Reality is starting to kick in for most Cleveland Browns fans. The fact that Phil Dawson will no longer be kicking on the shores of Lake Erie is somewhat frightening. So, what does the orange-and-brown front office do to fill the shoes of the iconic Dawson? They sign 12-year veteran place kicker, Shayne Graham. Is he the answer?
Most likely, yes.
Graham stands fifth in NFL history with a 85.4 percent accuracy. Playing for the Houston Texans in 2013, Graham set a team record with 138 points scored in a single season. He missed just five more kicks than Dawson last year, but also had seven more attempts. The Virginia native finished the season knocking down 31 of 38 attempts, including a long of 51 yards.
Graham has also played in the AFC North while holding dowm the kicking duties for the Cincinnati Bengals. Although he has been either on the practice squad or roster for almost half of all NFL teams, the bulk of his career has been spent in southern Ohio. He spent eight years with the Bengals and made the Pro Bowl for his efforts in the 2005 season.
Going in to training camp with two kickers is fine, but did you really think that Brandon Bogotay was going to be the starting place kicker for the Browns? When training camps kicks in, Graham will be on first team duties.
I like this move. As long as there are no mishaps along the way, it puts consistency back at kicker. Although it was not fun letting go of “Ole’ Reliable No. 4″, Graham is a good answer to a team that has plenty of other holes and needs. The Browns quietly fulfilled a much needed answer at kicker, and probably will not be drafting one now.
Ryan Ruiz – Cleveland Browns Writer. Please Follow Me on Twitter @ryanpruiz24