I didn’t want to get busy with Josh Gordon’s problems. We’ve all been young, we’ve all made stupid choices over the course of our lives. I don’t buy into ‘three-strikes’ type jurisprudence and don’t apply it here.
But damn. This is deeper than the three failed drug tests at two colleges that we knew about and the insulting “narcotics prescription for strep throat” “confession.” This is mid-stage self-destruction and someone in his posse should be planning an intervention.
Lamar High School star.
Josh Gordon was a pretty big deal in high school in Houston.
Gordon led the Lamar HS Redskins to an 8-2 record and the second round of Regional III DI playoffs as senior in 2008, including a 4-1 record in District 20-5A. He was named first-team All-District 20-5A after totaling 25 receptions for 531 yards (21.2 average) and nine touchdowns as a senior.
Physical gifts like this get you on college recruiting maps and Gordon had that. This same report lists: Florida, Michigan, Florida State, USC, OSU, Texas Tech, Houston and Texas A&M as interested. Gordon himself says, “Florida and Michigan are my two favorites. My family is from Michigan and we like to sit and watch their games. Florida, they produce so many athletes and I like how they play.”
That’s an impressive list.
But flash forward to December 2008 and we see “Texas Tech and Missouri, his favorites during the season, seem to have lost interest.”
Move to late January and Michigan never made him an offer. He picked Baylor over TAMU (in spite of never visiting Kyle Field).
Could be nothing but.. damn.. you’re a fast, graceful, 6’4″ pro-calibre high school WR. First team all-Texas, 20+ yds/catch, nine TDs. How do you turn off so many programs?
South Beach Strep Throat
So the high school recruiting period was strange. The suspension at Baylor happened, the transfer to Utah happened as well as another failed drug test. But you can’t teach AJ Green clone and the Browns drafted Gordon with a high second round pick.
How has Gordon been working out for Browns? Well he just got suspended for two games for failing a drug test. Gordon also was fined two additional game checks.
About that suspension. We’ve got some issues with the explanation offered by Gordon. Here’s what he says:
In February, I was diagnosed with strep throat for which a doctor prescribed antibiotics and cough medicine,” Gordon said. “Apparently, the medicine I took contained codeine, which is prohibited by the NFL policy. The policy terms are strict about unintentional ingestion, but the NFL has not imposed the maximum punishment in light of the facts of my case. Therefore, I have chosen to be immediately accountable for the situation. I sincerely apologize for the impact on my team, coaches, and Browns fans. I look forward to working hard in training camp and pre-season, and contributing immediately when I return in week three.
We call bullshit.
As we called out in a reply to Kolonich’s piece on Gordon yesterday, here’s our off-the-cuff responses to Gordon’s statement:
1. Who doesnt know a cough syrup does or does not have codeine in it?
2. What pro athlete doesn’t know the drug rules?
3. What pro athlete with three failed drug tests doesnt know the drug rules?
4. Who goes to a got-damn doc for strep throat?
5. If youve got strep throat what are you doing in south beach with your crew?
6. Who even gets strep throat.. when’s the last time you strep throat?
7. Does strep make you cough? I thought it was swollen glands.
8. Not sure where this fits but: his hometown is the birthplace of drank.
We’re not doctors here. But we can google ‘symptoms of strep throat’ and ‘prescriptions for strep throat.’
- Severe and sudden sore throat without coughing, sneezing, or other cold symptoms.
- Pain or difficulty with swallowing.
- Fever over 101�F (38.3�C). Lower fevers may point to a viral infection and notstrep.
- Swollen lymph nodes in the neck.
- White or yellow spots or coating on the throat and tonsils .
- Bright red throat or dark red spots on the roof of the mouth at the back near the throat.
- Swollen tonsils, although this symptom may also be caused by a viral infection.
- Antibiotics will reduce the time you are contagious. You are usually not contagious 24 hours after starting antibiotics.
- Antibiotic treatment for strep throat can also help prevent some of the rarecomplications related either to the strep infection itself or to the body’s immune response to the infection. Complications of strep throat are rare but can occur, especially if strep throat is not properly treated.
