Since the Pulpit might as well just be the Josh Gordon live blog until he actually, um, plays football in a Patriots jersey, if you’re one of the people that’s still skeptical about the trade, hopefully this will kick off your weekend in style. Actually, why are you even still at work? It’s after lunchtime already. Send those TPS reports and get the F out of there.
Whenever the Patriots rolls the dice on a player like Josh Gordon, it always feels a little bit better when some old friends can put in a good word, and that’s exactly what Super Bowl champion Brandon LaFell and Ivy League MBA grad Andrew Hawkins did this morning. Hawkins, you may remember, spent a few months with the Patriots last summer before deciding his body was like “Nah, dude, we’re done”, while LaFell definitely needs no introduction around these parts.
Speaking of Brandon LaFell, file this one away for trivia night: LaFell and Gordon are both grads of Lamar High School in Houston, TX, and when LaFell graduated and shipped off to LSU, Gordon took over his old spot at X receiver. They’ve been tight ever since.
Here’s Brandon’s two cents, from the Boston Herald:
“A manchild,” LaFell said.
“I think it’s definitely a good environment because he has to know he’s running out of opportunities,” LaFell said. “People are not going to continue to give you chance after chance. . . . I feel like the structure around there — Bill (Belichick), Tom (Brady), and just to see the way other guys around him work and become selfless and all about the team — I think that’s going to be great for Josh to buy in and put himself on the backburner and be all about the Patriots.”
And here’s Hawkins, who as we mentioned before, certainly knows his way around some complex subject matter:
Yesterday, the first words out of Hawkins’ mouth regarding Gordon were “super, super smart guy.”
“You just talk to him and feel the way he communicates and the way he comprehends, and you realize, ‘Oh this guy, he has a lot to him,’ ” Hawkins said. “He really is a smart guy.”
In Cleveland, Gordon had zero issues learning the playbook, according to Hawkins. And the Browns cycled five offensive coordinators in Gordon’s first five seasons. But having played here, Hawkins cautioned it might not be so easy this time. The Patriots offense is “unlike anything” Hawkins had ever experienced.
“Josh now is not the same Josh that I knew four years ago, and that’s a good thing,” Hawkins said. “It’s a process. He’s doing the right things and taking the right steps. That’s not to say he’s perfect, and that’s not to say he’s going to be perfect. But unfortunately, that’s a side of substance abuse that is a reality for everybody.”
And in terms of “needing a change of scenery”, a “fresh start”, or whatever you want to call it, Brandon LaFell threw it out there that you’ve got zero margin for error in New England, but if you put it in the bank, it’ll all pay off on Sundays. Like Ernie Adams says in Do Your Job, there’s no such thing as a game day player.
“There’s absolutely no tolerance up there,” LaFell said. “Be early. Don’t miss anything that’s mandatory or voluntary. Make sure you’re sitting right by Tom in meetings, listening to Josh McDaniels speak. It’s a great situation. They’ve been doing great things. They’re going to continue to go great things. And they’re going to do great things with or without you, so you better buy in and be all about the team.”
As for the locker room? Stationed next to Brady, LaFell recalls talking football “all day.”
“(Gordon) is going to start to speak with Tom so much, talk about coverages so much, he’ll start to see the same thing Tom sees each and every play on the field,” LaFell said.
Enjoy your weekend, everybody.