Patriots

Patriots are smart to manage Josh Gordon's expectations

Patriots are smart to manage Josh Gordon's expectations

NASHVILLE - The biggest Patriots news while the team’s been in Tennessee involved a player who’s not even here. Josh Gordon.

And while his reinstatement was widely seen as a boon for the Patriots, it sounds like Bill Belichick is going to step carefully with Gordon’s return. 

Should anything be read into Belichick’s perfunctory, somewhat non-committal statement? Given it’s all we’ve got to go on? 

Yes.

And what to do we read into it? The Patriots aren’t clearing a place at the table for Gordon just yet.

The statement Belichick released means he’s now short-circuited any attempts to ask him about Gordon in the postgame press conference. And, to be honest, there really isn’t anywhere Belichick could go with the questions anyway in terms of projecting how Gordon will fit.

Until they sit down with Gordon, speak with him and then put him on the field and see how he responds, everything is up in the air.

The presumption is that he’ll help.

But one thing the Patriots were careful to do last season after trading for Gordon was manage expectations. In contrast to the foolishness we witnessed in last year’s "Hard Knocks" when the Browns and then-head coach Hue Jackson practically fixated on Gordon in the receiver's training camp leave of absence and return, the Patriots remained low-key and operated on an almost minute-to-minute basis with Gordon.

Which is kind of how it has to be with someone whose behavior pattern has been so unpredictable.

Everyone knows how talented Gordon is. And I’ve yet to hear anyone say he’s not a person worth rooting for. But it’s up to Gordon to prove to the Patriots that they can count on him. He’s been given the chance – again – it’s ultimately up to him to do something with it.

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Five Patriots plays among Top 30 on NFL 100 list

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File photos

Five Patriots plays among Top 30 on NFL 100 list

Last week, the NFL released all but the Top 30 of its 100 greatest plays as part of its 100th-anniversary celebration. Seven plays involving the Patriots cracked that list.

This week, it was a countdown of plays 30 to 1 and the Pats found themselves well-represented again. 

The list was selected by a panel of 50 voters (the same panel that votes for the NFL Awards and the All-Pro team), including our own Tom E. Curran, who listed his Top 20 plays earlier this summer, here. Voters were given a ballot of 100 plays and asked to rank 50.

The rest of the countdowns on NFL Network continue next week with Greatest Games (Sept. 27 & Oct. 4), Characters (Oct. 11 & Oct. 18), Game-Changers (Oct. 25 & Nov. 1) and Teams (Nov. 8 & Nov. 15).

The No. 1 play was Franco Harris' "Immaculate Reception" touchdown in the Pittsburgh Steelers' December 1972 playoff victory over the Oakland Raiders.

 

 

Report: Antonio Brown's latest incident 'enraged' Robert Kraft

Report: Antonio Brown's latest incident 'enraged' Robert Kraft

The Patriots gave Antonio Brown a shot at redemption when they signed him earlier this month, then another when they kept the wide receiver amid allegations of sexual assault.

But on Friday, enough was enough. When intimidating text messages sent by Brown to one of his accusers leaked to the public, that was the final straw.

Bill Belichick and Robert Kraft came to the conclusion cutting ties with Brown was in the best interest of the team. According to Jeff Howe of The Athletic, the decision stemmed from Kraft being "enraged" upon hearing about Brown's latest incident.

Howe writes:

Kraft, who was on a business trip, became enraged Friday when he heard the details of Brown’s most recently reported incident of text messaging harassment of a former female acquaintance. Kraft and Belichick spoke and decided together to officially release Brown just 11 days after the Patriots signed the controversial star receiver, according to sources.

Shortly before the release was announced, Belichick walked off the podium in the middle of his press conference following a flurry of questions related to Brown. He did note, however, “There are some things that we’re looking into.”

Brown's tenure in New England lasted only 11 days and one game -- last Sunday's 43-0 win over the Dolphins. Now, he's again a free agent faced with hoping another team will be willing to give him yet another chance.

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