TitansOnline.com Senior Writer and Editor Jim Wyatt breaks down the safety position for the Titans entering the team’s 2017 training camp.
Offseason developments: The Titans signed Cyprien, formerly with the Jaguars, in free agency. The team also signed Trawick, a special teams ace with the Raiders. A pair of safeties also departed – Daimion Stafford and Rashad Johnson. Stafford ended up signing with the Steelers, while Johnson remains a free agent.In the spotlight: Byard. After a solid rookie season, Byard is poised to make a big jump in Year 2. A playmaker at MTSU, Byard didn’t have an interception during the 2016 season, but he made plenty of plays and got comfortable as the season progressed. This offseason, he’s established a pair of goals – making in to the playoffs, and the Pro Bowl. Byard is savvy and talented player, and he should be in a position to thrive during his second NFL season.
Battle to watch: Searcy vs. Cyprien. These guys are different players, and they’re both going to play. Exactly how the Titans use their safeties this fall remains to be seen, however. A year ago the Titans rotated safeties a good deal, and to some extent the team is expected to do the same again this season. Cyprien’s strength is vs. the running game, but he’s also a big hitter capable of delivering big hits on receivers running across the middle. Searcy has some versatility to his game as well. Who will stand out?Keep an eye on: Riley. An undrafted free agent out of Fresno State in 2015, Riley spent his entire rookie season on Injured Reserve with an ankle injury. Since, he’s developed into a versatile player capable of playing safety or cornerback. Riley played in four games in 2016. He had a solid offseason this year, and will do his best to convince coaches and the front office he’s worth keeping around. He’ll need a solid camp to stick, but don’t rule him out.
Next up: Special teams.