Training camp is finally right around the corner.
In just one week, the Browns will be back in Cleveland to begin preparations for 2022. We're gearing up for their return with a comprehensive breakdown of each position on the roster, moving next to a group that is expected to see big improvements after an offseason overhaul.
What we know: The Browns went all in to revamp their special teams after it ranked toward the bottom of the league in several key categories in 2021. New additions include Grant, a 2021 Pro Bowl returner, Bojorquez and Charlton, who each have big legs and will compete for the punting job in training camp, and York, whom the Browns drafted in the fourth round. York's draft position (124th overall) was the highest a kicker had been drafted since 2016, which shows how much confidence the Browns have for him to stabilize a position that's been inconsistent since Phil Dawson played his last season with the Browns in 2012. Every big special teams position has a new player — except for Hughlett, the eight-year long snapper veteran — and should offer the Browns big upgrades.
What we don't know: What kind of impact will York bring? He converted 15 of 19 field goals from 50 or more yards at LSU, and the Browns believe he'll be able to use that power to drive kicks through the uprights in Cleveland when the wind is swirling at FirstEnergy Stadium. The other question is about who will win the punter job, and the Browns have two good candidates in the running. Bojorquez led the league in punting average (50.8) in 2020 and has the two longest punts in the league the last two seasons, while Charlton has averaged 44.3 yards per punt across two NFL seasons. His average was 40.5 yards per punt in six games last year.
The X-Factor: York. The Browns believe he's the long-awaited player they've needed at the position for the last decade. He's confident — and the Browns are confident — that he'll get the job done.
The biggest number: 22. That was the total number of field goals the Browns attempted last season, which ranked last in the league. With a player they believe to be a huge upgrade now at the position, the Browns will likely feel much more inclined to use their field-goal unit at a higher rate.
Says it all: "It's not necessarily trying to eliminate pressure because one of my favorite quotes is 'Pressure is a privilege.' It is just knowing that you are going to have times when you feel pressure, but it is making sure that your body can take over, you go back to muscle memory in those moments and your mind does not take over. It is just doing the best that you can in certain situations to have a certain thought process that allows your body to take over and you do not start having a bunch of negative thoughts." - York after he was drafted on the strength of his mental game
Check out photos of fourth-round rookie K Cade York