NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Brett Kern is a good punter and a terrible actor.
Early in the Tennessee Titans' training camp practice Monday, coach Mike Mularkey asked Kern to fake an injury and drop out when the Titans got to their first field-goal attempt. Mularkey wanted to see how the team reacted to the holder bowing out.
Matt Cassel, the backup holder, answered the call, stepping right into position. Ryan Succop, the kicker, did not, clanging his first attempt from 40-plus yards off the left upright and missing the second. He hit the next after Kern returned.
Mularkey crushed Kern’s injury acting.
“He was bad. I couldn’t do anything about it. I couldn’t say, 'Brett, that’s bad.' But it was bad,” Mularkey said. “I mean, I asked him to play it up, but he went too far over playing it up. It was a cramp.”
It looked far worse.
And the team’s director of sports medicine, Todd Toriscelli, was not in on it.
“I was told to get a cramp, but the way the angle was, some of the guys thought I dislocated my foot,” Kern said. “They came over, 'Are you all right, are you OK?'
"Todd came over and I told him I was faking it, and he was upset with me for faking it because he didn’t understand why.
“Coach has my back.”
And a strong acting critique.