It’s officially hammer time in Cleveland.
The Browns informed rookie punter Jamie Gillan that he won the battle for the starting punting job with the team on Saturday, edging out Pro Bowl alternate and veteran Britton Colquitt, who had been booting the ball for the Browns since 2016.
NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero first reported the news.
Gillian is nicknamed the “Scottish Hammer” and has quickly become a fan favorite in Cleveland. He had a relaxed approach when talking about cut day earlier this week.
“I’m not nervous about anything. I don’t know many people who can say they’ve gone through four NFL games. I’ve had a fantastic time,” Gillan told Cleveland.com following the Browns preseason finale against the Lions. “I’ve learned so much. I can only be thankful to the Browns, and I will be whatever happens. It’s a cutthroat business. You can be an incredible player, you still get cut. You never know what’s going to happen.”
Jamie Gillan is a Raw Talent with High-Upside for Browns
Gillian earned his reputation as a powerful specialist at Arkansas Pine-Bluff. His tape from his time with the Golden Lions earned him an undrafted free agent deal with the Browns.
During his college career, Gillan made 38-of-62 of his field goal attempts and his long was 52 yards. Gillan has already shown off his leg punting the ball, nailing a 74-yard monster against the Colts.
Gillan earned a spot in Browns fans hearts with his demeanor and the way he plays on the field. Against the Lions, Gillan showed off some of his tackling skills, proving that he won’t be a liability as the last line of defense.
He also boomed a 60-yard field goal in practice, which shocked head coach Freddie Kitchens.
“If he is out there kicking 60 yarders, hell, he may get a chance,” Kitchens said with a laugh. “When all of the guys were coming out, I know we all looked at him as a punter, but things change. It may have changed today. I don’t know. Hopefully they have it on video.”
Fortunately, there was video. Here it is.
Here’s what Browns special teams coordinator Mike Priefer had to say about the competition at punter during camp, signaling that going with Gillan could be about seeing the upside.
“Britton is going to be the steady Eddie. He is going to give you the 48 yards, 4.8 hang time, outside the numbers,” Priefer said. “Jamie is going to wow you. Jamie is the guy that is going to bomb the ball. Unfortunately, the next time he is up there he does not hit one quite as well. He needs to find consistency.”
Browns Set to Role With Pair of Rookie Specialists
The Browns will likely end up rolling with both a pair of rookie specialist in Gillan at punter and Austin Seibert at kicker.
Seibert had a tough start to camp, but came on strong late, going 5 for 5 over the final two games of the Browns’ preseason slate to earn a leg up in the kicking job. A 54-yard bomb against Tampa Bay was by far his highlight of the preseason.
“I wouldn’t say it was a turning point, but it was definitely awesome hitting that [54-yarder],’’ Seibert told Cleveland.com said. “But like I said, I treat every kick like a 54-yarder. An extra point, it’s the same swing, same ball, you’re not trying to go out there and kill it. You’re just going out there to put it through the pole.’’
The Browns selected Seibert — the NCAA’s all-time leading scorer — in the fifth round of this year’s draft. If the Browns do go with Seibert, that would mean incumbent Greg Joseph would be sent packing.
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