Alterraun Verner is expected to be the starting cornerback next to Jason MCourty for 2012, his role in the defense will be a lot bigger this season and coaches and fans expect him to step up. Verner had a huge rookie season; he recorded 3 picks, 1 forced fumble, 11 passes defended and 85 tackles in 12 starts. Last season he didn’t have the same playing time, so his numbers weren’t as good as the rookie ones. He still showed potential to be a starter in this league, as well as the ability to cover the best receivers in the division. I’m sure he will benefit a lot from a whole offseason training as a starter. I had the opportunity to ask him some questions about the team, Finnegan’s departure, his expectations for next season and some others.
Titan Sized: I’m sure Cortland Finnegan was a great teacher for you. With his departure, how do you feel about taking on an even larger role in the defense?
Alterraun Verner: “Well we all hate to see Cortland go. He was a great player, great teammate, great mentor, great person and a great Titan. But I am ready to step up in any roll the team has for me. I just want to win and get to these playoffs and have a shot at the bowl. So yes, I am ready.”
Titan Sized: You are a really positive and self-determined guy, what types of goals have you set for yourself this next season?
Alterraun Verner: “Goals I have set are to get us into the playoffs this year. After that I want to lead the NFL in interceptions and defensive touchdowns. Get a pro bowl berth/all pro bid. That would be adequate for me. LOL.”
Titan Sized: People think that there is something special happening with the Titans right now and it seems like everyone on the roster is glad to be a part of the team. How are you feeling about the team and the upcoming season?
Alterraun Verner: “I feel enthused about the team right now. I think we are heading in the right direction. If we can stay healthy and play like I know my teammates and I can, then we will be [able] to do some special things! But I have great optimism this year for us.”
Titan Sized: You had such a strong and impressive rookie season but had a little quieter season this past year. Do you think the lockout and lack of familiarity with the new defensive system was partially to blame for your lessened numbers? Do you expect a bit of a bounce back this season?
Alterraun Verner: “Well my numbers mostly went down because of my lesser role on the team. I was only serving as a nickel back, so I saw less time then the previous year. I felt I got picked on more my rookie year also so I had more opportunities to make plays where this year I didn’t really have that opportunity. So it wasn’t that I wasn’t productive just lack of chances. I feel this year will be an automatic upgrade if I am the starter. I will be on the field more and get a better feel of the game sooner.”
Titan Sized: As a top athlete in football you certainly had to go through many obstacles in your career since you were a kid, what’s your key for success?
Alterraun Verner: “My key for success has been God! Faith in him kept me always motivated to try and reach my goals even with adversity. So the obstacles were just stumbling blocks to show his might and he has come through all the time for me! My favorite line in a song “if my god is for us, who could ever stop us, then if my God is with us, then who can stand against.”
Titan Sized: What will you do when you retire? Coach?
Alterraun Verner: “Yes I would like to coach and teach at a high school. Feel like that is a great level to start!”
Titan Sized: You are definitely a fan favorite, something else you want to add for all your fans?
Alterraun Verner : “Just want to say to all the fans is thanks for sticking with the team and myself even through the dark days! I appreciate the support and you guys give me the energy to perform every Sunday!
Just want a special shout out to my bruins in there upcoming season with coach Mora. Expect big things from them, and excited to see the progression.
Also, will be coming out with my own website soon in the next few weeks and information about my camp this year in June in Los Angeles. Information coming soon that you can find on my twitter: @Alvern_1 or my Facebook fan page!”
Titan Sized: Thanks a lot for your time Alterraun and good luck for next season.
Alterraun Verner: “Thanks for allowing me to share my story. Have a great day and go titans!”
I’m very excited about Verner’s attitude towards next season. We all know him as a hard worked and I’m sure he will accomplish his goals. As a fan I don’t think CB is a top priority in the upcoming draft. Verner and McCourty are the starters and we may need help at nickel back since Campbell is not ready yet. Mouton and Walker need to step up. Titans should pick a CB no higher than the 3rd round; We have bigger needs.
I want to thank Alterraun Verner again and hope the best him for this upcoming season.
Special thanks to Justin Stewart for helping me with the questions.