Around the NFL  

 

Questions aplenty for Josh Gordon's Patriots debut

Print
  • By Grant Gordon NFL.com
More Columns >

Quandaries as to just how great Josh Gordon can be have seemingly endured throughout the embattled and talented receiver's rocky career.

Following his trade to the New England Patriots from the Cleveland Browns on Monday, questions about how well he'll fit in under the umbrella of coach Bill Belichick and in the offense with future Hall-of-Fame quarterback Tom Brady have likewise endured.

As to be expected in New England, following Friday's news conferences, not much more is known after Belichick's first comments on the controversial speedster. NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Gordon isn't a sure thing to play against the Detroit Lions on Sunday.

"We'll see how it goes, but I think Josh is a smart kid, he's worked hard, he's picked up a lot," said Belichick via the Boston Herald's Kevin Duffy.

Brady also piped in on Friday, two days ahead of a Sunday night tilt with the Lions.

"We're working at it," Brady said. "Look, he's been here for a few days. Every day you try to make improvements. Everybody's out there working hard, trying to practice, do what they need to do to understand the playbook, understand routes, understand how we do things. So we're just trying to work at it."

So if there's anything to garner in regards to Gordon it's that he's a work in progress.

That's likely been a safe description throughout his career.

Gordon played in Week 1's 21-21 Browns tie with the Steelers, notching just one catch on three targets for 17 yards, though it was for a touchdown.

In 2017, Gordon played in only five games for the Browns and that came after missing all of 2015 and 2016 due to suspensions following violating the NFL substance abuse policy.

As for how the Pats are going to handle Gordon and his off-the-field tribulations, that was another unanswered question.

"I wouldn't talk about another player's personal or injury situations, so I'm not going to do that," Belichick said.

Having parted with just a fifth-round draft pick to get Gordon (along with a conditional seventh-round pick), the risk-reward seems ever in the favor of the Patriots.

All the tumult that's followed Gordon since his career began in 2012 has always been underscored by the proposition of just how phenomenal the receiver can be.

In a career-high 14 starts in 2013, Gordon dazzled and delighted to the tune of a league-high 1,646 yards receiving and 117.6 per game.

Can the now 27-year-old Gordon find his way - finally? How will a troubled player who was about to be released by the Browns adjust to the Patriots after less than a week?

Questions loom as they often have for Gordon and are left unanswered as they often are with New England.

While Belichick finally commented on Gordon and Brady added some more thoughts, Gordon still has yet to speak to the media following his trade.

However, on Sunday in his Patriots' debut, the Patriots faithful and the NFL world will get to see if his play speaks volumes and perhaps just how great he can be in an offense helmed by one of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time.

Print