One of the most captivating talents at the wide receiver position a few years ago, Cleveland Browns standout Josh Gordon ripped the NFL up in 2013.
After being selected by the Browns in the 2012 supplemental draft, playing all 16 games and having a solid rookie season with 50 catches, 805 yards, and 5 TD’s, he shredded NFL defenses to a tune of 87 catches, 1,646 yards (league leading) and 9 TD’s on the way to making his 1st Pro Bowl. And dig this. He only suited up for 14 games that season!
After numerous suspensions and run-in’s with the NFL for substance abuse, he finally made his much anticipated return to football in a Week 13 matchup against the Los Angeles Chargers at StubHub Center in Carson City, California on December 3, 2017.
In his first game, on an afternoon which consisted of being shadowed by one of the NFL’s best corners in Casey Hayward, Josh Gordon caught 4 passes for a solid 85 yards.
Hayward went on to say after the gane that up to that point in the season, Gordon was the toughest challenge he had to face.
He ran his routes smoothly, made contested catches, and practically ran himself open every play. He could have easily had a 200-yard day had the quarterback play not been so god awful.
In five games this past season, he had 18 receptions for 335 yards and scored one touchdown. His 18.6 yards per reception led the team by far. Expectations were extremely low simply because he did not play in a regular season game in almost 3 whole calendar years.
With the all out youth movement that has cultivated in Cleveland, the Browns’ oldest receiver on the current roster is 26 years old. However, that 26-year old is none other than Flash Gordon himself.
It was obvious and very evident with him averaging over 18 yards per catch in limited action last season that Flash Gordon’s talent hasn’t alluded him yet.
Given much improved quarterback play in 2018, it wouldn’t be a stretch in the least to believe that Flash Gordon would be able to post similar numbers to those he had all of 2013.
New offensive coordinator Todd Haley will be more than excited to get his hands on him and possibly use him in the ways that he used Antonio Brown while in Pittsburgh. Josh Gordon will have every opportunity imaginable to revive the Cleveland Browns offense in 2018 under Haley’s tutelage.
The end of the season is here and for many players, especially for Josh Gordon in the past, it’s difficult to be away from the game. He’ll need to surrond himself with as many good people and people relatable to him as possible. It is way too easy to get back off track during down time. New Cleveland Browns personnel consultant Scot McCloughan should be able to empathize with the Browns receiver to a certain degree.
Both have lost NFL opportunities due to chronic substance abuse. McCloughan was out of the league in 2017 after being fired from the Redskins for a recurring bout with alcoholism.
2018 is definitely going to be considered as a make or break year for the 5th year star. As talented and masterful as he is at his craft, he is a small step away from losing everything.
On the other hand, he could easily make due on his request to be the best receiver ever. Well, at least the best in the league next season. It’s definitely something for starving Browns fans to look forward to. Elite talent is a desperate need at the moment for a very desperate franchise.
Look for Josh Gordon to rip through opposing defenses and channel his inner gladiator this upcoming season. Imagine that. It’s an exciting concept that will hopefully take fruition. Have your hater blocker shades ready, Cleveland. The future appears to be very sunny.