FILE - At left, in a June 14, 2016, file photo, Tennessee Titans cornerback Brice McCain (33) stretches during an NFL football practice in Nashville, Tenn. At right, in a May 24, 2016, file photo, cornerback Perrish Cox reacts to missing an interception a
August 08, 2016

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) The return of Jason McCourty from injury has helped solidify one of the cornerback spots in the Tennessee Titans' secondary.

But it appears just about everything else at cornerback is to be determined in training camp.

The competition for the starting spot opposite McCourty, who played just four games last season because of a groin injury, is between incumbent Perrish Cox and Brice McCain.

That matchup, according to coach Mike Mularkey, could go on throughout much of training camp and preseason. Cox may have taken the lead recently because of McCain missing several days with an ankle injury.

''I'd like to see who can be the most consistent, and I've been saying that really from early on,'' Mularkey said.

''Making the plays, being where they're supposed to be. When we get into these games, who's going to force the runs like we want? If you play corner for our team, you have to tackle. That's important. We're going to see who wants to tackle.''

McCain spent last season with the Miami Dolphins and played for Titans defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau in Pittsburgh two years ago. Cox says he welcomes the competition, though it could mean being relegated to a role at nickel back if McCain wins the starting job.

''I like it because it makes both of us work. But as far as competing, I've got much respect for him and he does for me too,'' Cox said.

''As far as (competing) goes, I've been doing that my whole career, since I came into the league. Every year, I've been having to battle somebody. I've had to battle to make the team and battle to do this. I just have to keep my head down and to what I have to do.''

The way McCain sees it, the competition is a win-win not only for himself and Cox, but up and down the depth chart.

''Me and P Cox, we're just coming out and making plays together,'' McCain said.

''Honestly, I think B-Dub (B.W. Webb) and Blidi (Wreh-Wilson), all of us are making each other better. It's good for our team, it's good for the organization. We push each other and make each other better.''

While the Cox-McCain matchup might get the most attention, the real competition could be for the backup spots at the position.

Holdovers such as Webb, Wreh-Wilson and Cody Riggs are being challenged by Antwon Blake - another former Steeler with ties to LeBeau - and rookie late-round draft picks LeShaun Sims and Kalan Reed.

Wreh-Wilson, who is on the roster bubble after struggling the past couple of years, is eager for the challenge. He feels good about his chances, despite his past problems.

''You want competition,'' Wreh-Wilson said. ''This league is all about that. Anytime you get a chance to go against some better and get their best shot, that's what you want. I feel like every day has been a progression. I feel like there are still some things I need to improve on, but I like where I'm at right now.''

Mularkey and general manager Jon Robinson are keeping a close eye on the situation.

''Jon and I were talking about that,'' Mularkey said. ''That's going to be a difficult position to talk about when we get down to roster cuts. We've got guys that can play at that position that we're not going to be able to keep.''


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