Cade York & Browns Special Teams Could Play Crucial Role in 2022

Cade York & Browns Special Teams Could Play Crucial Role in 2022

Nick Pedone
5 months ago
1 min read
Browns place kicker Cade York kicks a field goal at FirstEnergy Stadium

When a rookie kicker misses a kick at FirstEnergy Stadium, they usually don't trot off the field to applause.

But that's exactly what happened to Cade York in Saturday's preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

York's preseason miss was from 55 yards out, a range that is much too deep for most NFL kickers. However, after the Browns made York the highest drafted kicker in the fourth round of the 2022 NFL Draft, he has displayed limitless range at Browns Training Camp.

Most draft experts did not expect the Browns to draft for special teams in the fourth round. However, York's strong and promising leg gives the organization hope to stop the terror of their special teams nightmare.

As the Browns watched the NFL Playoffs last year, they noticed how far ahead quarterback talent in the AFC had progressed. Players like Joe Burrow, Patrick Mahomes, and Josh Allen stole the postseason spotlight away from Baker Mayfield's Browns. 

Along with those quarterbacks were trusty kickers that could capitalize on a big moment when their number was called, something the Browns haven't had in far too long.

Phil Dawson left the Browns in 2012. It's been a decade of botched kicks and bad performances in the clutch. This has been magnified by the amount of close games the Browns have played in as an organization on the rise.

Of the Browns nine losses last season, six games were decided by six points or fewer. Chase McLaughlin missed seven kicks. In kicks between 40 and 49 yards, McLaughlin was a tragic 40 percent. That's the range that most NFL field goals are attempted from. Something had to give.

When Jacoby Brissett takes the field Week 1, he will be the 35th starting quarterback in 23 seasons. The special teams room isn't too far behind that trajectory, as York will become the 12th kicker in 10 seasons without Dawson.

York is +3000 to lead the NFL in kicking points scored. While that might be out of reach due to quality kickers around the league, the hope should be that he could close out games in the clutch, and that the organization has the patience to stand by him.

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