Haden: Gordon 'is impressive'

Posted Dec 14, 2013

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon has made quite an impression on his teammates and coaches over the last month.

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon returned to the team prior to their Week Three matchup at the Minnesota Vikings with a major point to prove after serving a league-mandated two-game suspension for a failed drug test.

And while he played well early in 2013, the last month of games has been the most productive stretch for a wide receiver in NFL history.

Gordon has caught 36 passes for 774 yards and five touchdowns over the last month, setting league marks for the most receiving yards in two, three and four-game stretches, as well as the franchise marks for receiving yards in a game (261 against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Nov. 24), and receiving yards in a single season (1,400).

“Josh is rolling,” Browns offensive coordinator Norv Turner said. “He got some great looks last week. When you get manned up, it takes a lot of decision-making out. He did a good job of separating, and Jason did a good job of getting the ball to him quickly. If you get them to those guys quick and they’re on the run, they have a chance of making big plays.”

After back-to-back 200-yard games, a first in NFL history, Gordon caught seven passes for 151 yards, and an 80-yard touchdown against cornerback Aqib Talib of the New England Patriots last Sunday.

“Everything J.G. does is impressive,” Browns defensive back Joe Haden said. “He’s catching the ball. He catches it in traffic. He runs across the middle. He runs deep post routes, runs comebacks. He’s doing the whole tree. I look at Talib as one of the best corners in the league, too. He’s been doing a great job of covering, is big, physical, in your face. Josh did his thing against him too, so I’m just proud of him. He’s developing into a really, really top receiver.

“He’s doing stuff nobody’s ever done before. He’s just becoming better and better and better. Numbers don’t lie. That’s all I’m saying.”

Haden said he enjoys lining up across from Gordon in practice, as it is mutually beneficial for the two players to compete against each other.

“I look forward to it,” Haden said. “I think definitely having someone like J.G. on your team, where I could follow him at practice too, makes me and him a whole lot better. When you’ve got to come in and play J.G., you’ve got to have a really good game. You’ve got to be ready to play him. You have to, I don’t know. You might have to have help with J.G.”

By covering Gordon in practice, Haden has learned what makes the 6-foot-2, 225-pound receiver so effective.

“The thing that J.G. has that is different than all of these big, big receivers is he’s really legit fast,” Haden said. “That’s something different. These big dudes are moving, and they’re 4.4, 4.5, but J.G. is legitimately 4.3. When you can run away from people the way he can being that big, it brings a whole different thing to the game.”

Although Haden is impressed with what Gordon has accomplished in 11 games this season, he believes the sky’s the limit for his 22-year old teammate.

“He can get so much better,” Haden said. “I hope he knows how good he can get. I try to tell him. I think he’s getting it. When he comes out there and goes hard, just imposes his will and the ball comes his way, J.G.’s just different. He’s just different.

“Calvin (Johnson) is still Calvin, but J.G.’s with the A.J. (Greens). He’s in the same level because they come out there and do their thing. Every week, you have to prepare for A.J. You have to prepare for J.G. Once you’ve got a receiver on the offense you’re going against, he just jumps off the screen.”

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