Special teams coordinator Mike Priefer (12.9.21)

On the Browns plan at P with P Jamie Gillan being placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list:

“We are working through it. We have had a short list. We always have a short list in case we have an injury or if anything happens. (Executive Vice President of Football Operations and General Manager) Andrew (Berry) and hist staff are working through that right now.”


On the number of free agent Ps available now:

“There are a few. Like I said, you always keep a short list. They will have me watch some tape a little bit later today just to kind of compare guys and see what we think. The punting is important, the holding is important and all of that stuff is important.”


On if the Browns will host a tryout for Ps:

“I do not think it will be a tryout. I think it will be a veteran guy.”


On if QB Case Keenum will be the holder on FGs and PATs with Gillan out:

“If we sign a punter who has holding experience, we would probably go with the punter. It just depends on who it is. I trust Case as a holder, but he does not have the experience that a lot of these guys do. Even if they are [signed] off of the street, they have been a holder in their career. We will get him in here, and hopefully, we will work on it tomorrow and go from there.”


On who would have been the Browns’ emergency P in previous weeks if Gillan had sustained an in-game injury:

“(K) Chase (McLaughlin). All of these guys punted in high school or kicked in high school. They always back each other up.”


On how much holding is of concern as it relates to incorporating a new P at this point of the week:

“That is always an issue. That is why we work so hard on it. We have our punter on the low JUGs every single day – Wednesday, Thursday and Friday – during the week and all through training camp. The timing is important and the handling bad snaps in cold weather or windy weather. You are hoping whoever we sign has that experience in maybe some cold, windy weather, as well. You never know.”


On the Browns having too many players on the field during the fourth down in the first half:

“Obviously, I know Baltimore runs that [fake punt]. Usually, they run it fourth-and-one on that fake punt. I was trying to be aggressive. I had seven in the box and even had two returners deep hoping they would punt it. It was a bad call on my part. Once they put the offense back on the field, the defense went on the field. It was a bad call. If I would have had our defense stay out there – which they should have – they would have punted the ball, and we would have gotten the ball back. I felt pretty mad about that after the game, but once their offense went on the field, our defense went back on the field.”


On the decision to place two returners deep on the fourth down play:

“(Ravens P) Sam (Koch) is such a good directional punter. We normally do not over-play him, but if you line him up on our left hash, he can kick it left or he can hook it right so it is hard for one guy to cover, and the hangtime is not already great because he does it on purpose. We put two returners deep to neutralize that directional punting.”


On only using the two returners deep on one punt rather than multiple against the Ravens:

“Right because they ran a fake. I am not going to let that happen again. I am not real bright, but I figured I would learn after one rep of a mistake (laughter). We will be better this weekend. Again, I was being aggressive. That is who I am by nature. I just have to be smarter in certain situations.”


On there seeming to be confusion about personnel on the field for a kickoff late in the game:

“It was (LB) Mack (Wilson) – he was not in the game – and we had a young man who was supposed to be at the right end, and he just did not show up. In 20 years in the NFL, that has never happened to me before. Now, we have had to grab guys before. I tell these guys all of the time, ‘It is my responsibility to make sure we have 11 on the field. That is part of my job. It is their responsibility to [know] the depth chart and to show up. If you do not show up or the moment is too big for you, then we have move on and we have to find somebody else.’ At the end of the day, that was just a hard lesson for that young man to learn. (WR) Ja’Marcus (Bradley) on the one, he was not told to go in, and he just kind of went out there. He is a young player. He will be better because of it. I did talk with him after the game. I talked with him yesterday in fact – last night, he was here late working on some stuff. I think every rep you get and every opportunity you get to coach these guys and to make them better, that is my job. Ultimately, it is my responsibility to make sure that we have 11 on the field, and that can’t happen.”


On clarifying if his comment about a player ‘not showing up’ on the kickoff was because the player forgot:

“He forgot.”


