Alterraun Verner recently took some time to answer a few of my questions about OTAs and the upcoming season via email. For those of you unfamiliar with Verner he plays cornerback and is truly a key piece for the Titans defense. He’s an extremely versatile player that can play multiple positions in the defensive backfield. Take a look at what Alterraun had to say about the Titans’ defensive changes and additions:
Carlos (Interviewer): Hi Alterraun, thanks for taking the time to answer these questions for me. Lets get started.
Carlos: Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean recently reported that the Titans defense was going through a bit of a schematic change this offseason, moving from the Cover 2 to more of a press-man scheme. You’ve been very impressive in the current defensive scheme; do you think that will carry over into the press-man defense? Which scheme do you think your skill-set better suits you for?
Alterraun Verner (Player): Yes it should carry over a lot. 3 of my 6 career interceptions have come out of man-to-man coverage. So I see no reason why things will change for us going to a predominantly press-man scheme. It is still football. The scheme that better fits me is probably zone, not because of my physical attributes, but for my mental game. I like to dissect formations, situations, personnel, etc. In a press alignment you are not allowed to make those adjustments as much since you are in the receivers’ face. So that is why zone suits me more, but playing man is way easier!
Carlos: John Glennon also of The Tennessean reported that you’ve been taking reps at the free safety position during OTAs. Do you enjoy playing free safety and how is it different from playing cornerback? Do you think we’ll see some of that during the regular season?
Alterraun Verner: I have no idea if you will see this in the regular season. No plans have been made to that extent. Playing safety you are at a position where you can make a lot of plays. You are the saving grace of the defense so you can’t afford to make a mistake at all. The whole defense relies on you to be where you should. But also, you have the best view of the entire offense and get a chance to key the QB more. With that said, I enjoyed playing the position right now, but I am definitely a corner!
Carlos: There’s some really great talent at cornerback on the roster right now with you, Jason McCourty, Tommie Campbell, Coty Sensabaugh, and rookies Blidi Wreh-Wilson and Khalid Wooten. With all that talent at your position, does it make you more competitive than usual? How do you feel about competition at OTAs and training camp?
Alterraun Verner: Adding talent to the team at this position is always essential. We play a vital role on the success of this team. The ability to play any of us and find success will be paramount especially since injury happens at times. I would not say it has made me more competitive. My goal every year is to try to be the best cornerback on the team, so I am motivated to perform well every year. With that said, the competition has been amazing so far! I feel like everyone has been trying to make plays and impress the coaches. It’s been highly competitive on both sides of the ball! Training camp will be even more intense.
Carlos: The Titans added a lot of great players through free agency and the draft during the offseason. George Wilson and Bernard Pollard are two of those players who will join you in the secondary. They have both been in the league awhile and are considered to be two of the best players at the safety position. How do you feel the addition of these two players will help to improve the defense and the secondary in particular?
Alterraun Verner: I have so much respect for these two players. They will help us from a leadership position most definitely, being older vets and successful as well. They also bring accountability to the team which will be a good change for us. I am very excited to play with these guys.
Seeing how excited Alterraun is about the upcoming season makes me as a fan even more excited. I cannot wait to see how this revamped defense performs this season. I’d like to thank Alterraun Verner for doing this interview for me, it was definitely a great experience for a Titans fan!
Follow me on twitter for Tennessee Titans updates, opinions, and of course Titan Sized articles! @CarlosBeard
And be sure to follow Alterraun Verner if you don’t already! @Alvern_1