The Browns won't waste any time working Josh Gordon back into the mix, and the talented playmaker couldn't be happier about it.
Three years since he last saw the field, Gordon will make his long-awaited return Sunday when the Browns travel to Los Angeles to face the Chargers. Not only will Gordon be a major part of the offense, but he'll also be a starter.
Cleveland needs some big plays from the wide receiver position, and Gordon hopes to help any way he can.
ClevelandBrowns.com caught up with Gordon as he went through his final preparations for Sunday's game.
CB.com: Now that the long wait's over and game day is getting close, what are your emotions like?
Gordon: I'm extremely excited, to be honest with you. It's just been a whirlwind. It's a combination of emotions and excitement. It's all been just so positive since I've been back. I really just can't wait. It's been a crazy experience and a crazy journey. Now that I'm here, I'm amped up and can't wait.
CB.com: Coaches and players have been equally impressed with the physical shape you're in. What did you do to make sure you were ready to go?
Gordon: It's a combination of my management staff putting together a plan to try to get me in shape. That was with the help of NUMA Speed in Gainesville, Florida, with Tim Montgomery and his track and field background. I just told him I wanted to take it to another level. That's what we did six days a week, just working out for eight months straight. It was a grind but it finally paid off when I got here. It's ultimately about hard work and putting it to good use.
CB.com: What about Hue Jackson's offense can get the most out of a playmaker such as yourself?
Gordon: If I know coach Jackson, he knows how to use his resources and his personnel. He knows his personnel very well and plans to take advantage of a defense when he sees one. I told him that's what I'm here for in any way. He can put me in the backfield, tight end, I'll play anything just to help this team win. I told him I know I have the ability to do it and he has that trust in me. That's reciprocated between a player and coach as long as I do everything I can do to perform and show an ability to put the ball in my hands when need be to make a play. We're vibing off each other to get this thing done.
CB.com: What's your relationship like with Jackson?
Gordon: He's a great coach. He's a great guy, players' coach for sure. He's understanding more than anything. Really, it's his perseverance and his will to win, his desire to win. That's his background and his makeup of who he is. That's the culture he's trying to create here and I can definitely get behind that. I have gotten behind that. I'm just trying to slowly incorporate that throughout the entire team and organization to get the point across. Sacrifices need to be made in order to do that. More than anything, I know he's the guy I have faith and trust in to do his job.
CB.com: How do you think you and Corey Coleman complement each other on the field?
Gordon: Me and Corey are already real close. We've got a great relationship off the field. On the field, it's just getting to play together, developing a rhythm with each other, bounce off each other, use one another to try to help get each other open or get someone else open. We're both fast guys and like to stretch the field. Coach dials up plays where he'll try to exploit that. No defense can particularly lean on one side more than the other because of how I play and Corey is more than capable. He knows he's capable of making any play, big play, and I believe I can, too. Coach Jackson knows what he has in his personnel and me and him will go work out together. We go hard every day in practice and we just want to keep building that character. I want to instill that in him, being a young player, and try to show him and set the standard for what it's going to take to succeed. He's really buying in. I'm proud of him.
CB.com: What kind of chemistry have you developed with DeShone Kizer and how long will it truly take to get on the same page?
Gordon: Unfortunately coming in as late as I have, I think it's still going to take some time. More than anything, it's getting live action in this week and we've done all we can do in practice. I think we're prepared. There's definitely more work to be done off the field. We get some extra work done by ourselves and that's just something we want to continue to develop, the timing and rhythm. He's a young guy, a rookie quarterback, but he wants to prove himself. He wants to be a successful quarterback in the NFL, and he's going to do what it takes to do that. I'll be right there patient with him to make sure he gets it done.
CB.com: When the season started, you weren't around the team and they were struggling. You've been with the team for a month and they're still searching for that first win. What's surprised you about this locker room and how much do they want to end this streak?
Gordon: The thing that stuck out, even with this being the youngest team in the NFL, was the maturity. To deal with what they've dealt with and gone through to get to this point, dealing with the losses and still bouncing back week after week, that's tough to do in the NFL. For guys to show up to work, their bodies are beaten and there's a battle of attrition and they just get worn down. Regardless of the age, these guys come back like professionals and they handle their business through the peaks and valleys. I'm impressed with the perseverance these guys have. That's something I like and that's something to build from. That was one definite thing that stuck out. I know more than anything, everyone wants it bad. The first one is going to be big for everybody. Once we get that taste again like they had in the preseason -- when I feel that, it's something you never want to let go -- I know it's something everyone is putting their all into right now to close out the rest of this season every game with a win.