Browns expect Josh Gordon around “for a long time to come.”
As news unfolded during the 2014 NFL draft that the Cleveland Browns could be without their star receiver Josh Gordon for the whole season, many draft “experts” clamored about how the they should select a receiver to replace him.
Gordon, who had a huge breakout season in 2013, apparently failed a marijuana test recently, which could possibly lead to a season-long suspension. The Browns and owner Jimmy Haslam knew Gordon could be gone for the season for two weeks prior to the draft.
However, Haslam and head coach Mike Pettine explained their takes on Gordon, as well as why they didn’t draft a highly regarded receiver:
“Josh is learning and growing and improving as a person,” Haslam said during a speech, via Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “He’s learning how to work hard. He’s learning how to be a professional. Josh is a smart young man. All of us have made mistakes when we were that age. We’re counting on Josh being a good football player for the Browns for a long time to come.
“We’re confident we have a plan,” coach Mike Pettine said. “The situation didn’t call for panic. That’s something we weren’t going to do. I agree with Ray 1,000 percent that we have to build this team so that no one player drives the ship. …losing players for extended periods of time potentially is part of the game. Successful franchises are the ones that have enough depth built and enough options that they have from scheme-wise, coaching-wise to account for it.”
This sounds like a team that is sick of losing, and is really trying to build a winning franchise from the ground up. I applaud the Browns for not panicking and rushing to pick a receiver when they already had a plan.
I expect the Browns to address the issue when they actually find out what type of punishment Gordon is going to receive. There’s a chance he’s not lost for the season, there’s even a chance he may only be suspended two or four games.
As for now, it looks like Haslam will cross that bridge when he comes to it.