Dawson, Pontbriand lament kick

Posted Nov 13, 2011

CLEVELAND -- Browns kicker Phil Dawson and long snapper Ryan Pontbriand discussed the missed 22-yard field goal after Sunday’s 13-12 loss to the St. Louis Rams at Cleveland Browns Stadium.

CLEVELAND -- No one will ever hear Phil Dawson use the phrase “chip shot” to describe a kick.

Dawson made four field goals on Sunday, but after the 13-12 loss to the St. Louis Rams at Cleveland Browns Stadium, it was a 22-yard attempt he did not make that drew the bulk of the questions following the setback, which dropped the Browns to 3-6 on the year.

“It’s not about how many you made; it’s about how many you missed,” Dawson said. “That’s the job. I’m not complaining about it. We had a chance to win the game today, but we didn’t. I’m not going to get historical. I just know today stunk.”

On fourth-and-goal from St. Louis’ four yard line, Dawson lined up like he did for the other kicks, but something happened before the ball was ever placed down for the attempt.

As long snapper Ryan Pontbriand released the ball, it caromed off the foot of Alex Mack and rolled toward holder Brad Maynard. Maynard was able to scoop the ball up and place it down for the kick, but Dawson’s attempt sailed wide left.

St. Louis called five plays after taking over and ran off the final minutes.

“It’s on me and unfortunately, it came at a very inopportune time and I pretty much cost the team the victory,” Pontbriand said. “It’s pretty tough to handle. From my point of view, everything was normal. The ball came out, but as soon as it came out, I knew something was wrong. It just looked like a snap I’ve never snapped before.”

Pontbriand was not consoled by the thought of the ball hitting Mack’s leg.

“If that’s the case, I still don’t feel any better about it,” he said. “I can play better than that and it should never come close.”

Dawson, who has teamed up with Pontbriand since 2003, has seen his long snapper go to consecutive Pro Bowls in 2007 and 2008. He was not surprised by Pontbriand’s willingness to accept responsibility for the snap.

“Ryan tries to be the best and that is why there is no one that I would rather have snapping to me than him,” Dawson said. “Nobody works harder at it than he does. It takes quite a guy to step up when we are not really sure what happened yet. For him to step up and say that, it shows what a guy he is.”

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