|Born:||January 29, 1978|
|Died:||September 20, 2014 (aged 36)|
|Height:||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|Weight:||210 lb (95 kg)|
(St. Matthews, Kentucky)
|* Offseason and/or practice squad member only|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
|Player stats at NFL.com · PFR|
James Robert Douglas "Rob" Bironas (January 29, 1978 – September 20, 2014) was an American football placekicker who played the majority of his professional career with the Tennessee Titans. He played college football for Auburn University and Georgia Southern University.
He was originally signed by the Green Bay Packers as an undrafted free agent in 2002. Bironas' active professional career began in Arena football where he was a member of the Charleston Swamp Foxes, Carolina Cobras, and the New York Dragons and had intermittent offseason stints with the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Pittsburgh Steelers. In 2005, he signed with the Titans, with whom he played for nine seasons and was an All-Pro and Pro Bowl selection in 2007. Bironas was killed in a car crash on September 20, 2014.
Bironas attended Trinity High School in Louisville, Kentucky, and was a four-year varsity letterman in soccer, a two-year varsity letterman in football and swimming, and added a one-year letterman in track and field. He graduated in 1996.
Bironas attended Auburn University, where he played for the Auburn Tigers football team from 1997 to 1999. He was a semi-finalist for the Lou Groza Award in 1998 after making 12 of 16 field goal attempts (including two successful 49-yard (45 m) tries with the four misses from 40+) and making all 18 PATs for a team-high 54 points. The following season, new head coach Tommy Tuberville replaced Bironas, the preseason All-SEC kicker of the football team, with the punter, Damon Duval. Bironas later transferred to Georgia Southern University, where his brother was on the soccer team, for his final year of collegiate eligibility, and played for the Georgia Southern Eagles football team. Bironas won the 2000 NCAA Division I-AA National Championship while playing with the Eagles, before returning to graduate from Auburn with a bachelor's degree in marketing.
Early career and arena football (2001–2004)
Bironas signed with the Green Bay Packers in 2002 as an undrafted free agent, before being released before the season began. Bironas then began playing in the Arena Football League's minor league system (af2), where he spent the 2003 season with the Charleston Swamp Foxes, making 12 of 27 field goal attempts that season. During the 2003 NFL offseason, he signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and was again released before the season began. In 2004, he moved up to the Arena Football League with the Carolina Cobras converting 17 of 40 field goal attempts and 70 of 89 extra point tries. In 2004, he returned to the NFL and signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers, with whom his stint was again no longer than a preseason. He therefore returned to arena football, spending the 2005 season with the New York Dragons before signing with the Titans, connecting on 7 of 16 field goal attempts and 99 of 117 extra point attempts for the AFL's New York Dragons.
Tennessee Titans (2005–2013)
In 2005, Bironas signed as an unrestricted free agent with the Tennessee Titans, where he finished his first season with the Titans converting 23 of 29 field goals attempts (79.3%) and 30 of 32 extra points attempts (93.8%). Bironas finished the season with 11 touchbacks, which tied him for fourth in the AFC and seventh in the NFL.
In 2006, Bironas built on his previous success and kicked four game winning field goals, including one of 60 yards against the Indianapolis Colts, which tied as the eighth-longest in NFL history.
In 2007, Bironas was named the AFC Player of the Month for the month of October. He made 13 of 14 field goals (92.9 percent) and all six PATs as he helped the Titans earn a 3-1 (.750) record for the month. He accounted for 45 of the team's 81 points in October. In the Titans' three wins in October, Bironas connected on 12 of 13 field goals, including an NFL-record eight field goals in one game (52, 25, 21, 30, 28, 43, 29 and 29 yards). This records effort also included the game-winning kick against the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium on October 21. In the same game, he tied the existing record of five field goals made in a single half. Bironas was selected to the NFL's All-Pro Team and the Pro Bowl.
On February 18, 2009, the Titans re-signed Bironas to a four-year $12 million contract with $5 million guaranteed.
The Titans and Bironas agreed to a two-year contract extension on March 7, 2013 worth $6.7 million.
