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Need to Know: Browns still looking for Zane Gonzalez to 'solidify' kicking job

Zane Gonzalez had yards to spare when he nailed a 54-yard field goal in Thursday's preseason victory over the Eagles.

It was the biggest moment in the Browns' ongoing kicker competition, but coach Hue Jackson isn't ready to call it. Sunday's practice proved just that, as Gonzalez went 3-for-5, missing his shortest and longest attempts, while Ross Martin connected on 4-of-5.

"Gonzo kicked a 54-yarder – that was huge. Today, he missed a couple," Jackson said. "We will go back and watch the tape. I still think that he is in the lead. He has to solidify that. Still needs to go kick well and finish that. These guys are in competition."

Martin and Gonzalez each made the one field goal they respectively attempted in the team's preseason games and are perfect on extra points. Early last week, Gonzalez made all of his kicks in a drill similar to Sunday's while Martin was 3-of-5.

Gonzalez is coming off an up and down rookie season in which he finished 15-of-20 on field goals. Martin has fallen short in preseason kicking competitions the past two seasons.

"Anytime that there is competition, you have to be at your best," Jackson said. "There are jobs on the line here. If you want to keep kicking for the Cleveland Browns, you have to step up and make those kicks in the key times. (Gonzalez) did last week. We just need to continue to do that. We are not going to have that pressure in that way the rest of the year, after this week. But at the same time, guys know that we will always do anything that we can to put the best players on the team – whether it is not or whether it is later."

-- Wide receiver Josh Gordon (hamstring) worked off to the side with the rest of Cleveland's injured players at Sunday's practice but he was the only one wearing his helmet and shoulder pads.

"Getting closer. Every day, getting a little closer," Jackson said. "He is working hard. He wants to be back out there. We want to make sure that hamstring is right before we put him out there, but I think that he is very close."

-- Terrance Mitchell isn't ready to pencil himself into the season-opening starting lineup just yet.

The free agent signing went from the second-team defense to the first group by the start of the preseason and has continued to shine as a starter on the opposite side of the field from rookie Denzel Ward. He just knows there's no margin for error over the next two weeks.

"Every team that I have been on, I felt like there was an opportunity there," said Mitchell, who spent time with four different teams before coming to Cleveland. "It will all add up if I do what I need to do to make it happen. There is still a lot or work to be done. It is still real early."

Mitchell forced a fumble Thursday against the Eagles, one of four turnovers created by the Browns' defense.

"He has been outstanding," Jackson said. "He is competitive. He walked in here, and obviously, he was not a starter. He earned the right to start. He went and grabbed ahold of that position because of the way he performed in training camp and he has shown that in the games."

-- Jackson said he plans to meet with general manager John Dorsey over the next couple of days to discuss the team's upcoming roster decisions. The Browns need to get their roster down from 90 players to 53 by Saturday afternoon.

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