Jamie Gillan was at a bar having drinks with his father on Saturday when he received a call from Cleveland Browns general manager John Dorsey.
Gillan, who was signed as an undrafted free agent out of Arkansas Pine-Bluff, had beaten out 10-year veteran Britton Colquitt for the punter job.
“As soon as I got off the phone, everybody was kind of looking at me like 'What was that?’” Gillan said. “'And I just kind of said, 'It looks like I'm playing Tennessee next week' and everybody just started going crazy, so it was really cool. It was good fun with them.”
Gillan said he tried to buy a round of drinks for the bar patrons but it ended up going the other way.
Gillan, lovingly nicknamed “The Scottish Hammer,” had moved to the U.S. from Scotland as a teenager. His father was serving in the Royal Air Force and was transferred to Maryland.
He said he never felt too confident he would beat out Colquitt – who later would sign with the Minnesota Vikings.
“He's been in the NFL for 10 years, so I actually had no idea, to be honest,” Gillan said. “I just know I just can control what I can control myself. As long as I felt like I'm getting better, I'm doing fine. I can't be worried about what Colquitt's doing. He's doing his thing and I'm doing my thing.
“We got along really well and it was actually really fun with him. I had a really good four months, and he helped me out a lot and we worked well together and we competed hard against each other.”
Gillan said he was excited about the first game of the season against the Tennessee Titans.
“'I'm sure it's going to be bumpin’,” he said. “'I've never experienced an in-season game before. It was fun in preseason. It's supposed to be sold out, right? It should be pretty fun.”
In his senior season at Arkansas Pine-Bluff, Gillan was first-team all-conference as a kicker and punter.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.