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Tennessee Titans Kickers Share Unique Bond

Tom Buehring


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They’re NFL game changers! Three teammates -- Kicker Ryan Succop, Punter/Holder Brett Kern and Long-Snapper Beau Brinkley, align precision to kick past – Imperfection! As Christmas approaches – We Three Kings – are found in these Three Tennessee Titans, where Nashville finds Immanuel - God With Us - among players who compete as special-team difference-makers and empathize as brothers!
Beau Brinkley: “Realizing we have each other and we can lean on each other and we’re family, looking back on all these Christmas’ I missed – I haven’t really missed them -- because like you said, ‘Emmanuel, God is with Us’ and we’re together and that’s something to be thankful for!”

Question: “You’re the trigger man, it all starts with you!”                                                                        Beau Brinkley: “I’m usually aiming for Brett’s hand. Ah, it’s kind of the indicator of where to snap and when to snap. So I just kind of keep my focus on that and then when he opens his hand, I try to get it in that spot! You know, they finish it. The best thing I can do: they don’t get hit or they don’t get blocked. I try to protect these guys because I trust these two and they trust me!”

Question: “The view you have looking upside down how difficult was that to get used to?                                                                              
Beau Brinkley: “It’s not as bad as you think! Because you’re so focused on whatever you’re doing or wherever you’re aiming at. It is my second world and I see everything from a different perspective than most people do. Comes with the job description and I just got to roll with it.”

Question: “The extra point snaps shorter than the punt snaps, but what makes those more challenging?                                                        

Beau Brinkley: “Finesse! There’s a lot more finesse! On punts, Brett’s a heck of an athlete so he can, you know, field anything that I kind of throw back there with some speed. On the field goals, it’s just a little more precise. Kind of got to take some speed off of it! And it’s kind of like, hard to slow it down!                                                                                                                

Brett Kern: “He snaps it really hard! About broke my thumb his rookie year!”                                                                                                    

Question: “Did you have to tell him it was too hard?”                

Brett Kern: “I think in a very kind and gracious way I did, yeah!”

Question: “Skill set aside what qualifies the punter to be a holder?”                                                                                   

Brett Kern: “Honestly, for all three of us, I think it’s the mental aspect. Being able to shake off the bad times and being able to stay levelheaded in the good times. The communication we have between the three of us is really, really important! We talk about want we want to do when we go out there. The turf conditions or which way the winds blowing and that will determine how I hold a ball.”

Question: “You and Ryan can identify with the kicking dynamic in this. Does it make you a kicker whisperer?                                                  

Brett Kern: “Understanding kicking and understanding punting and been around so long. Cuz it happens so fast! A field goal happens in 1-point three, 1-point four seconds. A punt, I have 1-point 2-5, 1-point-three seconds to get it with the rush. So ‘hey, is there anything you see technique wise?’’ Little bits of encouragement here or there that kind of helps us out to go to our job.”

Ryan Succop: “In the NFL a lot of these games are decided by seven points or less. So a kick here or there is usually really important in the game and so there’s always that pressure that kind of comes with that and that’s definitely part of playing at this level.”

Question: “When you look at Ryan, you’re taking your cue when he’s ready. Are you reading him in anyway?”                                                 

Brett Kern: “There’s not a lot of people to understand the nerves of certain kicks, the pressure of it! A lot of times he’ll say something before he takes his steps, ‘Lord, give us peace’. And I kind of follow up with – ‘Lord, your will be done’ and just say a little prayer.”

Question:“How do you manage that?”    
Ryan Succop: “One of the Bible versus that I read before every game is and 7, ‘Don’t worry about anything. Let the peace of God, which transcends all understanding; guard your hearts and your minds in Christ. And so, the Lord doesn’t want to be anxious or nervous in situations. He wants us to come to Him. I’m 11 years in and you still get a little bit of those nerves every Sunday, you know when you feel that, we always have that opportunity to connect to the Lord in prayer.”

Question: “Big game, big stage, that demands perfection! How does He give you the grace and the strength to walk through that?”                                                                              

Ryan Succop: “Yeah makes people watch it on TV and how were expected to be perfect, right? I think in some sense that can be stressful to a lot of people, but I think through Christ, you know, we know that we’re only made perfect through Him! Hey, we’re gonna try, we’re gonna give it everything we’ve with the abilities He’s given us got! We’re gonna pour heart and soul into it. And with that being said - I think that allows us to go out and be free and handle some of those perceive stressful situations.”                                        

Question: “Christmas season … Emmanuel … God with Us … empathy … tell me about this relationship and how empathy comes to life in standing with someone in both the big and the small.”

Beau Brinkley: “He’s our brother! I mean for as long as we’ve been together, it’s no accident! These two helped me find my faith! I mean that’s huge! I can’t, I mean I can never repay them for that!

Brett Kern: “Knowing that in this Christmas season, that Christ came to give everybody joy, that can’t be robbed, is something really, really special!
In Ecclesiastes, if someone’s alone as a brother and no one’s there to help him out, what good is it? Being able to do life with these guys -- it’s awesome!”

Ryan Succop: With it being Christmas time, I think that’s something that’s on a lot of our hearts and minds right now and so, we go through stuff just like everybody else does. And I think it’s important to have that empathy and being there for each other and that’s something we’re all real thankful for.”

Beau Brinkley: “Our best games, our worst games, or anything, we’re always going to have each other! Christ is at the center of our relationship, being best friends and we pray before every game. That’s just one of the many things that make us who we are.”

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About The Author

Tom Buehring

Tom currently travels as a National Sports Correspondent for The 700 Club and CBN News. He engages household sports names to consider the faith they’ve discovered within their own unique journey. He has over 30 years of experience as a TV sports anchor, show host, reporter and producer, working commercially at stations in Seattle, Tampa, Nashville and Fayetteville where he developed, launched and hosted numerous nightly and weekly shows and prime-time specials. Prior to his TV market hopping, Tom proposed and built an academic/intern television broadcast program at the University of North