ince joining the team on September 27, wide receiver Josh Gordon’s involvement in the Kansas City Chiefs’ offense has been minimal.
In Week 5 against the Buffalo Bills, Gordon played just nine snaps, which equaled 10% of the team’s total offensive snaps, per Pro Football Reference. In Week 6 against the Washington Football Team, he played 11 snaps, which was 13% of the team’s total offensive snaps.
Head coach Andy Reid noted Gordon being in such great physical shape and having familiarity with the playbook led to him being promoted to the 53-man roster just one week after signing to the team’s practice squad. But what has led to a small snap share on game day, along with just one target and one catch in the two games Gordon’s been active for?
Offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy put his finger on what is “probably” the reason for it.
ALL the latest Chiefs news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Chiefs newsletter here!
Bieniemy: Coaches Need to Get Gordon Involved
When asked what the greatest obstacle is right now to Gordon getting more involved in the offense, Bieniemy laid the blame on the coaching staff.
“Probably us as coaches. We just need to make sure we’re putting him out there and getting him comfortable out there as a player and making sure that he’s understanding exactly what’s going on,” Bieniemy said during his press conference on Thursday, October 21. “The only way he’s going to learn is to go out there and make a mistake every now and then. And that’s OK because if he does make a mistake, I guarantee you he won’t repeat that mistake.
“But that kid has been working his tail off. The thing is, I’ll say this again, we just need to make sure we’re getting him more involved. Joe (Bleymaier) has done a great job with him, he’s been practicing his tail off and it’s just up to us to make sure we’re getting him the necessary reps that he needs on gameday.”
Tough Task to Find Snaps for Gordon
With the way Kansas City’s offense has been playing this season, it’ll be tough for Gordon to earn more reps on game day, even if the coaching staff wants to make a concerted effort to give him more.
Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce are the top two options in the passing game, as they always are. Then you add in Mecole Hardman, who is on pace for a career year with 26 catches for 261 yards, one touchdown, and has been on the field for 65% of the team’s offensive snaps, per Pro Football Reference. Byron Pringle has also been sprinkled into the offense, catching 12 passes for 170 yards, two touchdowns and has been on the field for 30% of the team’s offensive snaps.
Because of defenses not allowing big plays downfield this season to the likes of Hill and Kelce, quarterback Patrick Mahomes has been forced to complete shorter passes, putting him on pace for a career-low yards per completion average (11.3) along with a career-high completion percentage (69.0) in a single season.
It would be wise for defenses to take the same approach to defending the Chiefs offense moving forward, as it has led to a league-high 14 total turnovers for Kansas City’s offense this season, according to ESPN. That means we should see much of the same from the Chiefs’ opposition for the remainder of the season and a similar type of passing attack from Mahomes and the offense.
Due to all of this, trying to find a place for Gordon — who is a tall, physical, deep threat that hasn’t fully grasped the playbook yet — is a tall task for the Chiefs coaching staff. So, despite Bieniemy wanting to get Gordon more involved, it’s tough to make a case as to why he should earn more snaps at this point based on what the offense has been able to do despite all the turnovers, which is being one of the top teams in the league in points per game (30.8) and yards per game (433.5), per ESPN.