Cleveland Browns surprises and disappointments from first quarter of 2019
Surprises – The rookie specialists
The Cleveland Browns did not have many training camp battles, except at the specialist positions. Cleveland had veterans at kicker and punter, but they were overtaken by two rookies who performed well at the end of the preseason. The momentum they gathered at the end of the preseason has continued into the regular season.
There was a lot of concern about Austin Seibert entering the season because of his early struggles during training camp. But he was able to right the ship and is now kicking at a consistent level for the Browns. Seibert has made all seven of his field goals, with a long of 48 yards. He has also connected on his last eight extra point attempts after missing the first of the regular season.
Seibert’s kicks have typically been right down the middle and he is kicking with plenty of confidence. With how well he has kicked, the Browns should be confident they can put him in a variety of situations and he can make the kick.
Jamie Gillan is also having an impressive start to the season, with 11 of his 20 punts being downed inside the 20-yard line. He has also allowed only four returns, helping keep the opposing offense pinned where his punts are landing. Gillan was named the AFC’s Week 2 Special Teams Player of the Week.
Seibert and Gillan knocking off the veteran specialists may have been surprising, but they are showing off their abilities early in the season. There contributions may get lost behind the offense and defense, but they have been productive for the Browns.