Josh Gordon sounds like a man who is at peace with where his life and career have taken him.
Gordon’s NFL journey began with a turbulent five years with the Cleveland Browns before spending just over a season with the New England Patriots. He then landed in Seattle on Nov. 1 after the Seahawks claimed him off waivers.
He explained that he didn’t come to Seattle with any expectations, and so he’s been willing to accept whatever role is given to him. But the veteran wideout made it clear that he’s become fond of his new home.
Oh yeah, absolutely. Seattle is amazing. Football aside, I’d definitely love to live in a place like this. -- Gordon
The Seahawks have proven to be a good fit from a football standpoint as well.
“I think I’m just fortunate in general to have landed in a place like this with a coach like this. It’s real family-like. It’s real close, real tight-knit – a real lively, energetic group,” said Gordon, who added that a few teammates were kind enough to invite him over for Thanksgiving dinner. “And competitive more than anything. They love the game of football. You can see it. It’s a great feeling to come back to football and enjoy what you do.”
Gordon, still only 28, is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent following the season. Despite being in the Emerald City for just over a month, he made it clear he could see a future for himself with the Seahawks.
“That’s my hope,” Gordon said. “Thinking optimistically, I think that’s every player’s goal: to try and find a place you can call home. In all aspects I think that’s a bonus.”
His numbers have been humble in four games with the Seahawks – just six receptions on 10 targets for 81 yards – but his catches have come in big moments. Five of Gordon’s six grabs have moved the chains. His role had been stagnant through his first three games, playing 27 snaps (37%) against the 49ers in Week 10, 20 snaps (33%) against the Eagles in Week 12 and 27 snaps (36%) against the Vikings in Week 13.
That changed in Week 14 when Gordon’s playing time jumped to 37 snaps (55%) against the Rams. He caught 2-of-5 targets for 34 yards in Seattle’s primetime loss to Los Angeles. According to head coach Pete Carroll, Gordon was open deep on a few occasions but the ball didn’t get to him because of “other issues.”
Josh has had huge games in the past, he just hasn’t got the ball enough yet to show that for us. But he’s done really well. Josh has been a really good guy around here, practicing and working hard and studying. -- Pete Carroll
It sounds like Gordon will be further integrated into Seattle’s offensive game plan in the weeks to come.
“We’re counting on him to be – he could have a big game at any time,” Carroll said.
Gordon reiterated that he doesn’t have any goals for how many snaps or targets he’ll see moving forward. First and foremost, he seems to be having fun playing football again, and he said the Seahawks have “perfected” that part of the game.
“Anywhere I can be of use to the team, to the offense, to try and get us a catch, move the chains, five yards, it doesn’t matter,” Gordon said. “Any way to try and make a positive influence on the game plan, I’m there for it.”
When asked about the knee and ankle injuries that landed him on IR with the Patriots, Gordon hinted that he’s still playing through some pain. Clearly it’s not enough to keep him off the field. He hasn’t been on Seattle’s injury report in weeks.
“I feel pretty good,” Gordon said. “I’m definitely lucky and blessed that it wasn’t a more serious injury.”
It just kind of feels like Gordon is going to come up big for Seattle before season’s end. That’s not very scientific, but given what Carroll said about Gordon being open deep against the Rams, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him catch a long touchdown at some point in the near future.
Should Gordon have a signature play or two, especially in the playoffs, the veteran may get his wish and remain in Seattle beyond this season.
"Hopefully we continue to keep involving him more and more in the offense and keep getting him the ball," said receivers coach Nate Carroll, who also acknowledged that he'd like to see Gordon stick around past this season. "It would be great to have a chance to get him back in the future."