Sunday 7: Josh Gordon expectations need to be modified


1. This past week, a lot was made of Josh Gordon being shown on Tom Brady’s Instagram account working out with the Patriots quarterback. Some immediately assumed it meant the team and Gordon know something about him possibly being reinstated, but that doesn’t appear to be the case as the NFL still has no update on when/if Gordon’s indefinite suspension will be lifted. And even if Gordon does get reinstated, last year showed it’s hard to really depend on him because the possibility of him getting suspended again, especially at a bad time like what happened last December. The Patriots should not be factoring Gordon into their plans at wide receiver. If he comes back and is able to produce, then great, but the team should not be approaching things like he’s in their plans. Based on ESPN’s Jeff Darlington’s reporting, Brady and Gordon are closer than many thought and it’s likely the workout was Brady doing Gordon a favor in a way and just reconnecting. While it is easy to get excited and look ahead to Gordon being in a Patriots uniform come the regular season, it’s really something that should not be counted on and looked at as more of a bonus.

2. It will be interesting to hear the comments of both the Patriots and Texans on the Nick Caserio situation come training camp, which is likely when it will get addressed for the first time. Are Bill Belichick and the Patriots legitimately upset with Houston for what happened? Are Bill O’Brien and the Texans mad at the Patriots for tampering charges being filed? Will it carry over into the regular season when the teams meet in Houston during the final month of the season? Jack Easterby should be included, as well. Are the Patriots genuinely upset with how he handled his offseason?  While Belichick and the Patriots likely will never get into specifics with what happened, the tone and choice of words will likely be telling.

3. Robert Kraft hosted several current and former Patriots on a trip to Israel this past week and one of the things we picked up on based on pictures released by the team is the apparent connection between cornerbacks Ty Law and Stephon Gilmore. The two were photographed together a ton and their relationship is certainly something worth following up on to see what it's all about and if Law is giving Gilmore pointers of any kind.

4. After Troy Brown and Deion Branch were on hand during the spring workouts helping out with the wide receivers, it’s worth wondering if they will return for training camp. This seems to have been by design with Joe Judge being in his first year as receivers coach and also continuing with his special teams coaching duties. This isn’t to say the two will be around for the entire season, it just may make sense for the first few weeks of training camp, especially with so many new receivers coming aboard this offseason.

5. Another thing to keep an eye on during training camp is what Jerod Mayo is doing. He seemed to be taking steps to potentially call the defensive plays in what was seen in the spring and it’s worth seeing if those things continue into training camp. It certainly would be a big jump from never coaching in the NFL to calling defensive plays in Year 1, but if anyone can do it it is Mayo. 

6. According to Jeff Howe of The Athletic, Sony Michel is expected to return for training camp after missing most of the spring sessions because of a knee scope, which is good news. But, with that being said, we wouldn’t be surprised if rookie Damien Harris takes away some of Michel’s touches come the regular season. Michel had a very heavy workload last season and it’s hard to imagine that being sustainable given his knee injury history.

7. The entire NFL is pretty much on vacation from now until mid July when the coaches and players return to facilities to get ready for training camp. Even the NFL offices on Park Ave. are pretty much empty during this period of time. Any real moves (signings, trades, etc.) over the next few weeks would come as a surprise.