Cleveland Browns: Three team MVP’s through first quarter of season
Special Teams MVP – Austin Seibert
Perhaps the biggest question coming into the 2019 season for the Browns was the kicking situation. The special teams unit as a whole was a mess under former head coach Hue Jackson and wasn’t much better after his firing.
That was something that was addressed early on in the off-season by the front office and coaching staff, as they acquired a new kicker and punter in attempts to solidify those positions for the foreseeable future.
Both fifth-round draft pick Austin Seibert, a well-respected kicker from the Oklahoma Sooners, and Jamie Gillan, an undrafted punter from Arkansas Pine-Bluff by way of Scotland, not only have made the team but have been quality upgrades over those positions from the past several years.
When you’re drafted as a kicker, you’re almost expected to be handed the job. The Browns made Seibert compete for the kicking job, though. Greg Joseph, who despite a narrative that he wasn’t good in 2018, had a decent year, going 17-20 with his longest being a 51 yarder. He did miss four extra points, which could be one reason John Dorsey brought in Seibert for competition.
Seibert made almost 80 percent of his kicks in his four years as a Sooner, and only missed five extra points in that span. While the extra point miss rate has increased league-wide in the NFL since the league moved it back in 2015, missing four in one season seems a bit too inconsistent.
After a rocky start this preseason and throughout camp, Seibert has settled in nicely as the kicker for Cleveland. He has yet to miss a field goal, going seven-for-seven through the team’s first four games. He has missed one extra point, but overall, he has been a solid addition to this year’s Browns team.
Being the answer to one of the team’s biggest questions coming into the season, its simple to see why Seibert may not only be the special team MVP through the first quarter of the season for the Browns but could be the overall team MVP to this point.