Anyone that’s a fan of the Cleveland Browns knows they’ve had issues the last few seasons with kickers.
The 2021-22 NFL season saw their field goal unit miss six FGs, giving them a 72.7% success rate on FG attempts.
However, the Browns feel they can fix this with placekicker Cade York.
The product from LSU was taken by the Browns in the fourth-round of this year’s draft.
This pick makes him the highest draft pick on a kicker since 2016, when Roberto Aguayo went in the second-round.
With draft picks at a premium in Cleveland, and a need for a kicker, the team thought this was the right move.
However, if things go wrong, it’s on special teams coordinator Mike Priefer.
So why is York’s performance in 2022 weighing on the job of Priefer this season?
Field Goal Issues Haven’t Gotten Better Under Priefer
Since coming to Cleveland in 2019 as their special teams’ coordinator, field goal issues have had an interesting ride.
During the 2018-19 season, before Priefer took over, the Browns were 76% on FGs made and 82.4% on extra points.
— Marcelo Fujimoto (@celocelo1) September 16, 2018
The problems at kicker would lead the Browns to make changes the following season.
However, the first season Priefer came in, he showed the team improvement with their kickers.
The Browns went to 86.2% on FGs made and 85.7% on extra points.
While the extra points being missed were improving, the field goal attempts made would get worse after 2019.
The 2020-21 season would see that number drop to 79.2% and then 72.7% during the 2021-22 season.
With York being perfect during his last two seasons with extra points, and solid with field goals, they are hoping to see improvements with him on the team.
However, is he the answer Priefer needs to save his job in 2022?
Instability At Kicker Had Been A Plague In Cleveland
Last season would show that the Browns need someone stable as their kicker.
Late in the season, there were still questions about who was getting the starting kicking job.
It came down to Chase McLaughlin, Chris Naggar and Chris Blewitt.
#Browns Kevin Stefanski said they'll see how practice goes before declaring a starting kicker with Chase McLaughlin, Chris Naggar and Chris Blewitt all on the roster.
— Camryn Justice (@camijustice) December 30, 2021
With three people competing for the job, and late into the season, it shows how there’s instability in Cleveland.
However, the plague of instability is hopefully over with York on the roster.
His college career saw him ending with a 97.6% success rate on extra points over three years.
He also was 81.8% on field goals in those three years with LSU.
If he can bring his college performance over into the NFL, that means Cleveland could finally have a permanent kicker.
Is York Ready For The NFL?
The numbers only tell half the story with York.
He comes to Cleveland as the guy they need in 2022 to be a clutch kicker.
However, is he ready to be that guy?
The numbers say he can, as he’s 15-of-19 when kicking field goals of 50 yards or more.
But it’s his mental toughness that will tell if he’s ready.
When you can play in big games like he did at LSU, the mental toughness is there.
So Browns fans, say hello to the kicker you’ve always wanted in Cade York.