Glad to see that former Jupiter High School star Cody Parkey is still a member of the Cleveland Browns following his rough and rapid debut in last week’s 30-24 overtime loss at Miami.
Parkey was added to the Browns’ roster last Friday, two days before that game, when the regular kicker got injured. His first time working with his new teammates was during pregame warmups at Hard Rock Stadium. Three hours later he was sent out to attempt what could have been the winning field goal from 46 yards at the end of regulation. He missed.
Not really fair to blast the guy when he barely had met his holder and the long snapper and the special teams coach. Also, as Dolphins assistant head coach and special teams coordinator Darren Rizzi said this week, practicing alone is not the same as trying to make one under the crazy heat of an NFL game.
“Cody Parkey has been a Pro Bowler in this league,” said Rizzi, “but he was out of it for a little bit. He’s been out since preseason (cut by the Eagles on Sept. 3) and it’s very hard to simulate this job. You can go to any field, whether it’s Jupiter High School or anywhere, and stay in shape, but you can’t simulate a live rush in a situation like that.
“It’s like me going out in my back yard and making 20 free throws in a row all by myself. All of a sudden you put me in a game situation and things change.”
Browns coach Hue Jackson cut Parkey some slack when asked about Parkey earlier this week, but with a qualifier. Asked if he plans to keep Parkey as his kicker after missing 3-of-6 against Miami, he said, “Yes, I do right now.”
“That’s a tough job,” Jackson continued. “I can’t put that on him. That’s a tough situation. Everybody says, well, that’s the kicker’s job. It’s his job, but normally a guy has a job, he’s been around his employer a little bit, he’s been around his teammates a little bit. It was tough. It was tough circumstances. Unfortunate. 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.”
Cleveland plays Sunday at Washington, which means that Parkey fortunately has another chance to perform to his usual standards without hearing the potential boos or any other fan reactions at a Browns home game. He could go 5-for-5 in a victory over the Redskins and win the entire city over.
For the moment, it makes sense to think that the Browns are checking around to see who else is available on an emergency basis, just like every team does, the Dolphins included. After all, that’s what got Parkey this opportunity.
Patrick Murray, the Browns’ regular kicker, has been placed on injured reserve after hurting a knee in last Friday’s walk-through practice session prior to the team’s flight to Miami.
Parkey set an NFL rookie record for points (150) with Philadelphia in 2014. He also made the Pro Bowl that year. In 2015 he didn’t play much because of a groin injury.
Florida fans remember Parkey for his time at Auburn, and a 42-yard field goal he made to wrap up a 17-6 win over the Gators in 2011. He also made a 52-yarder in the 2013 SEC Championship game against Missouri and kicked for the Tigers against Florida State in the BCS Championship game that same year.