Ugly tie: Browns coach: Taylor, offense must ‘play better’


On first-and-10 from Pittsburgh's 43-yard line with 23 seconds remaining in regulation, Taylor took the shotgun snap and fired a pass down the right side of the field for wide receiver Josh Gordon.

The Browns escaped the opener with only one injury, but it could be a serious one. It may just be a matter of the former Pro Bowler getting his feet under him as he had missed nearly all of training camp to focus on his sobriety and keeping his personal life in order.

Gordon did not know he was going to start until that play.

"So I've dealt with it".

The Browns will make more of an effort this weekend in New Orleans to get the ball to one of their best players.

Still, Gordon, who missed most of training camp on a leave of absence to focus on his recovery from addiction, made the most of those limited chances. Part of that, Jackson said, is predicated on Cleveland's receivers being in the right place at the right time.

"I wasn't really for sure what had happened back there in the pocket", Gordon said.

"He is the quarterback", Jackson said of Taylor.

"Definitely wish some things could just be altered in the course of the game", Gordon said Wednesday as the Browns ramped up preparation for Sunday's game in New Orleans.

Gordon, who used most of August to refocus himself, is expected to play a critical role in an offense that stands to be much improved from a year ago.

Just as baffling was that Gordon did not play the rest of the first series or the entire second series - perhaps a delayed penalty.

After the game that ended in a 21-21 tie to put the Browns at 0-0-1 to start the season, Jackson admitted that he wasn't aware Gordon would start until he trotted out for the first play. "I did some good things, but I feel like I could have done more". "I saw it just like you did".

Cleveland's entire offense misfired in the opener, but Gordon believes the unit can take a large leap forward in Week 2.

"More than anything, I didn't even think about the targets until somebody mentioned that at the end of the game".

The Baker Mayfield era in Cleveland is not going to begin this week.

"When you look back at the film, which we did, there were things that we beat ourselves on", said Taylor, "Hats off to a good defense, but there were some things that they did not necessarily take away from us, and there were things that we can clean up and get better at". He's got all the tools.

"We can do a better job of getting him the ball and getting him opportunities to make plays", Taylor said. But, said Jackson, "I don't think it's the ankle sprain that lasts six weeks or whatever that is".