NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- On the day of his funeral, the Titans are remembering the life and career of former franchise kicker Rob Bironas, who passed away last Saturday at the age of 36.
A consistent player on the field and big participant in the greater Nashville community, Bironas is remembered as one of the greatest Titans who always remembered his roots and continually gave back to those in need.
Titans Online takes a look back at the career of kicker Rob Bironas in photos by Donn Jones Photography and the Associated Press.
"Rob made a significant impact as a player in his nine years with the team and more importantly touched many lives in the Nashville community off the field," the Titans said following his death.
Bironas finished as the franchise's second leading scorer with 1,032 points from 2005-13, providing consistency at the position with several clutch kicks and game-winning field goals. He was the fourth most-accurate kicker in NFL history, connecting on 85.7 percent of his kicks (239 of 279), made a franchise-record 11 game-winning field goals and booted a 60-yarder — the longest in team history — to beat the Colts at LP Field in 2006.
In addition, he kicked an NFL single-game record eight field goals in a 2007 victory over the Houston Texans, including a 29-yarder as time expired, to help him earn Associated Press All-Pro honors and his only Pro Bowl berth that season. Bironas also tied the franchise record with 20 consecutive field goals during the 2012 season. He reached the mark twice before in his career to tie the record originally set by Al Del Greco from 1998-99.
Not only did Bironas excel on the football field, he was one of the team's community all-stars off the field, taking part in numerous charitable events in the greater Nashville area and his home state of Kentucky. He started the Rob Bironas Fund in 2008 to help give back to those in need.
"I put a lot of time and energy into the community and really enjoy meeting a lot of great people and taking part in the various community events," he said the day he signed his contract extension in 2013. "That's something I'll continue to be involved in and look forward to doing."
Bironas went to Auburn and transferred to Georgia Southern, where he won a Division I-AA national title. He went to work for his father's company in Louisville, Kentucky, and was cut by Green Bay in 2002. He played in the Arena Football League and even the AF2 while spending time in training camps with Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh working as a part-time security guard and other jobs while trying to stick with an NFL team.
He finally won a roster spot with the Titans in 2005.
"To play in the NFL," he said in 2006, "was the ultimate goal."
The shocking news of his death hit home to his former teammates and others around Nashville.
"It's one of those things that gives you perspective," QB Jake Locker said. "It reminds you to be thankful for the people in your life. Rob was a charismatic guy that always brought smiles to people's faces around the building. It's tough to see it happen to someone so young, who was just recently married. You feel for him and his loved ones that are left behind."
Cornerback Jason McCourty echoed Locker's comments as he remembered his former teammate.
"I remember a guy who was positive, a guy who was upbeat and always trying to bring a smile to his teammates around him," McCourty said. "It's just crazy. Less than a year ago he was on that team with us. He was taking the field with us, traveling with us. To think a guy so young and not far removed from being one of us has passed away, it's tough because you feel like at any moment that could be you. You feel like it could be one of your brothers that's passed away. It's tough to deal with, but you just have to know God has a plan and there will be some positive to come from it and you just have to believe in him."
Punter Brett Kern, who served as the holder for Bironas on field goals and extra points for five seasons, maintained a close friendship with his former teammate in recent months.
Titans cheerleaders and kicker Rob Bironas help out at Tracy Lawrence's 8th annual Mission Possible Turkey Fry. (Photos: Craig Peters)
"I want to honor him, the legacy that he had here — the man that he was, the father that he was and the husband that he was, the family guy that he was," Kern said the night of his memorial in Nashville.
Long snapper Beau Brinkley said Bironas helped advance his NFL career.
"He was a big part of my life — and I wasn't very good coming in as a snapper — and if it wouldn't have been for him I probably wouldn't even be here today," Brinkley said. "He has made a very influential mark on me, as well as my family."
Safety Michael Griffin, who played seven seasons with Bironas, wrote this on Twitter just hours after his passing: "I can't tell you how many games he won for us over my seven years with him, but I can tell you he was a great teammate, father, husband and friend. May your soul rest in peace and prayers go out to your family. #RIP Rob Bironas."
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.