BEREA--The Browns could use a jump start in their offense--to say the least.
Josh Gordon has served his two-game NFL suspension for substance abuse and he spoke to reporters directly on Monday about his situation.
"I'm excited to be back," he said. "I want to make as big of an impact as I can possible. We have a sense of urgency on offense to make some plays and that is what I'm going to try and do.
Gordon confirmed that he might be on his last chance with not only the Browns, but the NFL, as a whole.
"I feel like it's a last chance opportunity for the league," Gordon said. "Nobody wants a problematic type of person in their program or in the organization because how it perceives to be. I definitely want to stay away from any controversy for as long as I can, forever. That's definitely my number one priority."
Gordon was asked if he had another misstep with the NFL if it would lead to a one year suspension from the NFL.
"I think that's what it is," he said. "I believe so."
Gordon said he's got the message.
"For the simple fact that there's no room for mistakes," he said. "It's get it right and that's it."
The Browns offense has been non-existent and many feel Gordon's ability to stretch the field will help as teams have to game plan for him. He caught 50 passes for 805 yards as a rookie, including five touchdowns. His 16.1 average per catch is what the Browns are looking for. The Browns receivers had just 10 receptions in Sunday's loss to the Ravens.
"I definitely think I can go out there and put my talent to the best use for the team," he said. "Hopefully, we can go a long way with it. I don't want to say it's just about me or anything like that. We have a great offense and a bunch of great guys. I just want to be an extra piece of the puzzle to help us put it all together.
"I can't just say it's myself," he said. "i definitely want to go out there and help and go 100 percent. At this point, the guys just struggled through the last two games. It's early in the season and I definitely think the rhythm will get there and we'll be clicking, with or without me being the reason why. I think it's one of those things where we just need to regroup."
Rob Chudzinski is looking forward to having another weapon.
"I'm looking forward to having him back."
However, Chudzinski knows the offense needs more than just having him back.
"Josh will help but we need to improve in other areas," he said. "My experience with offenses is it take s a little time, but then you get confidence going and things start to roll."
Gordon said he doesn't feel any extra pressure to make something happen.
"That's not the case at all," he said. "There's no real pressure at all. I want to just go out there and play like I've played (in the past), make some big plays and hopefully, every thing gets back on track. It's not about me, it's about the team effort."
Gordon is relieved to have the suspension behind him, for himself and the team.
"It's a big deal. I know it was a looming cloud behind me of negativity," he said. "I'm glad to be back on the field and hopefully, more people can focus on that."
Gordon said his time away has helped him realize what football means to him.
"It definitely has," he said. "Just being taken away from it is a humbling experience for me. I found a new appreciation for the game. The absence of it makes the heart grow fonder, in a sense, so that's what it really is all about for me right now.
"The absence from (the game) definitely touches you and makes you appreciate it a whole lot more, especially in a situation like that with time away from it.
Gordon was allowed to be at the Browns training facility, working out and staying plugged in, just not able to practice. He said that was extremely helpful for him. In the past, the NFL didn't allow suspended players to be around the team.
"To be able to work out in the facility and be around the team and stay in the same rhythm and the normal routine that every one else was going through was a great benefit for me."
Gordon said he spent his off days at the Boys & Girls Club in Cleveland.
"I spent some time with the young kids from the inner city that are less fortunate," he said. "To be around them helps you humble yourself and come down to earth a little bit and how much of a blessing it is to do what you do for a living."
Gordon said he has realized that it's up to him to take charge of his life and learn from his past mistakes.
"I feel as though the guidance is really on me, I don't think anybody should be a caretaker for me at this point in my life," he said. "I want to be seen as a grown man and have the responsibilities for myself. I have to look at it that way and can't expect to always have someone in my ear telling me to do this or to do that. You just have to know the difference between right or wrong."
Gordon knows he must earn the trust from the team and the organization.
"I hope that the trust is there from before, but I'm definitely going to have to earn it back by making plays and showing how hard I go at practice and during the games and being committed to it as a whole, not just myself but as a whole we need trust from everybody," he said. "It's a big commitment thing from me and they have to see it from me."
Paul Kruger goes up against Gordon every day in practice and he thinks he will be a huge asset to the offense.
"I think (Josh) can make a big difference," Kruger said. "He's a special player. We need him out there."
Weeden in Question: Chudzinski said it's wait and see on QB Brandon Weeden and his sprained thumb.
"It's a sprained thumb and we'll see how it responds in the next couple of days," he said. "That will give us a good indication."
Chudzinski didn't want to speculate on who would step in if Weeden can't play against the Vikings.
"I want to keep (options) open to see where Brandon is," he said. "Like I mentioned before, I'm confident in all them. I just want to have to best chance to win."
QB Jason Campbell has taken all of the second team reps and it's assumed he would start, but Chudzinski wouldn't commit to him leading to speculation that QB Brian Hoyer might get the nod.
"We're all on the same team," Campbell said. "You have to be a pro."
Campbell was in for one series and was one-of-4 for 6 yards.
Hoyer said he stays ready every week, even though he was inactive as the third quarterback in the first two games.
"I prepare every week like i'm the starter," he said. "You never know in this league and that's how I prepare this job. That's how this business is."
Weeden was 21-of-33 for 227 yards, but was sacked five times by the Ravens. He had a rating of 83.8.
Delay Problems: The Browns had three delay of games on offense and were forced to call a timeout on another occasion.
"It starts with getting the plays in and getting more consistent," Chudzinksi said. "We're working hard on that. Some of that is coaching, some is players, some is technical issues with headsets. We're going to streamline the process but there's no excuse use for those things to happen."
Little Trouble: WR Greg Little got himself into trouble again with his driving. Chudzinski said he is dealing with the situation.
"I'm aware of that situation and will address that with him."
Chudzinski was asked if he will be suspended or disciplined.
"Any of those things I'm going to keep in house."
Little has had more trouble catching the ball, as well. He was targeted 12 times against the Ravens, catching four passes, but he also had three drops.
"He's had some opportunities to make plays and he's the first one that sees he needs to make those plays," Chudzinski said.
Chudzinski said he expects Little to improve.
""I've seen guys improve," he said. "From his standpoint, it's not from lack of work ethic. It's getting it done in game situations and gaining the confidence in himself. You keep working at it and keeping working at and some time you break through."
"He's working at it. He's got to gain the confidence in himself and has to believe in himself."
Lauvao Back?: OL Shawn Lauvao said he did some running last week and really wants to play this week. He said he didn't know if he'd practice on Wednesday.
Groves Out: LB Quentin Groves sprained his left ankle against the Ravens and Chudzinsk said he is 'day to day'.
Mingo's Numbers: Rookie LB Barkevious Mingo played 25 plays on defense and 10 on special teams. That amounted to 35 percent of the defensive plays and 38 percent of the special teams plays. Mingo had a sack on his first play of his career and had two tackles, one hurry and one pass batted down.
Opportunity Missed: One of the key plays in the games was when QB Brandon Weeden missed RB Chris Ogbonnaya wide open down the sideline with 2:38 to play in the third quarter. The Browns were trailing 7-6 and were facing second-and-7 from their own 38 and Ogbonnaya broke free and Weeden's pass was just off the finger tips of Ogbonnaya, who was outstretched for the ball.
"It was a combination of both," Chudzinski said. "Both of those guys readily admitted that Brandon had to get the ball out quickly and he led him more than he should've those are the types of plays you have to make in critical situations."