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Gordon ready for challenge

Posted Oct 2, 2012

Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon is ready to play when his number is called.

Through the first four games of his NFL career, first-year Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon has caught seven passes for 93 yards and a 13.29 yards-per-reception average.

After catching only three passes for 37 yards during the first two games of the season, Gordon set career highs with three catches for 40 yards against the Buffalo Bills two weeks ago at Cleveland Browns Stadium. He followed that performance by catching a 16-yard pass in the team’s 23-16 loss to the Baltimore Ravens last Thursday.

“It takes a lot more repetitions, a lot more practice to help you actually think less so you just start playing without even a hesitation,” Gordon said of his development. “I don’t feel as though there’s anything holding me back. It’s just waiting for my number to be called and when it’s time for me to go, I’ll definitely feel as though I’ll step up and make a play. For right now, it just hasn’t happened yet. When it does, we’ll be able to talk about it then.”

Now that he has played four regular-season games in the NFL, Gordon no longer has the “awestruck” feeling he had during the home opener against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sept. 9.

“With each game, I feel I’m just gaining more confidence and feeling more comfortable with each snap I get,” Gordon said. “Seeing different teams, different defenses, you start to grow more comfortable with it. I’m more familiar with it, to say the least.

“As a wide receiver, I definitely feel as though I can hold my own and I can be placed among those elite-level wide receivers, but making the opportunities for myself and capitalizing on those is the biggest thing. When I get that done, we’ll see what happens. I feel as though when it’s time to go out there and be ready for it, I’ll be able to do it.”

That “at-the-ready” attitude has been noticed by quarterback Brandon Weeden and coach Pat Shurmur.

“He’s playing a lot faster now and I’ve had several talks with him about what I expect, what we expect, what the coaches expect,” Weeden said. “He’s a guy that’s going to have to continue to be out there and make plays because he’s a mismatch when he’s six-foot-four and 225. He’s got all the tools. I’m glad he’s on our side and he’ll continue to get better as we keep going.”

Shurmur added, “Josh is learning. Every practice and every game opportunity, he’s learning something new and so, he just needs to continue to learn and I think he’ll find a way to be productive here in a way that we expect soon. He’s learning how to do everything at our standards.”

During the last two weeks, the Browns’ wide receivers have suffered injuries.

Mohamed Massaquoi, a fourth-year pro, injured his hamstring in the Buffalo game and did not play against the Ravens. Two-time Pro Bowl kick returner Joshua Cribbs suffered a concussion on a punt return in the first quarter at Baltimore and did not return for the remainder of the game.

According to Shurmur, Massaquoi and Cribbs are “day-to-day.” While Massaquoi and Cribbs continue healing from their injuries, Gordon plans to make the most of his opportunities on the field.

“Being able to step up and being a playmaker, having to step up with Mo down and several guys taking hard hits, we definitely have to alleviate some of the stress on the backfield, the running game and Brandon,” Gordon said. “I’m doing my best to try and get out there and make plays.”

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