Down with the doink: Browns kicker Cody Parkey’s predilection for hitting the post needs to stay …

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Cody Parkey’s name has become synonymous with the doink, an onomatopoeia derived from the sound a football makes when striking the goal post, typically at the most disadvantageous time.

Nobody in recent memory has more high-profile doinks than Parkey, the six-year veteran kicker who will line up when the Browns play their biggest game of the year on Sunday against Pittsburgh.

After missing extra points in three consecutive games, including one that hit the upright in last Sunday’s loss to the Jets, Parkey’s predilection for hitting the post is something that needs to get burned on the pyre along with the rest of 2020 if Cleveland hopes to reach the postseason for the first time in 18 years.

Expectations for an NFL kicker are exceedingly high, but Parkey’s ability to hit the post on missed kicks is uncanny.

The space between the uprights is 18 feet, 6 inches wide and the ball measures seven inches wide. by rule, the goal post upright is to be “no less than 3 inches and no more than 4 inches in diameter,” making the odds of hitting one (or two) more than a couple of times in a season astronomical. But that’s exactly where Parkey excels.

“He hits the upright like it’s his own personal tuning fork,” says Kyle Brandt of Good Morning Football on NFL Network.

Going back to his first stint with the Browns in 2016, Parkey has hit the goal post at least 10 times on missed kicks, including six times for the Bears in the 2018 season.

The last of those doinks was the most memorable and painful for Chicago fans as Parkey hit the left upright and the crossbar on what would have been the game-winning kick against Philadelphia in the NFC Wild Card game.

The rare double-doink became Parkey’s calling card after that.

Cody Parkey doinks, 2016-2020

Year Team Week Opp. Hit
2016 CLE Week 3 Miami Left post
2016 CLE Week 9 Dallas Left post
2017 MIA Week 9 Raiders Left post
2018 CHI Week 10 Detroit Right post (3X), Left post (1X)
2018 CHI Week 17 Vikings Right post
2018 CHI NFC Wild Card Eagles Left post & crossbar
2019 TEN Week 7 Chargers Right post
2020 CLE Week 16 Jets Left post

Browns special teams coordinator Mike Priefer said Parkey’s last two misses have been completely different. One of the kicks he pushed right and the extra point on Sunday was pulled left. On Thursday, Priefer told reporter during a Zoom press conference that he talked with the veteran kicker and that Parkey is continuing to work on getting better.

“It is frustrating for him as well as for our football team,” Priefer said. “He knows he’s gotta make those kicks and he’s got to make them down the stretch to obviously help us win this game and keep going.”

With the practice facility closed Wednesday, Parkey worked out at a local high school field. There was thought given to having him work out at FirstEnergy Stadium, but Priefer said the logistics of opening up the venue were too complicated.

Regardless of where he practices, Priefer said Parkey’s even-keeled approach will serve him well, and he’s expecting Parkey to bounce back (no pun intended) in the season’s biggest game.

“He knows how important he is to the success of this football team,” Priefer said. “I’m not into predictions, but I feel real good about him going out and performing well on Sunday.”

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