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The Josh Gordon Experiment: A “Flash” In The Pan…

Okay, so it’s a relatively quaint Thursday morning in New England. I just grabbed some seasonally appropriate, peppermint-oriented iced coffee of sorts from Dunkin’ in an effort to coordinate the rest of my day. The air is crisp, but comfortable for those who’ve weathered a slew of winters in this region. More importantly though, I finally managed to shake the stench of that inexplicably poor offensive output by the Pats against Pittsburgh last Sunday afternoon.

Well, as the old saying goes: When it rains, it pours…

And that’s all she wrote for the Josh Gordon experience in New England. Now, obviously I wish the guy the best. From an ostensible standpoint, he failed to provide us any indication he was anything less than a model teammate. Furthermore, I hope he can figure this shit out but I’m not a psychiatrist or a guidance counselor at some blue chip community college; I’m a motherfucking journalist, and as so, I need to supplement the masses with boiling hot takes…

For starters, this sucks. We’re less than a month away from the iron and operating at a snail’s pace on both ends of the ball. I’m pretty sure my D2 Coed Intramural flag football squad could hang 30 on the Pats right now and the offense has been puttering to say the least. Outside of Brady bailing out of half his throws (I think he’s injured in some capacity), he’s been serviceable; however, the receiving core has been abysmal this year. Just a collective inability to generate separation, paired with a multitude of key third down drops like you read about.

That said, to put it lightly, the loss of Gordon doesn’t help things…

For the record, Josh Gordon was one of the weirdest light bulb experiments in Patriots history. We’ve had a lot of big names roll through here—Randy Moss, Chad Ochocinco, Albert Haynesworth, Matrellus Bennett, etc.—and the trend has been burst or bust. Some guys click in New England and some don’t. There’s seemingly no in-between, and with Gordon, I’m not even sure what to think.

Given his skill set and track record, he was your prototypical boom or bust guy. All-time talent with at least of season’s worth of evidence to prove it, but also, welll, everything else. Although it may have been a reach at the time, I still feel that Josh Gordon is the second most naturally talented receiver to take reps at Gillette behind Randy. It just didn’t completely manifest that way.

For those thinking I’m just trashing Gordon because he’s on his way out, I’m not. Gordon was really good for this team; however, he was confusing as well.

When he arrived here, I was unfairly giving this experiment two outcomes: a.) Gordon would roll in here, live in the film room, and assert his athletic superiority all over the yard; or b.) he’d be unemployed by the end of the week.

Turns out, neither of that happened. Gordon was just… solid.

Nothing he did necessarily blew your dick off but he competed, took on ones, and gave Brady another set of reliable hands on the outside. In fact, nobody really brought it up but—given the offensive struggles this season—it’s tough to imagine where this team would be right now without him…

That said, every catch the guy made was tough. He’d produce a decent catch rate, but was draped constantly. Every ball he brought in was either a short post in traffic or an acrobatic jump ball that he managed to corral three or four steps away from the opposing team’s Gaterade jug. Not to mention, most of his touchdowns came off defensive mishaps or zone coverage.

In other words, it was just strange to see someone with that athletic prowess fail to create separation on a consistent level. To be honest, I can’t recall a single play where Gordon just flat out “beat” someone.

As I said though, best of luck to him in his endeavors, but this one stings…

– Joey Boats (@joey_boats)

 

 

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