The Denver Broncos signed Melvin Gordon in the off-season and beginning Monday he is primed to bounce back.
In the early years of Melvin Gordon’s career, he played for the Denver Broncos’ division rival the Los Angeles Chargers and became one of the better backs in the NFL.
Injuries certainly played a part later with the Chargers, but the talent is still there for him to be one of the better contributors on the Denver Broncos roster. It was a curious decision for the Chargers to let Gordon walk since it seemed like it was either Philip Rivers or Gordon who would stay in Los Angeles. Plans changed and Gordon moved to the Broncos, staying in the division.
One of the big factors with Gordon was a new contract. Gordon was instructed by his agent to hold out for a larger deal. Injury and him holding out put Gordon in a situation of rust.
The large extension or new deal with the Chargers never happened to create a chip on his shoulder for his new team. It is evident since joining the Broncos Gordon is determined to prove he is still that dominant running back we once saw earlier in his career. For Gordon, it is abundantly clear he has a lot left in the tank. Since coming into the league, he has shown to be one of the more productive backs in the NFL.
Gordon has stated on numerous occasions how comfortable he feels in a new system and a fit he can excel at a high level. Pat Shurmur’s offense with the New York Giants featured a back who is the prominent dual-threat back in the NFL of being a receiver and running back.
When Shurmur was with the Minnesota Vikings, he had a bellcow with Dalvin Cook. However, Shurmur successfully knew how to deal out carries for multiple backs. It seems he has done it all as a coach. In Denver, Gordon and Phillip Lindsay expect to be 50/50 in carries, but the chip on the shoulder remains for Gordon.
With Shurmur, Gordon can be a dynamic player like in Los Angeles. Gordon’s skill set as a pass-catcher dates back all the way to his days at Wisconsin. Gordon rewrote a narrative out of college that he still had tread on his tires and be successful early.
He became one of the best backs in the country and a first-round selection in the NFL draft. Of course, we all know running backs in the first round is a sketchy deal. As for Gordon, the talent is still there.
Production is one of the biggest translators from Wisconsin to the NFL. Gordon has accumulated 36 touchdowns on the ground and 11 in the passing game. This means he has averaged 10+ touchdowns a season since joining the league in 2016. If that is not impressive I don’t know what is.
Gordon wants to make it known he is the better back and the move to sign him took many in Broncos Country by surprise. Yet, it makes the team better offensively and collectively. Denver has Pro Bowl running back Lindsay who has defied the odds of becoming one of the better dynamic players in the NFL.
Lindsay has rushed for over 1,000 yards in back-to-back seasons. No undrafted rookie can say that. In Denver’s case they have two different players at running back, but two people more than capable to be three-down running backs.
That’s a great problem to have as both an offensive coordinator and as a team. Pundits want to gripe about the Gordon deal saying it never should have happened to throw that money to him.
That may be true due to the history of backs succeeding long-term with a big contract. Yet, if it makes the team’s young quarterback comfortable and the entire Broncos unit better as a whole than it does not matter.
The Broncos have two goals in mind: 1). To be competitive once again in the NFL and make the playoffs 2). Win Super Bowls. The second point should always be a team’s goal.
As for Gordon, he is ready to break out again and prove the Broncos made the right call with bringing him into the fold. Gordon will make the doubters look like fools and his time to show it begins Monday against Tennessee.
We all know elite players can bring out the best in other opponents. Gordon seeing Derrick Henry on the other side will put more fuel to the fire to outplay him.
I am excited to see Gordon wear the orange and blue on Monday night for the first time.