NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Tennessee had one Pro Bowl player last season - Alterraun Verner - and lost the cornerback to Tampa Bay in free agency. The Titans are looking to replace him with someone from inside their locker room.
With Verner's departure,
''I like the competition there,'' Whisenhunt said Monday. ''I think it's making all of those players better, and we'll see how it is when the dust settles.''
To McCourty, it's just part of the cycle of life in the NFL. He said he and Verner seized their opportunities when Cortland Finnegan left via free agency, and now it's happening with the competition to replace Verner.
''With Vern moving on, it gives these guys the opportunity to show what they can do,'' McCourty said.
McCourty joked that there won't be any pressure replacing the 5-foot-10 Verner who wasn't ''that fast.'' But Verner not only earned his first Pro Bowl nod, he led the Titans with a career-best five interceptions in 2013, tying him for fifth in the NFL. Verner also defended 26 passes, the most by a defender since this team became the Titans in 1999.
But this time last year, Verner was competing to keep his starting job. He alternated with Campbell during the offseason and into training camp before being told he would remain the starter. Both Sensabaugh and Wreh-Wilson, then a rookie, watched how Verner handled the competition and are trying to take the same mentality themselves this year.
A third-round draft pick out of Connecticut last year, Wreh-Wilson is taller and heavier at 6-foot-1 and 198 pounds. He played 13 games as a rookie and got some playing time as the extra defensive back. In addition to size and range, Wreh-Wilson can play a variety of techniques whether pressing a receiver or giving him some space.
Sensabaugh has the edge in experience in this battle, which likely will go into August before any final decisions.
A fourth-round pick out of Clemson in 2012, the native of Kingsport, Tennessee is 5-foot-11 and 187 pounds. Sensabaugh has six career starts and played 14 games last season as the nickel cornerback, or fifth defensive back, with three starts and two recovered fumbles before a season-ending foot injury. He got onto the field with McCourty and Verner as a rookie.
''I think it's just the next step in line in this business,'' Sensabaugh said. ''All you can ask for is an opportunity, and we've been afford this opportunity. Me, Blidi, Tommie, Micah (Pellerin),
NOTES: Rookie RB