BEREA — Days after Cade York unsuccessfully pleaded with the Browns to throw a 68-yard field goal at Cincinnati, The recruit did not waver.
“If I ask for the kick, I think I can do it”, york told The Beacon Journal in the locker room at team headquarters on Wednesday.
“I wanted to break the record. That was it.”
Justin Tucker set the NFL record for the longest field goal when he completed a 66-yard attempt last season, and the five-time All-Pro kicker and the Baltimore Ravens (9-4) will face the Browns (5-8) at 4:30 p.m. Saturday at FirstEnergy Stadium.
While the Browns trailed by 10 points on Sunday in a 23-10 loss on the road to AFC North at the Cincinnati Bengals (9-4), york wanted a shot when quarterback Deshaun Watson hit the ball to stop the clock, putting second-and-10 at the 50-yard line with three seconds left in the first half.
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The CBS telecast showed an animation york lobbying for Browns Special Teams Coordinator Mike Priefer on the key. york Many times pointed at himself and raised his arms while saying, “Come on,” among other things.
“I have never been so well prepared to have such a chance before,” york said. “There are three seconds left at half-time. Really not much repercussions if things don’t go well on it. So I think that was more what it was about.
“I know it might not have looked great on TV, but it was more me being confident, saying, ‘I do.’
“Some people mentioned, ‘Why were you crying about wanting to kick? It wasn’t really meant to be like this. Obviously the camera paints a picture, but it was more just that I wanted the chance to go and hit it.
york21 years old, failed. Coach Kevin Stefanski called a Hail Mary. Watson’s desperate pass into the end zone remained incomplete and the Browns trailed 13-3 at halftime.
Priefer supported Stefanski’s decision.
“I look at the yard line, and I said to the coach [Stefanski] what I thought was a good yard line to hit, and we weren’t quite there yet,” Priefer said. “And Cade is out there campaigning, which I love. I like the competitiveness of the young man. I laughed a little. Someone said I was laughing, but I was smiling because I was glad he wanted to kick her.
“But he doesn’t look at the big picture, we have to cover with a lot of big people against a comeback man. They’ll put a guy deep like we would under the goal post, and if [his kick is] In short, they will bring it back. It’s a hard thing to cover. We have two line D players on our court. We have six offensive linemen in our placement unit. We have a snapper, a holder and a kicker. So it’s going to be tough to cover with those guys against a good returner.
“That’s why I’m glad we didn’t kick it in this situation. A winner of the game, obviously, you have to [kick]. I think we were close to the Ave Maria, so I think the percentages say to go with the Ave Maria there. Maybe if it’s 5 meters closer, maybe we go [the field goal].”
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york said he did not tell Stefanski about his verdict, but Priefer passed on the message and explained the thought.
“Prief mentioned that they were worried that if I cut it short they wouldn’t want a feedback on that,” york said. “Obviously I wasn’t really interested in it, but they just thought it was a better idea to launch it.”
Although york conceded that the kicks he practiced in pre-match warm-ups weren’t as long as 68 yards, he added: “I just knew I could do it.”
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Priefer said he would rather have “a volunteer” like york in this storyline that some of the kickers he coached in the past who would “sort of go back into the shadows” instead.
“I think as we become more confident with [York], he gets more confident and continues to mature as a young kicker, maybe you hit them,” Priefer said. “But you have to look back – he had a few blockages that were low. These are things that go through my mind all the time.
“The weather was actually quite pleasant. The wind was blowing slightly in that direction, so that would have been the direction to take. But I was glad he did [state his case]. He’s competitive and he’s very confident and I like that about him.
Stefanski said he didn’t see york imploring Priefer on the sidelines.
“But it’s good that your kicker has confidence, and it’s good that he doesn’t lack confidence,” Stefanski said. “It’s like anything else, they want the ball in a big moment, just like a point guard wants the ball or a receiver wants the ball. That’s the mentality of guys wanting to help the team. “We will continue to make the best decisions for the team. If it requires it, I think Cade will be ready to go.
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A fourth-round draft pick (No. 124 overall) from Louisiana State University, york has made 20 of 26 field goals and 28 of 30 extra points this season. He made 4 of 4 field goals from 20 to 29 yards, 7 of 9 from 30 to 39 yards, 5 of 6 from 40 to 49 yards, and 4 of 7 from 50 yards or more. His successful attempts from 50+ yards were 58, 55 and 51 (twice).
york scored three field goals blocked – 60 yards against the Ravens on Oct. 23, 53 yards against the Bengals on Oct. 31 and 34 yards against the Buffalo Bills on Nov. 20.
“The thing with Cade…is getting the ball in the air – a big lift,” Priefer said. “Since the game against Buffalo, he’s done a really good job getting the ball in the air. That was the focus.
Last weekend’s scene in Cincinnati provided Priefer with a flashback to October 2.
york made a similar push for a long field goal in the event the Browns hit a certain yard line in the final moments of a 23-20 road loss to the Atlanta Falcons, Priefer said. However, the attack never reached the range York had in mind.
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Obviously, York is not likely to impose limits on itself.
“I’m still pretty excited,” he said. “I want to go out there and hit some field goals.
“But I understand they have a game plan, and it’s ultimately their decision.”
Nate Ulrich can be contacted at email@example.com.
On Twitter: @ByNateUlrich.
This article originally appeared on Akron Beacon Journal: Browns rookie Cade York wanted to shoot NFL field goal record