Letting Josh Gordon optimism creep in

I tried my best to throw cold water on the whole Josh Gordon thing. It’s a commonly-used defense mechanism for me concerning long-shot Cleveland Browns story lines. Alas, as the process continues to move along, and teammates continue to talk about Gordon performing in practice, it’s hard not to start looking forward to his return to the field. It’s hard to let all the history go, however.

Josh Gordon hasn’t played regularly since suiting up in five mediocre games in 2014. That mediocrity was made even worse with the chatter that Gordon was disruptive on the field and in the locker room. After helping the Browns win a game in Atlanta on a last-second field goal where Brian Hoyer threw three interceptions, Gordon faded from the box scores. In four losses to the Bills, Colts, Bengals, and Panthers, he was much less effective.

Time is an amazing salve, and it’s easy to forget a lot of negative things when the last game that Josh Gordon played in was December of 2014. It’s easy to forget when you realize he last played in a Browns game that featured both Brian Hoyer, and Johnny Manziel, not to mention Jordan Cameron, Travis Benjamin, Ahtyba Rubin, and Jabaal Sheard.

It’s human nature for NFL fans only to think about the best of a player’s career.

It’s human nature for NFL fans only to think about the best of a player’s career because, selfishly, that’s what they want to see back on the field and in the box score. Never mind that what Gordon did in 2013 wasn’t just a personal outlier, but something of a historical outlier as well. Gordon could be “good” in 2016 and not come close to approximating a season where he was able to go for nearly 500 yards combined in two games—both losses to Pittsburgh and Jacksonville.

Regardless of how unrealistic it all might be, I’m letting myself start to think about the possibilities. As I watch RG3 connect with another unlikely receiving storyline in Terrelle Pryor in back-to-back preseason games, I’m starting to think about Gordon out there making life easy on a QB who needs him. Despite all my reservations and a Browns-fan-fueled need for defense mechanisms, I’m starting to let the thoughts creep into my brain.

Is it a trap? Will I regret it? Is this just another “okey doke” setting up Browns fans for one of those miserable fourth quarter faces that is immortalized nearly every season by an HD camera trolling through the crowd? Maybe, but the upside of a healthy Josh Gordon with superior size, speed and a quarterback that can throw the deep ball is just too much to deny right now.

josh gordon

  • RGB

    Looks at those gorgeous jerseys…

  • mgbode

    I’m doing my best to push aside thoughts of August 2015 storylines of Terrelle Pryor and Dwayne Bowe leading the Browns WR corps.

    But, this line above has my head spinning
    It’s human nature for NFL fans only to think about the best of a
    player’s career because, selfishly, that’s what they want to see back on
    the field and in the box score

    Is this true? Thinking of Braylon Edwards, Kellen Winslow, Peyton Hillis, Tim Couch, etc.

    My thinking is that it depends on how deep a fan you were of them and how crushed you were by their fall from grace. If you had misgivings or their fall had a bigger emotional impact than their glory games, then you’d immaturely continue to post GIFs of their failures for years. If not, then you’d fondly remember the good times.

    Great topic that might need further exploration. Thanks Craig.

  • mgbode
  • Matthew Grant Anson
  • Matthew Grant Anson
  • RGB

    Couldn’t find a gif, but this is the one that really hurt…

  • mgbode

    I cannot even find a picture of the MNF game against the Giants where he let a Derek Anderson pass carom off his facemask.

  • paulbip

    That was a class uniform. There is still room for writing across the ass on the new uniforms.

  • RGB

    I can’t believe they haven’t sh*tcanned those hideous uniforms after they sacked Scheiner.

  • Chris

    Because the Browns won that game in convincing fashion. No need to dwell on the negatives when you demolish that year’s Super Bowl champion.

    Can I say Super Bowl? I can’t afford those royalties! Quick, hide! They’re on to me!

  • Pat Leonard

    The thought of having three potentially lethal deep threats is pretty intoxicating when you imagine them paired with RG3’s golden arm. He should see a lot fewer stacked boxes because of those guys, which should give Crow and Duke more room to operate. And then there’s Barnidge. Fun times ahead. So far RG3 has been getting the ball out in under 2.5 seconds on average, which is a good sign. That’s a Hue Jackson staple.

  • RGB
  • Hopwin

    Has Josh dropped the other 40 extra pounds he brought into camp? Still looks very chumbly-wumbly in the camp highlights I’ve seen of him.

  • RGB

    Damn munchies…