Patriots Gridiron News: Josh Gordon won over Rob Gronkowski from the start

New England Patriots Josh Gordon (Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images)
New England Patriots Josh Gordon (Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images) /

New England Patriots wide receiver Josh Gordon has made a niche for himself in the team’s offense and with his teammates.

Talk about a transformation.  Josh Gordon has gone from a player struggling to stay in the NFL to a notable playmaker in the New England Patriots offense.

And it all starts with commitment and buying in.  When Gordon was traded from the Cleveland Browns to the Patriots back towards the beginning of the season, expectations were low despite the high ceiling of talent he possessed due to off-the-field issues some critics of the trade viewed as a risky transaction.

That risky transaction is paying off the Patriots all because of the work ethic of Gordon.  That’s why teammate and All-Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski knew right away that the wide receiver would turn a corner in New England.

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"“I would say within the first week when he got out there playing in games,” Gronkowski said Thursday, as transcribed by WEEI.  “Just the way he’s been working, week in, week out.  You can see it on the practice and then you see it in the game.  Just a great guy to have out there and a phenomenal athlete.”"

Though Josh Gordon has shown flashes on the field that he can still be the threat he was back in 2013, he is showing his effectiveness more in the routs he is able to run and a budding chemistry with quarterback Tom Brady.

Since making his debut with the team in Week 4, Gordon leads the league in best yards-per-catch average at 18.0.  With 39 receptions for 701 yards, he is also on pace for an unlikely 1,000-yard season catching the ball.  Furthermore, he has displayed a high level of professionalism and reliability that has definitely been a bonus for a team limited at the wide receiver position through the first four weeks of the season.

"“He’s brought a lot: the way he just plays, the way he catches the ball, gets that burst, gets us first downs when we need it,” Gronkowski continued.  “Just another player on our team that’s reliable when we need him, so it’s great to have him.”"

Tom Brady and the New England Patriots are going to need a whole lot of Josh Gordon the final three weeks of the season.  With the Kansas City Chiefs losing to the Los Angeles Chargers Thursday night, the team still has a chance to secure the No. 1 seed in the AFC despite that Miami Miracle fans would like to forget about.

Of course, to do so, the Patriots will have to win their final three games of the season, including a Week 15 showdown with the Pittsburgh Steelers, a team Josh Gordon has had some success against.

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Maturity makes the player

A sign of how mature Josh Gordon has become as a player is his reaction to the Patriots’ last-second loss to the Miami Dolphins in Week 14.

While the loss could set up to be a devastating dent in the team’s Super Bowl aspirations, Gordon sees it the other way around.

Following the loss, Gordon took an optimistic approach and viewed it more as motivation.

"“You know what?  At the end of the game, I thought it was a momentum-shifter in a positive way, more so than a negative way,” Gordon said, via  “I know how much work we put in leading up to this game.  For it to end that way, it just doesn’t seem like that’s the end result for us, like that’s the end of the story.  We know we got more to prove and more to offer.”"

While it was another bad result down in Miami, what the New England Patriots can take away from that game is the way the offense did perform.

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Tom Brady was on point most of the game while targeting his big three in playmakers.  Josh Gordon, Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman all played monumental roles in the passing game.  Most importantly, they did it on the road.