"I definitely think I'm a different person. If you haven't changed over a period of time than it's definitely a bad thing. I think me standing here is a testament to that," Gordon said. "Most people might not see it that way. That just comes with the territory with me being who I am, considering my past. But I'm only looking towards the future. And hopefully people can see that."
Gordon was reinstated by the NFL on a conditional basis on July 25. He will serve a four-game suspension before suiting up in Week 5 for the first time since December of 2014, but is allowed to participate in training camp.
The wideout was genuine and contrite about his past drug problems that induced a year-long ban.
"In the past I've been a selfish player. I'll definitely admit that. I wanted to do things my way," Gordon reminisced. "But things turn around. People change. It's possible to change. It takes some learning, but you eventually get to that point and I think I have."
The oft-banned receiver appears ready to approach things in his life with a level of maturity that we have not seen from him before. Gordon, 25, voiced that his maturation as a person is bigger than football.
"You definitely get that sense of need to do something important with your life and with my career. Considering my age, how much time I've been out and how much time I got left nobody knows," Gordon said. "I'm starting to capitalize on that. Not only for myself but for the well being of my family and be there for this team that held me together and allowed me to comeback."
Gordon is saying all the right things. Yet the old saying goes: actions speak louder than words. For Gordon's sake, he understands that.
"There's not too much I can tell people," Gordon admitted. "To my fans I just want to show them."
Gordon's ability to stay clean is the only thing that separates him from regaining his status as one of the premier wide receivers in the league. Hopefully, Gordon now knows after sitting out more than a year that marijuana isn't worth his livelihood as an NFL player. Maybe he can put that all in the past, regain his credibility as a football player and serve as a positive influence to others.