Kicking in the NFL is mostly mental. These guys are all totally physically capable of making most of the kicks they're asked to attempt in games, but the challenges and pressures of live-game situations complicate that.
Well, Cade York was clearly mentally broken in Browns training camp. This brutal story highlights exactly how bad things got.
Cade York Struggles
York was bad as a rookie in 2022, making just 75.0% of his field goal attempts (No. 31 in the NFL). He was even worse in the 2023 preseason, going just 50%. But his play in practice continued to earn him chances with Cleveland. The coaching staff knew he was capable of making the kicks because they had seen it firsthand. He just needed to convert that practice success into game success.
Instead, he went the other way. York reportedly spent about 30 minutes kicking field goals without making a single one, and the practice performance was described as "a total disaster."
Regressing on the practice field rather than progressing toward turning his practice success into game success had to be the final straw, though. The Browns can't roster a kicker just because they feel bad for him, especially when they have legitimate playoff hopes this year.
And look, there may well be room for York on the practice squad. Maybe getting to reset and hone his craft without the pressure of kicking on Sundays is what he needs.
But things may be too far gone for him in Cleveland after a performance like this one. What he might need to really jump-start a career revival is a change of scenery. If anyone else does decide to roll the dice on York, I'm sure there won't be too many Browns fans upset about it.
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