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Browns’ Burleson speaks out on Gordon’s possible suspension

June 4, 2014
By MIKE McLAIN - Tribune Chronicle ( , Tribune Chronicle

CLEVELAND - It's a month into the Josh Gordon suspension watch and still not a peep from the Browns receiver.

Other players and coaches have commented on Gordon's possible suspension for violating the NFL's drug policy, but nothing from Gordon. The latest player to weigh in was receiver Nate Burleson.

"He's so gifted and talented that it's hard to coach and motivate greatness," Burleson said. "I'm not saying he's great, but he has the talent to do that.

"I played with Randy Moss and Calvin Johnson and saw those guys first hand every day. I want him to kind of understand that if he can harness what he has and what he's been gifted with, he's going to be trouble in this league for a long time."

Burleson, a 12-year NFL veteran, is embracing the leadership role that was sorely missing for the young receivers last season.

"It's all about paying it forward in this league," Burleson said. "I've been blessed enough to last 10 years, and lot of that is because I listened to the older guys when I first got into the league. I'm not afraid to give that knowledge and help motivate young guys."

JOHNNY BE GOOD: Quarterback Johnny Manziel was inconsistent throwing from the pocket, having three passes intercepted (one in 7-on-7 drills). It was a different story when he scrambled. His best moment came when he rolled to his right and threw across the field on a deep route to tight end Jordan Cameron, who reached out to make a finger-tip catch.

"It's hard when he has the red shirt on and the defensive guys know they can't tackle him," coach Mike Pettine said. "It's hard to get glimpses of that. We've done some designed rollouts with him. He's shown when he can get into the open field that he can run through an angle and eat up some ground pretty quickly."

IT SHOULD BE FUN: Cameron and other receivers will be in for a shock if and when Manziel starts. His unique style will put receivers into scramble mode, but with a twist because of his ability to run.

"You have your scramble rules," Cameron said. "The short guy goes deep; the left guy goes right. It's not as chaotic as it looks. Johnny has the threat of the run, which is huge for us because guys don't know whether to go tackle him or stay on us."

WHAT WAS THAT?: Cameron was surprised to see 330-pound defensive tackle Ishmaa'ily Kitchen playing a deep safety on the deep Manziel pass.

"He was laughing, too," Cameron said. "He was holding my jersey and saying, 'Why am I covering this guy?' "

NOT WORRIED: Burleson said his left arm, which was broken in a freak accident while picking up a pizza last year, is better than has been reported. Burleson is sitting out OTA practices because of another issue regarding the arm.

"It was reported a lot worse than it is," Burleson said. "I'm running around and lifting weights."

WHERE IS TMZ?: Quarterback Brian Hoyer joked about Manziel's recent Las Vegas trip, which involved a well-photographed pool party.

"I was at a pool, too," Hoyer said.

CAMPING OUT: Receiver Miles Austin practiced Tuesday. He had been sitting out to avoid hamstring issues that have been a constant hindrance. Offensive tackle Joe Thomas watched practice wearing a fishing hat. Thomas was an observer last week during the practice that was open to the media. Cornerback Justin Gilbert and Manziel will throw out the first pitches at tonight's Indians-Red Sox game. Gilbert was a pitcher-outfielder in high school and is looking forward to showing off his pitching form. "I don't know how good I am now. I was pretty good back then," he said.



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