Jim Wyatt, SENIOR WRITER/EDITOR
ORLANDO, Florida – Titans punter Brett Kern regularly faces pressure on the football field.
On Sundays, he’s the man in charge of changing field position, and pinning opponents down close to their goal line. Part of his job description requires him to kick a football with grown men running right at him.
But how’s this for pressure: Kern’s six-year-old daughter Anelle saved her hotel key from last year’s trip to the Pro Bowl, and she’s had her heart set on coming back to the land of Minnie and Mickey Mouse.
“She kept saying to me, ‘We’re going back, daddy. We’re going back, daddy, right?’,” Kern said on Thursday. “I kept saying, ‘Daddy’s trying. Daddy’s trying.’”
It took Kern 10 years to get to his first Pro Bowl, and after making it in 2017, he’s back again this year. Kern once again delivered for the Titans in 2018 – and he once again delivered for his family.
After practice on Thursday, Anelle was counting the hours to another trip to the Magic Kingdom, while nine-year-old son Bryce was conducting interviews for a video piece for Titans Online. Already Bryce has collected autographs from countless Pro Bowlers, and spent his days playing catch on the Pro Bowl fields. Two-year-old daughter Quinn remains a ball of energy for Kern and his wife, Tiffany.
“We are just enjoying everything,” Kern said. “To be back here again, it is special, and the family is excited. It is an awesome experience.”
In earning his second straight Pro Bowl trip, Kern averaged 47.1 yards a punt in 2018, including a 41.7-yard net. He pinned 39 punts down inside the 20.
It followed up a year when Kern led the NFL in punting average (49.7) and net average (44.6). Kern owns the top six net punting seasons in franchise history.
An 11-year veteran, Kern is the longest tenured Titan.
He’s punted for five different head coaches in Tennessee – Jeff Fisher, Mike Munchak, Ken Whisenhunt, Mike Mularkey and now Mike Vrabel.
“I am blessed to be able to make it through that many coaches, and to be in one city for a long time,” said Kern, who joined the Titans in 2009 after beginning his career in Denver. “I never take it for granted. Being cut from Denver, it was not a great feeling and I know it can happen at any time if you are not performing.
“I am just grateful for every opportunity I get to play, and to be a Titan.”