CLEVELAND -- Jacksonville Jaguars safety Tashaun Gipson created quite a stir with his recent comments about the Cleveland Browns’ organization ahead of Sunday’s game between the former AFC Central Division foes at FirstEnergy Stadium.
In an interview with ESPN Radio’s Freddie and Fitz show Monday, Gipson, a member of the Browns of 2012-2015, ripped the organization and expressed his “hope that we hang 40 on them,” as well as the belief that “their offense shouldn’t score on our defense.”
Then, in a conference call with the Cleveland media, Gipson clarified who his comments were directed toward within the organization.
“I think that my comments were justifiably about the front office,” Gipson said. “I take ownership in saying the things that I said may have been pointed towards them, but make no mistake about it, I never disrespected anybody on the Browns team.
“They get paid just like we do, and I show respect for the guys they have, the same guys I knew when I was living in Cleveland. I think that it was not a shot. I think our defense is the best defense in the National Football League.”
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Gipson was a part of the Browns’ free-agent exodus during the 2016 offseason after Sashi Brown took over control of the 53-man roster and went with an analytics model rather than traditional football methods to build the team.
On the same day Gipson departed for the Jaguars, the Browns lost a three-time Pro Bowl center, Alex Mack (Atlanta Falcons), their stalwart right tackle, Mitchell Schwartz (Kansas City Chiefs), and wide receiver/returner Travis Benjamin (San Diego Chargers).
“It was a good luck pretty much, ‘Good luck on your next journey. Thank you for everything you have done,’” Gipson recalled. “It was handled in a way that after everything I have done for the organization, I thought that it was just a ‘Good luck. Good luck with your next venture.’”
Although Gipson was initially upset with the Browns’ decision to let him go, he understands now that everything works out how it is supposed to.
“At the beginning of free agency, it was kind of understood that my days of being a Cleveland Brown were pretty much over,” Gipson said. “At the end of the day, God makes no mistakes. I am a God-fearing man. I understand that God makes no mistakes. You look back now, and I am in a perfect situation. I am in a wonderful situation right now.”
As for providing the Browns with bulletin-board material, Gipson hopes the offense tests him, early and often.
“For my sake, I hope that DeShone Kizer has marked me and said he is going to throw towards me or at me as much as possible,” Gipson said. “If that got him fired up, then hey, that is a job well done.
“At the end of the day, if it means more opportunities and means that they want to make me look bad, I have never shied away from a challenge. I’m a confident person. I’m going to be ready for sure, and I know that my guys have my back over here.”