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Recent posts by Arthur Arkush
Much of the focus in the Titans’ secondary this offseason has been on replacing CB Cortland Finnegan, Tennessee’s best defender a season ago who landed a megadeal with the Rams in free agency. The heir to Finnegan, ballhawk Alterraun Verner, will play on the outside in Tennessee’s base “D” and will slide inside to nickel at times, with promising second-year player Tommie Campbell the favorite to man Verner’s vacated outside post.
But positioning beyond cornerback has taken place in the Titans’ defensive backfield.
Michael Griffin, who, to the surprise of many earned a lucrative long-term deal last week, and Jordan Babineaux, also the recipient of a new contract this offseason, are locked in at free safety and strong safety, respectively. The player who we hear has made a surge is Robert Johnson, the Titans’ fifth-round selection in 2010 who was inactive all 16 games as a rookie and a member of the practice squad until the final three games last season. Johnson was called up in December after Anthony Smith was hurt, making the most of his opportunities on special teams.
Now, with Smith and veteran Chris Hope no longer in the picture, Johnson is again making the most of his (increased) opportunities. He received regular reps in the club’s dime package throughout the offseason and drew strong praise from defensive coordinator Jerry Gray, who likes Johnson’s potential as a centerfielder when the “D” goes to three deep.