Titans Position Analysis: NB

Nickelback is considered by many to be a starting position, primarily because the nickel usually plays more snaps than the middle linebacker in the Titans’ defense.
Nickel will be one of the most closely contested positions in training camp. The person who earns this job will see plenty of playing time; others will probably see only spot duty and special teams action.
Three players are in the mix at this highly competitive position.
Vince Fuller — Although he’s been listed on the roster as a safety for three years, nickel is about all he’s played for the Titans, other than special teams. He played both corner and safety in college and has the skill set to be a versatile DB. Vinnie had pick-sixes in back-to-back games last year, which earned him a lot of recognition. He’s the favorite to win the job again this year.
Eric King — The third-best corner on the roster last year, I don’t believe he’ll beat Nick Harper out of his job but he should give Fuller all he can handle in trying to hold on to his. King is definitely a very strong second in the pecking order at NB and probably not too far from being the top dog. When Fuller was hampered with a dislocated shoulder last year, King was the man who replaced him before breaking his arm to end his season.
Chris Carr — In his three years in Oakland, he appeared in all 48 games and had four starts at four different positions — FS, CB, XCB and OLB. I do feel quite comfortable in believing the Titans will not use him as a linebacker. That must have been some kind of gimmick defense the Raiders opened that game with. Titans DB coach Chuck Cecil is giving Carr a long look at nickel, where he should be a not-too-distant third man in line.
I doubt if any of the following cornerbacks has much of a chance at nickel.
Reynaldo Hill — In his rookie year, he played in some nickel packages, but lined up outside as a corner, with Andre Woolfolk moving from corner into the slot. Since losing his job as a starting corner, Hill has mainly played in dime packages.
Cary Williams — A seventh-round draft pick, he could also get a look, but he’ll have his work cut out for him trying to beat out the three or four guys ahead of him. I’m guessing he won’t get much consideration at nickel and will probably end up as the last corner on the roster.
Marquice Cole — He was also with the Raiders last year before being signed to Tennessee’s practice squad. He looks to be last in line and will probably be the first to be cut.
I like the competition for the job between Fuller, King and Carr; it should help all of them improve. May the best man win. No matter which man that turns out to be, the Titans should be OK at the position this year.

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