After the first week of training camp, Tennessee Titans rookie cornerback Roger McCreary is already standing out.
The University of Auburn product has carried over his reputation as a physical player into his first NFL training camp, and his coaches have noticed.
Titans defensive coordinate Shane Bowen spoke at length about McCreary on Tuesday, noting he’s much further along in his development and doesn’t look like a rookie.
“He’s not a rookie. I don’t feel him as a rookie,” Bowen said via AtoZ Sports Nashville. “He’s poised, he doesn’t panic in coverage, he stays square, he challenges, he’s got a good understanding of what it takes to play man-to-man, and we saw that stuff from his college tape. He’s been able to come in here and translate. He’s been outside, he’s been inside, he’s handled it. I’ve been really pleased with where he’s at. He just has to continue to progress.”
McCreary and fellow rookie Treylon Burks have provided some of the more exciting moments in practice when going up against each other in one-on-ones.
On Tuesday, and with the entire team watching, Burks reeled in a pass against McCreary, but the cornerback was draped all over him and didn’t make it easy for the rookie wideout, leading to an impressive catch.
Treylon Burks. Elite pass catcher. pic.twitter.com/Djv0HQhACF
— Brandon Baker (@BBakerHogs) August 2, 2022
“He’s going to get me one day, I’m going to get him the next day. And that’s just doing nothing but making us better each day,” Burks said of McCreary, according to Sam Phalen of AtoZ Sports Nashville.
“I’m trying to get him better, he’s going to try and get me better,” McCreary said, per ESPN’s Turron Davenport. “If he makes a good play, I’m going to say to him ‘good job.’ If I make a good play, we talk back and forth.”
McCreary has been given an expanded look in training camp with Elijah Molden still sidelined due to injury.
The former is making the most of his opportunity, with one of the team’s beat writers deeming his Monday performance, which was his best of camp, as “dominant.”
— Tennessee Titans (@Titans) August 1, 2022
“I wouldn’t say everything is really falling into place, it’s just a little routine everyday,” McCreary said after Monday’s practice, per Jim Wyatt of Titans Online. “I just try to follow a routine and try to get used to everything, playing different positions and everything. But it’s been going great and I’m just trying to get better everyday. That’s my main focus.”
Kristian Fulton and Caleb Farley appear to have their grips on the starting cornerback jobs heading into 2022. However, McCreary could still carve out a meaningful role for himself if he keeps performing the way he has.