he Kansas City Chiefs added a lot of intrigue to the receiver room this offseason.
The defending AFC West champions kicked things off by adding JuJu Smith-Schuster. After they traded away Tyreek Hill, they signed Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Corey Coleman, drafted Skyy Moore, and then signed undrafted rookie Justyn Ross, to name a few of the moves.
But there’s one veteran receiver on the roster that is seldom discussed as one of the top receivers in Kansas City, and could be in line for a big jump in productivity in 2022:
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Gordon was reinstated by the NFL last year and signed with the Chiefs practice squad on September 27. After having not played football since 2019, Gordon managed to get promoted to Kansas City’s 53-man roster by October 5 but had a minimal impact during his first season back in the NFL.
In 12 regular-season games, Gordon was targeted by quarterback Patrick Mahomes 14 times and caught 5 of those passes for 32 yards, and had 1 receiving touchdown, according to Pro Football Reference. That productivity came while playing 25% of the team’s total offense snaps in those games.
Despite a lackluster season from the former All-Pro, the Chiefs re-signed Gordon on March 8. That showed Andy Reid and his coaching staff’s support for what they have seen thus far from Gordon in a Chiefs uniform. So much so that Gordon’s position coach recently made some strong remarks about Gordon’s future in Kansas City.
Chiefs WR Coach Has ‘Big Expectations’ for Gordon
Speaking to the media following Week 2 of organized team activities (OTAs), Chiefs wide receiver coach Joe Bleymaier gushed over Gordon and what he’s seen from the 31-year-old receiver.
“I have big expectations for Josh,” Bleymaier said on June 2. “Like you said, the offseason here, when he got here it was just (doing) as much as we could do to get him on the field and having him knowing his assignments. He is extremely smart and intelligent and he knew he tackled all of those challenges and he did what we needed last year.
“Now he can kind of understand (the) why, get on the same page with Pat [Mahomes], understand the timing and how he fits in with everybody else. Not only the reps, but the depth and the feel and him getting his stride back, realizing where he was when he was at the top of his game — how he was doing that. That’s really where I’ve seen him come this spring.”
Bleymaier Refutes Gordon Not Knowing Playbook
Bleymaier also refuted the rumor that Gordon had a very limited role last season because he didn’t know the playbook.
“Yeah, he’s always been comfortable with the playbook,” Bleymaier explained. “I would say he’s more comfortable with himself in the role, in the offense, in what we’re asking him to do and then how he can do it. Last year, he was just so focused on what we were asking him to do. He was just, not neglecting what got him to this point, but now he’s just kind of bringing it all full picture.”
There’s no doubt that at 31 years old Gordon’s best days in the NFL are in the past. But that doesn’t mean he can’t evolve into a reliable playmaker for Mahomes and the Chiefs offense in Year 2 with the team. That’s very possible even in a limited role thanks to his skill set, which has produced 17.0 yards per reception during his NFL career.