CLEVELAND -- Jacksonville Jaguars safety Tashaun Gipson did not mince words about his return to Cleveland to play the Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium Sunday.
In an interview with ESPN’s Freddie and Fitz radio show Monday, Gipson ripped the organization and expressed his desire to hand the Browns a one-sided loss.
“I truly hope that we hang 40 on them,” Gipson said. “Their offense probably shouldn’t score against our defense, and I’m excited. That’s the true thing.
“Knowing that I’m in a situation right now where I don’t look back about it, I don’t look back with any regrets. I’m extremely excited with where I’m at right now, but you know, it’s definitely going to be personal man, for sure.”
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).
“You look back and I feel bad for those guys because, like I said, it’s nothing that they can do,” Gipson said of the current members of the team. “They just go out there and play. It’s the guys above them who make these decisions and, you know, it’s unfortunate. We’ve seen it time and time again, the opportunity that’s slipped by them.”
Gipson hit the free-agent market after what was a down year for him statistically.
Not fully able to stay healthy through the middle of the 2015 season, Gipson intercepted only two passes after a career year in 2014, where despite playing only 11 games, he earned a Pro Bowl selection because of his six interceptions, one of which he took back for a 62-yard touchdown in a home-opening win over the New Orleans Saints.
Prior to his departure, Gipson expressed a desire to play on a team capable of winning, and although Jacksonville has struggled in recent years, the Jaguars are tied with the Tennessee Titans for first place in the AFC South Division.
During the interview, Gipson cited the Browns’ struggles to find a quarterback by pointing out how it has been mentioned in every broadcast he has seen leaving the organization that the Browns traded out of the No. 2 spot in the 2016 NFL Draft, thus giving up on selecting Carson Wentz, as well as the 2017 trade that gave the Houston Texans Deshaun Watson.
“You just continue to scratch your head,” Gipson said. “You’ve just got to look back and say, ‘Man, I’m glad to get up out of there.’”
Although upset with how his tenure ended with the Browns, Gipson expressed gratitude for the support he felt from the city of Cleveland through his four years with the organization.
“The fans, they supported me, they loved me, they brought me in,” Gipson said. “It was never a situation where it was any ill will to the fans. I don’t have any ill will because I’m blessed, but it’s going to be a little different, and honestly, it’s going to be exciting.”
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