Rob Bironas: From Louisville To The NFL To Deadly Intoxication

Rob Bironas 1

Former kicker Rob Bironas was the fourth most accurate kicker in NFL history, landing 85.7% of his kicks (239 of 279). Only David Akers recorded more field goals (247) between 2005 and 2013 than Bironas. With 1032 points, he finished as the Titans’ second leading scorer and set a franchise record by adding triple digits in seven consecutive seasons. He has an NFL record that he set in 2011 for hitting a field goal of at least 40 yards in 10 straight games. Bironas spent time on the Green Bay Packers offseason roster (2002) and preseason rosters with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2003) and the Pittsburgh Steelers (2004).

Rob Bironas: 9 Life Events To Remember The NFL Kicker!  

1. Rob was just 36 years old when he died:

Rob Bironas died on September 20, 2014, in a traffic accident on Saturday night in a car accident near his home, according to police. He was 36 years old. His wife Rachel, daughter of former Marshal Terry Bradshaw, called 911 when she couldn’t find Bironas after they had both been watching a movie at home.

Nashville Metropolitan Police said Bironas lost control of his GMC Yukon Denali sports truck around a curve and crashed after 11:00 p.m. less than a mile from his home. A statement posted on the police department’s website indicates that the truck was speeding as it pulled off the road and crashed into a row of trees before ending up overturned at the exit of a drain.  He was pronounced dead after he was taken to Vanderbilt University Medical Center. 

2. Misinterpretations about Rob Bironas’s death:

At first, the authorities indicated that there was no evidence of alcohol or drugs at the scene of the accident. Then, witnesses said that Bironas had been driving aggressively before the accident. 

Police investigating the accident found a video showing Bironas leaving his home around 10:40 p.m. before he apparently went after a pickup truck. The report notes that four Belmont University students called police to report that Bironas chased them at a speed greater than 177 kph (110 mph) while they were traveling in a pickup truck. Another witness, Cynthia Wilde, also added to this, telling deputies that Bironas had tried to pull her family off the road before her husband stopped for the sports truck to pass them just before the crash, at approximately 11:00 p.m.

Toxicology reports published 11 days later revealed that Bironas blood alcohol level had been 0.218 percent, nearly three times the legal limit of 0.08 in the state of Tennessee. Autopsy reports also showed that Bironas was killed by blunt objects after crashing the car.

3. The Titans fired Bironas in March after nine seasons:

Bironas entered the football league in 2005 and did not play for clubs other than the Tennessee Titans. Bironas’s performance earned him a 2007 title in the Pro Bowl, the NFL’s All-Star Match. Bironas played for the Tennessee Titans for nine seasons in his career. He was once one of the league’s most accurate kickers. Bironas did not receive a new contract in Tennessee for the 2014 season. He attended a Detroit Lions training camp and was reportedly in touch with several other teams.  

Here is the timeline of his career before being fired: 

  • The Titans offered Bironas a one-year, $1.417 million contract on February 28, 2008, as a restricted free agent. He signed his offer on May 9, 2008.
  • On February 18, 2009, the Titans re-signed Bironas to a four-year, $12 million contract with $5 million guaranteed. 
  • The Titanes and Bironas agreed to a two-year contract extension on March 7, 2013 worth $6.7 million. 
  • The Titans let go of Rob Bironas on March 19, 2014. 

The Titans, who face Cincinnati, issued a statement Sunday mourning the death of the former kicker and sending prayers to his wife and family. 

“We are deeply saddened to hear the tragic news last night about Rob Bironas,” the team said in the statement. “Rob made a significant impact as a player in his nine years with the team and more importantly what he did for many people in the Nashville community off the field.” 

4. His marriage to Rachel Bradshaw:

4 months before his death, Bironas got married to his girlfriend Rachel Bradshaw, the daughter of former quarterback and Hall of Famer Terry Bradshaw, in June 2014. 

Bradshaw, a member of the Professional Football Hall of Fame, did not appear on the pregame show “Fox NFL Sunday” and headed to Nashville to support his daughter after Rob Bironas died. 

5. Early years:

Bironas graduated from his school called Trinity High School in Louisville, Kentucky, and was a four-year college player in soccer, a two-year college player in swimming, and he graduated in 1996.

6. College career:

Bironas played his college career for three years at Auburn University and a year at the Southern University of Georgia. He was a semi-finalist for the 1998 Lou Groza Award after making 12 of 16 field-goal attempts (including two successful 49-yard (45 m ) with the four failures of 40+) and making the 18 PATs for a total of 54 points. The following season, new coach Tommy Tuberville made Bironas sit out and replaced him with the football team’s preseason All-SEC kicker punter Damon Duval.

When Bironas attended Auburn University, he played for the Auburn Tigers Soccer team from 1997 to 1999. Bironas later transferred to the University of South Georgia, where his brother was on the soccer team, during his senior year of college eligibility, and played for the Georgia Southern Eagles Soccer team. In Georgia, he won a college championship in 2000. 

Bironas was not booked for the NFL, so he went to work for his father’s company. 

Bironas won the 2000 NCAA Division I-AA National Championship while playing for the Eagles, before returning to graduate from Auburn with a bachelor’s degree in marketing.

7. He ranks second on the Tennessee History Stock Exchange:

In 2002, he was admitted to a training camp at the Green Bay Packers but did not receive a place on the team. In 2003, Bironas trained with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and in 2004 with the Pittsburgh Steelers. When the seat in the NFL did not open, Bironas moved to the indoor AFL to play. He played two seasons as a pro in the indoor series. 

Fortunately in 2005, Bironas entered the Tennessee Titans lineup through a training camp. The following season, Bironas kicked the 60-yard kick, the longest in Tennessee club history. In the 2007 season, Bironas set an NFL record with eight kicks in a single match. He was elected to the league’s Pro Bowl during the same season. Bironas was a Tennessee kicker for nine seasons, during which time he scored 1,032 points.

8. Bironas founded The Rob Bironas Fund in 2008:

The Nashville-based nonprofit is part of the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee and works to provide Nashville youth with ways to participate and be educated by area musicians. The fund funds tools, education and leadership to help Nashville youth achieve academic excellence through music education. The fund has been associated 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 children in need through the Kicks for Kids program. The Louisville native was also a member of Phi Kappa Tau fraternity, where he used to contribute to charity and philanthropy.

9. Arena Soccer highlights:

The Louisville native spent the 2003 season with the Charleston Swamp Foxes of The Arena Football League minor league system. That season, he made 12 of 27 field-goal attempts for the Swamp Foxes. Rob then shifted to the Arena Football League in 2004 with the Carolina Cobras converting 17 of 40 field-goal attempts and 70 of 89 extra-point attempts. Prior to signing with the Titans, he spent the 2005 season with the New York Dragons connecting 7 of 16 field-goal attempts and 99 of 117 extra-point attempts for the AFL’s New York Dragons. 

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