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Sport Jamie Gillan: It will be wild if Cleveland Browns end playoff drought

20:50  29 november  2020
20:50  29 november  2020 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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In the most unusual of years, Jamie Gillan is taking his second season in his stride, as the Cleveland Browns look on course to end their 18-year playoff hoodoo.

Gillan, nicknamed the Scottish Hammer, has become a fan favourite in Cleveland for his everyman appeal and his booming left boot.

During lockdown, Gillan, 23, helped out distributing food with local restaurants in Cleveland while working out in the gym.

a man holding a football ball: Jamie Gillan is enjoying a successful second season in Cleveland © Provided by Daily Mail Jamie Gillan is enjoying a successful second season in Cleveland

And now, with the Browns 7-3 and looking nailed on for a playoff spot for the first time since 2002, they are one of few teams to play in front of fans.

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Jamie Gillan will make his NFL debut for the Cleveland Browns in Nashville today. Gillan , who went undrafted after attending college at the University of Arkansas Browns Special Teams Co-ordinator Mike Priefer said: 'I think it would have been very difficult to let a guy like Jamie out of the building.

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'It’s been awesome to hear some kind of noise. The first game we went out against Baltimore and had no crowd – for the first five minutes it felt like a practice,' Gillan said.

'You’re trying to get yourself focused, so having the crowd has been great. You can see they’ve been great with the mask-wearing and being socially-distanced.

'My mum and dad went to a game and said the ‘mask police’ were on you, if you had it down and weren’t having a drink or something to eat. They’re practising everything they can to be safe so we can still get a football game going.'

As a rugby-mad teenager, Gillan played for Highland RFC in Inverness before moving to the States due to his father's job with the RAF.

a man wearing a helmet and holding a sign: Gillan has endeared himself to Browns fans with his everyman attitude and his left foot © Provided by Daily Mail Gillan has endeared himself to Browns fans with his everyman attitude and his left foot

He tried football on a whim, but his kicking ability saw him progress through high school and college teams.

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After going undrafted last year, Cleveland took a punt on Gillan, offering him a tryout and his fairytale continued after he established himself as the team's starter.

He says other rugby players should follow his lead.

'When you see guys like Stuart Hogg and Finn Russell and how they kick a rugby ball – they would give a lot of guys a run for their money!' he said.

'Hoggy can absolutely mash a rugby ball so I’m sure he could do it with an American football too. They could fly out to Arizona, kick a few balls in front of some NFL coaches and maybe get a training camp invite. You never know what could happen. You saw what happened with my journey.'

After Scotland sealed qualification to a major tournament for the first time since 1998, the Browns look set to end an unwanted run of their own also.

And after hearing tales of celebrations after the Cleveland Cavaliers' winning their first NBA championship in 2016, Gillan says that part of Ohio will go wild.

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Cleveland Browns Playoffs Shoutouts will be given in the next video #BrownsToThePlayoffs.

'This place would just erupt if we made it to the post-season. People would go absolutely crazy,' Gillan said.

'I heard what it was like when the Cavs won the NBA and that sounded wild. For people here LeBron James is like a god. They love him and rightly so.

'And the celebrations will be like that times 10 if the Browns could do anything along the lines of that.

'Everyone in the locker room knows what it means to the fans. So we want to do it for them and the city as they deserve it. We’ve always got that in the back of our heads.'

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