NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Titans punter Brett Kern wore No.2 during practice on Wednesday – it was a tribute to his friend, Rob Bironas.
It's been three years since Bironas lost his life in a tragic car accident near his home in Nashville. On the night of September 20, 2014, the former Titans kicker lost control on a curve in his 2009 GMC Yukon Denali and crashed after 11 p.m., less than a mile from home.
"I think about Rob all the time," said Kern, who wears No.6 with the Titans. "Today is the three-year anniversary of him passing away, and figured this is a way I could pay him respect by remembering him. Wearing the No.2 jersey, it was great to honor him for the day."
Bironas played from 2005-2013 with the Titans. He had 1,032 points in his nine-year career, just 28 points behind Al Del Greco, the top scorer in the history of the Houston Oilers / Tennessee Titans organization, and he made 85.7 percent of his field-goal attempts (239 of 279) to rank fourth in NFL history in accuracy.
He made a franchise-record 11 game-winning field goals, including a 60-yarder against the Indianapolis Colts in 2006 that remains the longest field goal in Oilers or Titans history.
A photo hangs in the back of Kern's locker at Saint Thomas Sports Park. It shows the former Titans kicker celebrating one of his game-winning kicks, this one against the Steelers in 2012. Kern, his teammate and close friend, was right there with him that night, just like so many times before.
"I have a bunch of memories with Rob," Kern said. "Sometimes on road trips we stay in the same hotel, and I'm in the same room I roomed in with Rob. That's actually happened a couple of times. To this day, I still don't go by his house, or take the road where the accident happened. I try to stay away from that stuff. But Beau Brinkley and I are always reminiscing about him, and talking about things he did. It makes us laugh.
"There's definitely things that make you think about Rob, and wonder if he is looking down on you. I hope he appreciated me wearing his No.2 out there today."
Titans Online takes a look back at the career of kicker Rob Bironas in photos by Donn Jones Photography and the Associated Press.