Christian Yount came to the Browns in 2011 from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to replace incumbent long snapper Ryan Pontbriand. Pontrbiand had been snapping balls for the Browns since 2003 and had made the Pro Bowl in 2007 and 2008. However, he started to struggle mightily in the middle of the 2011 season, which prompted the Browns to cut ties with the veteran. Even though Yount had some big shoes to fill, I feel like he did a great job as the starter.
Honestly, what can you say about a long snapper? It’s so hard to gauge how useful one is to a team because there aren’t really statistics that measure their metrics. It’s a severely undervalued and unappreciated position. The plays that long snappers make are always taken for granted; I bet even the diehard fans don’t know who the long snapper is for their team. You only really notice your long snapper if something isn’t going right. Well, that’s how I know Yount contributed positively to the team. I didn’t see many botched punts/field goals which meant he was doing what he was supposed to do.
The biggest casualty from the special teams purging is Spencer Lanning. I was really fond of this guy and I’m sad to see we have parted ways with him. Lanning was a reliable leg that was good for an average of about 3,800 punting yards a season and was efficient at pinning teams inside their own 20 yard line.
Seeking an improvement at the punting position, the Browns signed Spencer Lanning in 2013 to replace Reggie Hodges. Lanning started off great and holds one of those weird sports records that someone really dedicated has to dig up and put together: Lanning was the first person since 1968 to record a punt, and extra point, and a touchdown, in the same game, when he accomplished the feat in a victory over the Minnesota Vikings. (Seriously, who finds a stat like that?)
Looking to once again improve the punting position, (not many better punters out there, truthfully speaking) the Browns traded their 7th round pick in the 2017 draft to the San Francisco 49ers for veteran ball crusher Andy Lee and his career 43,468 punting yards. Lee is a worthy replacement for Lanning, who was unfortunately waived by the Browns in June. However, as expected, Lanning found work almost immediately, latching on with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
It’s always hard to see good players walk and I’ll definitely be missing these dudes. But with every end comes a new beginning and I’m excited to see how Hughlett and Lee do. I’m looking forward to seeing Lanning and Yount in the future with their new teams.
THANKS FOR THE HARD WORK!