Cleveland Browns placekicker Cade York had quite a night on Thursday in Philadelphia.
Things were trending in a positive direction for the second-year kicker as he converted his first three field goal attempts of the game against the Eagles. But the situation took a dark turn near the end of the game when York missed a 47-yard field goal that would have given the Browns a 21-18 lead. That miss was negated by a Philadelphia penalty, but York also missed the subsequent kick, sending everyone how with a bad taste in their mouths.
To make the situation even worse, an image started floating around on Twitter that appeared to show York sharing an Instagram post during halftime from the Browns highlighting his three successful kicks.
Well, when your kicker is on IG at halftime posting that he made a kick in the first half… pic.twitter.com/Ttq3Fp1TUx— John (@Believeland46) August 18, 2023
While the share did come from York’s account, he was not the one behind the controls, so that particular drama can be filed away, according to head coach Kevin Stefanski, who was asked about the situation on Friday. However, the fact that someone did share the post could be problematic as the league has specific rules about such things (quotes via a team-provided transcript):
“That was not Cade who posted that. I’ll talk to him about that. And all of our players, we know the rules. They’re not allowed to be – none of us, players, coaches, we’re not allowed to be on our phones once kickoff hits. So we’ll address that with the guys.”
The bigger issue in all this is York’s continuing struggles to find any consistency when it comes to field goals. Thursday night’s misses were the third and fourth so far in the preseason, which is not a happy thought for a Browns team that hopes to make a playoff run this fall.
As is his nature, Stefanski did not display any outward signs of panic when asked on Friday about the ongoing situation with York:
I just think now is the time to work on our craft. And obviously, like we talked about last night, kickers want to make every kick, we want Cade to make every kick. You just got to continue to work through it. It’s really as simple as that. The kid works very hard. He’ll continue to do that.
“I have a ton of confidence in Cade because I’ve seen him do it in practice, I’ve seen him do it in games. So he’ll continue to work. But I really feel it’s no different than any other player that they got to work on their craft, and now is the time to do that. Obviously, Cade wants to make every kick. We want him to make every kick. It’s an occupational hazard that you’re going to miss one. It’s just how you deal with it and how you bounce back from it.”
Cleveland has one more preseason game on the docket before the regular season opens on September 10 against the Cincinnati Bengals, so time is growing short for the coaching staff and York to figure out what the issue is when it comes to kicking in a game.
It is a pleasant fantasy to believe that the offense will be running smoothly from the start and there will be no need to call on York for any late-game heroics, but things rarely work that way for the Browns, so the time is drawing near for York to turn that unwavering confidence into reliable production when it matters.