FOXBORO, Mass. — Wide receiver Josh Gordon isn’t putting up the same prolific numbers this season with the New England Patriots as he did in 2013 with the Cleveland Browns, but at least one NFL head coach believes he’s still the same player.
Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer had to gameplan for Gordon frequently in a previous stop. Zimmer shared the same division as Gordon when he was the defensive coordinator with the Cincinnati Bengals. Zimmer’s Vikings take on Gordon’s Patriots this Sunday at Gillette Stadium.
Gordon caught 13 passes for 300 yards with two touchdowns in four games against the Bengals while Zimmer was DC. Gordon had long touchdowns of 74 and 71 yards in two of those games.
“Yeah, it’s hard for me to remember back then, but he’s always been very explosive, catches the ball well, great speed,” Zimmer said Wednesday on a conference call. “I think he does a good job getting out of the cuts. And looks really similar, to me, how he was with Cleveland.”
Gordon led the NFL in receiving yards in 2013, when he caught 87 passes for 1,646 yards with nine touchdowns. He has 31 catches for 547 yards with two touchdowns in eight games with the Patriots this season. He ranks sixth in yards per catch.
While Gordon isn’t necessarily setting the league on fire this season, he also shares an offense with much more talented weapons than he did in 2013 with the Browns. Gordon also is being asked to learn the Patriots’ complex offense on the fly.
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