Browns: 3 big storylines for Week 2 against Philadelphia
No. 1: A special team to watch closely
Cleveland thought their special teams unit would have a potential star in Jakeem Grant when they signed him as a free agent this offseason. However, bad luck hit Grant as he went down with a season-ending injury. Cleveland did just claim a new special team guy and wide receiver named Easop Winston. He played with the New Orleans Saints last season and returned some punts for the Saints but didn’t do much else.
So, he’ll get his tryout to make the team, but in the meantime, it looks like Demetric Felton will again get his chance at kickoffs and punts in the game on Sunday. He was listed on the latest Cleveland depth chart as the player returning kicks. Felton is that player that can fill in at almost every position. The team and coaches love his availability to play different roles and with this latest chance, it will only secure his slot on the roster.
A year ago, Felton returned nine kickoffs and 32 punts. Neither of his average on runbacks was great but now he gets to try again.
Finally, it seems Cleveland has already anointed Cade York as their future kicker. He was drafted in the fourth round this year out of LSU. I’m not sure this is the team’s best move because they haven’t given York anyone else to compete against him and challenge the young player. The Browns have struggled to find a good kicker in recent years and now they’ve decided to not have a competition for the kicking job.
The reverse in football philosophy has me concerned. Maybe not for this next preseason game or even a month from now, but there will be mounting pressure on the young kicker to make important kicks in the future. It’s fun watching York kick 55-yard field goals in practice but that’s all they are.
There isn’t anyone breathing down his neck. Some are even comparing him to the great former Browns kicker Phil Dawson even though York has yet to kick in a regular season game.
Watch for these storylines on Sunday and we’ll see what new topics arise next. We know that will be the case when we watch our favorite team. Enjoy the game folks!