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Former Bull Bonani competing for Titans kicking job

NASHVILLE — Maikon Bonani knows all about second chances.

The former USF kicker is back with the Titans for a second year with the job open. And if kicking in a preseason game counts, he's the only guy in Tennessee's camp with NFL experience.

Bonani believes an accident in July 2009 while he was working a summer job at Busch Gardens — which cost him a season with the Bulls — gave him this opportunity to win the job of a lifetime.

"I came here last year to get an experience, and now I'm back," Bonani said. "Things seem to be fitting into place. God works in mysterious ways. I just trust him."

Before his sophomore season at USF, the Brazil native got caught checking a door lock on a gondola at the theme park. He held on just long enough to land on grass and not concrete, but the fall of 35 feet left him with a broken vertebra.

That accident extended his college career through 2012. Signed by the Titans in May 2013 to share duties with veteran Rob Bironas in training camp, Bonani was cut in August then signed by the Titans again in January.

Bonani thought he again would compete with Bironas, who had a year left on his contract and ranked as the fourth-most accurate kicker in NFL history. But the Titans unexpectedly cut Bironas in March. The only kickers in training camp are Bonani and undrafted rookie Travis Coons of Washington.

"You're competing against everyone that's active in the NFL," Bonani said. "You're competing against guys on other teams. I believe that when they cut Rob, it was a decision that they made, and I believe by bringing me back they have faith in me, which speaks a lot, and that gives me confidence to do the job."

Bonani tried only two field goals last preseason, hitting a 26-yarder and missing from 47. After being released, he stayed in shape and worked part-time as a personal trainer in Florida.

Coach Ken Whisenhunt said he's only worried about seeing Bonani and Coons kick in preseason games.

"I feel good about us having a kicker that we're going to feel comfortable with when the season starts," Whisenhunt said.

Browns: Receiver Josh Gordon met with league officials in New York for 10 hours for his appeal hearing before the sides decided to stop. The Associated Press reported that the sides will meet again Monday concerning his positive test for marijuana. Gordon's lawyer, Maurice Suh, contends his client tested positive because of secondhand smoke.

Chiefs: Defensive back Sanders Commings was home a day after surgery on a fractured fibula. All-Pro safety Eric Berry (right heel) sat out, but was walking without a noticeable limp.

Eagles: Former Florida and Clearwater Central Catholic receiver Riley Cooper was wearing a walking boot but coach Chip Kelly said it was a minor injury and that Cooper was only expected to miss a few days.

Redskins: Receiver Jerry Rice Jr., an undrafted free agent and son of the Hall of Famer, is out for the season with a torn labrum in his left shoulder.

Steelers: Shaun Suisham, the most accurate kicker in team history, signed a four-year extension through the 2018 season.

Former Bull Bonani competing for Titans kicking job 08/01/14 [Last modified: Friday, August 1, 2014 11:43pm]
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