We conclude our trip around the Tennessee Titans position by position as we approach the 2010 regular season with a look at the special teams. As was the case with the last two positions I wrote about, it'll be a mix of continuity and change from last offseason.
The continuity starts with one of the league's best placekickers in Rob Bironas. Bironas is coming into the second season of a four year, $12 million contract extension he signed in February 2009. He had his third consecutive excellent season in 2009, making 27 of 32 field goals, including an impressive 5 of 6 from 50+. The Titans ranked second in the NFL in FG/XP DVOA as measured by Football Outsiders, the third straight season they (read Bironas) has ranked in the top 5. He should be good again in 2010.
The one downside of Bironas' 2009 season was his average kickoff distance slipped 3.0 yards, from 67.2 to 64.2. The Titans' kickoff coverage teams were also mediocre, so the team as a whole slipped from league-average to among the worst in the NFL, and were a big part of the reason Titans' opponents had the second-best starting field position last year. Bironas is already 32, so the Titans might have to live with that shorter kickoff distance going forward.