Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky
Jeff Fisher rarely spells out who’s to blame in a failed play, a bad series or even an ugly game.
But he’s gone out of his way to make it clear that Rob Bironas’ missed field goal and blocked field goal in Pittsburgh were not Bironas' fault. After a low snap threw him off on his first try, interior penetration let to a block of his second attempt before Bironas connected on his third try.
This from Jim Wyatt and Gary Estwick in a Friday morning notebook:
Behind Bironas: Fisher made it clear he's not blaming Rob Bironas for any problems in the kicking game against the Steelers.
Bironas missed a 37-yard field goal attempt and had a 31-yard try blocked.
"Rob didn't miss any field goals,'' Fisher said. "The snap was bad and we got one blocked.
"So I am not placing the blame on Rob, those were team errors.''
According to Fisher, the errant snap by Ken Amato threw off the kicker's timing on the missed attempt.
"With a halfway decent snap Rob would've made it," Fisher said.
Why aim the blame yet again at Amato?
One theory: The team doesn’t want Bironas thinking too much, and any sort of public acknowledgment that he could be slumping could serve to make it worse.
I wrote this earlier this week when I put a down arrow on Bironas in my AFC South Stock Watch:
He’s two for his last six field goal attempts over his last three games, and while misses from 51 yards (in the playoff loss to Baltimore) and 48 (in the meaningless regular season finale at Indianapolis) were hardly Cardinal sins, it’s fair to wonder if there is a trend emerging.
That’s certainly not anything the Titans want Bironas thinking about as he prepares to face a team he once his an NFL-record eight field goals against. They want him just to run on the field and kick. That’s when he’s at his best. One short- or mid-range opportunity early in against the Texans could help get him and the field goal unit on track. A wet field and a rainy day could make things more difficult.