Thursday, August 21, 2014
Horton loves outside CB moving to nickel
By Paul Kuharsky
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Neither Coty Sensabaugh nor Blidi Wreh-Wilson has stood out in a way that suggests one is the clear leader as the Tennessee Titans sort out the pecking order at cornerback opposite Jason McCourty.
Both will play, as both will be part of the nickel package and the Titans will field five defensive backs plenty.
I suspect Sensabaugh will play the nickel. He has experience there and seems to have a feel for playing the spot, which is a lot different than playing outside.
But playing inside in sets with five defensive backs doesn’t mean he couldn’t play outside in base. (And it's possible it could go the same way for BWW.)
“I would actually love that; I actually prefer it to a nickel coming in off the bench,” Titans defensive coordinator Ray Horton said. “What it means is the guy is pretty smart and pretty athletic. Not only can he run with the Megatrons and the A.J. Greens and all these big wide receivers, but they can also get down and run with the Wes Welkers and the smaller guys.”
Sensabaugh said he likes the idea of shifting inside to nickel from a corner spot, as he’d already be in the flow when he moved to the slot.
“If you have a guy who’s capable of that, I think it’s a really good thing,” he said. “I wouldn’t mind doing that because I like playing both positions. …
“It was tough for me my rookie year, because normally the first snap I would come in would be third down. I’d normally be in the slot receiver and they would normally go to him on that first play.”
Versatility remains a big theme for corners in the system Horton has brought to the Titans.
“We have a couple corners, maybe three, maybe four, that can play corner, that can play nickel, that can play safety,” Horton said. “That is ideal to me. When they want to go multiple wide receivers, I can bring a corner inside or I can put him back at safety.
"That’s my dream corner, that he’s smart enough and agile enough to play inside, outside or deep. We have that right now. We have three of them in training (Sensabaugh, Wreh-Wilson and fourth-rounder Marqueston Huff) and Tommie Campbell is coming along where he may be the fourth.”
Ken Whisenhunt said there is no deadline for when the staff will decide who will play which role.
Sensabaugh said he doesn’t really see an end to the competition for spots, roles and playing time.
“Both players are talented and we have some other guys that can play,” he said. “It’s going to be a season-long thing.”