Pettine not happy with Gordon’s effort

Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon walks out of the locker room prior to the Browns' game against the Washington Redskins.

Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports

BEREA, Ohio — For those of you wondering – yes, that was Josh Gordon playing in the fourth quarter of the second preseason game with the third- and fourth-string players against the Redskins.

Gordon started the game and finished with one reception for eight yards.

However, Gordon didn’t seem like he was very into the game, despite the fact that it might be the last time he is on the field this season. Gordon is still waiting to hear if he will be suspended for part or all of the 2014 season for failing a substance abuse test.

Mike Pettine was asked about Gordon’s effort the day after the game.

"There were a couple plays where I think that we would definitely want — I know we just came out of the personnel meeting and talked about it — that we would have wanted better effort," Pettine said. "It was not a mistake to play him late. He needs the work learning a new system. That’s a room that you don’t want to not play him, and then put the other players at risk by increasing their individual workloads."

Pettine said that the coaching staff wants Gordon to see the entire play through, regardless of the situation – practice, preseason or regular season. He was asked if Gordon seems disinterested knowing that he might not play this season.

"I don’t," he said. It’s something that we’ve talked about this before that we want him to finish plays better. There were a couple balls there behind him that he made an effort to catch — they were tough to catch — but we would want regular season effort to match preseason effort. I think that’s important for all of our guys in the evaluation process."

Gordon has three receptions thus far in the preseason for 40 yards, including a long catch of 22 yards.


Bryant has surgery: Starting DL Desmond Bryant had surgery to repair an injury to his wrist, Pettine confirmed after practice Wednesday.

"Des did have wrist surgery," Pettine said. "We are unsure of his return. We don’t think it will be a long-term thing."

Pettine said that he didn’t see Bryant being placed on injured reserve. However, he wasn’t sure if he’d be ready for the season opening game with the Steelers as there has been no timetable set forth by the medical staff.

Getting soft?: The Browns practiced without pads for the first time in 12 practices. Pettine had the team in full pads virtually every day of training camp. He said the team will also practice on Thursday without pads in the final practice before the game with the Rams.

For starters: Pettine was asked if any other position battles had been settled and he said with the uncertainty of CB Buster Skrine’s thumb injury, that rookie CB Justin Gilbert would "likely be the starter."

Pettine said Gilbert "played extremely well for the most part for the first time being out there" against the Redskins.


He declined to name a starter between LB Chris Kirksey and LB Craig Robertson other than to say "both will play."

He also said that OL John Greco is the right guard over OL Garrett Gilkey.

Pettine said that RB Ben Tate ran well as did RB Terrance West but said the third spot at running back was "wide open" between RB Chris Ogbonnaya, RB Dion Lewis, RB Edwin Baker and rookie RB Isaiah Crowell.

Benjamin back: WR/KR Travis Benjamin was back at practice after leaving the Redskins game with a rib injury and a possible concussion. Also, DB Aaron Berry (groin) who missed the Redskins game returned to practice as did OL Paul McQuistan (ankle).

Benjamin described the injury as similar to having the "wind knocked out" of you.

On the bike: DB Pierre Desir (knee), DB Isaiah Trufant (knee), DB Aaron Berry (groin), DB K’Wuan Williams (hamstring) and WR Nate Burleson (hamstring) and DB T.J. Heath (hip) were on the stationary bikes during the portion of the practice open to the media.

On the side: Players not on the field were: DB Buster Skrine (thumb), LB Eric Martin (concussion), LB Darius Eubanks (shoulder), LB Keith Pough (ankle), OL Michael Bowie (shoulder), OL Randall Harris (knee) and WR Jonathan Krause. OL Nick McDonald (wrist) is still on the non-football injury list.

Skrine had surgery on Monday on his thumb and will be sidelined until the regular season begins.

Browns a network hit: Despite the Browns not playing very well, they–or the curiosity to see Johnny Manziel–continue to draw huge audiences. For the second straight week, the Browns put up record-breaking numbers on a national stage. The preseason opener against the Lions drew 2.8 million viewers on NFL Network, while Monday’s game with the Redskins scored a 4.5 household US rating with 6.9 million viewers. It was the most watched ESPN preseason game in five seasons.

Next up: The Browns will practice again Thursday and then Saturday will play the first game in renovated FirstEnergy Stadium at 8 p.m. against the Rams.