TRAINING CAMP PREVIEW: CORNERBACKS
In camp (10): Logan Ryan, Malcolm Butler, Adoree' Jackson, LeShaun Sims, Tye Smith, Kenneth Durden, Mike Jordan, Joshua Kalu, Kareem Orr, D'Andre Payne.
Offseason developments: Ryan and Jackson were limited in offseason practices while recovering from injuries, but they passed physicals earlier this week and have been cleared for camp. Butler looked good in OTAs and is set to build on his momentum from the end of last season. Cornerback Tye Smith returned to the practice field this offseason after spending last season on Injured Reserve. The team added Chattanooga's Kareem Orr and Iowa State's D'Andre Payne as undrafted free agents. Payne made a number of plays in OTAs and will be worth keeping an eye on in camp.
In the spotlight: Butler. After a shaky start to the 2018, Butler settled down in the second half of the season and played well. This offseason, the former Patriots cornerback said he feels even more comfortable heading into his second year in Tennessee. Butler is known for being a scrappy player, and he really set the tone for the secondary in training camp a year ago when he recorded a half-dozen interceptions and had a memorable football-stealing moment in a one-on-one drill with receiver Corey Davis. Butler should be fun to watch in camp this year – especially when the Patriots come to town for joint practices.
Battle to watch: Kenneth Durden vs. Tye Smith. The Titans have a solid threesome in Butler, Ryan and Jackson, and Sims is No.4 in the pecking order. Sims has proven to be reliable when given opportunities, and he looked solid again in OTAs this offseason. Smith was riding some momentum before his injury early in camp last year, and he has a chance to establish himself once again. Durden has a good rep himself, however, so this should be a good competition for the pecking order in the room. We'll touch more on where Joshua Kalu fits into the equation tomorrow.
Keep an eye on: Jackson. A first-round draft pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, Jackson proved to be even more of a playmaker in his second NFL season -- his tackle numbers improved, and he recorded the first two interceptions of his career. With the secondary returning intact, players should be in a position to make even more strides. That includes Jackson, who has played in all 34 games during his first two seasons. In camp, Jackson will aim to get regular season ready after spending a lot of the offseason rehabbing.
Next up: Safeties.