's always in position. I feel like he's a guy who is going to come in and help us tremendously. He's getting his hands on the ball. We want to create more turnovers, and that's the next step for him – turning those PBUs (pass break-ups) into interceptions. Not just for him, but for all of us."
McCreary hasn't been perfect. He's also given up some catches, outdueled by fellow Titans rookie Treylon Burks on some plays during the first five days of camp.
But it's safe to say McCreary has held his own in the battles.
"He's been competing," Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill said of McCreary. "He's a guy who is extremely talented, and he's come in and is playing with confidence and is competing. You feel like you have an edge on him, and then he finds a way to battle his way back in there and he's done a good job of playing the football when it is in the area."
In Monday's practice, McCreary was solid working against Burks in 1-on-1s, and he also made plays in 7-on-7 and team drills. McCreary twice kept Burks from making catches in 1-on-1s, and he nearly had a one-handed interception of Logan Woodside on a ball intended for Racey McMath in a late team period.
McCreary competed and kept Nick Westbrook-Ikhine from making the catch on another pass he broke up in a 7-on-7 red zone period.
"My mindset here was to learn from my mistakes, and to try and learn something every day and improve," McCreary said. "The (competition) here is great. The skillset of each guy is different, and it's great to go against all of them.
"This game is all about being physical. … I just want to keep getting better."
At Auburn, McCreary 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 in 2021, when he tallied 49 tackles, one interception and 16 passed defensed. He tallied 135 career tackles with six interceptions and 32 pass breakups in his career.
McCreary said he's capable of playing inside and outside as a corner, and he's ready to do what is asked of him.
"I know that he's competitive," Titans coach Mike Vrabel said of McCreary. "Usually on-body, kind of a lot of the same things that we saw in the evaluation process, just continue to learn. He rarely makes the same mistakes twice. He's a very coachable player and it's good to see him disrupt the football."