Greg Joseph didn’t know what to expect when he joined the Titans in December. At the time, the Titans had already been through four kickers, and Joseph was moving into a hotel room in a city he’d never been to in his life. He was also faced with learning a bunch of new teammates and coaches, knowing there was a chance he’d kick in just two regular season games before packing his bags and returning home for the offseason.
Plenty transpired, of course. Joseph ended up making every kick he attempted, he moved from the hotel room and into a teammate’s basement, he quickly developed chemistry with the team’s specialists, and he played in three playoff games, including the AFC Championship Game.
Joseph, well, got a kick out of it all. “It was a heck of a ride,” he said. Now, Joseph plans to do everything in his power to stick around long-term.
“When the season ended, they just kind of conveyed the message: We love what you did here,” Joseph said. “And I told them: I want to be the guy. This is where I want to be, and I am going to bust my butt all offseason to make that happen.”
After signing with the Titans on December 18th off of Carolina’s practice squad, Joseph played in the team’s final two regular season games in 2019 and made all nine of his extra point attempts. Joseph then appeared in all three of the team’s postseason games, and he made good on his lone field goal attempt in the AFC Championship Game vs the Chiefs while connecting on all nine of his postseason extra point attempts.
In all, Joseph was a perfect 18-of-18 on PATs, in addition to his 30-yard field goal. Joseph also handled 25 kickoffs (with 11 touchbacks and 13 into the endzone) in the five pressure-packed games for the Titans.
Joseph, who played collegiately at Florida Atlantic, kicked in 14 games with the Cleveland Browns in 2018. Prior to signing Joseph in December, kickers Ryan Succop, Cairo Santos, Cody Parkey, and Ryan Santoso all kicked for the Titans during the 2019 season.
“Greg definitely has the demeanor of a great kicker in the NFL,” Titans punter/holder Brett Kern said of Joseph. “He’s very level-headed. If he makes a kick, it is kind of the same reaction as when he misses one. He never gets really too high or too low or too hard on himself. I am excited for the opportunity that he has. He did great for us last year, especially coming in at the end of the when it is cold and not the easiest to kick the football. And he did great in our playoff games. He is a great guy and I am excited to be able to continue to work with him.”
Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, Joseph began kicking a soccer ball around the time he first started walking. He continued playing the sport after moving to the United States when he was seven, but he also started playing football when he was in high school at American Heritage School in Delray Beach, Florida.
Joseph spent four seasons at Florida Atlantic, and he finished his career hitting 165-of-170 extra point attempts (97.1 percent) and 57-of-82 field goal attempts (69.5 percent).
In his first NFL season, Joseph hit 17-of-20 field goal attempts, including 11 for 11 inside of 40 yards and one from plus-50 yards in 2018 with the Browns, but he was waived in August of 2019, which eventually led him on his path to Carolina, and finally Nashville.
Joseph said the Titans made him feel at home at the end of last season. In fact, Kern welcomed Joseph into his own home for several weeks at the end of the season. He stayed in a bedroom in the basement of Kern’s house, sharing the home with Kern and his wife, and the couple’s three children.
“That definitely made me feel more at home and more comfortable on a new team,” Joseph said. “Brett and the entire Kern family, they were amazing to me and I’ll never forget it. His family is awesome, his kids are awesome, and I got to know Brett a lot better. I was the entertainment for the kids. I was throwing a football with his son, reading books and doing puzzles with his daughters. … We played ping pong, foosball, we played in the snow. It really did make me feel like I was a part of the family and I’ll always appreciate it.”
On the rides to and from work, Kern also got plenty of chances to razz Joseph about a line from his first gathering with media in Nashville after joining the team, when Joseph said, “I am not here to assert my dominance or anything. I am here to be Greg Joseph.”
Some folks got a kick out of his choice of words, including the crew on 104.5-FM’s “3HL.”
“Brett’s buddies with a lot of the radio guys, and whenever they’d mention it, he’d die laughing – he thought it was hilarious,” Joseph said. “It was funny to me, too. Hey, I don’t mind if people have a laugh at my expense. I thought it was funny how funny Brett thought it was.”
Joseph is serious about putting in the work to earn his spot back, and to keep it.
During the offseason, Joseph has worked back on campus at Florida Atlantic University, and he’s had kicking sessions with other specialists in Jupiter, Florida. He’s also spent some time working in Nashville with Kern and long snapper Beau Brinkley.
The Titans didn’t pick a kicker in the NFL Draft, and right now Joseph and former Missouri kicker Tucker McCann are the only two kickers on the team’s roster. McCann, signed by the Titans as an undrafted free agent, was 16-for-22 on field goals (with a long of 52) and 34-for-37 on extra points at Missouri in 2019.
“I loved being there at the end of last season,” Joseph said of the Titans. “Brett and Beau were amazing to me throughout the year, and they made me feel at home right away. The entire team – coaches and my teammates – were great to me. Hopefully we can build on that in the future.
“The way I look at it, I am in a competition every year, and I just have to focus on myself to become the best kicker I can be. I want to put them in between the uprights on every kick and do everything I can to help the team. I want to be with the Titans, and I am going to work and do everything I can possibly do to make it happen. I am excited about what’s ahead and looking forward to the season.”