Head coach Kevin Stefanski kept his response short when he was asked Wednesday if he had any concern about rookie K Cade York's confidence after he missed two kicks, including a game-winner, last week against the Chargers.
"No," he said. "I don't."
Special teams coordinator Mike Priefer echoed the same message Thursday about York, who couldn't recall in his postgame interview Sunday ever missing two kicks in the same game.
"He will be just fine," Priefer said. "He's a very talented young man, as you guys know. He has stood up big for us before, and he will again in the future."
Priefer's confidence in York stems from what he's done before Week 5 — no one with the Browns has forgotten about the 58-yard game winner he nailed in the final seconds of Week 1 against the Panthers. Since then, he's nailed three attempts from inside 40 yards and has gone 1-for-3 on kicks beyond 40 yards. He hit a 45-yarder against the Falcons before mis-hits against the Chargers from 45 and 54 yards, the latter of which was the game-winning attempt. He's also gone 13-of-15 on extra-point attempts.
York's 54-yard miss against the Chargers narrowly missed to the right of the goalposts but still had plenty of power. The kick, of course, was a failure because it didn't go in, but Priefer thought York still hit the ball square.
"He hit (it) very well," Priefer said. "It had followed his line. His line was just a little bit too far to the right. I thought he hit the ball well there."
Tweaking a line is far easier than fixing a mechanical issue, which is why Priefer believes York should bounce back.
York, of course, is still quite young at 21 years old and was never realistically expected to enter the NFL nailing every kick, and Priefer thinks a bad game could actually be used as a stepping stone to build more confidence if York is able to rebound Sunday against the Patriots.
"I will never use an excuse of youth because he is young, but when you go through something like this as a young player, I think it shows his intestinal fortitude coming back from this and seeing how he reacts," Priefer said, "and I have a lot of confidence in Cade York."
Check out photos of players and coaches working to prepare for the teams regular season game against the New England Patriots
Browns prep for 2 QBs
The Patriots have yet to announce if they'll start rookie Bailey Zappe or Mac Jones at QB, so the Browns have spent the week preparing for both of them.
Zappe, a fourth-round rookie from Western Kentucky, has started the last two games for New England after Jones suffered an ankle injury in Week 3. Jones was limited in practices this week.
"It's difficult, but at the same time, we've obviously been able to go against Mac Jones and some tendencies that he has," CB Greg Newsome II said. "Also, with Bailey, with the Patriots, they are going to run that set of offense no matter what. Obviously, different quarterbacks are going to do different things, but I feel like the offense is pretty much set to do the same thing no matter what quarterback. There might be a few changes, but I wouldn't say too many."
Defensive coordinator Joe Woods said the Browns still haven't decided on whether newly-acquired LB Deion Jones will play Sunday against the Patriots.
Jones was acquired in a trade Monday and practiced with the team for the first time Wednesday. He hasn't played in a game this season due to offseason shoulder surgery, but it appears the biggest factor in playing Sunday will depend on how fast he's able to master the defensive playbook and terminology.
"It's really day to day," Woods said. "We know he understands the scheme, but it's the terminology and it's getting the reps. We're going to take it day by day and make a decision at the end of the week."