The Importance of Signing Rob Bironas

PFC Titans Writer: Dan Johns

Rob Bironas can easily be listed in the top 5 best kickers currently in football.  However, since he plays in Tennessee , he is not considered a house-hold name.  Recognition is hard when your playing on a small-market franchise, however, Bironas whether known or not can be a vital asset on any team.  Bironas has both intangibles that you look for in a kicker; he has a powerful leg and good accuracy.  The only debate is how clutch can he be?

On the official Tennessee Titans message board there is a thread of this, such topic.  Is Bironas worth bringing back to Nashville , now that his contract as expired and he’s set to be a free agent in 2009.  Many say yes of course sign him, he has been valuable and was a Pro Bowler in the 2007 season.  While other’s say that he has not shown he can be clutch in crunch time.  The doubters brought up stats of how he missed an important field goal in both the Titans previous post-season games.

My take on it is judging a kicker on how clutch they are in a post-season game is almost a lost cause.  Look at San Diego ’s kicker Nate Kaeding for example.  Many consider him one of the best kickers in the game today yet chocked horribly in the post-season game against the New York Jets a few years back.  Indy’s former kicker Mike Vanderjagt was as clutch in a game as you could possibly be, but then the wheels feel off in the 2005 playoffs as he missed the crucial (normally chip-shot) field goal to end the Colts post-season against Pittsburgh.  Only Adam Vinatieri can be considered a clutch post-season/Super Bowl kicker so crucifying Bironas for a few misses in post-season games is just ridiculous in my mind.

Bironas came onto the scene virtually out of nowhere as he joined the Titans in 2005 after being an undrafted free agent out of Georgia Southern.  He has a career long field goal of 60 yards which was a game winner against rival Indianapolis back in 2006; and to add on to his resume is that Pro Bowl appearance in 2007 as he scored a total of 133 points that year including an NFL Record 8 Field Goals made in a game on the road v.s. another rival – the Houston Texans.  Lasltly, out of 129 attempted FG’s he has madde 109 of them for a 84.5% that basically makes him a B to B+ kicker and if you factor in that he can hit FG’s past 50 yards that that should raise him into the A- category of all the kickers in the league.

My final reasoning why the Titans should indeed re-sign him, is that their long-time punter since the Tennessee Oiler days, Craig Hentrich might very well be calling it quits in his NFL career – thus the Titans have other concerns this upcoming off-season like locking up Albert Haynesworth, figuring out the QB situation, adding a play-making caliber WR this year and adding depth to the corer back position; they shouldn’t be wasting their time on trying to find a new punter AND a new kicker, so instead should make sure Bironas will return for years to come – especially at age 31, Rob “My Bironas” as personified by ESPN analyst Chris Berman, is still in the prime of his career – this should be a no-brainer.