A day after the Kansas City Chiefs moved veteran wide receiver Josh Gordon to their 53-man roster, anticipation among Chiefs fans continued to build. Gordon may make his Chiefs debut this Sunday against the Buffalo Bills at Arrowhead Stadium.
On Monday, Chiefs head coach Andy Reid noted he had to speak to Gordon to make sure all was well before making such a roster move. Apparently, it was.
“He feels good,” said Reid during his Wednesday press conference. “He feels like he’s in pretty good shape and wants to get going. He’s got experience, and I learned over years that the veteran guys will tell you how they’re feeling and where they’re at because they know what’s ahead of them and they surely don’t want to embarrass themselves. He feels good about getting in there and getting it started. We’ll see where it goes from there — whether he’s active or not or whatever. We’ll just see how it goes.”
As is well known, Reid runs one of the more complex offenses in the league, which translates to a typically longer learning curve before a skill-position player may feel comfortable. But Gordon is fortunate for his experience with the Cleveland Browns in 2012 when he was a rookie.
Two members of the famous Reid coaching tree — then-Browns head coach Pat Shurmur and then-Browns offensive coordinator Brad Childress — were the first to welcome Gordon to the pro game. Both used play terminology similar to Reid’s.
“He’s very smart and has picked things up quickly,” said Reid of Gordon. “He’s had a little bit of the flavor of the offense when he was in Cleveland, so he understands some of the language there.”
Despite not having played in an NFL football game since December of 2019, Gordon has already made quite the impression on Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
“He’s a tremendous guy,” said Mahomes, who has been practicing with Gordon since his signing last week. “He loves playing football, he loves being here. He loves being a part of this locker room. The talent you can just see — how fast he is, how big he is, the way he’s been able to get in and out of cuts. I’ve been able to throw to him a little bit here now — kind of off to the side a little bit — and I think we’ll try to do whatever we can to bring him up to speed as quickly as possible and try to utilize his skill set.”
Like Mahomes, Gordon hails from the state of Texas — and the city of Lamar, which is southwest of Houston and Tyler, Texas. That’s where Mahomes was raised.
“He has those Texas ties,” smiled Mahomes. “We’ve talked about — and no offense to Gehrig Dieter because he’s a Yankees fan — but the Astros. We talked about stuff like that — him going to Baylor and things like that and just seeing how humble a guy he is. He truly is someone that wants to be here, wants to be a part of this locker room. I’m sure we’ll keep building that relationship as the season goes on.”
Gordon’s problems off the field have been duly documented; Sunday night will mark his seventh chance to stick in the league. But from what the Chiefs have seen — and heard — he is poised to make sure he makes the most of this new opportunity.
“I’m not going to get into the exacts on that — but he has been doing well,” Reid added about Gordon’s progress off the field. “You know, the league keeps a close eye on that, and they felt very comfortable with him — how he’s handled the last few months — and he feels good about it himself. And then I’ve talked to a bunch of people that have had a chance to coach him [and] play with him — and he’s a good kid.
“We all have our issues — and he’s working through those things, so more power to him.”