- Antibiotics may shorten the time you are sick by about one day.
Strep is a sore throat/swollen glands problem treated with anti-biotics.
Strep is not coughing treated with controlled narcotic cough syrup.
So this is a problem. But it gets even worse when you find this sourced quote from Grossi on Gordon:
“I thought he really had a made a change and figured it out,” said a source. “Josh spent a bunch of time in South Beach (Fla.) during spring break. He’s very easily influenced. I think he’s a kid that really wants to change. But at some point, you have to be responsible for your own actions.”
If you’re feeling generous toward Josh you could question Grossi’s unnamed source. But you can’t question the code contained within the quote. Spring Break, South Beach, easily influenced.
It’s his money, his career.
This is true. Gordon is free to do with his career as he wants. We’re not his mom or his agent and not in a place to advise him. So without judgement we’re just going to catalogue the bad choices Josh has made so far and then question whether he has, in fact, learned.
- Seeming alienation of top college football programs during recruiting.
- Results in no offers from his original top choices.
- Two failed drug tests and suspension at Baylor.
- Results in transfer away from the legendarily WR-friendly Griffin/Briles offense; Kendall Wright goes first round.
- Failed drug test at Utah.
- Results in forced entry into supplementary draft and risk of being paid as third rounder or worse.
- Codeine use in the same time frame as spring break in South Beach.
- Loses $148,894 in pay.
Pretty costly stuff when taken in sum. It’s not a good trend but we’re all forgiving and as Browns fans, optimistic. Maybe he’s learning from this. But in case you thought my comment about an intervention seemed over done, consider…
The Bedard tweets.
We talked about Greg Bedard’s tweets from Berea last week in Friday’s Little piece. We were going to let the Gordon tweets slide, but can’t. The impartial Bedard’s observations taken with his breadth of frame-of-reference adds up to a pretty scathing review.
This is bad. This is the anti-Greg Little, the anti-Tristan Thompson. Have any of you played for a high school coach who would be ok with you walking after a dropped ball in practice? Me neither. When national football watchers are “shocked” that you “loaf a lot” it’s time to take inventory.
Gordon looks like AJ Green when he steps on the field. Green, like Greg Little, had a team suspension in college. We’d feel a lot better about Gordon’s suspension(s) if they fell in the category of ‘enterprising college athlete’ and not ‘recidivist slave to drugs to the point of jeopardizing millions of dollars.’
As ever we hope for the best. I think Gordon/Little can be an elite tandem. But Gordon really needs to get his shit together.
Wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t log that a Tebow sighting was foretold here a month ago:
One final thought after watching and learning about this offense: some innovative team is going to pick up Tim Tebow for peanuts and add a little IZR/OZR to their playbook. But relax Cleveland, it won’t be us.
San Fran, Seattle, Washington, and now Tennessee are running some zone read. Tebow is a proven -and great- zone read QB at a bargain price. Smart move by Belichick. Mangini always said he hated to plan for multiple QBs.
DQ tells Pluto more inside blitzes.
On Terry Pluto’s podcast he discussed that DQwell says there will be more inside blitzing than in past defenses. Pluto wondered what that would look like. He should read Kanick. We had that observation analyzed for you in April.
What seems to be a constant in the Horton Defense, though, are the stunts and activity by the ILBs. Whether the OLBs are up front or dropped back, the ILB are bunched up in the middle. They’re shooting gaps, they’re filling the box, they’re dropping in cover.
Horton’s ILBs are big in his defense.
And as he learned last year, you need two. The having of 35 year old Paris Lenon as a starting ILB in the Horton Defense leads to result seen in the play we’re about to review.
In this play, the Niners’ o-line eats up Horton’s ILBs and it’s a good gain. And it’s worth noting that one of those ILBs is currently an unsigned UFA.
Now then: what if, instead of a Dave-Kolonich-type at ILB, if you have a genuine U-G-A stud running crazy with your Crossdog blitzes? And what if you had an ILB who’s fast and hits? But also is a former safety and can drop into coverage like a big d-back?
Don’t get me started on the how of Alec Ogletree not getting a pre-draft workout in Berea…