Red Right 88

In Cleveland, hope dies last

You’re making our point for us, coach

Cleveland Browns coach Pat Shurmur reportedly was not happy with Josh Gordon’s play during practice on Sunday, pulling the rookie wide receiver from drills with the first team.

That came on the heels of Gordon’s first NFL game Friday night against Detroit, where he was targeted three times but came away with a Brian Robiskie-like zero catches for no yards.

“Well, I think (Josh’s) a rookie in the NFL so he learns everything by doing it,” Shurmur said in his press conference after practice. “He’s an extremely talented guy, but he needs to do it and he needs to be inspired and motivated. His first game was a little bit like I might have expected. I think when you get playing (in) a game as opposed to practice, the speed and the urgency and all the stuff just tends to pick up a little bit. I would anticipate as he plays his way through this preseason he’ll get better and better.”

In case you missed it, here’s the important part of what Shurmur said:

“I think when you get playing (in) a game as opposed to practice, the speed and the urgency and all the stuff just tends to pick up a little bit.”

Well … the thing is … if rookies need to play in game situations to get better … rather than just practice … then shouldn’t the Browns get their players as much game action as possible in the preseason? As opposed to worrying that a preseason opponent is also on the regular season schedule?

As for Gordon, it sounds as if he gets it.

“I’d like to say I’m a self-motivated kind of guy, but hearing it from my teammates and hearing it from my coaches definitely helps as well because it just shows that they actually do really care (and) want the best out of you,” he told The Plain Dealer. “I’m glad they do it. It’s necessary for a lot of the times because sometimes you get tired and you get down and might miss a play or mess up. You might need some of that confidence to boost you back up to go out there and do it again.

“I was disappointed in myself (after the Detroit game). I didn’t play that good. It was a learning process getting up to the learning curve, but I definitely feel like I’m there now. These next couple of practice days we have going into this next game, I feel like I’ll be more prepared and definitely ready to attack it again.”

As for Shurmur and the preseason, he really needs to focus on getting the Browns up to speed as fast as possible and nothing else.

No matter who is on the schedule.


In other Browns news, ESPN’s Adam Schefter has decided that Green Bay should trade for quarterback Colt McCoy to serve as the backup to Aaron Rodgers. Schefter writes that:

If I were the Packers, I’d be on the phone right now, offering a fifth-round pick to the Cleveland Browns for Colt McCoy, who some teams around the league really like. Cleveland would be willing to deal McCoy for the right price, no matter what it says, and the Packers could use McCoy as much as any team in the league right about now. He would be great insurance for Rodgers and give the Packers the type of backup they would need to sustain their playoff hopes in the event of an injury. I liked the Benson move — a low-risk move that upgrades Green Bay’s backfield. Benson has produced more than people realize. He can do the same for the Packers. But if I were with the Packers, landing McCoy would have me feeling better about the upcoming season.

If a team like the Packers is interested in McCoy, maybe the Browns should think twice about moving him. Although if there was a market for McCoy’s services, the team may have already done something.


Finally, Sports Illustrated‘s Peter King spends him team report talking about the Browns in this video.

(Photo by The Plain Dealer)


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