Cleveland Browns Report Card: First quarter of the 2019 season
If you’re going simply by his yards per punt, or even his net yards, it doesn’t seem as though Jamie Gillan — better known as ‘The Scottish Hammer’ — is doing much at all. The undrafted rookie is second-to-last in the NFL with just 41.5 yards per punt and still in the bottom third with 40.6 yards net — according to ESPN.com.
However, he’s tied for second in the NFL in punts downed inside the 20-yard line as he’s done so 11 times in 20 punts. He’s also using his powerful leg to put some serious hang-time on the ball as there have only been four punts returned thus far.
More from Browns News
- How the Browns could maximize Nick Chubb in 2023
- Can Deshaun Watson get to Patrick Mahomes level for Cleveland Browns?
- 3 Cleveland Browns who should see an expanded role in 2023 and 1 who should not
- Is Marcus Davenport on the Browns radar in 2023?
- 5 Free agents from Super Bowl LVII Cleveland Browns should target
When teams do try and run his kicks back, there’s very little room to work with as the Browns have given up just 19 yards per run back — which is an average of less than five-yards per return. He’s also handled the holding duties with ease, which was a concern as he was battling with veteran Britton Colquitt for the job.
As far as the placekicking, Austin Seibert is also playing very well. He missed an extra point in the season opener but has been automatic since then.
The rookie from Oklahoma is 7-of-7 on field goals and 8-of-9 on extra points. Selected in the fifth-round, Seibert seems to have solved their kicking woes which were quite the problem to kick off the 2018 season.
As for the rest of their special teams, Cleveland has been much better this season than last. Mike Priefer has made his presence felt as they’re allowing just 18.3 yards per kickoff in addition to their 4.8 on punt returns.
If there’s any knock on this unit, it’s their lack of bug returns but that’s acceptable given the way they’ve played on coverage units.
The Browns are the only team in the NFL with rookies at both kicking positions and they have to be thrilled with their work through four games.