Cleveland Dumps Long Snapper Ryan Pontbriand After Costly Bad Snap Sunday

Sunday another bad snap, the second in three weeks, cost the Browns a win. Tuesday, the team made long snapper Ryan Pontbriand pay for it.

The team waived Pontbriand, two days after his second poor snap in three weeks cost Cleveland another possible win. A two-time Pro Bowler, Pontbriand had been with the Browns since 2003 and had the second-longest tenure on the club to kicker Phil Dawson.

“Today, I lost a longtime teammate, Ryan Pontbriand,” Dawson wrote on his Twitter page. “He has been with me more than any teammate I have had. I will miss him. He is the best.”

The team signed free agent long snapper Christian Yount and promoted linebacker Benjamin Jacobs and defensive lineman Brian Sanford to the active roster from the team’s practice squad.

The team also placed linebacker Scott Fujita (hand) and defensive lineman Emmanuel Stephens (pectoral) on injured reserve. The team also signed defensive lineman Ayanga Okpokowuruk, defensive back David Sims and linebacker Brian Smith to the practice squad.

“We can’t slump,” Browns first-year coach Pat Shurmur said Monday, hinting the team was on the verge of releasing Pontbriand. “We can’t be in slumps. I think it’s important that we all perform and we’ve got to perform all the time. You hold me to that standard, I think the players hold themselves to that and then I know individually they do as well.”

Although Pontbriand played nearly nine seasons for them, and was one of the bright spots for a moribund franchise since 1999, the Browns said nothing about him in their release other than they had waived him.

Jacobs has spent the entire 2011 season on the Browns’ practice squad after originally signing as an undrafted free agent on July 30, 2011. He will wear No. 54. Jacobs’ full bio can be found on page 101 of the 2011 media guide.

Sanford has spent all 11 weeks this season on the Browns’ practice squad. Originally signed as an undrafted free agent on May 17, 2010, Sanford spent nine weeks on the Browns’ practice squad in 2010 before being promoted to the 53-man roster for the final eight games. He will wear No. 70. Sanford’s full bio can be found on page 78 of the 2011 media guide.

Originally signed as an undrafted free agent by Tampa Bay on July 27, 2011, Yount has appeared in seven games this season with the Buccaneers. He was waived on October 25 after the team activated their primary long snapper Andrew Economos from the PUP list. A three-year letterman at UCLA (2007-10), Yount appeared in 51 games, handling all long snapping duties. He recorded four tackles on punt coverage. Born July 8, 1988, the 6-3, 256-pound Yount is a native of Coto de Caza, Calif., and attended Tesero (Calif.) High School. He will wear No. 57.

Originally signed as an undrafted free agent on April 25, 2010, by the Giants, Okpokowuruk spent two weeks on the Giants’ practice squad in 2010. He went to training camp with the Giants in 2011 and was waived on September 3. A four-year letterman at Duke University (2005-09), he appeared in 47 games and totaled 108 career tackles, 10.5 sacks and two forced fumbles. Born June 19, 1987, the 6-4, 255-pound Okpokowuruk is a native of Charlotte, N.C., and attended the McCallie (Chattanooga, Tenn.) High School.

Sims was originally signed by the New York Giants as an undrafted free agent on July 28, 2011 and was waived on September 3. He spent Week 9 this season on the Buccaneers’ active roster and was waived on November 4. A two-year letterman at Iowa State University (2009-10), he appeared in 24 games and compiled 188 career tackles and six interceptions. Born October 20, 1986, the 5-9, 204-pound Sims is a native of Gainesville, Fla., where he attended Gainesville High School.

Smith re-joins the club after originally signing as an undrafted free agent on July 30, 2011. He appeared in all four preseason games and recorded four tackles, one sack and one forced fumble. He was waived on September 3. Smith’s full bio can be found on page 104 of the 2011 media guide.

Fujita started all 10 games in which he appeared this season. He is third on the team with 51 tackles, while adding one interception. Stephens has appeared in nine games, starting the last three at right end. He recorded 15 tackles.



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