As the Titans gear-up for Monday Night Football in Jacksonville, rookie cornerback Alterraun Verner just continues to impress.
“Every time I step out there, I get more experience and get more comfortable,” Verner said after practice on Thursday. “The more I play, the more I feel like I can go out there and make plays.”
The plays Verner has made in just two starts have been exceptional.
Verner had a timely interception late in Sunday's 34-27 victory over the Dallas Cowboys, picking off a tipped pass from Tony Romo, that he returned to the 1-yard line.
While extremely pleased about his first NFL career interception, Verner continues to beat himself up over making the critical “rookie mistake” he made afterwards - forgetting to keep the football from his first interception.
“It was a big play, and it didn’t start to sink in until later that it was my first pick, and it was off Tony Romo,” Verner added.
Cornerback Jason McCourty, whom Verner is filling in for, was back out on the practice field on Thursday for the first time since breaking his forearm against the New York Giants three weeks ago. And while normally starters don't lose their jobs because of injury, Verner will surely make this a tough decision for the coaches to decide between him and Verner.
“We’ll face that when J-Mac ( McCourty) is ready to come back,” Coach Jeff Fisher said on Monday. “ 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.”
Verner was definitely taking the “high road” when asked if he wanted to be the permanent starter.
“The coaches know they have a reliable backup and someone they can trust,” Verner said.
His play hasn’t gone unnoticed, as he was nominated for the Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week on NFL.com. The voting ends Friday at noon (Eastern), and Verner has made no secret through his twitter site [Alvern_1] that he is lobbying his followers to vote for him.
In fact, he took it a step further in saying that he and rookie safety Robert Johnson are battling to see who can get more followers on twitter. Currently Verner leads 1,975 to 1,612 [Robertjohnson32].
Verner has recovered a fumble, against the Giants, and had an interception on Sunday and told TitanInsider that he wants a sack or a forced fumble on Monday night.