Jackson defends Browns’ kicker

Published 3:12 am Wednesday, September 28, 2016

CLEVELAND (AP) — The Browns aren’t kicking kicker Cody Parkey to the side just yet.
Parkey missed three field goals, including a 46-yarder on the final play of regulation Sunday, as Cleveland lost 30-24 to the Miami Dolphins in overtime. He was making his debut for the Browns after Patrick Murray injured his left knee in practice on Friday and was placed on injured reserve.
Despite the inaccuracy, Browns coach Hue Jackson said the team does not have any immediate plans to replace Parkey.
“That’s a tough job,” Jackson said Monday. “I challenge any of us to come in here on a flight late Friday night, wake up and meet the coach for a second and then get on another flight and head to Miami and not know really a lot of your teammates, but some and walk out and kick in pregame and then go kick in a game where you attempt five of these field goals.
“Not two, not one, but five. That’s a lot of pressure. And then here’s the game-winner sitting you right in the face. So I can’t put that on him. That’s a tough situation.”
Parkey took full responsibility for the three misses. He didn’t get a chance to practice with long snapper Charley Hughlett or holder Britton Colquitt until a few hours before kickoff.
Jackson said it’s easy to fault Parkey, but there are numerous variables that go into a kick.
“Well, everybody says, that’s the kicker’s job,” Jackson said. “It is his job, but normally a guy has a job, he’s been around him employer a little bit, he’s been around his teammates a little bit.
“It was tough circumstances. If he would’ve made it, we’d be celebrating right now. But he didn’t. And I think it’s unfair just to dump it all on him.”
Parkey was limited to just three games last season for Philadelphia because of a groin injury. He made the Pro Bowl as a rookie in 2014, when he scored 150 points and made 32 of 36 field-goal tries. He was released earlier this summer by the Eagles after Caleb Sturgis beat him out.
On Sunday, Parkey missed a 41-yarder and converted field goals from 46 and 48 yards before hitting the left upright from 42 yards.
After the Browns recovered a fumble in the final minute by Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill, Parkey was in line to make the game-winner and become an instant star in Cleveland, but his attempt sailed wide left.
Jackson denied a report the Browns signed Parkey instead of former Chicago Bears kicker Robbie Gould because he was cheaper to sign.
“We made an organizational decision that that was the right guy for us,” Jackson said.
“We felt good about watching him kick on tape, we felt good about everything that he was doing. We felt he was the best of the group. I felt very comfortable in it. We took the guy that we wanted, it was Cody Parkey and that’s the guy we put on our team and that’s the guy that kicked for us.”
NOTES: New right guard Alvin Bailey was arrested early Monday morning on suspicion of operating a vehicle while impaired. The Browns said they spoke with Bailey to “express our displeasure and extreme disappointment.” Bailey moved into the starting lineup last week after John Greco slid to center and replaced Cam Erving, who sustained a bruised lung.

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