That’s why York didn’t allow some of the struggles he faced in the first seven games of his NFL career to bring him down.
“I’ve been through adversity, obviously,” York said in an exclusive interview with The Beacon Journal on Friday. “I had a good first game, then I had to work on things, just get used to the stadium, learn different things. It’s just a never-ending process, like learning more things, bouncing back from a bad one. game and come back and have a good game. Just show me that I deserve to be here.
“It’s hard to see all the good things when the season isn’t going the way you want it to with your position, for example, in terms of the standings at 2-5. There’s a lot of things that could have gone our way. that didn’t work our way, which sucks, but you just gotta keep going.”
The last thing who was not going to York or the the brown way came with just over two minutes left in last Sunday’s loss to the Baltimore Ravens. After a false start penalty turned a 56-yard tying field goal try into a 60-yard one, the kick was blocked by the Ravens’ Malik Harrison to help preserve a 23-20 loss, the Browns’ fourth straight.
York said the blocking was as much a byproduct of circumstances as anything he did mechanically.
“It was a 60-yard field goal that was a little bit windy,” York said. “I had to drive it and a guy is 6-8 and probably close to 40 inches vertical. He just made a hell of a play honestly. Going back and looking like he hit the ball as well as possible, so that’s all I can do.”
There were post-game discussions about starting Corey Bojorquez placing the spot. The ball was dropped eight yards behind long snapper Charley Hughlett, who appeared to some to be a yard longer than a typical spot.
Special teams coordinator Mike Priefer said Friday the spot was par for the way the specialists — York, Bojorquez and Hughlett — usually want it to be for a placement tryout. He also defended the trajectory with which York threw the ball, which left him in direct line with Harrison.
“Most kickers are going to have to push him a little lower, which he did,” Priefer said. “It wasn’t that windy, but you still have to drive it. Then you tilt the ball forward a bit, the starter. That’s usually what most kickers do. I don’t know them all , but a lot of guys will tilt it a bit forward so you can get that drive. Because of that, it was just a little lower than it would be. I thought it hit well. It was a big hit. Great protection, great shot and a phenomenal play from Harrison.”
The blocked kick was the third field goal try York failed on from 16 tries, including the second in the final two minutes and more than a game that could have tied or won the game. He missed two in a Week 5 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers, including a game-winning 54-yard try with 16 seconds left.
Along with the three missed field goals, there were also two missed kicks out of 17 attempts. One of them, in Week 2 against the New York Jets, proved to be the difference in a 31-30 loss.
York, who started his rookie season with a game-winning 58-yard kick at Carolina, continues to blame it on the process of adapting to football’s highest level. In some ways, his freshman year at LSU in 2019 was nearly the same. He had 21 of 27 placement tries and 89 of 93 PATs for a national championship team.
“I guess it’s pretty similar to my freshman year of college,” York said. “I had to come up with different things with the mental game. Yeah, now it’s me trying more field goals and having to deal with different winds and stuff like that. But I mean, there’s adversity every year, just because I miss a few kicks, that’s a problem, just move on and move on to the next one, I miss kicks every year, that’s a problem. is just what happens.
In his final two seasons at LSU, York was a combined 33 of 39 on field goals and perfect on 75 PAT. That included, most famously, a 57-yard winner in the fog to beat Florida in 2020.
The Gators kicker that night was Evan McPherson. McPherson was a fifth-round pick of the Cincinnati Bengals in 2021 who played a huge role in their Super Bowl run last winter.
The two former SEC kicker rivals will be pitted against each other again on Monday when the Browns host the Bengals.
“We’ve only really seen each other in a few camps and every time we’ve played each other,” York said. “Everything has been very friendly. A good guy, a big fan of his, and now we can be in the same division again.”
McPherson’s success as a rookie no doubt played a role in the Browns’ fourth-round draft at York last April. He was 28 of 33 field goals and 46 of 48 on PAT in the regular season for the Bengals last year, before scoring all 14 field goals and six PATS in its playoff run.
This season, McPherson is 11 of 13 in field goals and 16 of 17 in PATs. The only missed PAT came on a block in the season opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers, and he scored nine of his last 10 field goals. The only miss in that span was a 41 yards in Week 3 against the New York Jets.
“Down the stretch he was amazing,” Priefer said of McPherson. “He always kicks the ball very well. I think he had the only bad game when he had snapper problems. Other than that, he kicked the ball very well. He’s a very good young kicker. »
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