Cleveland Browns placekicker Cade York hit all the highs and lows during his rookie season in 2022.
From hitting a game-winning 58-yard field goal in Week 1 against the Carolina Panthers to struggling to convert kicks and figure out the changing weather conditions at FirstEnergy Stadium, York’s year mirrored the frustrations of the Browns as a franchise.
Related: Preaching patience with Cade York
That’s why it was a bit surprising to see York selected by The Athletic as the placekicker on their All-Rookie Team, although the choices were admittedly limited, as Chris Burke wrote:
Cade York’s longest kick — and most thrilling moment — came way back in Week 1, when he drilled a 58-yarder to carry the Browns past the Panthers. He finished his rookie year with 24 field goals (and was 35-of-37 on extra points), but the next step will be finding more consistency — York’s 75 percent success rate on field goals ranked 30th in the NFL.
Cameron Dicker was at the opposite end of the spectrum: 95.5 percent (21 of 22 field goals), split between the Eagles and Chargers. He had a case to take this spot and probably would have had he played more than 11 games.
Even with few options to choose from, York’s selection speaks to the raw ability he displayed in college and led the Browns to select him in the fourth round of the 2022 NFL Draft.
There are often growing pains with kickers – especially rookies – but York did close the season strong by successfully converting all eight of his kicks in Cleveland’s final three games.
Those kicks help to remind York of what he needs to do once the season begins anew this fall (quote via The Beacon Journal):
“Really, just gotta stick to what makes me good. When it’s time to get into the season, got to get into game mode and stop working on stuff. And even though it’s — I’m gonna strive to always be better – maybe not make that always a focus where you’re trying to get better because sometimes you just gotta do what you’re good at.
“I think that’s kind of what I realized later on in the year. And maybe too little, too late but still we’ll able to put some good stuff out there and decide to come back next year and just be better.”
It is nice that York does not lack confidence as kickers, just like defensive backs, need to have a short memory and not bring a missed kick with them the next time they step on the field.
But it is just as crucial that York did learn some lessons during his rookie season and remembers them so that he can become the kicker the Browns need him to be.