Cleveland Browns running back Willis McGahee made comments to the fact that Josh Gordon needs a veteran wide receiver to help guide him. This seems pretty harmless on the surface and most people would sort of nod at this and go on about their day. The problem is the Browns brought in a wide receiver to act in that role among others before the season in Davone Bess. As a result, it seems like McGahee is inadvertently or deliberately sending a message to Bess about his role or lack of a role with Gordon.
During the NFL Draft this past year, the Browns made a trade with the Miami Dolphins to bring in Davone Bess, in a move that netted the productive receiver in his prime for a small price. The move cost the Browns a trade down of about 50 picks from the fourth round of the draft to the fifth round. Bess is the opposite of Gordon. While Gordon is just oozing natural talent and ability, Bess is a self-made man in the NFL. He has scratched and clawed his way up after some difficulties earlier in his life. Bess worked harder and did more to get from high school to play collegiately at Hawaii and then to make the NFL with the Dolphins.
Everything about Bess is what they were hoping would rub off on Gordon and it is unclear just how active a role Bess has taken to personally get involved with Gordon and his life off the field, but there is no question that part of this move was in hopes of getting Gordon to evolve to be better on it. Gordon has been a harder worker this year, but there are still questions with maturity and off the field decisions. Perhaps that is where McGahee’s comments are really directed and the veteran receiver he is talking about has more to offer in terms of life experience and having been there, done that as opposed to hard work and becoming the grinder the NFL demands of its great players. McGahee’s comments seem innocent enough, but they are likely to create more waves in Berea than he probably realized and it may not be in the locker room as much as it is in the front office.