By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
Josh Gordon has risen to a prominent role in the Patriots offense, perhaps much quicker than many expected or hoped to see. He led all Pats receivers in targets last Sunday against the Chiefs, a sign that Tom Brady’s trust in the receiver is continuing to grow.
It’s also a sign that Gordon is finally able to play at game speed again. While Gordon has had to learn a lot about the Patriots offense in a short time, he’s had to do it as he works his way back from a hamstring injury suffered just before the Cleveland Browns shipped him to New England.
“It was great to open up again at full strength, real speed,” Gordon told ESPN’s Mike Reiss about his latest practices with the team. “It’s been a process and it’s just been [about] trusting the strength staff, training staff, and the coaches and keeping me safe. It’s been a great process so far.”
Video: Josh Gordon discusses opening up to full throttle at practice as his hamstring is feeling a lot better. pic.twitter.com/R3tTiQuHn8— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) October 19, 2018
Brady said on Friday that he feels he’s making progress with both acclimating Gordon and regaining his chemistry with Julian Edelman. But in classic Brady fashion, he’s still not satisfied despite the offense averaging 39.7 points in the past three games.
“I think we’re getting there and we’re working on it,” said Brady. “I certainly think that every week that goes by, we’re going to try to keep making improvements and get better. A lot of different players we’ve tried to incorporate this year and I think we’re working our way through it. I don’t think we’re there yet. I know I said after last game we still have some work to do and we still feel like our best is ahead of us. We’re just going to have to go out and play really well this weekend to get the same results. That’s what we’re trying for.”
Gordon’s targets have gone up over each of his first three games with the Patriots. The receiver is now up to nine grabs for 124 yards and a touchdown. He’s been particularly adept at catching quick slants from Brady, and also reeled in a 34-yard touchdown in Week
5 against the Colts after adjusting on a scramble drill in the end zone.
The ex-Browns wideout has certainly flashed his game-breaking talent at times, but he hasn’t quite looked like he’s playing at full speed. That sounds like it’s about to change.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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