Alterraun Verner is proving that his strong training camp and preseason was no rookie fluke.
Verner made just his second start since replacing Jason McCourty, who is still out a couple more weeks with a broken forearm. But Verner is making a case to hold on to the starter's spot even after McCourty comes back from his injury.
After replacing McCourty in the second half of the Giants game, Verner recovered a key fumble to help preserve the Titans' win.
He had 11 solo tackles and three pass breakups in his first start last week against Denver. Then on Sunday against Dallas, it was Verner's interception of Tony Romo that led to key touchdown in the fourth quarter of Sunday's 34-27 victory.
It has some asking at least if the fourth-round pick from UCLA needs to be the permanent starter.
“We’ll face that when J-Mac (McCourty) is ready to come back,” Titans coach Jeff Fisher said. “As I said, the race was very, very close to start with, and I’m not saying that Jason isn’t going to come back and be our starter, but they’ve both played very well throughout camp and the preseason.”
Indeed, McCourty had just recorded his first career interception moments before he was injured.
As for Verner, his knack of finding the football has been noticed from the get-go by defensive coordinator Chuck Cecil.
“He's gonna have his share of plays where he can do better and plays where he plays like a rookie, but for the most part, it's not a big thing for him,” Cecil said. “It's not like they were picking on him. He's just a good football player, however, you want to define that. That's the bottom line.”
Perhaps too good a player to keep off the field long-term.