I have always been told, when all else fails, drop back three yards and punt. That’s what the Tennessee Titans did a lot of during the dreadful 2-14 season last year, and it seems punter Brett Kern was always up to the task. Not only does the eight-year veteran kicker from Toledo have a strong leg, he also has a knack for placing the ball inside the 20 yard line.
claimed off waivers by the Titans in October of 2009
The 2014 season saw the end of two great years in Music City with 2013 being probably his best. He couldn’t manufacture any wins in 2014, but he certainly made the competition work harder for their wins.
He punted 88 times last year for 4118 yards with a net gain of 3628 yards. Of those 88 punts, Kern left the ball inside of the opponents 20 yard line 28 times with only seven touch backs. Forty-three punts were returned for a total of 350 yards.
Kern has not had a punt return for a touchdown while in Titan Blue and has only had two in his career, both came when he was with the Denver Broncos in 2008 and 2009 seasons.
The longest punt of his career was 79 yards and came in the 2014 season finale’ against the Indianapolis Colts. Over the entirety of his career with both teams, Kern has averaged 45.1 yards per punt, with a net yards average at 39.8 yards.
Bret Kern had his best year in 2013 when he punted 77 times for 3386 yards. The most impressive number was 32 punts downed inside the 20 yard line.
With almost nothing working in the past two seasons, both former head coach, Mike Munchak and current head coach, Ken Whisenhunt both new if they couldn’t get a first down, they could count on their punter to deliver.
In 2011, Kern set a new Titans/Oilers franchise record with his 39.4-yard net average. He also posted career-highs in punts (86), punt yards (3,747) and punts inside the 20-yard line (31).
In 2008, Kern ranked fifth in the league with a 46.7-yard punting average and was named to the All-Rookie team by Pro Football Weekly/PFWA and the Sporting News.
Kern played in forty-seven games at the University of Toledo, punting 189 times for a 7994 yards and downing the ball inside the 20 yard-line 59 times. He was a finalist for the Ray Guy Award and earned third-team All-American honors in his senior year.
He was signed as a rookie free-agent by the Denver Broncos in 2008, and claimed off waivers by the Titans in October of 2009.
In a year with so many changes and new faces in Nashville, Ken Whisenhunt knows that if his rookie quarterback and all the new faces on the roster can’t get him a first down, he can depend on his veteran punter to make a good kick, and chances are he will give the defense good field position.
Even with the addition of Assistant Head Coach/Defense Dick LeBeau and some nice pieces, I think the best player on the Tennessee Titans defense is punter Brett Kern.