Relax Cleveland Browns fans. There is a plan, they just don’t want anyone to know yet.
While cutting the hopes and dreams of young men to get the roster down to the mandatory 53 players, the Browns surprised a lot of people by releasing both of their kickers yesterday. 12-year veteran Shayne Graham and rookie Brandon Bogotay were shown the door in Berea late Saturday afternoon. This begs the question; who will kick for the orange-and-brown in 2013?
While both kickers appeared to be able to win the job, it just wasn’t enough for the Browns coaching staff. “We gauged the preseason games and weren’t completely satisfied,” said coach Rob Chudzinski. Both Bogotay and Graham had some minor injuries in camp and preseason, which may have ended up being the deciding factor.
So what’s next? Do the Browns realize that the Miami Dophins season opener is in just seven days? Do they realize that “Dophins week” actually starts in less than 24 hours? Very calmly, Chud reiterated at yesterday evening’s press conference that help is on the way. “We haven’t completely closed the door on the kickers that we had,” he said. “We’ll have a kicker in the next few days. I’m not concerned.”
So who are the options? From a logical standpoint, the recently released Dan Carpenter would be ideal. However, don’t rule out the YouTube phenom Harvard Rugland from Norway. Rugland was brought in for a tryout earlier this year. Or, could the Browns go back to a former short-term Brown in Billy Cundiff? Other veterans out there are Olindo Mare, David Buehler, and Neil Rackers. It’s not so easy to replace a guy that Browns fans have admired for 14 years in Phil Dawson, is it?
The Dawg Pound faithful need to relax and take a deep breath, by midnight tonight there should be a place kicker in Cleveland. The Browns also have the green light to sign eight practice squad players after 5pm tonight.
Ryan Ruiz is the Cleveland Browns Beat Writer for The Inscriber: Digital Magazine. You can follow him on Facebook and Twitter @ryanpruiz24. Ryan is also a Cleveland Browns Correspondent for The SportsFix. Tune in every Friday at noon on www.thesportfix.net.