By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
Like the question was a screen pass on a third-and-four, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady provided the assembled media a zipping-yet-accurate assessment when asked how new wide receiver Josh Gordon looks on the practice field.
“Like an NFL receiver looks,” the 41-year-old Brady said during Friday’s media availability at Gillette Stadium.
Acquired from the Cleveland Browns earlier this week, Brady acknowledged the cramming that Gordon, who caught one pass for 17 yards and a touchdown in the Browns’ Week 1 tie with the Pittsburgh Steelers, has done to get adjusted to Patriot Blue.
“[Gordon]’s really been eager to get in there and learn everything we’re doing and you know, just try to acclimate himself to what the program is,” said Brady. “I think different players are on different work portions of practice. Whoever’s in there, I’m trying to work with and any player that’s limited, I’m going to try to throw it to whoever’s in there. So if they’re in there with me, great. If they’re in there with someone else, they’ve got to get their work in. But we’re just trying to get prepared to play.”
Five years removed from one of the best seasons by any wide receiver in National Football League history, Gordon’s raw skill alone is probably enough for the Patriots to get away with throwing him into play when they travel to Detroit this Sunday.
Especially when you’re talking about a Detroit defense averaging 39 points against per game, and the fact that the Patriots dressed just three pass-catching wideouts — Chris Hogan, Phillip Dorsett, and Cordarrelle Patterson — last week in a 31-20 loss that saw an explosively-angry Brady limited when it came to passing options on the outside.
“I think if they’re in there, it’s up to the coaches to decide those things,” Brady said when asked about Gordon’s impact while not fully knowing the team’s offensive system. “I mean, I don’t think anyone is going to put anyone out there if they don’t know what they’re doing, if they don’t know what to do on a play. Now you could limit the number of plays and try to do that, and I think we’ve done that plenty of times. That’s any time you get new players, that’s what you try to do.”
But there’s no doubt that Brady sees the upside that can come with getting on the same page as Gordon and vice versa.
“I think we’re working at it,” Brady said of his budding relationship with the 27-year-old Gordon. “I mean, look, he’s been here for a few days so we’re working at it every day and every day you try to make improvements.
“We’re out there – everyone who’s out there is working hard, trying to practice, doing whatever they need to do to understand the playbook, to understand routes, understand how we do things. So we’re just trying to work at it.”
Gordon, acquired while dealing with a minor hamstring injury, is questionable to play Sunday night in Detroit.