Gordon deflecting controversy
CLEVELAND – Interviews with Browns receiver Josh Gordon hadn’t happened since he met with reporters a few days before the start of training camp.
After a recent session with the media, Gordon might not be doing another one for quite awhile.
Shortly into an interview with about 10 reporters, Gordon was asked about a perception among some national writers that he has a tendency to loaf his way through practices. He probably would have rather been hit going across the middle than address that topic.
“Certain people see different things when they look at me run,” Gordon said. “When they look at me run it might look slow, but I’m a little bit larger to play my position. It might be a little deceptive. I go out here 100 percent every day I come out here.”
Gordon can’t seem to take two steps without controversy following, which might be why he had been turning down interview requests. He tested positive for marijuana twice while attending Baylor, leading to his dismissal and a move to Utah. He never played a down at Utah and entered a supplemental draft for the NFL in June of 2012 and was awarded to the Browns, who yielded a second-round pick in this year’s regular draft.
Everything seemed to be going fine until Gordon tested positive for the banned substance codeine. He said he didn’t know it was in the cough syrup he had used, but that didn’t change the thinking of league powers that levied a two-game suspension to start the season.
Before taking his first repetition at camp, Gordon was hit with several questions about the suspension. He was asked if he thinks he has a substance-abuse problem.
What Gordon needs to do now is put the issues behind him and show to coach Rob Chudzinzski and front-office personnel that he’s committed to fulfilling his potential, which is huge. Browns CEO Joe Banner said recently that the rope is short with Gordon.
A committed Gordon is by far the best receiver on the roster. With his size-speed combination and dependable hands, all that stands between him and stardom are a dedicated mindset and refined route running.
“I’m concentrating on making plays, and we have to get wins,” Gordon said. “If we get W’s in the win column, everything else will take care of itself.”
It would seem that the switch in offense from the West Coast to Air Coryell would benefit Gordon the most. He’s built for stretching defenses by running deep routes.
Gordon should like the new offense if for no reason other than the terminology used in the Air Coryell. Routes are called in numbers instead of a term that often defines a set of routes.
“The routes are a little different,” Gordon said. “The steps are different. It’s a different system altogether. It is easier to learn this offense. Learning something new is always going to be difficult, but now I like it. It’s a lot easier to run the numbers system for me. I’m grasping it a lot better.”
Gordon will miss the first game, at home against Miami, and a week two game in Baltimore. His first action will be in week three at Minnesota.
Gordon has been slowed a little in camp by patellar tendinitis.
“It’s something I’ve always had just running around playing sports,” he said. “Just a heavy workload and moving a lot off the right foot. It’s really nothing more than maintenance work and stretching it when I need to.”
Gordon will have two weeks next month to get all the rest he needs.