The Cleveland Browns have reportedly signed Raymond Ventrone to be the team’s new special teams coordinator.
The Cleveland Browns fired Mike Priefer earlier this week, with the expectation that Raymond “Bubba” Ventrone would become available after the Indianapolis Colts went with Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator Shane Steichen as their new head coach. Ventrone interviewed for the job as well, having been with the Colts for five seasons, he seemed to be a good fit, but the Colts went a different direction.
Ventrone is someone with ties to the Browns. He played for the team for four seasons, primarily as a special teams player. He racked up 43 tackles, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery during his time with Cleveland. He’s one of the few people who played for both of the last two owners; Randy Lerner and of course, Jimmy Haslam.
Ventrone spent time with the New England Patriots as both a player and later as a coach, learning from Bill Belichick along the way. He’d be an assistant specials team coordinator for the Patriots and later get he main special teams gig with the Colts.
Raymond Ventrone has some work to do with the Cleveland Browns
There are two trains of thought, either Andrew Berry is bad at procuring talent and the Browns coaching staff can only do so much; thus resulting in poor play on every side of the ball. Or, Kevin Stefanski is a terrible judge of talent and hired the wrong men for the job.
Either way, we’re going to find out with Ventrone. If the special team’s coverage is better, Priefer was the problem. If it isn’t, Berry’s the problem. Either way, we’ll find out.
What people need to realize is, he can only do so much as a special teams coach, especially with Cade York. York is not a bad kicker, nor was his rookie season unexpected by those paying attention. Kicking in Cleveland sucks.
Here’s York’s stat line when he doesn’t have to fight Lake Eerie, 10-16. Here’s his stat line everywhere else;14-16. It’s not the kickers, it’s the stadium. It took Phil Dawson three seasons to hit 88% as a pro-kicker. A lot of that had to do with the struggles in Cleveland, as the wind really messes with things.
Dawson went 22-25 in 2001, his first year hitting 88%. Those three misses? All in Cleveland. In 1999, he went 8-12 on kicking attempts; three of those misses were in Cleveland. It takes time to get used to the winds.
So give Ventrone and in turn York, some time to get things together.