Verner settling into Titans' nickelback role

Two years ago, Alterraun Verner not only started at cornerback as a rookie for the Tennessee Titans, he was moved into the slot position on third downs and obvious passing downs and distances.

Last year, new defensive coordinator Jerry Gray gave that role to Cortland Finnegan. But with Finnegan defecting as a free agent to the St. Louis Rams, Verner is poised to reclaim that role, beginning with OTA work. It is one he embraces.

"Right now, they have me inside. ... Me personally, I want to play inside. I like being with the linebackers and getting to blitz. I want to come in and guard some of the slot guys because that's there the ball goes most of the time, the Wes Welkers, the great tight ends, they like to work those areas, especially on third downs," Verner told “I would love to be that guy that Cortland was last year, but wherever they put me, I'm gonna play.”

It will mean plenty of time on the field for Verner, who will team with Jason McCourty on the outside on early downs, meaning that someone from the ranks of Ryan Mouton, Chris Hawkins, Tommie Campbell and rookie Coty Sensabaugh will play the outside spot in the nickel package or Tennessee.

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Terry McCormick covers the Titans for

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