Though Jason McCourty got the start in all four preseason games for the Titans, both he and rookie Alterraun Verner say the battle for the starting right cornerback position has not been decided.
Even after Monday's closed practice.
“I'm not sure. We're still competing,” McCourty said. “Me and Verner have been splitting up the reps today. I think we're both gonna prepare like either one of us can be the starter, and however it goes down on game day will be the way it will be.”
The Titans open the season against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday, and most signs had pointed to McCourty, a second-year player from Rutgers getting the nod. That still could very well be the case, but the 50-50 split of reps Monday makes for an interesting situation.
“Today, we were doing like 10-rep periods, and me and Verner were going five and five. I'm expecting that probably throughout the week, and we'll see how it goes,” McCourty said.
Verner, a fourth-round rookie from UCLA, said the two have been battling back and forth throughout training camp and preseason and that the battle could last a little longer.
“I think we both have [played well enough to start], and that's why we're still going to this day,” Verner said. “If one of us was a clear winner or something like that, I think it probably would have been decided a long time ago. But I think that's just a testament to how we've both been playing. It's just a tough decision for them, so they're still allowing us to go out there and compete.”
As expected, Coach Jeff Fisher is not tipping his hand, even saying last week that both players could see action opposite Cortland Finnegan in the regular season.
Will McCourty, who has held the upper hand with first-team reps in the OTAs and preseason, be disappointed if Verner pulls the upset and wins out?
“I don't think I'll be disappointed, because going into a game, that's the last feeling you want to have. I have to prepare myself knowing that at any moment, I could be in the game. So I just have to prepare myself,” McCourty said.