The Browns have waived LS Ryan Pontbriand, PFW Browns correspondent Tony Grossi of The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer reported Tuesday.
Pontbriand has struggled snapping on kicks and punts recently. A snap that deflected off Browns C Alex Mack and bounced back to holder Brad Maynard was especially costly in a 13-12 loss to St. Louis in Week 10, as it ruined the timing on a short go-ahead field-goal attempt by PK Phil Dawson late in the fourth quarter. Dawson missed wide left, and St. Louis was able to run out the clock.
On Sunday, a low snap that skipped on the turf on Dawson's 55-yard potential go-ahead field-goal attempt was handled well by Maynard, but Dawson missed short and left. The Bengals later capitalized with a field goal to win 23-20.
A fifth-round pick out of Rice in 2003, Pontbriand was named to the Pro Bowl in 2007 and '08. He has appeared in 134 career games.
The way we see it
The Browns' special teams have not been the strength in 2011 that they were in past seasons, and Pontbriand's uncharacteristic problems are just one of the issues Cleveland has faced in the kicking game. The Browns gave up two special-teams TDs in a loss to Oakland, and they have lost two punters to season-ending injuries (Reggie Hodges and Richmond McGee).