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Both Sensabaugh, Wreh-Wilson expected to play, Titans in no hurry to pick starting cornerback
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Tennessee Titans are looking for Coty Sensabaugh and Blidi Wreh-Wilson to replace departed Pro Bowl cornerback Alterraun Verner, and coach Ken Whisenhunt sees no reason to make a decision just yet.
And he isn't.
"The competition's still going," Whisenhunt said Thursday.
The Titans visit Atlanta on Saturday night, and Sensabaugh likely starts opposite Jason McCourty with Wreh-Wilson starting the last exhibition in New Orleans. Whisenhunt says the rotation will be decided Saturday and could be based on time or series by series.
But both defensive backs are expected to play heavily this season with one starting at cornerback and the other playing on passing downs. That's also why Whisenhunt is letting them both continue pushing each other and likes how both are playing with assessments made off the entire preseason, practices and games included.
"I can just tell you this, I'm comfortable with either one of those guys, and both of them are going to be on the field at the same time," Whisenhunt said. "I feel very lucky that we've got two young corners that have that skill, that compete the way they do."
Verner led the Titans with five interceptions last season before signing as a free agent with Tampa Bay in March. The Titans chose not to sign a free agent to replace him, preferring to stick with a Sensabaugh and Wreh-Wilson.
Sensabaugh, a fourth-round draft pick out of Clemson in 2012, can't wait to play again no matter when he gets on the field. Targeted on a couple deep passes by the Saints, it wasn't his best game for a self-described perfectionist. He currently ranks fifth in tackles this preseason for Tennessee.
"Nobody plays perfect so no matter what happens in the game I'm always mad or frustrated about something," Sensabaugh said. "But this one is a little bit more because it just seems like when it rains it pours. I couldn't get the tide to turn no matter what this past week. I get another opportunity this week against some big name guys. I'm excited about it."
McCourty said Sensabaugh's play wasn't as bad as the cornerback thought once they reviewed the tape. Sensabaugh was in decent position on the first deep pass allowed except New Orleans picked up a blitz and was able to protect long enough to complete the pass.
That's a big lesson in the NFL that it's never as bad — or as good — as a player thinks.
"At our position, you have to stay even-keeled and you got to continue to prepare and work the same way," McCourty said. "I think he's going to be all right. Sometimes those type of plays happen to you, and it humbles you and you realize you have to get back to work."
Sensabaugh has played in 30 games with six starts through his first two seasons, mostly as the extra defensive back covering receivers in the slot. Wreh-Wilson played in 13 games in his first season as a third-round draft selection out of Connecticut. Both are still looking for their first interception in the NFL.
There's also a possibility the Titans pick a starter and then just keep rotating the cornerbacks into the season.
"They're good football players, and they're both going to have an important part of this team," Whisenhunt said.
Notes: Backup QB Charlie Whitehurst likely won't play at Atlanta with a right pinkie finger still bandaged that has kept him out of practice. He said Thursday it's not broken. He was hurt when sacked in the Saints' loss. Whisenhunt said DL Antonio Johnson (knee) and DL Mike Martin (hamstring) and OL Chris Spencer (ankle) and Gabe Ikard (knee) will not play.
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