BEREA (92.3 The Fan) – Josh Gordon showed Sunday just what type of weapon he could be for head coach Hue Jackson and rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer.
Now they both have to learn how to use him.
“I just think it is going to get better and better and better every week that we play because there is a better understanding of Josh and what he can do and what he does not do as well,” Jackson said Monday. “That is how you start to build your offensive football team as you move forward.”
Gordon played 48 of a possible 63 snaps – or 76 percent – in Sunday’s 19-10 loss to the LA Chargers that saw him catch 4 of 11 targets for 85 yards.
But he could’ve done so much more had Kizer put a few footballs in better positions.
“I think there are quite a few opportunities within that game where if I just give a guy a chance to go make a play with his size and his ability, he will come down with it,” Kizer said.
In the second quarter Gordon beat Chargers safety Adrian Phillips easily and a good throw would’ve equaled a touchdown. Instead, Kizer overthrew him and 3 plays later running back Duke Johnson got stuffed on a fourth-and-1 from the LA 35 ending the drive.
Kizer missed short on another deep ball to Gordon with 9:13 left in the third quarter up the far sideline that nearly resulted in an interception. With some air under the ball from Kizer, Gordon could’ve caught it and walked to the endzone for another score.
“We saw some plays that were made. We saw some plays that were left out there,” Jackson said. “I think until they have these game situations and you start to understand Josh’s body language and how he goes about doing things and whether as a quarterback I need to quicken up my drop or stretch my drop or these things, the anticipation when the ball comes out, you are learning. I thought that was a huge learning piece for DeShone.”
Gordon caught a quick 9-yard slant to open the game, made a sensational catch on the far sideline for 28 yards out-jumping Chargers cornerback Casey Hayward to move the Browns into LA territory at the 28 as the 2-minute warning of the first half hit and he added a 39-yard catch-and-run on a crossing route in the second half.
The scary thing is considering Gordon hadn’t played a regular season game in 1,077 days before Sunday, he can get better.
“The guy can play football. He was obviously built to play football,” Jackson said. “He just has to continue to work in our system – again, that was his first game getting football legs underneath you and understanding what that is play in and play out – I think better Josh is going to be.”
And it’ll be on Jackson and Kizer to take advantage of Gordon’s ability.
Communication Breakdown – If the Browns offense looked slow or disorganized getting in and out of the huddle Sunday there was a good reason for it – the headsets were not working forcing Jackson and defensive coordinator Gregg Williams to use walkie talkies, which weren’t reliable either.
“All game there was an issue with our headsets and with the coach-to-quarterback communicator,” Jackson said.
The problems forced Jackson to burn his first timeout prior to a second-and-goal from the LA 15 with 4:59 left in the fourth quarter.
“He never got the play call at all,” Jackson said. “It was either you are going to end up getting a penalty or we try to get up on the ball earlier – I think, in the second quarter, he called a play because he couldn’t get it. We ended up running a play into a bad defense that we shouldn’t run because he couldn’t hear anything.”
The headset problems for the Browns was news to Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn when he was asked about it Monday.
“It’s the first I’ve heard of it. We didn’t have any problems on our sidelines,” Lynn told reporters.
Injury Report – S Jabrill Peppers underwent an MRI on his knee after suffering an injury Sunday, which the team doesn’t believe to be serious; TE Randall Telfer has an undisclosed injury but was checked for a concussion and was cleared by doctors Sunday; DE Myles Garrett’s left ankle is “sore” but he is expected to be fine according to Jackson.