A Browns Saturday sampler

BEREA, Ohio -- Amid all the attempts to downplay Josh Gordon's potential impact on his return to the Cleveland Browns comes this candid assessment from offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan.

"I think it makes things easier," Shanahan said. "It gives you different options."

Shanahan was the coordinator when Andre Johnson (Houston) and Pierre Garcon (Washington) had big seasons. Last season under Shanahan, Garcon had 113 receptions for 1,346 yards.

"I never forced Andre the ball, never forced it to Pierre last year," Shanahan said. "Kind of just happens naturally."

In other matters Browns related:

  • It's worth remembering that the Falcons have significant offensive potential. Julio Jones and Roddy White are as good a tandem as the league, and Matt Ryan is having an excellent season. This game, played indoors, could produce a lot of points.

  • Shanahan on the way the rookie backs have been handling the blitz pickups and pass routes: "Up and down."

  • Glenn Winston was put on the roster to replace Ben Tate. On Wednesday, Winston said he one rep at running back. "More than I've had before," he said with a smile.

  • Pettine said the impact of Tate's personality and attitude had a little bit to do with his release, but attributing it to that solely was overestimating things.

  • Tate was a unique guy. In a group setting, he'd answer a question and be friendly. He got very testy, though, when he felt words were put in his mouth. It was always impossible to read what kind of mood he was in. The day LeBron James returned to Cleveland in the Cavs opener, a bunch of players were going to the game. Tate had talked about playing and liking basketball, so I asked if he was going to the game. "What game?" he snapped.

  • Per ESPN Stats & Information, no receiver has averaged more per reception since 2012 than Gordon's 17.9 yards. He tops Torrey Smith, DeSean Jackson and Calvin Johnson.

  • The Browns averaged 146. 4 yards per game and 4.4 yards per carry with Alex Mack, but 77.2 per game and 2.4 per carry since Mack was hurt.