BEREA (92.3 The Fan) – Cleveland Browns receiver Josh Gordon was not on the practice field Thursday, a day before his appeal hearing is scheduled to be held in New York.
Gordon had just began slowly working his way into reps with the first team offense Tuesday after starting camp primarily working with the third team.
“He was traveling,” head coach Mike Pettine said following practice.
Gordon faces an indefinite suspension following a failed drug test earlier this year but his lawyers will plead his case in front of an arbitrator Friday.
Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com reported earlier this week that there is a slight discrepancy in the failed test. The “A” sample tested just barely above the limit while the “B” sample was below the allowed limit. The average of both samples would’ve resulted in a passed test.
Under the league’s testing policy the “B” sample only needs to confirm the substance was found and does not have to be above the allowed limit.
Since entering stage 3 of the league’s substance abuse program, Gordon has reportedly passed over 70 drug tests. He was arrested for DWI on July 5 in Raleigh, North Carolina and entered rehab after the incident.
Winn, Greco Active – Defensive lineman Billy Winn and offensive guard John Greco were on the practice field for the first time in training camp on Thursday.
“I was going kind of stir crazy watching” Greco said. “But it felt good to get back out there and do some drills today and get moving around.”
Both declined to say why they missed the first 4 practices on the non-football injury list before being activated.
The New Guy – Safety Jim Leonhard, who played for Pettine in Baltimore, New York and Buffalo practice, a day after being signed on Wednesday.
“You look at him and think he should be doing your taxes and not playing safety for you,” Pettine joked. “But he’s an exceptional athlete, and he’s found a way to survive for a long time in this league.”
The Browns had their eye on Leonhard before camp began but finally decided it was the right time to bring him in.
“There’s definitely a comfort level. You know what he expects. You know what he’s looking out of you,” Leonhard said. “When you come in you feel a little more at ease than it you were going into a totally new place not knowing anybody, not knowing the system.
Orange Crush – The defense retained the orange jersey’s Thursday wining the final challenge at the end of practice.
The defense was able to stop the offense on third-and-two at the two in the closing seconds of a game, down five, with one timeout left.
“Even though the offense had a great practice, it came down to the last two plays. Although it might not seem fair, that’s sometimes how the game goes in this league,” quarterback Brian Hoyer said. “You dominate all game and then when it comes down to it, you’ve got to make the play at the end. We didn’t do that. The defense, they came in and got them when they needed to. We have to do a better job of finishing.”
While some players were initially on the fence about the jerseys, 2 days into the competition the desire to win them has increased exponentially after seeing the defense in them.
Friendly Fire – Thursday’s practice marked the first time the Browns went to live tackling for some team drills, but Pettine made it clear that the amount of tackling seen during Thursday’s practice will not become the norm when they wear pads.
“We’ll do very little. It’ll be very select,” Pettine said. “We might do one more later in camp, one more day similar to this, but not to this scale, so our live tackling right now will primarily be the scrimmage and the preseason games.”
Quote Of The Day – “That’s the number 1 thing is to go out and to have production is getting 11 bodies to the ball and just having a party at the guy….that’s what it is really, just having a party on top of him.” – DL Billy Winn on how to be more productive this year
Attendance Update – Another 3,770 were in the house for camp on Tuesday bringing the 5-day practice total to 17,889 fans.
Since records began being kept in 2005, the Browns have never hosted 3,000 or more fans in the first 5 practices of training camp in Berea
Up Next – Practice Friday at 9:30 a.m.; no passes are available.
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