Josh Gordon taking new lease on life one day at a time

Receiver looks to regain 2013 Pro Bowl form, win with Browns

Daryl Ruiter
June 13, 2018 - 1:20 am
Browns receiver Josh Gordon catches a football during a May 2018 practice

Daryl Ruiter-92.3 The Fan

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Berea, OH (92.3 The Fan) – One day at a time.

For Cleveland Browns receiver Josh Gordon, it’s not a cliché, it’s life.

"To me it's just one day at a time," Gordon said with a smile Tuesday. "You know, you got today and that's all we're really given. The next day, if I'm blessed with the opportunity to wake up, I'll try to attack it with the same mentality and mindset. And have the same perseverance, same set of goals and try to stick to that day by day."

Gordon’s off-the-field problems are well documented after his battle with addiction nearly cost him his NFL career. He’s paid the price having served 56 games worth of suspensions since 2013 but he’s looking to put his past troubles behind him, and like his team, turn the page to a new chapter in his life.

Since being conditionally reinstated by NFL commissioner Rodger Goodell last November, Gordon has embraced a new structure in his life, and a fresh opportunity.

The Browns have welcomed him back with open arms and are doing all they can to support the 27-year old, which from his perspective is also another change.

“It’s definitely night and day I think from when I first got here to now,” Gordon said. “It’s a resounding difference in like the amount of support that I’ve received from upstairs, just from anybody, equipment staff to field crew.”

The Browns, who have gone through 3 head coaches and 4 general managers since his troubles began, have kept Gordon in the hopes he’ll not only get well but show the promise on the field he gave everyone a glimpse of in 2013, including current GM John Dorsey.

“I’m not expecting anything, but I do know they support me, I know that,” Gordon said.

The roster has been turned over multiple times since he was a supplemental draft pick in 2012 and Dorsey did it again this offseason, including adding receiver Jarvis Landry, who has totaled 400 catches over the last 4 years combined.

“I definitely like what Mr. Dorsey’s doing here,” Gordon said. “He’s behind his players, he believes in his players 100 percent, the guys he brought here have that same mentality. It’s a real family like dynamic here and I enjoy it.”

The football field is Gordon’s sanctuary and the game he loves appears to just come so effortlessly. He wows coaches and teammates with his speed during practice seemingly daily.

“I’m excited to be out there more than anything,” Gordon said.

Off the field it appears that Gordon has finally found happiness and peace.  

“The small victories, to me, is just like getting up and not having to worry about whether or not you have some type of security or a place to stay, or like just spending time with my daughter for that fact,” Gordon said. “I didn’t have much time, didn’t get to spend any time with my family like that in the past. Being there with friends, working towards the future. To me, that might seem like little things, but anybody else who’s playing for the future. Those are things I look forward to doing, and I take pride in and joy in. Even coming here to work, being able to talk to guys, see guys’ expressions or interact with them, I take a lot of joy in that. A lot of little things.”

Staying clean isn’t the only redemption Gordon seeks.

He wants to show everyone in Cleveland that their patience is worth it, not only with him but the Browns too.

“I plan on exceeding those expectations, exceeding those goals and everything that I’ve done in the past and just kind of build on it,” Gordon said.

“More than anything, I really just want to win. Whatever it takes for me to get some wins and do my part where I leave no doubt, no question in anybody’s mind that Josh did everything he could do to try and get us a win or get us a win, then I can walk away with whatever the stat line is. More than anything, I’d rather be a winner.”

Being available for the first time since his rookie season for training camp and the season opener would be a monumental step forward for Gordon personally and professionally. He knows it, but he also knows he has to take it one day at a time.

“Life is good,” Gordon said.

That already makes him a winner.