Around the NFL  

 

Brady doesn't want to heap expectations on Gordon

Print

The New England Patriots traded for a much-needed deep threat in Josh Gordon on Monday, which has the fan base dreaming of the Randy Moss years.

Quarterback Tom Brady, however, pumped the brakes on Gordon stepping in to become a world-beating presence immediately.

"You know, I hate to make projections and expectations. That's not fair," Brady told Jim Gray on Westwood One on Monday night. "I've never met Josh personally, just like I hadn't met some of the guys that have come in the last couple weeks. So we'll see how it goes this week and hopefully he can work hard, put the team first and end up helping us in any role that he can find for himself on the team."

Brady noted that it could take some time to gain chemistry with Gordon after the in-season trade.

"Any time you get someone in the middle of the season, there's obviously a lot of things that have happened that have got the team to a certain point that they weren't a part of," Brady said. "So you know, I'm not sure how many of those things matter, but you'd like to try to get up to speed as quickly as possible and it's really up to the individuals... You know all these things need to play themselves out. I'm not going to project anything. I'm just going to try to go be the positive, enthusiastic leader that I am and try to be a great quarterback and try to embrace whoever's on the team. And we've all got to play a lot better than we played yesterday and that's really where our focus should be."

Even if it takes Brady time to find his groove with Gordon -- and the receiver is mentally well enough to be on the field -- the wideout brings a needed deep element to a stagnant Patriots passing offense. After trading Brandin Cooks this offseason New England lacked a field-stretching weapon, even one to pose a threat.

In a league in which it's become routine to toss for 300 yards, Brady has yet to break the 280-yard mark on the season. After two tilts, including Sunday's 234-yard performance in Jacksonville, TB12 sits 18th in passing yards with 511.

If nothing else, Gordon provides a presence opposing secondaries must account for, which should help up the middle of the field for Rob Gronkowski.

The question is how long it might take for Gordon to earn Brady's trust on the field in an offense notoriously difficult for some receivers to master.

"I always think trust is whatever receiver is out there, you know, you tell them to run a certain route and they run it the way that you talked about it, the ball is thrown, it's caught, it's a positive play and then you do it again," Brady explained to Gray. "If it's a flip of the coin and 50-50, sometimes it's right, sometimes it's wrong, I mean nobody can really depend on that. The coaches don't want to see that, the players don't want to see that. You want to know that the guys you're lining up next to that they got it. They've got their responsibility taken care of and that frees you up to think about what your responsibilities are. But if you're worried about this guy or that guy or this or that, you know, it just takes away from what your focus needs to be as an individual. Everybody wants good teammates that can focus on, as an individual, what they have to do in order to help the team."

Gordon will be eligible to suit up for Sunday night's tilt in Detroit, if Bill Belichick decides he's ready right off the bat. How long it takes a player who has only been on the field for 11 games the past five years to earn Brady's trust will be one of the bigger storylines for the perennial AFC East champions.

Print