Browns to Workout Former Packers Starter as Possible Replacement

Getty Images Former Green Bay Punter JK Scott, left.

The Cleveland Browns are set to work out former Green Bay Packers punter next week, a sign that they could be looking to move on from Jamie Gillan.

Scott is a former Alabama standout and spent three seasons in Green Bay as their primary punter and also did some work on kickoffs. He has averaged 44.6 yards per punt in his career and holds the Alabama record for career punting average at 45.6 yards per punt.

This week could be Gillan’s last week to prove himself after struggling mightily to start the year. He is near the bottom of the board in nearly every punting metric, some by far. His average punt is 41.8 yards, which is the second-worst figure in the league.

Pro Football Focus has him ranked as the 26th punter with a below-average grade of 54.3. Gillan also made some questionable decisions when faced with pressure, including an especially costly mistake in Week 1 against the Chiefs.

Browns skipper Kevin Stefanski was pretty straightforward when asked about Gillan and his struggle to flip to the field.

“Obviously, we want to punt better – that is no surprise,” Stefanski told reporters on Monday, October 11. “He needs to be better, and he knows that.”

Gillan Won Punting Job as a Rookie

Gillan won the job as an undrafted rookie 2019, beating out veteran incumbent Britton Colquitt. However, he hasn’t evolved his game much, although he’s probably one of the fittest punters in the NFL.

He finished his first season with 63 punts for 2,913 yards, an average of 46.2 yards per kick. He had just five touchbacks and landed 28 inside the 20-yard line. He also boomed a highlight reel long punt of 71 yards and was selected to the 2019 Pro Football Writers Association All-Rookie Team.

His average fell more than two yards last year and now sits nearly five yards off the number from his rookie season.

Kicker Chase McLaughlin Has Earned His Spot

Mike Priefer: "You learn from it and you move on"Special Teams Coordinator Mike Priefer addresses the media before practice on October 14th, 2021. #BrownsMedia #PressConference2021-10-14T17:15:55Z

While Gillan has struggled, kicker Chase McLaughlin has been a huge addition for the Browns. He’s perfect this season booting the ball, making all of his extra points and field goals, giving the Browns a reliable leg they have not had in the past. That includes a career-long 57 yarder against the Bears in Week 3.

“We knew about him because I went and worked him out at Illinois when he came out three years ago. I knew he was good. He had a good college career. I did not think his leg was quite strong enough back then,” Browns special teams coordinator Mike Priefer told reporters on October 14. “He has gotten stronger and then obviously he has always been on our list. We had that workout, and he came and had a really good workout. We signed him to compete against Cody [Parkey], and he has done a nice job. He won the job, and so far, so good.”

The Browns will need their special teams clicking on Sunday against the Cardinals, who are unbeaten this season. Cleveland is a 3.5-point favorite for the matchup.

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