Tom Brady put down the groundwork early, giving his new target a clean slate with the New England Patriots. And wide receiver Josh Gordon took it, taking advantage of his opportunity to go from the rags of the Cleveland Browns to the riches of the Pats.
Gordon, who has now played the same number of games (10) this year as the past three years combined, credited the superstar quarterback with his successful turnaround.
Gordon credits widespread leadership
Gordon said the widespread leadership in the locker room has helped him “follow suit,” ESPN reported from the team’s media availability, and having a locker next to 19-year veteran Brady has allowed him a front row seat to leading by example.
“I came in with the idea [Brady] was a hard-working guy, and he’s done nothing but shown that continuously and consistently,” Gordon said. “He’s a family man, he loves his family, FaceTiming with his kids, which is something I can relate to with my family, my kids. He enjoys the game and everything that comes with it.”
Gordon credits medical staff
Gordon, 27, injured his hamstring during a photo shoot in September, reportedly the catalyst for his trade. He was still knocking off the rust this year after a five-game season in 2017 and missing both the 2015 and 2016 seasons due to suspensions.
He noted improved conditioning as his season with New England has gone on and gave credit to the team’s medical staff and strength and conditioning coaches.
“It’s night and day — huge difference,” Gordon said. “I think I’m as good as I’ve been.”
Patriots find a guy they can rely on
Gordon’s 10 games (which include one with Cleveland) are the most he’s played since 2013 when he had 87 receptions for 1,646 yards. He averaged 117.6 yards per game that second season in the league en route to his only Pro Bowl and first-team All Pro selections.
With New England this year he has 34 catches for 605 yards and three touchdowns. His first score in a new jersey was Tom Brady’s 500th career touchdown and he helped lead 14-unanswered points in a win against the Minnesota Vikings last week.
Gordon has a chance to go from a winless Browns squad in 2017 to a division champion one in 2018. The Patriots (9-3) can lock up the AFC East with a win over the Miami Dolphins (6-6) on the road Sunday.
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