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The Patriots took a big gamble by trading for Josh Gordon, but the enigmatic wide receiver is confident he’ll thrive in New England.
Things didn’t work out for Josh Gordon in Cleveland, but he’s convinced things will be different in New England. In fairness, having Tom Brady as your quarterback really helps increase a wide receiver’s probability of success.
Gordon got his first action for the Patriots on Sunday and responded with two catches for 32 yards. Coincidentally, Gordon’s debut also marked the team’s best offensive performance of the season. Bill Belichick’s team thumped the previously undefeated Dolphins for a 38-7 victory.
Obviously, Gordon has a long way to go before he validates the risk the Patriots took in acquiring him. There’s no question he has the physical ability to thrive as a go-to receiver for Brady. The questions all surround whether he can handle his off the field issues and learn the intricacies of the Patriots’ complicated offense.
For whatever it’s worth, Gordon feels great about his chances for success. He told reporters that he has “no doubt” he will take full advantage of the opportunities afforded to him by the Patriots. That’s bad news for the rest of the AFC. If Gordon can get going he has the potential to become Brady’s No. 1 wide receiver. That means he could be even more productive than Julian Edelman now that he’s ready to return from suspension.
None of this means Gordon is ready to fulfill his full potential next week. It’s going to take him a considerable amount of time to learn New England’s voluminous playbook. The intricacies of Brady’s offense will test Gordon’s attention to detail. In short, it’ll challenge whether or not he really wants to succeed as an NFL player.
The good news for Patriots fans is that their organization doesn’t have much at stake here. They aren’t paying Gordon very much money and they didn’t give up significant draft capital to acquire him. They essentially have a free opportunity to get maximum production out of a Pro Bowl talent. That’s a great situation for a team with such a talented coaching staff.
No one should get too caught up in Gordon’s words at this point in his career. We’ve heard his assurances before. The only way he’s going to change his reputation is to perform on the field week in and week out. Time will tell whether or not Gordon can do that for the rest of the season.