The Cleveland Browns superstar wide receiver Josh Gordon has been through a lot in his young career. It has been clear since day one that Gordon carries a prepatent ability yet it has been a rollercoaster ride filled with moments of greatness and discontent. Still, Gordon has persevered through the unjust and grossly uncultured fools that have tried to derail him. He showed up everyday to OTA’s and participated with the Browns throughout training camp; all the while knowing that he would be forced to leave his teammates for the first ten weeks of the season. His presence during that time should be commended. If others faced the same situation, I fully believe, the majority would not have been in attendance, let alone engaged in learning the new offense.
It is for those reasons and the current state of affairs with a 7-4 Cleveland Browns football team, that makes the comments about his organization and their treatment of Gordon so bothersome. Let me be clear that its not the fact that he commented on his treatment, its the treatment itself that is problematic. Gordon recently stated this in regards to his return: “The lowest point of all this I think was the disassociation from a lot of friends you thought were close to you, thought were kind of cool with you, really not checking on you anymore.” Gordon missed the first 10 games of the season due a completely unfounded and nonsensical interpretation of the new NFL drug policy. The idea that any of Gordon’s teammates would not welcome him with open arms is truly disappointing. Gordon’s words come after he caught 8 balls for 122 yards in the Browns last second win on Sunday.
Gordon went on to say that people are not contacting him or wanting to spend time with him anymore and that its not just coming from outside of the organization. “As far as even people in here (with the Browns), I don’t want to throw names around, but I can see it,” Gordon said. “I’m definitely really observant so I see how people might just be more standoffish (than) they were before. It’s kind of like a disease. People they want to see it, but they don’t really want to touch it.”
Mike Pettine and Browns players have been painting a picture of togetherness inside the Browns locker room. We have been led to believe that the organization has undergone a massive culture change where either you are all in and a part of things, or you are out. There is no half way, hence the recent release of running back Ben Tate. Tate had started speaking out against his role in the offense and was promptly given his walking papers. The truth is, the Browns would not have won on Sunday without the efforts of Gordon. During the post-game interview, he still supported the team and backed his QB after one of his worst outings of the season. The kid may have done nothing wrong in the first place depending on who you talk to about “nano-gate” but he kept his head down for the last 10 weeks, didn’t make any noise and refused to take the focus away from what the team was doing. Then, when he was finally allowed to suit up, he walked onto the field Sunday and did his damn job. If anyone in that locker room, or even worse any of the suits in that building are freezing him out like he says, then shame on them and they belong with Ben Tate.
By: Brad Ward