Cleveland Browns special teams coordinator Mike Priefer did not pull any punches on Wednesday when discussing rookie placekicker Cade York.
York has been the topic of discussion this week after he missed a pair of fields - including one that was extremely poorly hit - in last week’s win against the Baltimore Ravens. Those misses continued what has been a rocky year for York.
Taking a look at York's miss left from Saturday again pic.twitter.com/179fd5nCBh— Jared Mueller (@JaredKMueller) December 19, 2022
When asked about it during his media availability on Wednesday, Priefer was blunt in his assessment (quote via a team-provided transcript):
“NFL kickers shouldn’t kick balls like that, and he knows that. I don’t know if it was a loss of focus or the time of the game. There is really no excuse for that type of kick.”
Hey, coach, why don’t you tell everyone how you really feel?
York’s struggles have come primarily at home as both of his missed extra points have occurred at FirstEnergy Stadium and he is just nine-of-15 on field goals at home compared to a tidy 13-of-15 on the road.
Oddly enough, despite saying there is no excuse for York’s struggles, Priefer went on to sort of offer up an excuse:
“We have been down (to the stadium) twice in the last week. We were supposed to go (earlier) and then somebody – I don’t know who it was, whoever tore up the field – we were supposed to go down that day, but they wouldn’t let us go down because they were fixing up the field. That was another time we had planned on going down there. We were waiting on later in the year as it got windier and colder.”
Got all that?
For his part, York admits this season, which started out on a high note with a game-winning field goal in Week 1 against the Carolina Panthers - has been a rough one and comes down to not always having the proper focus (quote via cleveland.com):
“It’s really just focus. There’s been blocks and there’s been a few misses and two of the misses weren’t even good hits. I rarely ever miss like that. So when it comes to that, that’s not technique, that’s what happened when you went out there. That’s going out there and blanking out and not realizing what you’re doing and not really staying locked in. And again, that’s a problem I had my freshman year of college. It’s annoying that I’m repeating that, but definitely just gotta learn from it.”
York will have another opportunity to deal with the tricky Cleveland weather this weekend when the Browns host the New Orleans Saints on Saturday afternoon. The forecast calls for a game-time high of 13 degrees, which if that holds would make it just the fourth home game in franchise history played in temperatures under 15 degrees, according to cleveland.com.
Given the expected conditions, Saturday’s game looks to be the perfect opportunity for York to work on his focus as he works to have the season end on the same high note as it started.