Titans cornerbacks get recognition from national writer

One of the Tennessee Titans’ most improved position groups ahead of the 2024 season has been cornerback, where general manager Ran Carthon made a pair of significant moves.

Not only are the Titans returning Roger McCreary, they also signed Chidobe Awuzie and traded for L’Jarius Sneed, the latter of whom is considered one of the best in the business at his position.

In what is a departure from what we’re used to when it comes to the national media, two Titans cornerbacks are getting some love from Doug Farrar of Touchdown Wire.

In a recent article naming the most underrated player for every NFL team ahead of the 2024 season, the choice for the Titans was McCreary. Here’s what Farrar said about that.

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.

Further padding the idea that McCreary is a lot better than people give him credit for — at least nationally — the Auburn product was ranked as the No. 18 cornerback in the entire league last season by Pro Football Focus.

Bear in mind, that was McCreary’s first season playing in the slot after he was on the boundary in Year 1. It stands to reason he could really break out in 2024, especially with things around him being much better.

Farrar wasn’t done showering Titans cornerbacks with praise, though.

He listed both McCreary and Sneed as two of the best press corners in the NFL. McCreary landed at No. 11 on the list, while Sneed was No. 1. Farrar’s thoughts on Sneed are as follows:

Sneed is the foundation of the Titans’ desire to play much more press coverage in 2024 than they did in 2023. That’s why they paid him as they did. It’s also why they brought in former Cowboys and Bengals cornerback Chidobe Awuzie, and it’s why they held onto Roger McCreary — more on him in a minute. But Sneed has established himself as one of the best press defenders in the league, and Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo gave him every opportunity to show it off. Last season, Sneed pressed on 393 of his 1,285 snaps, and he gave up 18 catches on 50 press targets for 4.4 yards per reception, four explosive plays, no interceptions, and no touchdowns.

It’s interesting that Sneed got neither of his two interceptions last season in press coverage, but most of his 16 pass deflections came in press, and he was responsible for other kinds of havoc when his route disruptions allowed Kansas City’s pass-rushers to hunt. It’ll likely be very much the same story in Tennessee.

The Titans were an absolute sieve in coverage last season, but that figures to change in a big way with McCreary, Awuzie and Sneed now patrolling the back end.

Story originally appeared on Titans Wire