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Why the Browns are sticking behind new K Cody Parkey

If there were any doubt surrounding the Browns' confidence in kicker Cody Parkey, special teams coordinator Chris Tabor put an end to it Friday morning.

"He has had a really good week. He really has. I am excited for him to go into this game and have a lot of confidence in him," Tabor said.

"To be honest with you, selfishly, I hope the game comes down to a game-winning field goal because I believe when we trot him out there that he will make it. I really do. He has had a great week of practice."

Parkey, whom the Browns brought in to replace an injured Patrick Murray, signed the morning before Sunday's overtime loss to the Dolphins.

In Miami, Parkey — who made the Pro Bowl in 2014 with the Eagles before injuries sidelined him last season — struggled to shake off almost a year's worth of rust, making 3-of-6 field goals and missing a potential game-winner from 48 yards out. 

The Browns, though, have stood firmly behind the 24-year-old from Jupiter, Florida. Head coach Hue Jackson expressed confidence in Parkey and empathy for his plight over the weekend.

"That's a tough job. I challenge any of us to come in here on a flight late Friday night, wake up and meet the coach for a second and then get on another flight and head to Miami and not know really a lot of your teammates but some and walk out and kick in pregame and then go kick in a game where you attempt (six) of these field goals – not two, not one but (six); that's a lot of pressure – and then here is a game-winner hitting you right in the face," Jackson said.

"I can't put that on him. That is a tough situation. Everybody says, 'Well, that is the kicker's job.' It is his job, but normally, a guy has a job, he has been around his employer a little bit and he has been around his teammates a little bit. It was tough. It was tough circumstances. It is unfortunate. If he would have made it, we would be celebrating right now, but he didn't.

"It's unfair just to dump it all on him. There are a whole bunch of other plays we left out there with some guys that have been here since OTAs since I first met them way back when that we could have made. There is blame to go all the way around, starting with me. It starts with me and ends with me so we have to get better."

Tabor said Parkey's not an "excuse-maker."

"The guy has been to a Pro Bowl. He is an excellent, excellent kicker. Tough circumstances for him. Those things can be tough because you are thinking snap, hold and kick, getting the rhythm, when is the ball coming out, when do I approach the ball and still striking it the way that you want to," he said. "It has obviously been nice to have this week to iron all those things out. What I have seen from him this week is the Cody Parkey that we know and watched on tape."

Indeed, Parkey made 32-of-36 attempts in 2014, including a long of 54 yards. He also connected on all 62 extra point attempts.

"In this league, you don't go to a Pro Bowl and hit the ball the way that this kids does [if you aren't]," Tabor said, adding Parkey was impressive on kickoffs. "It was tough circumstances, and he will be the first to tell you that he is ready to jump back on the horse again and go. I'm excited to watch him this weekend."

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