Given that he’s 21 years old and hadn’t played since 2010, it was reasonable to expect Josh Gordon to take some time to get acclimated.
The Supplemental Draft pick has impressed observers in Browns camp, and has a chance to be a significant player for them this year, according to Tony Grossi of ESPNCleveland.com.
“I think where [Gordon has] come from Day One to where he is now, I think he’s come the most of anyone on this football team,” quarterback Brandon Weeden said. “I’m really happy with Josh.”
Along with Weeden and running back Trent Richardson, there’s an opportunity to provide something the Browns have lacked — big-play ability.
That’s why calling Gordon’s number against one of the top corners in the game was illustrative.
“Definitely so,” Gordon said. “It was a little strange, but the first play of the game they called it and I had no choice but to get warmed up. I’m like, ‘This is the real deal.’”
So far in the preseason, he’s averaging 17.6 yards per reception, and impressing with his willingness to work.
“I’ve seen huge improvement,” said coach Pat Shurmur. “I’ve mentioned this, the steady climb theory. Early on, he had to get himself in playing shape. He had to learn the offense. He had to get used to the quarterbacks that were throwing to him. He had to get used to being coached.
“That’s a little bit of a process, too, when we’re riding him. You’ve got to get used to that. When you think you’re a pretty good player and you have to deal with lots of coachable moments, which I thought he did fine, and as it all starts to come together, then you see a guy that’s got very good skill and ability start to make plays.”
After a series of failed drug tests and blowing through two colleges, there was reason to wonder if Gordon was going to get it. But so far, he’s saying and doing all the right things, and may actually justify that second round pick next year the Browns gave up for him.