RENTON — Maybe it makes sense, given the uneven path Josh Gordon has traveled in his NFL career.
He arrived in Seattle trying to stick to a three-word mantra he’s carried around for a while now — “keep it simple.’’
When it comes to football, that means Gordon has set no specific individual goals as his Seahawks career has unfolded.
Whatever happens, he said, will happen.
“I haven’t had any expectations as far as snap counts, reps, stuff like that,’’ he said. “I just know when I’m called upon kind of make sure I know what I’m doing out there.’’
So, you won’t hear a hint of discontent from Gordon about largely underwhelming results in his four games with the Seahawks relative to past accomplishments and the excitement that greeted his arrival.
Gordon has six catches for 81 yards and no touchdowns, numbers that wouldn’t match his per-game averages in 2014, when he had 87 receptions for 1,646 yards and nine touchdowns in 14 games with the Browns. That year ended with Gordon being named to the All-Pro team.
It’s also not on the level of what he’d done in his six games this year with the Patriots before they waived him. With New England, he had 20 receptions for 287 yards and a touchdown, with a high of six catches for 83 yards against the Dolphins.
His results in Seattle haven’t been for lack of playing time.
Gordon saw his most snaps with the Seahawks on Sunday night against the Rams in Los Angeles with 37, good for 55%. He’d played 37, 20 and 27 in the three games before that, 33-37% in each game.
Gordon had five targets against the Rams but just two receptions — an 11-yarder on the third play of the game and a 23-yarder on the last series of the game. The latter converted a fourth-and-18 and meant that five of Gordon’s six catches this year have picked up third or fourth downs.
Coach Pete Carroll said Gordon could have had a bigger day — only, he said it wasn’t really Gordon’s fault.
“Josh has had huge games in the past,’’ Carroll said. “He just hasn’t gotten the ball enough yet to show that for us. But he’s done really well. Josh has been a really good guy around here in practicing and working hard and studying.
“There was a few calls in that game that he had shots but the ball didn’t get to him. And he was there and ran the right route and we were open and (the ball) just didn’t get there because of other issues. But we are counting on him and he could have a big game at any time.’’
It’s not really fair to say Seattle’s offense is slumping — Seattle remains fifth in the NFL in total offense (383.9 yards per game), sixth in points per game (26.2) and in the top 11 in both rushing (third, 140.8 yards per game) and passing (11th, 243.2 yards per game).
The Seahawks could use a third receiver to step forward and complement Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf, and comparing Gordon’s snaps Sunday to Malik Turner (15), David Moore (14) and Jaron Brown (nine) indicates the team is giving him every chance to take that spot over as the season hits its homestretch.
Told about Carroll’s comment that a few more balls could have gone his way against the Rams, Gordon expressed no frustration, saying only: “I think you just have to wait for your number to get called and be there whenever you are needed to step in, know what to do and make sure that you are on point and kind of hit it seamlessly.’’
The Seahawks have thrown Gordon the ball on slant routes in man coverage situations. But he said he’s had no issues adapting to Seattle’s scheme and feels comfortable playing at any spot.
He also says he’s healthy. The Patriots waived Gordon when he was dealing with both knee and ankle issues, but he says those are not hampering him now. He also said he largely avoided the flu bug that has swept through the locker room the past two weeks, this week felling defensive end Jadeveon Clowney.
“I feel pretty good,’’ he said.
He also said he’s fallen in love with Seattle, enjoying taking his French bulldog Franklin on walks around town.
“It’s just the culture,’’ said Gordon, who will turn 29 in August. “It’s just different, something that I think has felt more like a fit, I guess, to me. … It’s hard to explain. It’s hard to explain why I like it here.’’
He likes it enough that he was happy to talk about a possible long-term future with the Seahawks roughly a year after stepping away from football to focus on his mental health (that was shortly after he was suspended for violating the league’s substance abuse policy, the sixth time he had been suspended in his career, which caused him to miss New England’s run to another Super Bowl title).
Seattle picked up the remainder of his one-year contract with New England and will pay him $1.072 million for the rest of the season, with Gordon then becoming an unrestricted free agent.
“Absolutely. Absolutely,’’ Gordon said when asked if he’d like to be back with the Seahawks next year. “I mean, that’s my hope, thinking optimistically. I think that’s anybody’s goal, any player’s goal, to try to find a place you can call home in all aspects.’’