BEREA (92.3 The Fan) – When a kicker misses 3 field goals – including a potential game winner at the end of regulation – a pink slip typically follows.
But not for Cody Parkey who made 3 of 6 attempts in his shotgun debut for the Browns last Sunday in Miami.
Special teams coordinator Chris Tabor and the Browns understand the unique yet difficult circumstances that took place and saw Parkey’s first practice experience with the team come during warm-ups.
“He is a good football player,” Tabor said. “In this league, you don’t go to a Pro Bowl and hit the ball the way that this kids does [if you aren’t]. It was tough circumstances, and he will be the first to tell you that he is ready to jump back on the horse again and go. I’m excited to watch him this weekend.”
Despite the 3 missed kicks, Tabor loved what he saw from Parkey in the kicking game, especially his kickoffs.
“He played really well – six touchbacks and the one that they did bring out, I think it was 5 or 6-yards deep, it had a 4.2 (second) hang and we tackled inside the 25,” Tabor said. “People talk about the misses, but the other things that he was doing were outstanding.”
Parkey, who sat out 2015 due to a groin injury, was signed Saturday morning, a day after Patrick Murray injured his left knee while kicking during the team’s customary Friday walk-through session.
Tabor maintained that Parkey was their top choice, denying a report from the Miami Herald that he wanted the Browns to sign Robbie Gould instead.
“Not true. No, there is not truth to that,” Tabor said. “There are a lot of good football players out there. There is no doubt about it. Our scouting department does an outstanding job. When we visit with our scouts and our front office, we decide on a player. We have a really good young player who has been to a Pro Bowl, gets great lift on the ball, bangs touchbacks and can place the ball directionally. He is good.
“I heard about the reports. I don’t think anything of them. I have moved onto Washington and am excited to watch our guy, the guy that is here perform for us at a winning level.”
Crows Eye – The Browns are ranked fourth in rushing through the first 3 games led by Isaiah Crowell. Crowell has 274 yards on 45 carries through 3 games for a 6.1 yards per carry average. Even if you subtract his 85 yard touchdown run against the Ravens, Crowell is still averaging 4.3 yards per carry, up from the 3.8 per carry average a year ago.
Running game coordinator Kirby Wilson credits Crowell’s improved field vision for his early success.
“He is understanding where his eyes should be prior to the snap and he is understanding where his eyes should be post-snap,” Wilson said. “He is reading defenses a lot better because he understands it a lot better and he is training his eyes.”
Even with the strong start, Crowell doesn’t feel like he’s maximized his carries yet, something he looks to change.
“I feel like we’ve left a ton of yards out there,” Crowell said. “There are more big plays to come. I feel like we left a lot out there. We have to make sure we take advantage of those when the opportunity comes.”
Bailey On The Bench – Head coach Hue Jackson refused to say Friday if he will bench right guard Alvin Bailey, who started last week at Miami, following his arrest early Monday morning. Bailey, who told police he drank on the team plane as well as at a local establishment, was cited OVI, speed and an unsafe vehicle and also charged with drug abuse, drug paraphernalia and failure to comply with a lawful order.
Bailey, who received a continuance and is due back in North Royalton Mayor’s Court on Oct. 6 at 9 a.m., addressed the arrest briefly on Friday.
“It’s an unfortunate incident, a mistake that I made,” Bailey said. “I’ve got to let the legal process play out. But it’s unfortunate that I let the team down, a distraction to my teammates and things like that. So it’s a mistake that I made. I’ve got to own up to it, and hopefully we’ll be able to work past it.”
Should Bailey be benched, John Greco would return to right guard and Austin Reiter, signed off of the Redskins practice squad a week ago, would start at center in place of Cameron Erving who remains out with a bruised lung.
Injury Report – OUT: QB Josh McCown (shoulder), WR Corey Coleman (right hand), C Cam Erving (chest/lung), DE Carl Nassib (hand), OLB Nate Orchard (ankle), TE Seth DeVale (knee); DOUBTFUL: CB Tramon Williams (shoulder); QUESTIONABLE: S Ibraheim Campbell (hamstring), CB Joe Haden (groin); LIKELY TO PLAY: FB Malcolm Johnson (neck), NT Danny Shelton (chest), RB Isaiah Crowell (knee), QB Cody Kessler (thigh), DL Stephen Paea (back)
QB Robert Griffin III (shoulder) is on injured reserve but worked with trainers on the side.