Who's best at FIFA 20? Titans bond, trash-talk over video-game tourney

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Walk through the Tennessee Titans' locker room on Fridays after practice and you'll hear a lot of trash talking coming from a group crowded around a PlayStation 4.

When rookie wideout A.J. Brown suggested they play Madden NFL, he was quickly shut down.

"Man, get out of here with that -- we play Madden in real life," linebacker Jayon Brown responded.

What started as a camaraderie-building experience has turned into an intense video-game tournament thanks to players' love of FIFA 20, which has inspired them to learn about the "other football."

Linebacker Daren Bates proudly wears a Son Heung-min jersey to showcase his Tottenham Hotspur fandom. Bates joked about starting a trend when he spotted a Paris Saint-Germain Neymar jersey in Brown's locker.

"I see Jayon wanted to bring jerseys out. I was already a fan. I was the first one to have a jersey. I brought my Son jersey out, and everybody wants to go buy themselves a jersey," Bates said as Brown gave him a thumbs down.

Veteran linebacker Wesley Woodyard was appointed the "commissioner" of the competition taking place in the locker room, which involves about a dozen players.

"It's one of those season-long tournaments. We have to get this thing finalized and see who's the best FIFA player," Woodyard said.

There aren't any prizes at stake other than bragging rights, but judging by how hyped players get talking about who's the best, bragging rights are incentive enough.

Here's what the players had to say about the competition:

Who is the best at FIFA 20?

DT Matt Dickerson: "I am not going to lie; Jayon probably has the best record in here."

Bates: "Everybody is going to say they're the best. My record is amazing. ... Jayon is a great player. He's not good -- he's a great FIFA player, but he has lost to me before in the past."

DL Brent Urban (now with the Bears): "I am the best, it's no question. I beat everybody. I really get into it, where I even play in ultimate team mode. ... I'd say Jayon is up there. He's not as good as me. We've had good battles. I beat him and he's beaten me. I edge him out slightly. It's a good rivalry, I would say."

Brown: "The only person that trash-talk me is Urb [Urban]. He has one win over me. I get respect in here."

Woodyard: "Jayon, Ukeme [Eligwe], Kareem Orr -- they're pretty good players."

Orr: "My record in the locker room? I am top-five in this locker room."

DL Jurrell Casey: "I am more like the coach. I coach them up and get them good. I am not that good myself. I just teach them techniques and they execute it. I got Wesley. He's my protégé. I am schooling him and getting him ready."

Which teams or players do they use?

Woodyard: "I bounce around from Chelsea to others, but I really like the Hotspurs. ... I scored my first goal with Son."

DB Josh Kalu: "I play with Manchester. ... That's my team."

Dickerson: "I run with Barcelona or Liverpool. You can't go wrong with [Lionel] Messi or [Mohamed] Salah."

Casey: "I am more Chelsea and Manchester United. I am not really a big soccer guy like that. I just started playing it."

Bates: "I am a Tottenham Spurs guy. I use Son No. 7. Dele Alli, [Harry] Kane, the whole squad. I rock with them boys."

Brown: "I normally use PSG with Neymar, [Edinson] Cavani, and Kylian Mbappe. ... I am a fast player and up-tempo type of style that no one can beat in this locker room. I average about five goals a game with that. I am the best! My go-to move is pure speed. I am going to try and outrun you; then after that, I am going to try and dice you up! There's something about it, man. It's up-tempo with no breaks. Offense to defense, it's a quick transition. You can't just pick up the sticks and get good. It takes a couple of weeks to get good at the game. There are so many moves you can do. The more you play it, the more moves you learn. It's really a skill-level game."

'Everybody smacks' on Dickerson

Woodyard: "Everybody beats up on Dickie [Dickerson]. He can play, but he always goes against the toughest opponents and gets slapped up. He's kind of like our Rudy. We want him to get in and make something happen."

Dickerson: "I'm what? Man, they're always just talking trash because they know they can get beat by me."

Casey: "I am probably the one that gets smacked up the most. I can't lie. Dickie, he's trash, though. I smack on Dickie. Man, everybody smacks on Dickie!"

Urban: "Jurrell just started but Dickerson has no excuse to be bad. He plays with Jayon all the time. He needs to work on his skills."

The tournament is winding to a close -- the field has been whittled down to three players: Brown, Orr and Kalu -- but even naming a tournament champ might not settle the "who's best" debate.

"I am the best in the locker room, and everybody knows it!" Brown proclaims.