Patriots

Bedard: With Josh Gordon in rearview mirror, time for Patriots’ offense to pick up pace

(Adam Richins for BSJ)

A couple of things to get out of the way when it comes to the news about Josh Gordon's indefinite suspension:

As with anyone dealing with substance abuse issues, we hope he gets the help he needs. Being a football player shouldn't make him a special case. Millions are dealing and struggling with similar problems.

This is just further evidence of what I talked about at the time of the trade: It's embarrassing the Patriots have been so inept at filling the receiver position they had to make a desperate move by trading for the likes of Gordon, who is up there with all of the other serial substance abusers across sport. It should have never, ever come to that. This is the crux of what I said then:

I’m not going to sit here and tell you Gordon will or won’t be a success here (the chances are stronger that he won’t fit into the culture and/or he’ll have another slip up). Of course, he was worth the risk (Gordon came in No. 2 on my targets for a possible deal at the roster cutdown — the odds of his acquisition increased after the Patriots’ pathetic receiver display vs. the Jaguars). He’s that talented. And I think this is the much larger and important point: New England is so desperate at receiver it had to do this (we said when Kenny Britt was released that the personnel wasn’t good enough).

Really, if we’re being honest, it’s pathetic the Patriots have gotten to the point they have to sign players that were basically useless bums at other places (Britt, Corey Coleman, Gordon — all former Browns). These are the New England Patriots we’re talking about. Five-time Super Bowl champions. Bill BelichickTom BradyJosh McDaniels, the brilliant offensive mind who could have had any head coaching job he wanted in recent years.

The franchise and its top names stand for excellence. They’ve built Super Bowl contenders every year for 18 years. Other teams aspire to do what they have done, all that sustained success.

But why the heck can’t they ever develop a receiver? It’s bordering on embarrassing. Actually … after the acquisition of Gordon out of utter desperation, it is embarrassing.

And now that he has to leave a team that's already struggling on offense with 16 points in its last six quarters, with playoff seeding on the line and two games left in the season. That makes it even worse.

PODCAST: Bedard talks Gordon trade with Felger & Mazz 09.18.18

But with much more football left to be played for the Patriots this season (they hope), it's time to quickly turn the page and focus on how this offense can be more efficient after Gordon — which is exactly what they're doing inside One Patriot Place.

I have some thoughts, but they mostly focus on one word: speed.