Hue Jackson wasn’t exactly thrilled that Josh Gordon got into a Twitter spat with Packers cornerback Damarious Randall on Monday, the day after the Cleveland Browns fell to 0-13.
“I want us to do our talking on the field with our play,” Jackson said in a conference call with the Cleveland media.
Jackson also would not offer an excuse for Gordon not getting into his route on the key play in overtime that led to DeShone Kizer’s interception.
“I’m not going to say that Josh was held,” Jackson said. That play was the third-and-2 that led to Kizer throwing a duck that was intercepted, to set up the Packers’ game-winning drive in overtime.Josh Gordon had a big first drive Sunday, with two catches for 56 yards and a TD, but had just one catch for 13 yards the rest of the game. Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
The play was designed for Gordon on a quick slant -- the idea, Jackson said after the game, was to get the ball to the team’s best player on a key play. Instead, Randall was able to jam Gordon at the line and the receiver never got into his route. Jackson didn’t say it, but the evidence is persuasive that Gordon simply did not win against the defender at a key moment.
“We weren’t able to make the play,” Jackson said.
That was the final play of what for Gordon was an odd second game in his return to the field. He caught two passes for 56 yards and a touchdown on the Browns’ first drive, but had one catch for 13 yards the rest of the game. Gordon didn’t have a catch in the second half.
That led to the Twitter taunts, as Randall noted that Gordon had but one catch on him and Gordon responded that with the Browns’ “disadvantages as a team” Randall couldn’t “hold [Gordon’s] jockstrap.”
Which sounds good but wasn’t evident Sunday.
“Talking isn’t going to do anything,” Jackson said. “I’m sure the emotions are high. We were close to having an opportunity. We didn’t finish. [Gordon] didn't really make a huge catch in the second half, so I think all of that stuff fuels into it, but I would advise our players: Let's not get caught up in social media and going bantering back and forth.”
Gordon did not speak to the media after Sunday’s loss; the next media availability for the Browns will be Wednesday. While Kizer said the Packers adjusted after the first drive to keep two safeties deep, with one paying special attention to Gordon, Jackson minimized anything the Packers did; Kizer still finished 20-of-28 in his best game with the Browns.
"We attempted to throw and we called Josh's number several times," said Jackson. "Sometimes the ball went someplace else. Sometimes they made a play. You saw the first third down of the second half, we tried to throw him the ball and the guy kind of had his arm locked. We couldn't get him there.
"There was the play at the end of the game. There were several other plays in between. The one where he got undercut down the left side, that ball was going to be for Josh. I don't think that they took him away. I don't think we executed at a high level as well as we did earlier.”
Jackson did lament no flag being thrown after Gordon appeared to be interfered with at the goal line in the second quarter. Had that call been made, the Browns would have had first and goal at the 1 with a chance to take a 21-7 or 17-7 lead at halftime.
“It is very clear to me watching the tape that we wish that the call should have been different,” Jackson said. “He definitely, on the video tape we saw, hit the offensive player before the ball got there.”
Jackson did not quibble with Gordon and Corey Coleman donning sunglasses in what had to be well-planned post-touchdown celebrations. Some saw that kind of celebrating for a winless team a bit, shall we say, distasteful.
This tweet seemed to sum up some of the feelings:
Maybe I just hate fun, but
you've lost 46 of your last 50.
you're the biggest joke in North American pro sports.
Maybe put Twitter and the sunglasses away until you're not total embarrassments to your franchise, city, sport and league #Browns
— Zac Wassink (@ZacWassink) December 11, 2017
Jackson said he had no problem with the sunglasses.
“If that means those guys are going to keep scoring touchdowns,” he said, “I will buy them some Ray-Ban glasses.”
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