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AP: Titans tell (former Skin) Kimrin the kicking job is his to lose


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Titans tell Kimrin the kicking job is his to lose


NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Ola Kimrin knows he has a strong enough leg to kick in the NFL. The second Swede to play in the NFL now has his best chance so far to earn a roster spot.

The Tennessee Titans signed Kimrin in February to a one-year contract and the team promised to bring in other kickers for competition, but this job is his to lose.

"He's going to have to kick under pressure, and that goes beyond out here on the practice field," coach Jeff Fisher said.

"He's done very well for us, but he's going to have to kick and make kicks in the preseason in a competitive situation. Then, of course, we're also looking for the kickoffs. We have to get the ball up in the air and deep down the field."

The Titans have looked at a couple of Arena Football League players for the position, but Kimrin is the only kicker signed. He isn't taking anything for granted.

"Anything can happen in this league, but it's good," Kimrin said. "I'm glad I was the first one in. That might give me an edge maybe. It all comes down to how straight you kick them."

The 33-year-old Kimrin is living a story that almost sounds too good to be true.

He had played only soccer until he tore an ACL in one of his knees in 1991. Some of his friends talked him into trying to kick a football after he recovered.

Kimrin walked on at Texas-El Paso and handled kickoffs for the Miners. He has played three seasons in NFL Europe and went to training camp with Denver, Dallas and most recently Washington.

Kimrin kicked a 65-yard field goal in the final exhibition in 2002 -- 2 yards longer than the NFL record held by Tom Dempsey and Jason Elam -- but didn't get a job with the Broncos because Denver already had Elam, who had cheered him from the sideline.

Finally, Kimrin became only the second Swedish-born player to play in the NFL last season when he replaced John Hall with the Washington Redskins. Before Kimrin was Bjorn Nittmo, who played six games with the New York Giants in 1989.

Kimrin went 6-for-10 on field goals last season with Washington. But visa problems kept him from finishing the season when an injury ended Hall's season, and Kimrin wound up signing with the Georgia Force in the Arena Football League only to be waived in January.

Then the Titans came calling for the services of the 6-foot-3, 230-pound kicker. The franchise loves dependability in a kicker and has only had three since relocating from Houston in 1997.

Al Del Greco left after a playoff loss in January 2001, Joe Nedney was released in February after missing the past two seasons with injuries and Gary Anderson, the NFL's career leading scorer who filled in for Nedney the past two seasons, was ready to return to retirement and his fly fishing business in Canada.

Kimrin had been hoping that someone would at least bring him in for training camp as he tries to keep alive his NFL dream.

"This worked out great. Already signed in February, and here now working out. It's fun," he said.

Kimrin has been busy working out with the special teams coach Alan Lowry, holder/punter Craig Hentrich and snapper Ken Amato. He works on kickoffs on Mondays with field goals on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

But Kimrin isn't getting too settled in. He and his wife are staying in an extended stay hotel and his family back home in Malmo, Sweden, keep learning about American-style football. Meanwhile, he works on improving his accuracy.

"If you can kick it straight, if you just get into this league, you can stick around," Kimrin said.

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Kimrin will lose the job in camp when the Titans bring in Remy Hamilton of the Los Angeles Avengers. The Titans have invited him down several times, and after the Arena season he is scheduled to go compete for the job.

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Originally posted by Joe Sick

I saw a kicker in NFL Europe who looked like he had some skills. Last name was France. I believe he was allocated by Tampa Bay.

Nice high kickoffs. Drilled a 40+ and a 54 yarder.

todd france, i think... he was on the giants for some time last year

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Originally posted by carter23

todd france, i think... he was on the giants for some time last year

That's him.

According to...


He is 14-14 PATs, 22-29 FGs, with a long of 54. He leads the league in kicking.

I just want a kicker that can put it in the endzone sometimes on kickoffs.

If Hall returns to form, he should be the man, but it never hurts to have plans.

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