On if Bradley will potentially be on kickoff moving forward:

“If he is up, he will be. I like Ja’Marcus. I think he is a heck of a football player. He has return ability. He is fast. He is strong. Every rep is new. Every rep is a new rep for these guys. I like him a lot. If he is active this week, he will play a lot.”


On if the player who forgot to report for kickoff will still be on the unit this week:

“Maybe. That will be a surprise. Maybe nobody knows who it was (laughter)?”


On Gillan not having the season desired to date and how Gillan s handling the latest setback of likely missing this week’s game due to being on the reserve/COVID-19 list:

“He is very disappointed. I just texted him to make sure he is doing OK. He is feeling a little under the weather, I am sure. He is just more disappointed – he was really looking forward to this Sunday. I thought he punted well the other night. He did some good things. The end-of-half punt, I know it was not a great punt, but that is on purpose. We do not want to give that returner an opportunity with nine seconds left. It is called an angle punt, it angled and it bounced out of bounds. It was a perfect punt. It took eight seconds off of the clock, and they took a knee the next play. That is called an end-of-half punt. We executed that well. Kicked a couple of other ones really well. He has been inconsistent, but we were hoping the last five games down the stretch this year to help us make the playoffs that he would come through for us, and maybe he will be back. We have to see what happens.”


On LS Charley Hughlett returning from the reserve/COVID-19 list and if Gillan’s case could be related to Hughlett’s:

“I do not know. I do not think so. I feel great.”


On what the Browns would have done at LS if Hughlett was not able to return this week:

“We have a couple of options. Mack Wilson has taken a lot of reps for us. He was a backup snapper at Alabama. He works every week every Wednesday. In fact, he was out there yesterday doing it. We have young tight ends, and (FB) Johnny Stanton (IV) works there, as well. We could elevate him if we needed to. If it is during the game, probably Mack.”


On if the Browns would have likely signed a LS to replace Hughlett in the event he was not activated yesterday:

“Sure. Of course. Same thing like with the punter, we have a short list, and our personnel guys are on top of that.”


On RB Demetric Felton’s development as a returner:

“He has had some good games early. The No. 1 job of a returner, as we have talked about a lot, is ball possession, and he has done a really nice job with that. With every rep with him, he is going to get better and he is going to get more experience because he did not do it – he was not a punt returner in college; he was a kickoff returner. Using his skillset, is he as quick as (WR) JoJo (Natson)? No, but he is fast, he is strong and he can make people miss. The more experience he gets, the better he will be.”


On WR Anthony Schwartz being out with the concussion after sustaining various injuries this season and how Schwartz has been able to develop as a returner despite the adversity:

“We have worked hard on it. Once we drafted him, we had him out there. He was catching kicks and catching punts. He is a good young man. He has a great skill set. We have to use that to help him to help our football team win games, and we will continue using him in that role when comes back.”


On McLaughlin missing another kick and if he has noticed any changes with McLaughlin in recent weeks after starting the season strong:

“No. I do not know if he pulled his head up too early or if he did not follow through towards his target. It was not even that windy. It was a nice night. It was a beautiful night. He knows he can’t miss that. He came and hit the upright on the next one and put it through, and he hit the PAT really well. It is like anything else. He is still young. This is really his first full year as a starter – I am not making excuses for him – but he has got to continue to get better and continue to learn who he is. I do not think he has any limitations. He has kicked off extremely well for us so you know he has a good leg. He has to make those kicks for us. We have to make all those. That is one of our keys to victory this week is make all our kicks. We do not beat a good team like Baltimore because they are not going to miss any. We have to make all of ours.”


On if the new P signed would need to have experience as an outdoor kicker in winter weather:

“That would be a benefit – sure, 100 percent. That is what we look at. We will compare all that stuff.”


On if he watched the Patriots-Bills game:

“I watched part of it. I just know it was really windy. It was fun to watch. I guess that New England punter (Jake) Bailey is a good punter. He had a 15-yarder one way and then a 71-yarder the other way (laughter). I’m not sure what that averages out to – I’m not very good at math (laughter).”


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