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VOL. 44 | NO. 36 | Friday, September 4, 2020

Unsettled Titans kicking game needs a solution

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Editor's note: The Tennessee Titans made a switch at kicker Thursday, agreeing to terms with four-time Pro Bowler Stephen Gostkowski and waiving Greg Joseph. Gostkowski won three Super Bowls in his 14 seasons with the New England Patriots. He has made 87.4% or 374 of 428 of his kicks in his career. His field goal percentage ranks fifth-best in NFL history.

For several years before 2019, Ryan Succop had capably manned the kicker’s spot and performed quite well. But Succop was never healthy in 2019, and the results just weren’t the same when he came off injured reserve halfway through last season.

In the meantime, the Titans bounced through the likes of Cairo Santos, Cody Parkey and a kickoff specialist who wasn’t so special in Ryan Santoso before finally settling on Greg Joseph, who attempted all of one field goal after joining the club in December.

Joseph is back in camp, and competing with undrafted rookie Tucker McCann with neither gaining the upper hand (or foot).

Joseph says he is simply focusing on what he can do going forward to solidify his hold on the job and hope that will be sufficient.

“If there’s one thing I’ve learned about this league, it doesn’t matter what you’ve done at all, it matters what you’re doing. So, that’s why I’m just putting my foot forward, putting my head down and working, and doing everything I can to control my kicks that are upcoming,” Joseph adds.

Certainly having no preseason games has had a bearing on the kicking situation, and the Titans even admit that keeping one on the roster and one on the expanded practice squad might be a feasible option this year.

“Where we’re at with the COVID-19 and the testing, now you’re going to have to have players throughout your roster that are going to be able to go in there on a Friday or even up to two hours before the game on a Sunday that can play,” Titans coach Mike Vrabel explains.

Punter Brett Kern, left, talks with placekickers Greg Joseph, middle, and Tucker McCann

-- Photo By Mark Humphrey | Ap

“That’s going to be the rules this year, that you’re going to be able to bring guys up extremely late in the process and so I think you have to have the roster constructed where you have some layers of protection.”

Speaking of layers of protection, the Titans may be doing just that as they are scheduled to work out former New England Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski this week. Gostkowski recently moved to Nashville, so there is very little risk involved in taking a look.

-- Terry McCormick

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