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Receivers continue their development

Posted Nov 11, 2012

Browns wide receivers Josh Gordon and Greg Little have continued to develop their skills as pass catchers in the NFL.

Cleveland Browns rookie wide receiver Josh Gordon had a short timeframe to learn the team’s West Coast offense after he was taken in the second round of the 2012 NFL Supplemental Draft on July 12.

With the abbreviated timeline, Gordon fought through his growing pains at the beginning of the regular season and had a breakout game with two catches for 82 yards and a pair of touchdown receptions at the New York Giants on Oct. 7. He followed it up a three-catch, 99-yard, one-touchdown game in a 34-24 win over the Cincinnati Bengals on Oct. 14.

On the season, Gordon has 19 receptions for 417 yards and four touchdowns. He leads the Browns and all first-year NFL players with 417 receiving yards. He also has a team-best four touchdown receptions.

“I think it is overall consistency, all the little things that maybe are not obvious to somebody watching the game,” Browns coach Pat Shurmur said of Gordon’s next step. “When it’s free access, the depth of routes, getting in and out of your breaks, develop more of a route tree.

“There are a handful of things that we know he does well, let’s make it two handfuls. Just the development of the position within our offense and then, really focus on every opportunity you have to catch a football. Make it work.”

In his last five games, Gordon has been on the receiving end of 12 catches, which he has turned into 316 yards and the four touchdowns. Over that same period of time, second-year wide receiver Greg Little has registered 16 catches for 150 yards with a 14-yard touchdown against the Indianapolis Colts.

Little matched a career high with six receptions against the Colts, and on the touchdown catch, he tipped the ball out of the reach of a defender and caught it with his left foot, shin and knee all in bounds before he fell out of the back of the end zone.

“Greg kind of refocused on some things and I’m glad he’s having some success,” Shurmur said. “Really, he doesn’t always catch the most balls, but he’s a tough (player). He’s out there blocking. You feel his presence out there. He’s gotten away from doing some of the things that I don’t care for, so he’s listening.

“He wants to be a good player, he wants to be a good pro and I’ve said this, as long as they’re our players we’ll work with them. He’s making good progress. Now, Josh Gordon being here, anytime you have players that are competing to get better within your group, I think it helps.”

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