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2020 Cleveland Browns Positional Breakdown: Special Teams

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The 10th and final installment of the 2020 Cleveland Browns Positional Breakdown series will focus on the special teams. Compared to last season there’s a great possibility there will not be any changes made to this group for the Browns after bringing back long snapper Charley Hughlett, kicker Austin Seibert, and fan-favorite “Scottish Hammer” Jamie Gillan. Let’s dive into the final position breakdown for the Browns.

Charley Hughlett (Signed until 2022, Free Agent in 2023)

2020 Contract: $1M

When it comes to positions in the NFL, people tend to overlook the long snapper position even on special teams because there’s not much to say. This is a positive because long snappers don’t tend to want to be in the spotlight especially if they mess up and misfire. Essentially, this position is considered the unsung hero of the special teams.

For the Browns, Hughlett is this hero since he’s been with the team since 2017 after signing as a free agent to a six-year, $6.37M deal. An undrafted free agent signing by the Dallas Cowboys back in 2012, he played with the team until 2014 where he joined the Patriots until 2016, where he ended up with Cleveland.

Stats wise, he did have one solo tackles last year for the Browns. Fans won’t hear much about Hughlett which is good because that means he’s doing his job right. Hughlett gets mentioned because special teams guys deserve credit to helping the team in different aspects of the game.

Austin Seibert (Signed until 2022, Free Agent in 2023)

2020 Contract: $740K

In terms of a rookie season for a kicker, people can say that Austin Seibert had a decent one for the Browns last year. The rookie kicker out of Oklahoma was given the chance to be the team’s kicker after a great training camp in 2019.

Seibert went on to go 25/29 in field goals (86%) and 30/35 in PAT’s (85%). According to Pro Football Focus, Seibert when compared to other kickers within the league was T-12th in field goals made, and T-18th in PAT’s (Point After Touchdown) made during the season.

Generally speaking, teams want their kickers to be in the 90% percentile and higher on the makes to attempts ratio, but being 85-86% in a rookie season is nothing to be mad about. Seibert looks to build off of last season and help the Browns in terms of kicks throughout the season. Expect a solid year for the second-year kicker for the Browns.

Jamie Gillan (Signed until 2021, Restricted Free Agent in 2022)

 2020 Contract: $678K

The last player to be featured in the 2020 Cleveland Browns Positional Breakdown is none other than the Scottish Hammer, Jamie Gillan. Gillan became an instant fan favorite for the long hair, the Scottish accent, and the leg from the gods as he would change the field possession at any moment.

As a rookie punter from Arkansas Pine-Bluff, Gillan had a rookie season any special teams coach would love to have from their punter. Gillan at any time could change the game on a punt. His longest of 71 yards last year was ranked T-4th best around the league according to Pro Football Focus. He also managed to pin teams within their own 20-yard line 33 times which was ranked T-12th overall. Furthermore, his 63 punts over the 2019 season ended up being ranked 19th within the league. What was really impressive was that his 46.2 average yard per punt ended up being tied for 11th in the league between all punters.

Gillan over the offseason has been working on his punting game if people have been keeping up with him on his Instagram stories. Browns fans should expect a solid sophomore season in the NFL for the Scottish Hammer as he builds on what was a great rookie season for the orange and brown. While he is an RFA after the 2021 season, there’s a good chance he will stay with the team at the beginning of the 2022 season and beyond if he keeps up with what he is doing now.

Summary 

While the special teams don’t get as much spotlight unless they struggle, the Browns has a great group of guys in the room between Hughlett, Seibert, and Gillan. This group has a great chance to have another good season for the Browns if they build off of last season’s success. If Seibert can convert more makes to attempts on field goals and PAT’s along with Gillan and his hammer foot pinning teams deep, the Browns have a chance to control all three aspects of the game.

Downtown Browns want to thank all of the Browns fans, and Downtown Sports fans in general, for keeping up with the 2020 Cleveland Browns Positional Breakdown series. DTB is looking forward to bringing more Browns content throughout the 2020 season and beyond. If anyone wants to reach out to DTB head over to the Facebook page at Facebook.com/DowntownBrowns91, DowntownBrowns_ on twitter, and email at downtownbrowns91@gmail.com

Zach Martin
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