FOXBORO, Mass. — It’s taken altruistic acts from the New England Patriots’ receiving corps to get Josh Gordon acclimated so quickly in his new offense.
Gordon was acquired by the Patriots from the Cleveland Browns last month and has played 87.3 percent of offensive snaps over the last two weeks. He was on the field for 61 of 64 offensive snaps Sunday against the Chicago Bears.
Meanwhile, two receivers helping Gordon get up to speed, Phillip Dorsett and Chris Hogan, have seen their snaps take a major dip.
Dorsett, a starter to begin the season, has played just 7.7 percent of snaps over the last two weeks. Hogan was playing over 90 percent of snaps through the first five weeks of the season. He’s now on the field at just a 62.7 percent clip as Gordon and Julian Edelman’s snaps have been on the rise.
Gordon is leaning on Dorsett, Hogan and Edelman as he badgers his peers with questions in meetings and practice.
“It’s an integral part,” Gordon said Saturday. “Phil, Hogan, Jules, everybody, Coach (Chad) O’Shea, I just like asking a lot of questions, because I don’t want to go out there not knowing what to do. If I can rely on those guys, and they don’t mind me asking, then I’m going to keep asking until I know 100 percent that I got it 100 percent. I’m going to double check and triple check. I’m appreciative with them being patient with me and working with me, and I’m just glad to have them. Without them, I probably wouldn’t be where I’m at right now. So, I’m thankful for them.”
Selflessness is part of the Patriot way. Edelman credited Randy Moss, Deion Branch, Kevin Faulk and Fred Taylor with helping him learn the offense as a rookie in 2009.
“I think it’s a collective thing when (Gordon) has a question, whether Hoags is there or Phil is there, I’m there, Cordarrelle’s there or if he’s spending a lot of 1-on-1 time with Chad,” Edelman said. “I think it’s a little bit of everyone.”
Gordon’s locker placement helps too. The receiver is positioned next to quarterback Tom Brady, who insisted he’s been “easy” on his new wideout.
“He’s been making it a great transition for me,” Gordon said. “It’s been awesome being here. It’s been awesome being next to him, working with him. I couldn’t ask for anything more.”
Brady raved about the 6-foot-3, 225-pound target Saturday afternoon.
“Yeah, I just think it’s so impressive, in my view, what he’s done in a short period of time and how he’s assumed this specific role in our offense,” Brady said. “Last week — I don’t know how much participation it was — but it was a lot. That’s a very challenging thing to do. The receiver position in our offense takes years for most guys to understand and learn nuances and intricacies of not only our plays, but how to get open within the scheme, how to gain my trust, and he’s done it in such a short period of time. I don’t think we’re where we necessarily can be in the future if we just keep working hard at it.
“Like my relationship with Julian — I mean, it has many, many years of practices and film sessions and individual sessions that are kind of in the bank, so to speak. I think you’ve just got to try and build those up as much as you can in a short period of time with a newer player. But, typically, the more you play with a receiver the better it gets, and I just think we’re trying to make improvements on a weekly basis. For him to play the role that he’s played is a credit to him, what he’s been doing and what his routine here has been. I know he’s got a lot of great support and everyone wants to see him do as well as he possibly can.”
Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images