Tennessee Titans’ most underrated player: CB Roger McCreary

Last season, the Titans didn’t play a lot of press coverage, and their defense suffered for it. General manager Ran Carthon is a big believer in press, so this offseason, Carthon did everything he could to reverse the negative trends. He traded for Chiefs cornerback L’Jarius Sneed (probably the NFL’s best press cornerback right now) and then gave Sneed a new four-year, $76.4 million contract with $55 million guaranteed. The Titans also signed former Cowboys and Bengals cornerback Chidobe Awuzie, who has always been better in press coverage than not.

One thing Carthon didn’t want to alter was Roger McCready’s position as his primary slot defender. The 2022 second-round pick out of Auburn was outstanding last season not only in slot coverage overall, but specifically in slot press when he was able. Playing press out of the slot is especially tough, because the boundary isn’t there as an extra defender, and you have to match where the receiver goes, with more options for the receiver to use.

McCreary was aligned in press on a team-high 138 of his 946 snaps last season — you can expect that number to double in 2024. When in press, he allowed eight catches on 15 targets for 5.3 yards per reception, one explosive play, no touchdowns, no interceptions, and a slew of receivers who were surprised at how well McCreary was able to turn against his team’s formerly passive preferences for positive results.

Story originally appeared on Touchdown Wire