Rob Gronkowski Knew Right Away Josh Gordon Would Be Good Fit For Patriots

FOXBORO, Mass. — On Sept. 17, the New England Patriots made the bold and surprising decision to trade for troubled Cleveland Browns receiver Josh Gordon.
Less than a week later, Rob Gronkowski was convinced they’d made the right call.
Reflecting on Gordon’s arrival nearly three months after the fact, Gronkowski said it took him mere days to realize the electrifying wideout would fit in well in Foxboro.
“I would say within the first week when he got out there playing in games,” the Patriots tight end said Thursday. “Just the way he’s been working, week in, week out. You can see it in the practice field and then you see it in the game. Just a great guy to have out there and a phenomenal athlete.”

Rob Gronkowski said he knew “within the first week” that Josh Gordon would be a special player for the Patriots.
— Zack Cox (@ZackCoxNESN) December 13, 2018

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Gordon, who’d played just 11 games since the start of the 2014 season before arriving in New England, has proven to be an excellent addition to the Patriots offense. Since making his Pats debut in Week 4, he leads the team with 701 receiving yards on 39 receptions and has hauled in three touchdown passes.
There were some growing pains as Gordon learned the offense and familiarized himself with quarterback Tom Brady’s preferences, but he’s been exceptional of late, catching 13 of his 16 targets and racking up 224 yards with one score over the Patriots’ last three games.
In Sunday’s 34-33 loss to the Miami Dolphins, Gordon’s five receptions went for 12, 16, 18, 21 and 29 yards, with exactly half of his total receiving yards (48 of 96) coming after the catch.
That’s been a trend throughout this season: Gordon ranks eighth among all NFL pass-catchers in yards after catch per reception, according to NFL Next Gen Stats, often using his 6-foot-3, 225-pound frame and impressive athleticism to turn quick slants into big gains.
Each of Gordon’s last eight receptions — and 11 of his last 13 — has resulted in a Patriots first down.
“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 said. “Just another player on our team that’s reliable when we need him, so it’s great to have him.”