Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said he’s not “going to project anything” following the team’s trade for wide receiver Josh Gordon Monday afternoon.
“I hate to make projections and expectations,” Brady told Westwood’s One Jim Gray Monday night. “That’s not fair. I’ve never met Josh, personally — just like I hadn’t met some of the guys who have come in the last couple of weeks. We’ll see how it goes this week. Hopefully, he can work hard, put the team first, and end up helping us in any role that he can find for himself on the team.”
Gordon signed with the Patriots after the Browns informed Gordon and his representatives Saturday evening of their intentions to trade or release him. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Gordon’s looming departure was not in response to a substance abuse violation or failed drug test — something that had plagued the talented receiver throughout his six-year tenure in Cleveland.
Rapoport reported Sunday morning Gordon injured his hamstring during a promotional photoshoot, which contributed to the Browns’ decision to part ways with him. Rapoport reported Monday evening an MRI on Gordon’s hamstring “came out fine,” which means Gordon could be active for the Patriots against the Detroit Lions in Week 3. ESPN’s Adam Schefter also reported Gordon is “healthy enough” to play Sunday, but Gordon’s health is just one part of the equation in his effort to get on the field. The 27-year-old must also master the Patriots’ playbook — one that features a “graduate-level” offense, according to Brady.
“Any time you get someone in the middle of the season, there’s obviously a lot of things that have happened that have got the team to a certain point that they weren’t apart of,” Brady told Gray Monday night. “So not sure how many of those things matter, but you’d like to try to get up to speed as quickly as possible, and it’s really up to the individuals. All these things need to play themselves out.”
“I’m not going to project anything,” Brady continued. “I’m just going to be the positive, enthusiastic leader that I am and try to be a great quarterback and try to embrace whoever is on the team. We’ve all got to play a lot better than we played yesterday and that’s really where our focus should be.”
As the Patriots have filtered a variety of wide receivers in and out of Foxborough this season, Brady has been open about the process of developing trust with his receiving corps. Brady said if a receiver can consistently run their routes as discussed, their relationship will progress.
“The ball’s thrown, it’s caught, it’s a positive play, and then you do it again,” he said. “If it’s a flip of the coin, 50-50, sometimes it’s right, sometimes it’s wrong, I mean nobody can really depend on that. The coaches don’t want to see that, the players don’t want to see that.”
“You want to know that the guys you’re lining up next to that they’ve got it — they’ve got their responsibility taken care of,” Brady continued. “That frees you up to think about what your responsibilities are. But if you are worried about this guy, that guy, or this or that, it just takes away from what your focus needs to be as an individual. Everybody wants good teammates that can focus on, as an individual, what they have to do in order to help the team.”