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Titans Training Camp Preview: Special Teams

Posted Jul 21, 2013

Titans Online is previewing the 2013 Titans training camp at Saint Thomas Sports Park with a look at each position.

Specialists | Quarterbacks | Wide receivers | Running backs | Tight ends | Offensive line | Defensive line | Linebackers | Defensive backs

Position coaches: Nate Kaczor and assistant Steve Hoffman

Returning: K Rob Bironas, P Brett Kern, LS Beau Brinkley, KR/PR Marc Mariani, Darius Reynaud

First camp with Titans: K Maikon Bonani

Outlook: The Titans will open camp with two proven kick and punt return specialists in Marc Mariani, who made the Pro Bowl as a rookie in 2010, and Darius Reynaud, who filled in after Mariani suffered a broken leg last preseason and had 1,650 combined yards (punt and kick returns) to lead the NFL in 2012. Mariani has made an impressive recovery, and the challenge between he and Reynaud should be impressive. Tennessee reached a deal to bring back Rob Bironas, who will begin training camp as the second-leading scorer in franchise history. Bironas hit two game-winning kicks in 2012 to give him a franchise-record 11 and recorded his sixth straight 100-point season. Punter Brett Kern and long snapper Beau Brinkley are looking to follow solid 2012 seasons, and those positions are not expected to face competition.  

Things to watch at open training camp practices: Many fans will have their first opportunity to see just how well Mariani has recovered from his injury. He’s been a perpetual underdog for a roster spot, but has always answered the bell. Reynaud was also somewhat of a longshot because he was out of football for all of 2011. Both players will add an interesting element to an area of the game that is sometimes overlooked. Tennessee has consistently placed high emphasis on special teams and that will continue under new special teams coach Nate Kaczor and assistant Steve Hoffman. The special teams period, from time to time, may also include knuckle punts that Kern picked up from former Titans/Oilers great Craig Hentrich. It’s entertaining to follow the flight of those paths and the efforts of returners who are trying to field them.

Scheduled practices that are free and open to fans (subject to change):

Day

Time

Friday, July 26

6:30-8:30 p.m.

Saturday, July 27

3-5 p.m.

Sunday, July 28

6:30-8:30 p.m.

Tuesday, July 30

6:30-8:30 p.m.

Wednesday, July 31

3-5 p.m.

Thursday, Aug. 1

3-5 p.m.

Friday, Aug. 2

3-5 p.m.

Monday, Aug. 5

3:45-5:45 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 10

3:15-5:15 p.m.

Sunday, Aug. 11

6:30-8:30 p.m.

Monday, Aug. 12

3-5 p.m.

Tuesday, Aug. 13

3:15-5:15 p.m.

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