Wide receiver Josh Gordon has played six games as a member of the Kansas City Chiefs. In those contests, he's been targeted just four times and hauled in one catch for 11 yards. The bar was set relatively low when he signed with the team, but he still has yet to reach it. His time is allegedly coming, though.
On Monday, Chiefs head coach Andy Reid spoke with the media and addressed his team's win over the Las Vegas Raiders, as well as many other topics. Among them was Gordon, and Reid was optimistic about his 30-year-old wideout. Gordon is now a month-and-a-half into yet another stint in the NFL, and all reports on him have been positive. The on-field results aren't quite there in terms of targets or catches, but Reid believes they'll come soon.
"So, Josh [Gordon], his time is going to come as far as the production in the pass game," Reid said. "Right now, he’s attracting attention, which is opening up other people, which is a positive thing. His blocking has been tremendous in the run game. He plays extremely hard. He’s got himself in the last week or two here in really good football shape. He’s been out of this thing for a couple years, so that’s easier said than done and I sure like what we saw in practice last week. I just keep telling him to be patient, it’s going to happen, just keep doing what you’re doing, this thing will pop for you. So, his time will come.”
Reid was very honest about Gordon in his presser, which very well could mean that Gordon's best days as a Chief are indeed ahead of him. Conner Christopherson of Arrowhead Report joined me on the most recent episode of the Roughing the Kicker podcast to discuss whether there's a legitimate path to Gordon having an increased role in the Chiefs' passing game.
In totality, Gordon played 32 snaps for the Chiefs against the Raiders. Twelve of those were on run plays, and another 20 were passes. Among non-Tyreek Hill Chiefs wideouts, Gordon's 20 routes run were right behind Demarcus Robinson's 23 for the third-most on the team. Mecole Hardman ran just 17, suggesting that perhaps the team is done attempting to force him into a secondary role at the position. No matter how you slice it, Gordon's involvement was better. Balls simply weren't being thrown his way.
That makes sense, too. There's a difference between being in shape and being in game shape, and it's entirely possible that Gordon is just now getting back into the swing of things in that regard. In a season where Patrick Mahomes hasn't displayed complete and utter trust in any tertiary weapon within the offense, it also may be taking longer than expected for him and Gordon to develop any sort of chemistry. When you add in learning Reid's complicated offense on top of that — a system that asks quite a bit from its receivers — you get a clearer picture. It's not that Gordon is floundering as a Chief, but rather that he hasn't taken off yet.
Once it does happen, and if it does happen, what would constitute "taking off" for Gordon? Surely not 10 catches for 150 yards and a touchdown or two. That isn't what the Chiefs need from a No. 2 wide receiver. A few catches for around 50 yards, though? That would be great production. The next major step to take towards accomplishing that goal would be getting Mahomes and Gordon on the same page. Once that happens, all bets are off. Six weeks is a long time in the NFL but in that same breath, it's just a snapshot of the entire season. Gordon may need just a bit more time in order to find his footing.
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