The Titans released Bironas on March 19, 2014.
NFL career statistics
|Year||Team||GP||Field goals||Extra points||Total points|
Records and honors
- AFC Special Teams Player of the Week – 2006 (Week 13), 2007 (Week 7)
- AFC Special Teams Player of the Month – October 2007
- Most NFL game-winning field goals in a season – 2005 (4; tied, most recently, Josh Brown)
- Most field goals in a game – October 21, 2007 at Houston Texans (8)
- Most points by a kicker in a game – October 21, 2007 at Houston Texans (26)
- Second-most points scored in a game in franchise history – October 21, 2007 at Houston Texans (26; first place – Billy Cannon (30))
- Most points scored by any player in a game played in Texas (Houston, Dallas, San Antonio) – 26
- Most field goals in a half – October 21, 2007 at Houston Texans (5; tied with Morten Andersen, Chris Boniol, Mike Nugent)
- 2008 Pro Bowl selection
- Led Tennessee Titans in scoring in both 2005 and 2006
- Second place on franchise's all-time scoring list
- Second place on franchise's all-time field goal list
- Selected to All-Pro Team in 2007 and 2008
- Most consecutive games with a 40+ yard field goal in NFL history – 10
Bironas founded The Rob Bironas Fund in 2008. The Nashville-based nonprofit is part of the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, and works to give Nashville youth ways to engage with and be educated by area musicians. The fund finances tools, education and leadership to help Nashville youth achieve scholastic excellence through music education. The fund has partnered with both the Nashville Symphony and Country Music Hall of Fame.
Bironas was a board member of the Nashville Symphony, and worked to provide help to needy children through the Kicks for Kids program. He was also a member of Phi Kappa Tau fraternity, where he contributed to charity and philanthropy.
On September 20, 2014, at approximately 11 p.m., Bironas was killed in a car crash. He lost control of his 2009 Yukon Denali and swerved off the road, flipped several times, hit several trees, and finally landed upside down in a ditch. He was transported to Vanderbilt University Medical Center but was pronounced dead on arrival. Witnesses said that Bironas had been driving aggressively prior to the crash. Toxicology reports released 11 days later revealed that Bironas' blood alcohol level had been 0.218 percent, almost three times the legal limit of 0.08 in the state of Tennessee. Autopsy reports showed Bironas died from blunt force trauma as a result of crashing the car.
- "Auburn Suspends Two Players". CBS News. February 11, 2009. Retrieved October 7, 2012.
- Bendetson, William (October 26, 2007). "Bironas' record eight FGs another stepping-stone on odd journey". ESPN. Retrieved January 25, 2016.
- "Titans' Haynesworth, Vanden Bosch, Bironas picked for Pro Bowl". NFL.com. December 18, 2007. Retrieved January 24, 2016.
- "Titans waive Givens, offer deals to Bironas, Scaife, Stewart". NFL.com. February 28, 2008. Retrieved January 25, 2016.
- "Bironas goes from Arena League to star to four-year deal with Titans". NFL.com. February 19, 2009. Retrieved January 25, 2016.
- Hanzus, Dan (March 7, 2013). "Rob Bironas, Tennessee Titans agree on new contract". NFL.com. Retrieved January 25, 2016.
- Kuharsky, Paul (March 19, 2014). "Titans cut Rob Bironas". ESPN. Retrieved January 25, 2016.
- "Former NFL kicker Rob Bironas killed in car crash in Tennessee," Chicago Tribune, September 21, 2014
- "Indianapolis Colts Still Perfect: 12-0". newsgroups.derkeiler.com. December 5, 2005. Retrieved October 18, 2016.
- Jim Wyatt, "Rob Bironas, Former Titans Kicker, Killed in Car Crash," The Tennessean, September 21, 2014.
- Jim Wyatt, "Woman: Rob Bironas Tried to Run Me Off the Road," The Tennessean, September 23, 2014.
- Jim Wyatt, "Toxicology Report: Rob Bironas Had 0.218 Blood Alcohol," USA Today, October 4, 2014.