*Pro Bowl kicker to appear in Smithville, Sparta and Crossville; will be joined by Jake Locker in Cookeville *
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee Titans Pro Bowl kicker Rob Bironas will headline Titans Caravan on Tuesday, May 8, Day 7 of the team's two-week annual tour through the Mid-South. The 14th Caravan, sponsored by Grange Insurance, will stop on Tuesday in the communities of Smithville, Sparta, Crossville and finally Cookeville, where Bironas will be joined by quarterback Jake Locker.
Bironas will begin the day with an 8:30 a.m. visit to Smithville Elementary School (221 East Bryant Street).
The Caravan school program features a high-energy, educational message from seven-time Pro Bowl Titans mascot T-Rac, host Rhett Bryan and at least one Titans player. The Titans use the opportunity to speak to the youngsters about the NFL's Play 60 program, which stresses the importance of getting at least 60 minutes of active play each day, and also the benefits of making good choices in all parts of their lives. T-Rac and the Titans school program are sponsored by Tennessee State Parks, which celebrates its 75th anniversary in 2012 and will provide several unique surprises to viewers during the program.
The Caravan then heads to Northfield Elementary School in Sparta (570 South Bunker Hill Road) for a 10:30 a.m. school visit, followed by a 1:15 p.m. school stop at Homestead Elementary School in Crossville (3889 Highway 127 S).
The day concludes with a 3:30 p.m. public stop at the Cane Creek Sportsplex (2200 West Jackson Street) in Cookeville, where Locker will also attend.
The public events allow fans to meet the players, T-Rac and the "Voice of the Titans" Mike Keith. Posters are provided to all Caravan attendees for autographs, and photos are encouraged. Every Titans Caravan public event is sponsored by the Trusted Choice agents of the Insurors of Tennessee and is done at no charge to fans. Public stops generally last one hour.
Also for the first time, the U.S. Army will be joining the Titans Caravan public stops. Fans will have the opportunity take part in a cornhole competition, test their skills at a variety of team-building exercises and claim free commemorative Titans Caravan 2012 dog tags. U.S. Army representatives will be on hand to share the exciting opportunities available in today's Army.
Bironas enters the 2012 season as the third-ranked kicker in NFL history in field goal accuracy, connecting on 86.3 percent of his attempts (189 of 219). In 2011, he appeared in all 16 games for the seventh consecutive season and finished seventh among kickers in AFC with 121 points. Bironas' 90.6 percent success rate in 2011 was the second-highest of his career, the fourth-highest in the NFL in 2011 and the third-highest in franchise history.
The Titans used their 2011 first-round selection on Locker, who possesses the toughness, competitiveness and the pure athletic ability to succeed at the pro level. As a rookie in 2011, he appeared in five games as a reserve and completed 34 of 66 passes for 542 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions. Locker's 282 passing yards against New Orleans (12/11/11) rank second in franchise history by a rookie quarterback and the most since the Oilers' inaugural 1960 season (Jacky Lee - 331 yards at Boston Patriots, 11/25/60).
Titans Caravan began in 1998 as a small effort to spread goodwill through the region. This year, six full-time staffers will travel to 50 total stops with Titans players and T-Rac through the Mid-South on a specially-decorated motor coach provided by Grand Avenue. Since 1998, Titans Caravan has made over 700 stops, traveled approximately 50,000 miles, visited close to 300 schools and allowed the team to interact directly with an estimated audience well in excess of 100,000 fans.