BEREA — Browns rookies Austin Seibert and Jamie Gillan may get plenty of chances to familiarize themselves with the unpredictable winds at FirstEnergy Stadium this season.

Kicker Seibert needed realignment with his plant foot and punter Gillan required extra work on his holding for field goals before Sunday’s season opener against the Tennessee Titans. So special teams coach Mike Priefer sent Seibert to the lakefront on Monday and again on Tuesday with Gillan and long snapper Charley Hughlett. Priefer made it sound as if those trips might be more frequent than seasons past.

“He was jamming himself a little bit with his plant foot and that caused some inconsistencies with his leg swing and follow-through and ball contact,” Priefer said Thursday of Seibert, a fifth-round draft pick from Oklahoma. “Just a little tweak that he found, we watched some tape together, we figured it out and worked on it.

“It’s still a little bit of a work in progress, but he’s found a little bit more consistent leg swing and follow-through, so I think he’s on the right track.”

Priefer said Seibert’s last step was a little bit too long, although it was only by a couple inches.

“Everything’s got to be short and compact to be more consistent,” Priefer said, saying the philosophy he’s conveying is “Aim small and miss small.”

Gillan, aka “The Scottish Hammer,” improved dramatically on holding after not handling that role at the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff.

“That was a big factor in the final decision, that’s why the last game was important for him to go out and hold well for Austin like he did,” Priefer said of Gillan as a holder. “He’s such a good athlete he picked up on it pretty quick. When we went down and worked him out, we saw that he was raw, but he was talented and he has great hands and he’s a very good athlete.”

Keeping Gillan over veteran Britton Colquitt was the biggest surprise of the Browns’ final cuts, but Priefer said Gillan showed so much potential they couldn’t let him go.

“Honestly, that’s why he made this football team,” Priefer said. “I think the safe bet would’ve been going with Britton. He’s more consistent, he’s been around a long time.

“I think it would’ve been very difficult to let a guy like Jamie out of the building. He’s so talented, got such a big leg swing, the sky’s the limit for him. I think he’s just scratching the surface on how good he can be and how good of a punter and holder he can be in this league. I just think he’s so talented that we’ve just got to make sure we channel that energy and talent and hopefully get as many consistent punts as we possibly can.”

Priefer said Gillan and Seibert have totally different personalities, which may help as they grow together.

“I think they’ve actually talked about that. One’s a very tightly wound guy, Austin, and one’s a little bit loosey goosey. I think they’re very good for each other,” Priefer said. “If they’re both loosey goosey, I think that would be a little difficult for me to be around because I’m more tightly wound; I’m closer to Austin in that regard.

“Jamie’s been great. The good thing about him is he might not hit a good punt, it might be a below average punt, but the next one he’s going to bomb because he doesn’t worry about what he did with the last one, he probably forgot, anyway. Having a short memory and his personality helps in that regard.”

Priefer called Gillan being left-footed “kind of a bonus.”

“It wasn’t part of the decision-making process per se,” Priefer said. “But given that he is left-footed and we are going to play 15 games outdoors this year, that has a lot to do with a lot of returners being uncomfortable unless they’ve returned a left-footed punter in their organization. It’s hard to get used to a lefty off the JUGS, it’s just not the same, especially his ball that he can do so many different things with.”

Priefer wouldn’t agree that the Browns’ special teams needed an overhaul, but said Coach Freddie Kitchens and General Manager John Dorsey are putting a premium on that phase of the game.

“I don’t know if overhaul is the right word. We have a focus from our general manager, our personnel department, our coach that I don’t know if they had here in years past,” Priefer said. “I do know that we do have great attention to detail with our head coach and our personnel department starting with John about the importance of special teams and how it can help us win games. Hopefully we can carry that baton and be great on teams in every phase.”

Marla Ridenour can be reached at mridenour@thebeaconjournal.com. Read the Browns blog at www.ohio.com/browns. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MRidenourABJ.