Attending his first training camp of the year, Brown told the Cleveland Plain Dealer that Gordon — the troubled receiver who is facing a drug suspension — must get his act together if he's going to continue on with the team and in the NFL.
"It's about two levels: We hope he can get his life together in the right way and as a football player we hope like hell he can play [again]," Brown said. "It's definitely No. 1 first. As a human being, he's got to get his life together."
Brown is an adviser for the Browns, and he said he likes the support the team has given Gordon, who currently is facing an indefinite ban for failing a drug test and awaiting news from the league office on his appeal.
According to another Plain Dealer report, the Browns are bracing themselves for Gordon to be suspended for eight games or more. The Browns decided quickly not to cut Gordon and said they are committed to helping him.
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In Brown's mind, the team can help Gordon mature — even if he's not around the facility, per league rules bargained in the CBA, if the suspension holds.
"We have to support him and educate him," Brown said. "You can only do that through leadership in player engagement."
After Gordon spent two weeks in rehab following his arrest for driving while intoxicated in July, he has been with the team practicing during training camp except for a visit to the NFL offices to discuss his case. Brown said he thinks Gordon needs to remain as close to the team as possible but would not say whether the NFL should loosen or change its rules on players having to stay away from its facility while suspended.
"I don't want to get into that," Brown said. "I don't want to nitpick or second guess right now. In fact, I'm just so glad to see Josh here practicing.
"I'll just say people need people. We've got player engagement here. Through player engagement we can take advantage of alumni, take advantage of the relationships we have with each other."
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