CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Freddie Kitchens had the line of the day on Monday, when asked if rookie kicker Austin Seibert is rattled.
“I don’t know," the Browns head coach said. “If I make him nervous ... I plan on being at the games.”
As the Browns prepare for its third preseason game, and with the season opener just three weeks away, there is genuine concern, as neither Greg Joseph nor Austin Seibert has done enough to earn the job.
Joseph, the incumbent, made 17 of 20 field goals a year ago, after being signed in mid-September to replace Zane Gonzalez.
Joseph has been inconsistent in this camp, missing a 53-yarder in the game against the Colts on Saturday.
Seibert, a 5th-round pick back in April, also missed from just over 50 yards on Saturday, and missed a 40-yard attempt late in practice on Monday.
Kitchens said the Browns are not looking to bring in another kick right now (the key part of that sentence? “right now”), but clearly the coach is running out of patience.
So ... is this a “do or die” week for both Joseph and Seibert?
“Hopefully they’ve been treating it like that,” Kitchens said. “Because this is the only industry in the world where you hire 90 guys and fire half of them. Everybody’s fighting for a job right now.”
But it’s the kickers who are falling short of expectations right now, and if they don’t start impressing people very soon, you can bet there will be some new legs in Berea before the season opener.
“We’ve got two guys right now who can kick the ball a long way.” Kitchens said. “We need them to get their act right.”