Five seasons as a Chargers running back and it’s still a little different for Melvin Gordon to hear himself called a Denver Bronco.
“It’s crazy, man. Just being with the Chargers for so many years. It’s crazy just to hear that,” Gordon told NFL Network’s LaDainian Tomlinson on Monday evening on NFL Total Access. “But, hey, I’m rocking with it.”
Gordon’s stay in the AFC West continues, but he’s heading to a rival squad which already has an established back in Phillip Lindsay, who’s coming off a second 1,000-yard season in as many years.
The former Bolts back is hoping they will provide a charged connection, much like Gordon and Austin Ekeler presented, but realizes he and Lindsay will each strive to be the No. 1 running back regardless of the balance in the play-calling.
“I hope it’s electric,” Gordon said. “I hope it’s electric, man, just cause it’s crazy that his numbers [are what they are]; I just had a season with Austin Ekeler – phenomenal player. Their game is about the same. And I think Lindsay is a great, phenomenal back. Like I said, he’s a Pro Bowl back, himself. First year, 1,000-yard rusher, like you said. I think we can be a great one-two punch. I’m excited to get with him.
“You gotta be a sponge so you can learn from every player. So I’m excited to learn from him and take some things from him and I know he feels the same way.”
Fewer franchises invoke a workhorse back who averages 20-plus carries, but Tomlinson pressed and pointed out their can only be only one No. 1 back, to which Gordon admitted that a competition is in store for the Broncos backfield.
“We’re gonna compete for that spot,” Gordon said. “I know it’s his territory. You gotta take the humble route, but I’m a competitor at the end of the day. I’m gonna compete and he is, too. I’m just gonna put my head down and work and see where I’m at. But you’re right, there can only be, there’s a No. 1 guy and a No. 2 guy — it is what it is. I’m gonna go work and get mine.”
In each of his first four seasons, Gordon led the Chargers in touches — usually by a large margin. It was only in his final year that Ekeler led the way, but it was only by 20 touches as it was clearly due to Gordon missing four games due to a holdout.
Gordon has two Pro Bowls and a 1,000-yard campaign to his credit, while Lindsay has the aforementioned pair of 1,000-yard seasons and one Pro Bowl trip. Regardless of who finishes the upcoming campaign with more carries or touches, it seems to bode well for the Broncos offense that a potentially “electric” combination is on the roster.