Fantasy focus: What the Patriots have said about Josh Gordon's acclimation so far
Inactive in Week 3, Patriots wide receiver Josh Gordon has seen more questions posed than answered following his trade from the Browns.
Answering the basic queries (Example: Will Gordon be on the active roster in Week 4?) remains difficult. Gordon is not only dealing with a hamstring injury and his ongoing struggle with substance abuse, he’s also trying to acclimate to a sophisticated Patriots offense.
That said, the reception has been positive in the first week.
In a recent conference call, offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels discussed Gordon at length, and the uncertainty regarding his potential to appear on the field:
In terms of what he brings and his role and all that, I think that’s still to be determined here as we get closer and closer to him actually being able to be active. I think he’s learning.
You know, look, it’s not easy to come in in the middle of the week and try to pick everything up immediately, guys coming from different systems. But, he’s doing a really good job of working hard at that and trying to get himself caught up so that he knows what to do when he’s out there and can do it at a dependable level. I think he’s really doing a good job of that, and then we’ll see as he progresses this week, if he gets any closer to being able to be active.
I don’t know exactly how close or – you know, it’s hard to put percentages on that. Coach [Belichick] makes those decisions. We’re going to prepare everybody to play and then whatever the active situation is on a week-to-week basis, then that’s what we have and we try to do the best thing that we can with him.
Asked about his offense being “too complicated” for new players, McDaniels responded by describing Gordon’s ability to pick up the system.
“I’m not worried at all about Josh’s ability to pick up our system,” McDaniels explained. “He’s already demonstrated an ability to do that. I think he’ll be fine, and the guys we have are doing the same thing.”
Bill Belichick was more neutral, though he did offer a basic glimpse at the process Gordon has to get through to join the Patriots’ lineup.
“Yeah, I don’t know,” said Belichick on a media conference call. “We’ll just take it day-by-day and see how it goes. There are a number of factors involved here. When he feels like he’s ready and we feel like he’s ready and there’s sufficient opportunity to back that up then we’ll see about making him active. We just didn’t feel like we were at that point last night.”
In a Monday interview on WEEI’s “Ordway, Merloni and Fauria,” Belichick said he hasn’t seen any reason for concern with Gordon’s so far.
“There certainly hasn’t been much evidence of that so far,” Belichick said. “We’ll see, I don’t know. I’m worried about everybody’s consistency right now.”
Tom Brady, who spoke about Gordon before the Patriots’ Week 3 game in Detroit, described his newest receiver as “eager.”
“Really been eager to get in there and learn everything we’re doing and just try to acclimate himself to what the program is,” said Brady. The Patriots’ quarterback also alluded to Gordon’s ongoing recovery from the hamstring injury.
Sounds like Josh Gordon’s hamstring was primary reason for inactive call. Tom Brady to @westwood1sports: “He’s working to learn, to understand how we do things, and whenever he’s back healthy and out there, that’s when we really get to work on seeing what we’re all capable of…”
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) September 25, 2018
Whether Gordon suits up for Patriots-Dolphins in Week 4 is unknown. Still, judging from the steady stream of praise he’s received in his young New England tenure, his debut alongside Brady could come sooner rather than later.
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