Originally posted on Fox Sports Tennessee  |  Last updated 5/25/12
Chris Palmer has been around long enough not to tip his hand in anything, especially a quarterback competition in training camp. Coach Mike Munchak has thrown open the Titans' quarterback position between incumbent Matt Hasselbeck and last year's first-round pick Jake Locker. Palmer says he is fine with either one under center and winning the job. As for Locker, it is an off-season of learning for him. The rookie played well in cameo spots last year, but his time to learn the offense was limited thanks to the lockout. Palmer said a full off-season of work should do wonders for the 2011 eighth overall pick. "It's like any profession. The second year in your job, you're better than in the first year, and your fifth year, you're better than you are in your second year. I think from that standpoint, he comes in and understands the verbiage," Palmer said. "He understands what the coaches are asking and he understands the same language. From that standpoint, it'll allow him to play faster and comprehend what we're trying to do." As to how he sees it playing out, he'll leave that to what the two do on the field. "I learned a long time ago that a lot of things can change. When we drafted (Drew) Bledsoe, we brought in a quarterback named Scott Secules. We wanted Secules to be the quarterback through the first year, but 10 days into camp, it was clear Bledsoe was the best player," Palmer said. "He wound up starting. I think we had a great battle that's going to take place, and I'm comfortable with either guy that wins it." --The Titans are looking for a nickelback to take the place of Cortland Finnegan on passing downs. The early favorite appears to be the man who was Tennessee's nickelback in 2010 - Alterraun Verner. Verner has been working in the slot during the early part of OTAs, and says his preference is to play in that spot as much as possible. "Right now, they have me inside. ... Me personally, I want to play inside, being with the linebackers. I get to come in and guard some of the slot guys because that's there the ball goes most of the time," Verner said. Verner will still probably play outside opposite Jason McCourty on running downs, but then slide inside like Finnegan did last year on passing downs. That leaves Ryan Mouton, Tommie Campbell, Chris Hawkins and rookie Coty Sensabaugh vying for the extra corner job on the outside in the nickel package. --TE Jared Cook says he doesn't believe the NFL's plan to have players wear knee and thigh pads beginning in 2013 is that big of a deal. He says he has always worn thigh pads, but will have to start wearing knee pads if the rule is enacted. "We'll just kind of see how that goes. I wear thighs, I don't really wear knees. I don't think it's going to make that big of a difference. To some guys it might, but I don't think it's that big of a deal to me." --WR Kendall Wright will be limited to learning just one position for the time being, the "X" receiver spot that Kenny Britt plays. Britt is recovering from a second procedure on top of his torn ACL and MCL, but the Titans are hopeful he will be ready for the season. Offensive coordinator Chris Palmer says he will still have both players on the field together, even though Wright is learning the same spot at first. "You have to make a decision when you bring in a guy if you're going to let him learn one position," Palmer said. "If you don't put him in one position, and you put him in two positions, then he loses confidence and loses his ability to perform. "We've put him at the "X" position and that's the position Kenny Britt plays. He'll grow from that position into playing other positions." QUOTE TO NOTE "I promise you if Kenny Britt, Kendall Wright and Nate Washington are all healthy, then we will find a way to get them on the field together." - Titans offensive coordinator Chris Palmer on getting his playmaking receivers in the game at the same time.
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