Titans Kicker Answers Fans' Questions From Facebook, Twitter
Throughout the season, the Tennessee Titans social media platforms, facebook.com/titans and @tennesseetitans on Twitter, will ask fans to submit their favorite questions for a designated Titans player. The player will then answer the best ones in the latest issue of Titans GameDay and at Titansonline.com.
This week Rob Bironas (@RobBironas) fields questions from the fans. A powerful right-footed kicker in his seventh NFL season, Bironas has earned the right to be named among the best players at his position. Prior to winning a roster spot with the Titans in 2005, Bironas spent time in training camp with the Green Bay Packers in 2002, Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2003 and Pittsburgh Steelers in 2004. Meanwhile, he spent two seasons in the Arena Football League and one season in Af2.
Jeremy Andrewon Facebook asks: Who do you think is the best punt returner and kick returner you've had to kick to?
"Probably Devin Hester and his career numbers show it. I take pride that when we played them three years ago that he got around the outside and I put him into his bench. Thankfully he didn't score on me."
Stacey Johnsonon Facebook asks: What goes through your head anytime you're just about to kick an important field goal?
"It is actually all in the preparation. It is not really at the moment of the kick because I have kicked hundreds of thousands of balls during my career. It is all in the preparation. It is in warming up and being ready to go when I'm called upon. It's knowing what to do and doing it. It's like the Kevin Costner movie "For the Love of the Game" when he is pitching and he focuses on just him and the batter as the crowd disappears. It is just me, my snapper Ken Amato, my holder Brett Kern and the ball."
Chase Williamson Facebook asks: What position did you play in high school and when did you start playing?
"I played soccer all four years in high school and then I started playing football my junior year. I was the placekicker and the backup punter, but I didn't play any other positions."
James Valloneon Facebook asks: What do you think of the new kickoff rule?
"I like the new kickoff rule. It is going to add some longevity to some of the veteran kickers' careers. The thought early on was there were going to be fewer big plays, but in reality if the ball is being brought out, it is either a stop between the 18 and 22 or the returner is going to bust it out to the 50 or score."
Kyle Canupon Facebook asks: Have you ever had a memorable tackle on a kickoff at the college or professional level?
"It was in my first ever game in high school for the Trinity Shamrocks in Louisville. The kick went to the one-yard line and he went to the right sideline and I met him head on. I hadn't been taught how to tackle and left my feet with a Superman dive. I took him into the bench and he got up with a cracked sternum and I got up with a dislocated shoulder."
Matt Brownon Facebook asks: How frustrating was it early in your career to continuously be signed and released and did that take a toll on your mindset?
"It was frustrating. I knew I was good enough to play in the league, but the opportunity didn't present itself. My granddad said it best when he said 33rd isn't good enough. You have to be one of the best 32 in the world to play in this league and there are no backups. There are maybe four jobs available during the offseason and you have a couple of draft picks coming in, so it is hard to be a street free agent. Salary cap trouble here in Tennessee actually helped me break through."
Kyle John Lorentzon Facebook asks:* *How many hours do you spend a week practicing kicks?
"In season, I try not to kick over 30 to 40 balls a day during Wednesday, Thursday and Friday practices. On Sunday, I kick more than I kick all week. In the offseason we ramp it up from April to July. In July, I'm kicking close to 150 balls a day, five days a week."
@jeremyb6on Twitter asks: Is it true you lived in a hotel when you first came to Tennessee?
"I did. I lived at the Extended Stay America on West End for my whole first year. I had seen so many of the guys get cut. If you have one bad game or one bad kick as a rookie, you are not guaranteed anything. I was week-to-week my first three years and I was still scared buying a condo."
@bravesgirlbritton Twitter asks: Who has been the biggest influence on your life, both personally and professionally?
"My dad is my hero. He raised me and my brothers and sister right. He and my mom kept our family together and kept us tight. When he couldn't find a good soccer coach, he got the books and videos to study and do it. He is still someone I look up to and I hope to be the man he is one day."
@Gaztee72on Twitter asks: How do you deal with the stress of the job so that when you're called up on to win the game you're able to remain calm?
"I don't believe in stress and worrying about things. If you stress and worry about something, it is just going to make it more difficult. If I am going out to win a game, I'm going out to do something I have done a thousand times. To me you have to make the same kick all the time no matter the circumstances."
@lilwoodchipon Twitter asks: What's the longest field goal you have hit in practice?
"My longest on the Titans field, probably 67 or 68 yards. I was in Reno, Nevada when I was 25 years old and I made four straight from 75 yards out."
@JoeyFriedon Twitter asks: What made you want to become a professional kicker and when did you realize this could become your career?
"I grew up playing sports and I wanted to be a professional soccer player like Pele. That evolved in high school as I started playing football. I always tell kids to follow their dreams and dream big."