NASHVILLE – The Titans used five different kickers during the 2019 season.
In 2020, if all goes well, they'll use one.
The Titans liked the way kicker Greg Joseph finished the year for them in 2019, but with limited opportunities, he still has something to prove. In camp, he'll compete with Tucker McCann, an undrafted free agent from Missouri.
On a video conference call on Friday, Titans special teams coach Craig Aukerman discussed both kickers following a year when the team went through some difficulties at the position.
"I thought Greg did an excellent job, really kind of settling everything down, and he made all his kids, which was the great part for us," Aukerman said. "So, we feel confident going in not only with Greg but hopefully Tucker can provide him some competition going through."
After signing with the Titans on December 18th off of Carolina's practice squad, Joseph played in the team's final two regular season games in 2019 and made all nine of his extra point attempts. Joseph then appeared in all three of the team's postseason games, and he made good on his lone field goal attempt in the AFC Championship Game vs the Chiefs while connecting on all nine of his postseason extra point attempts.
In all, Joseph was a perfect 18-of-18 on PATs, in addition to his 30-yard field goal. Joseph also handled 25 kickoffs (with 11 touchbacks and 13 into the endzone) in the five pressure-packed games for the Titans.
Prior to signing Joseph in December, kickers Ryan Succop, Cairo Santos, Cody Parkey, and Ryan Santoso all kicked for the Titans during the 2019 season.
"I thought he handled it really well," Aukerman said of Joseph. "The big thing that we told Greg coming in is the only way we can go is up. Just go out there and do what you've done your whole entire life, go out there and kick with confidence. Make sure that you're mentally ready to go at any point in time during the game. I think that was the best thing, and how he got along with Brett (Kern) and Beau (Brinkley) and the chemistry between those three was really good at the end. I thought he just did an excellent job there, making sure that he was really focused at the game. During the end of the year, there was going to be sometimes a possibility that we could go and kick field goals, but we ended up going for it on fourth down. Greg was ready to go. You know, probably a little disappointed that we didn't end up going and kicking the field goal, but he understands situational football and he understands that we need touchdowns instead of field goals sometimes. So, just happy to see him being ready at all times."
McCann, signed by the Titans as an undrafted free agent, was 16-for-22 on field goals (with a long of 52) and 34-for-37 on extra points at Missouri in 2019. McCann posted 82 points during his senior season (16 field goals, 24 extra points) and finished his career with 358 points, just four shy of the all-time Mizzou scoring record (362 by Jeff Wolfert from 2006-08).
Aukerman watched McCann in college, and believes he'll be able to compete well in training camp.
If neither Joseph nor McCann seize the opportunity in camp, other options will be available in free agency.
"Just evaluating Tucker, his last couple of years there at the University of Missouri, the one thing that jumps out about Tucker is how strong his leg is," Aukerman said. "But the thing that we're going to continue to work on with him is just being a little bit more consistent. Early on in his career he had some good years, and then the past year – whether it was the hold, the snap, the kick, whatever it was, we've just got to continue to work with Tucker as far as being a little bit more consistent to provide that competition for Greg."