When the Cleveland Browns take on the Baltimore Ravens this Sunday, they will be doing so without long snapper Ryan Pontbriand, who was waived earlier in the week. Will there be a notable difference on gameday?
For one, you have to wonder if it will effect the mindset of kicker Phil Dawson, who was sad to see his teammate of nine seasons get the boot. From the Akron Beacon Journal:
"It’s tough," Dawson said. "I’ve been with Pont longer than anybody. No one has contributed on the field more to my career than him. It was a little strange today to be out there without him. … I witnessed pretty much perfection for 8› years. That’s quite an accomplishment."
Dawson went on to continue praising Pontbriand's snaps from over the past eight years, saying that he never had to see the laces on a kick and that everything was perfect, even if it was just during practice. When Dawson faces the Ravens, rookie Christian Yount will be snapping the ball. Yount started his career off on a good note when he praised his predecessor:
"I remember growing up in high school and college watching [Pontbriand] snap," Yount said. "He was a great snapper and I really look up to him. It’s great to be able to come in and replace a guy like that."
The ABJ also posted a statement that was released by Pontbriand via his agent. It likely closes the book on Pontbriand's career as a member of the Browns, as I'm sure some team will try to snatch him up. I wonder if the San Francisco 49ers would be interested.
"I'm proud to have worn a Browns jersey for nine seasons, and I will miss being part of the organization and the city of Cleveland. However, I am confident in my ability and look forward to a fresh start with another team."