Thursday, March 27, 2014
Gordon: Browns need to solidify QB spot
By Pat McManamon
Josh Gordon said it early in the day on ESPN's "SportsCenter." He said it as the day continued. And he reiterated it late in the day in an interview with ESPN.com: He expects the Cleveland Browns to take a quarterback with the fourth pick in May's draft.
“I don't think Ray Farmer wants to miss out on a quarterback pick,” Gordon said in a phone interview Thursday afternoon.
Which in words is a slight upgrade from him saying earlier in the day that he was “pretty sure” it would be a quarterback. (Then again ... Gordon also was quick to say Farmer had texted during the day to keep folks guessing.)
Gordon was not saying Farmer told him anything. Just that he had talked with the Browns GM, and after the talks he feels the Browns are leaning toward the passer. To the point that when the possibility of drafting wide receiver Sammy Watkins was mentioned, Gordon talked as if he'd be the 26th overall pick, not the fourth.
“It would be great to have him, if he lasts that long,” Gordon said.
The three quarterbacks Gordon mentioned as possibilities were Blake Bortles of Central Florida, Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M and Derek Carr of Fresno State.
This is either the greatest smokescreen in draft history, a player just expressing his opinion or a clue to the Browns plans.
Given Farmer's stated belief in keeping others around the league guessing, it might seem more smokescreen than clue. But Gordon is not just another guy on the team. He spent Thursday on several shows with interviews at ESPN. Late in the day he said the Browns need a quarterback and Brian Hoyer can win.
“Both are true," he said. “We need a quarterback for sure. We only have one on the roster (actually two, Hoyer and Alex Tanney), and you never want to go through that battle of attrition -- like last year.”
He called the quarterback carousel of 2013 “extremely frustrating,” and sounded like a guy anxious to settle in with a guy. He also sounded more concerned about Hoyer's return from a torn ACL than many others.
“It's never something I'd want to rush on anybody,” he said. “That can ruin a career. He can do it on the field, but at the same time you've got to be looking for the future and longevity.”
Gordon may have been thinking of his friend and former college teammate at Baylor who came back too soon, Robert Griffin III of Washington. Gordon supports Hoyer if he's healthy, and appreciates the notion of Hoyer throwing to him and Watkins.
To a point.
“There's more than enough balls to go around,” Gordon said. “The more weapons you have on offense, the harder it is for the defense to key in on one guy. But first and foremost, we need to solidify a quarterback back there.”