It's been almost a full day since news of the Patriots acquiring Josh Gordon began circulating, but Bill Belichick still isn't ready to talk about it. The coach made his weekly appearance on Sportsradio WEEI on Monday and explained that because the deal was not finalized he could not discuss it.
Despite the fact that the deal was officially announced by both teams, Belichick stuck to his guns was asked about Gordon again during his Tuesday conference call.
"We're at the same place with him that we were yesterday, so we're in the process of working through it," Belichick said. "We'll just have to see how it goes."
You're not completely ready to talk about him being officially added to the roster?
"Yeah, that's right," he added.
So, fans and media alike will have to wait at least another day before hearing the coach's thoughts about Gordon. Stay tuned.
As for the remainder of Tuesday's media availability, Josh McDaniels and Brian Flores followed up Belichick and touched on some elements of New England's next opponent, the Detroit Lions. McDaniels going against his good friend, Matt Patricia, was among the highlights of the conference calls.
Friendly foes – McDaniels and Patricia spent several years working together climbing the coaching ladder in Foxborough and the Patriots offensive coordinator was asked what it was like to coach against such a familiar face.
"It is a fun challenge," McDaniels said. "Matt's been a great friend of mine for a long time. He's extremely talented as a coach, he's a great person and I'm excited for him to have this opportunity to be the head coach of the Lions. I think right now we're probably all in the same boat in the National Football League and that's in the situation of trying to improve our football teams and trying to improve our side of the ball so that we can get better from Week 1 to Week 2, Week 2 to Week 3 and continue our improvement throughout the course of the season.
"He's always been very difficult to coach against when he was here. He does a lot of different things that challenge you schematically. He'll keep you off balance. There's definitely an element of spinning the wheel with Matt that you're really going to have to do a great job of being alert and aware and doing a great job of communicating during the course of the game, and there's no question that you're going to have to make some adjustments. We know it's going to be a big challenge there. It's a hard place to play, in the dome, on a Sunday night. We know there will be a lot of energy there, and Matt will make it challenging every step of the way."
Silent but deadly – Brian Flores, the de facto defensive coordinator, did not take part in the conference calls last week but did so on Tuesday. After a disappointing performance in Jacksonville on Sunday coming off a promising start in the opener, Flores was asked if complacency may have been a factor.
"We talk about complacency, or at least I do. To me, it's the silent killer," Flores said. "Guys get complacent, and I'm not saying that our group was complacent, I don't think that was the case at all. It's hard to win in this league. We fight complacency on a day-to-day basis, and again, I don't think our guys were being complacent or are complacent at all. These guys, they work hard. I thought they brought the same energy to practice and meetings and walk-throughs and everything that we've done all week. It just didn't bear out that way Sunday.
"I try to stay as even-keeled as I can – never too high, never too low. I think we're in a situation now where we're dealing with some adversity, and as a group, sometimes that's a good thing. We get to see kind of what we're made of, see how we respond, see what kind of group we have. We'll be back to work tomorrow and we'll try to improve and just get better day after day after day. Hopefully that shows up on Sundays."
Highs and lows – One of the reasons for optimism for the defense heading into the season was the return of Dont'a Hightower. After missing most of 2017 with a torn pectoral muscle, Hightower has been healthy all summer and was back in the lineup for the first two games.
But thus far his play hasn't approached the levels we normally see, and that has led some to speculate that perhaps he's lost a step and still dealing with some physical limitations. Flores was asked about his early-season workload, which has been less than what has normally been the case.
"I think Dont'a, he's obviously one of the leaders of our team. I think he's playing well. I think he's doing everything we're asking him to do," Flores said. "This guy is selfless, he's a team guy. As far as play time, we're just trying to – it's early in the season. We're trying to get different guys involved. He is obviously a part of that, and as the season progresses his role may or may not change, and it's based on the team we're playing, the best fit we see for specific down-and-distance or situation."
It was interesting to listen to Flores talk about Hightower's potential playing time being dictated by opponent and game plan. In the past he's been a player who receives close to 100 percent of the snaps so that will be something worth keeping an eye on in the future.