Top 5 Training Camp Battles

TitansTracker.com reviews the most-contested positions prior to the 2010 training camp.

1. Right cornerback
Cortland Finnegan wants to move to left cornerback so he can cover the league’s best receivers. This decision, and the departure of much-maligned veteran Nick Harper, leaves the right cornerback slot open.

Aug 9, 2009; Canton, OH, USA; Tennessee Titans cornerback Jason McCourty (30) returns a punt during the Hall of Fame game against the Buffalo Bills at Fawcett Stadium. The Titans defeated the Bills 21-18. Photo via Newscom

http://view.picapp.com//JavaScripts/OTIjs.jsEarly indications are that second-year player Jason McCourty is the favorite to take the job, although highly-touted Ryan Mouton figures high in the Titans plans. Former first-round pick Tye Hill and rookie Alterraun Verner will also compete for the position..

2. Outside linebacker
The Titans signed Will Witherspoon and he is expected to start at one of the two outside linebacker spots. Is veteran holdover David Thornton healthy enough to compete for the other spot? Gerald McRath’s four-game suspension is a major setback for the young player who could have presented a stiff challenge to Thornton.

Of course, the X-factor is unsigned veteran Keith Bulluck. Bulluck spent the offseason recovering from an ACL tear and wants the opportunity to prove to some NFL team that he can still perform at a high level.

3. Right Defensive End
Everyone knows the Titans employ a defensive rotation along its defensive line, so all active linemen will see playing time. Jason Ford is arguably the team’s best pure pass-rusher, but his lack of size makes him a liability as an every down lineman.

The Titans drafted Derrick Morgan in the first round to replace the declining Kyle Vanden Bosch. This makes Morgan the favorite to win the job. However, Morgan has suffered injuries during minicamps. Tennessee signed Jason Babin to a one-year contract in March. If Morgan doesn’t catch on early, Babin may see more playing time.

4. Wide Receiver
It has been a while since the Titans could say they have a wealth of options at wide receiver. There isn’t an All-Pro in the bunch, but the veterans are solid and the young players have great potential.
Kenny Britt has had a disappointing offseason thus far. Can he rebound and compete with Justin Gage or Nate Washington for a starting spot? Lavelle Hawkins is one of the Titans’ most improved players and may keep rookies Damian Williams and Marc Mariani on the bench.

5. 3rd-string quarterback
Did Chris Simms smoke himself out of a roster spot? Simms spent 2008 as a Titan before leaving for the Denver Broncos to compete for the starting quarterback job. The Titans resigned Simms in April.

Despite his friendships with fellow Texas Longhorns Bo Scaife and Vince Young, one can’t help but wonder if Simms’ recent arrest for driving under the influence of marijuana may have helped 6th round draft pick Rusty Smith.

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