TRAINING CAMP PREVIEW: CORNERBACKS
In camp: Jason McCourty, Perrish Cox, Brice McCain, Antwon Blake, Blidi Wreh-Wilson, B.W. Webb, Cody Riggs, LeShaun Sims, Kalan Reed, CB/S Curtis Riley, Bennett Okotcha.
Offseason developments:** McCourty was back on the practice field at 100 percent after spending most of last season on Injured Reserve. McCain, formerly with the Dolphins, was the team's first addition in free agency. The team later added Blake, who played previously with the Steelers. The Titans drafted Sims and Reed, and decided to work Riley during the offseason at the safety position. The Titans have some new voices here – Deshea Townsend (secondary) and Steve Jackson (assistant secondary) were hired by head coach Mike Mularkey.
In the spotlight: McCourty. The Titans missed McCourty last season. After starting 72 games for the Titans over his first six seasons – including three straight years with 16 starts – McCourty played in just four games last season before being placed on Injured Reserve with a sports hernia. McCourty looked like himself this offseason following his second surgery to repair the injury, and he should make a big difference on the field this fall. McCourty figures to square off against the other team's top receiver on many Sundays, and his presence in the huddle is invaluable.
Battle to watch:** Cox vs. McCain. The Titans signed McCain to be the team's nickel back, in large part because he's been so effective in the slot during the course of his career. At the end of June's minicamp, however, Mularkey said the Titans plan to let Cox and McCain compete for the starting spot on the outside. The bet here is Cox will end up winning the job, which would put McCain on the inside, the strength of his game. But that's what competition – and training camp – is all about. McCain has played on the outside during his career, including time under defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau. The Titans want to see who makes plays on the ball, and who tackles the best.
Keep an eye on: Riggs. The Titans have a lot of competition in the secondary, and each player had some moments during the offseason. Webb made plays, Wreh-Wilson flashed, and Blake was in the middle of the action throughout as well. Wreh-Wilson has struggled to play the ball downfield during his career, but he's going to have a chance to prove himself again in camp, and preseason games. Riggs is an easy guy to root for, an underdog who signed with the team last offseason as an undrafted free agent out of Notre Dame. He's scrappy, and won't back down, something he proved when he got a chance to play last year. The ability to make plays on special teams is going to go a long way in helping players earn roster sports here. Can Riggs emerge in his second NFL camp?
Next up: Safety.