BEREA, Ohio — Most of the conversation on Cleveland talk radio airwaves Thursday was about trading Trent Richardson to the Colts for a first-round draft choice next year.
That was also the topic of conversation in the Browns locker room Thursday.
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“We’re all talking about it, but we have to move on,” defensive tackle John Hughes said.
“I was in shock like everyone else,” safety T.J. Ward said. “But after (the news) settled down, nothing surprises me anymore.
“It’s part of the business, here today, gone tomorrow,” he said. “It shocked a lot of us.”
Wide receiver Josh Gordon, who is expected to start his first game of the season after being suspended, will return to the lineup minus starting quarterback Brandon Weeden (thumb) and Richardson.
“I think (the trade) was a shock to everybody,” Gordon said. “That’s how this league is as a business, and it’s adversity. We just have to deal with it.”
Gordon was asked if it put the players on notice.
“A first round pick to be traded so quick, it just tells you to do your job,” Gordon said. “I believe everyone’s role is to step up, even though we know what a big deal it is.”
Captain D’Qwell Jackson, who’s been with the Browns for eight seasons said he talked with Richardson after the trade. The linebacker said Richardson told him he felt he had unfinished business to do with the Browns.
“I think everyone was surprised,” he said. “In the locker room, guys will talk about it today and then we have a job to do.
“It happens, but the question is ‘How do you respond?'”
Defensive tackle Desmond Bryant, who was one of the prized free agents, said he sees it as a business decision.
“They made a business move.”
With the Browns just two games into the 2013 season, some would think the team’s front office is foregoing this season for 2014 and beyond.
“Definitely not,” Bryant said. “We go out every day and work hard and try to win games.”
Richardson was seen as the face of the franchise and was represented on everything from pocket schedules to jerseys.
“I understand why (the fans) feel like that,” Ward said. “But everybody looks to the future. I don’t think (the front office) has bailed at all on this season.”
“There’s not one player in this locker room that thinks we’re not trying to win now.”
“I know we’re focused on beating the Vikings,” defensive lineman Ahtyba Rubin said. “I’m just keeping my head down and staying in my lane and doing my job.”
Defensive coordinator Ray Horton was asked if this puts more pressure on the defense to play even better.
“My opening message is you move on,” Horton said. “Trent could’ve got hurt in the first game. We’re looking at the big picture. I challenged our defense to put it on our shoulders.
“We embrace the challenge,” he said. “I don’t think there’s any added pressure. We’ve always had the mentality to put the pressure on our shoulders.”
Jackson said the defense wants to step up even more.
“We want to be the side of the ball (to carry the load),” Jackson said. “We pride ourselves in being one of the best defenses in the league.”
Added Ward, “We still have to do what we’ve been doing.”