In the wake of Rob Bironas’ death, we want to honor him by taking a look at his successful career with the Tennessee Titans.
James Robert Douglas “Rob” Bironas was born in Louisville, Kentucky on January 29, 1978. He attended Trinity High School in Louisville where he received varsity lettermen honors for soccer, football, swimming, and track and field. He would go on to graduate in 1996 and receive a scholarship from Auburn University.
While attending Auburn, Bironas played for the football team from 1997 to 1999 as a place kicker. After making 12 of 16 field goal attempts and making all 18 PATs for a team-high 54 points in 1998, Bironas was named a semi-finalist of the Lou Groza Award. When Tommy Tuberville came to Auburn the following season, he replaced Bironas with punter Damon Duval. Bironas was a previous season All-SEC kicker, and would later transfer to Georgia Southern after being replaced at Auburn.
Rob Bironas attended Georgia Southern in his last year of collegiate eligibility and attended the same college where his brother was on the soccer team. In his one year at Georgia Southern, Bironas and the Eagles won the 2000 NCAA Division I-AA National Championship. He would later return to Auburn for his completion of a bachelor’s degree in marketing.
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Rob Bironas’ NFL career began with brief offseason roster appearances with the Green Bay Packers in 2002, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2003, and the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2004. But, it was his Arena Football League career that propelled him to a NFL career with the Titans. He played for the Charleston Swamp Foxes (apart of the AFL’s minor league) in the 2003 season, where he made 12 of 27 field goal attempts.
In 2004, he signed with the AFL’s Carolina Cobras and connected 17 of 40 field goal attempts that season with the Cobras. He also finished 70 of 89 extra point attempts with the Cobras. The following season, he was picked up by the New York Dragons. He converted 7 of 16 field goal attempts and 99 of 117 extra point attempts for the AFL’s New York Dragons. He would then sign with the Tennessee Titans.
The Tennessee Titans signed Rob Bironas in 2005 as an unrestricted free agent. He finished his first season with the Titans connecting 23 of 29 field goal attempts and 30 of 32 extra points. He would also convert 11 touchbacks on kickoffs which placed him tied for fourth in the AFC and seventh in the NFL.
In October of 2007, Bironas received AFC Player of the Month honors after connecting 13 of 14 field goals and all six extra point attempts. This performance helped the Titans win three out of four games in the month of October. What was even more impressive was that 45 of 81 points for the team that month was as a result of Bironas. Bironas was later named to the NFL’s All-Pro Team and the 2008 Pro Bowl that season.
From 2008 to 2013, Bironas would go through a series of signing battles to stay on the Tennessee Titans roster. On February 28, 2008 the Titans tendered Bironas to a one-year, $1.417 million contract as a restricted free agent. He signed his tender on May 9, 2008. On February 18, 2009, the Titans re-signed Bironas to a four-year contract. On March 8, 2013, the Titans and Bironas agreed to a two-year contract extension worth $6.7 million dollars. On March 19, 2014, the Titans released Rob Bironas.
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Over his career with the Titans, it is easy to say Rob Bironas had a very successful career that even etched his name into NFL history. In 2005, Bironas set an NFL record of most game-winning field goals with four, which was tied recently by Josh Brown. But, his most historical record came on October 21, 2007 in the game against the Houston Texans. In that game, Bironas set an NFL record with eight field goals made in a single game. This also led to an NFL record of most points (26) scored by kicker in a single game. Those 26 points also placed him with the second most points scored in a game in franchise history. You have to look all the way back to 1961, where the Houston Oilers Billy Cannon scored 30 points against the New York Titans to find that record.
Bironas finished his NFL career second on the Titans’ all-time scoring list, behind Al Del Greco. He also finished second on the franchise’s all-time field goal list, once again behind Greco. His ten straight 40+ yard field goals made is also an NFL record.
In his personal life, Rob Bironas married Rachel Bradshaw in June of 2014. Rachel is the daughter of Hall of Fame quarterback Terry Bradshaw. It was reported that Bradshaw approved of Bironas’ decision to marry his daughter and it was known that the two were close.
This past Saturday, on September 20, 2014 around 11:00 p.m., Rob Bironas was involved in a signal car accident in Nashville, Tennessee on Battery Lane. Authorities reported that Bironas’ SUV went off the road after turning onto Battery Lane, traveling at a high rate of speed. Authorities also noted that there appeared to be no evidence of drugs or alcohol involved in the accident. The Metro Police spokesman also stated it had appeared Bironas was on his way home, considering the accident occurred less than one mile from his home. Once off the road, Bironas’ 2009 GMC Yukon hit several trees and landed upside down. He was transported from the scene to Vanderbilt University Media Center where he was pronounced dead upon arrival. Bironas was 36 years old.
REST-IN-PIECETITAN NATION WILL MISS YOU!
ROB BIRONAS (JANUARY 29, 1978 – SEPTEMBER 20, 2014)