Browns kicker Cade York began his pro career by nailing a 58-yard, game-winning field goal to give Cleveland a victory over Carolina.
But York, who was selected in the fourth round last year, struggled throughout the season — particularly for someone who was drafted that high. He finished the year 24-of-32 on field goals, missing three of his attempts from 30-39 yards, two from 40-49 yards, and three from at least 50 yards.
He also missed a pair of extra points.
But new special teams coordinator Bubba Ventrone said in his introductory press conference on Thursday that he’s plenty familiar with York’s talent and is looking forward to working with him.
“It’s not too often you get to actually coach a guy you rank coming out of college at the highest at that position,” Ventrone said, via Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. “Last year, grading all of the specialists, the kickers, and the punters, I had Cade at the highest. I’m fortunate to be able to coach him this year.
“I think that he obviously can improve. We’re just going to coach him up, and we’re going to be as good as we can in the kicking phase.”
Known as one of the league’s best special teams coordinators, Ventrone said he will emphasize fundamentals and technique for all players. But he also has an understanding of what it takes to consistently connect on kicks from who he’s been around as a player and coach.
“The kicking position, I feel like the best guys, the guys that have the most successful and the best kickers — I have been around quite a bit Phil Dawson, [Adam] Vinatieri, [Stephen] Gostkowski — and the guys who I have coached in Indianapolis — Chase [McLaughlin] this past year-had a good year and [Michae] Badgley — those guys have done a good job of putting misses to bed and moving on and not being so caught up in missing a kick,” Ventrone said. “It’s how fast you can make the correction and then move on to the next kick. I have not had a chance to sit down and actually meet with Cade, but that will be one of the things that I am going to influence for him.”