Browns Could Have Unexpected Position Battle Brewing

Getty Browns kicker Austin Seibert.

The Cleveland Browns brought in four kickers for tryouts on Wednesday and could be looking to create a heated competition in camp.

Austin Seibert is the incumbent kicker on the Browns roster, but was less than stellar last season as a rookie. Seibert — fifth-round pick — was 25-for-29 on field goal attempts last season and 30-for-35 on extra points.

All the kickers the Browns tried out have some kind of NFL experience. Nick Folk, Kai Forbath and Cody Parkey are veteran names, while Matthew McCrane hasn’t made a field goal since 2018 in the NFL.

Parkey is likely the most notable name for Browns fans, having spent some time in Cleveland previously. He played in 14 games for the Browns in 2016, making 20-of-25 field goals and all but one extra point.

Folk is 35 years old and has played for four different teams. He last kicked for the Patriots last season, making 14 of 17 field goals.

Kai Forbath has bounced around the league as well, playing for seven different teams. Like Folk, he also had a spot with New England last season, but lasted just one game. He made his only field goal attempt, but missed an extra point.

Seibert is currently the only kicker on the roster. The move could just be to give the Browns some added depth in case something were the happen.

Browns Punter Jamie Gillan Misses Practice

VideoVideo related to browns could have unexpected position battle brewing2020-08-20T03:23:54-04:00

The Browns were missing fan-favorite punter Jamie Gillan on Wednesday, with the Scottish Hammer suffering from an undisclosed illness.

Gillan won the punting job in camp last year as an undrafted free agent, beating out veteran Britton Colquitt. He appeared in all 16 games last season and set a Browns single-season net punting record with a 41.6 average and finished tied for fifth in club history with 28 punts inside the 20.

Gillan was one of the Browns players to test positive for COVID-19 during pre-camp testing, but has been clear for quite some time. There’s no reason to believe his absence on Wednesday was associated of that.

“I thought I was just tired (after July 4th weekend),’’ Gillan told NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. “I went and punted and kicked. I had two days of symptoms where I was achy and had a fever. The third day I had no fever or symptoms. I found out July 9th I had it. I did approximately two weeks of quarantine from the 9th and then went back to living normally. I tested positive for antibodies (Tuesday). Then yesterday, somehow, I test positive. I feel great as it’s been almost a month since I initially tested positive. Remember, we’re all in this together. Wear a mask.”

Browns Confident in Austin Seibert, Jamie Gillan

One of the few holdovers in the coaching staff was special teams coordinator Mike Priefer. He had some high praise for both Gillan and Seibert, but knows they can be better.

“The thing I’ve told them is they’ve made a big mistake,” Priefer said. “You have proved you can do it and now we’re going to expect you to do it more often and be more consistent and be more productive. We left some points on the field with Austin and we left some big plays on the field with our punter. The good thing is they’ve made enough plays to encourage you to say, you know what, they can do it. It’s there. It’s in them.”

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