Cleveland Browns: Ranking the most important players since 1999
10. Jamie Meder
Boy, oh, boy was 2016 an odd year for the Cleveland Browns. In addition to stripping the roster down to essentially nothingness, the Browns were fully analytical under the new management of Hue Jackson and Sashi Brown.
It may be hard to remember back this far, but people were ecstatic about the signing of Hue Jackson at the start of 2016. They understood it might be a bad first season under his coaching staff, but no one was expecting what came next.
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As we all know, the Browns started the year 0-14, not to mention going 0-4 in the preseason. It looked as though the impossible might happen, and that the Browns would go 0-16, but Parma’s own Jamie Meder would have none of that.
Christmas came early for the Pierogi Prince of Parma, and for Browns fans as a whole, on December 24, 2016. In the fourth quarter of a game against the San Diego Chargers, Meder hopped up to block a crucial field goal which would have tied the game at 20-20.
Meder’s qualifications for this list live and die by the third criterion. Meder can barely answer to the first qualification. Although this play may define his career, Meder is almost certainly “on the bubble” of the Browns roster heading into 2018.
The second qualification is a bit more legit, as Meder did have a huge impact on the franchise in the moment. But, considering the Browns did go 0-16 just one year later, Meder is not helped by outside factors when facing the second of our criteria.
The third criteria, though, could be huge. If Jamie Meder does not block Josh Lambo’s kick, perhaps the entire course of NFL history changes. Maybe Sashi Brown is fired just after 2016, instead of waiting another (almost) entire year. Maybe Jimmy Haslam fires Hue Jackson, and the Browns go coach-hunting once again.
Most frightening of all, perhaps the Browns now sit at 0-32 for the past two years. Maybe John Dorsey is walking into a team that hasn’t won a football game since 2015. Heck, maybe Dorsey doesn’t come to Cleveland at all.
There are so many different outcomes from a butterfly effect of just this one play. It is entirely possible that Jamie Meder saved Hue Jackson’s job, and for that, he deserves a spot on this list.