The Cleveland Browns will use only one kicker, rookie
After rotating the kickoffs, field-goal attempts and extra-point tries with 14-year veteran
“It’s a great opportunity,” Bogotay said. “I’m extremely excited. It’s what I’ve been working for, for a while, and I’m ready to get out there and let it loose.
“My goal, when I get out there, is to make the kick, and once I make that kick, move onto the next one and prepare myself for the next one. I’m not worried about clearing it by a certain amount of distance or showing off a big leg. I just want to put three points on the board for the team.”
Bogotay spent the offseason and all of training camp competing with Graham. Often, they would have a six-kick duel to see who would kick with the first-team offense during two-minute drills at the end of practice.
“It’s a pretty tight competition,” Browns coach Rob Chudzinski said. “It’s a day-to-day thing. We want to give (Brandon) an opportunity to be put him in a situation where he has to kick them all.”
Bogotay was known as a kickoff specialist during his college career at the University of Georgia. While with the Bulldogs, Bogotay backed up Blair Walsh, who spent last year with the Minnesota Vikings and earned a Pro-Bowl invitation as a rookie.
But on Thursday, he will handle all of the Browns’ kicking duties.
“It’ll be him going through that process of him playing a whole game,” Chudzinski said. “Doing the kickoffs, do the extra points, do the field goals, having to turn around and be ready for when certain situations come up, (it) gives him a chance to show he can handle that.”
In the Browns’ preseason opener, a 27-19 win over the Rams, Bogotay converted a 25-yard field goal, but later missed on a 54-yard attempt. Although he had the miss, Bogotay felt it was the good first step in figuring out the intricacies of kicking in Cleveland.
“It was just good to get out there and build up a rhythm,” Bogotay said. “I had the 54-yarder and led it just a little left, but it was a good learning lesson. There’s a little bit of a left wind going into the ‘Dawg Pound’ that I’ll adjust for next time. That’s why we try to get there as much as we can, to figure out how the wind blows, how it affects the balls at certain points now, and get it ironed out so that when the season comes around, we know how to play each kick and adjust for the wind.
“I had a little bit of butterflies before the game, but I think once you start warming up and going through the routine, you kind of settle down a little bit. I felt comfortable, and we have great fans, which makes it a lot easier.”