Melvin Gordon is ready for a fresh start.
The 26-year-old running back officially started the next chapter of his career Friday when he spoke with members of the Denver media for the first time since inking a two-year deal with the Broncos.
Gordon spent the first four seasons of his career with the Los Angeles Chargers and established himself as a top-tier back in the NFL, earning two Pro Bowl nods.
Gordon opted to hold out prior to the 2019 season in hopes of signing a contract extension with the Chargers. The contract never came to fruition, and Gordon missed four games in the process.
“I can’t take back what I did,” Gordon said Friday. “What’s done is done. Now I’m here.”
Now playing for the Broncos, Gordon hopes to re-establish himself as one of the premier backs in the NFL and put the holdout behind him.
“It’s huge,” Gordon said of the chip on his shoulder. “I just felt like a lot of people doubt my talent as a back. During the holdout, a lot of people just saying, ‘Oh, he’s an average back. He’s not this. He’s not that.’ This year people are like, ‘Oh, he’s not the back that he was.’ No one takes into account that I didn’t have my center. I didn’t have my left tackle. We had guys that were hurt and just in and out. I didn’t really have my starting lineup. My best linemen, I didn’t have.”
The Broncos signed Gordon to a $16 million contract, and the expectation is that he will be the Broncos top running back, defaulting Phillip Lindsay to the second team.
Gordon and Lindsay are two dynamic backs that provide the Broncos with versatility in the backfield. With Gordon’s agility and Lindsay’s power, Denver’s offense will be diverse.
Gordon played alongside Austin Eckler in Los Angeles and envisions his role with Lindsay to be somewhat similar.
“He’s a great back,” Gordon said of Lindsay. “I watched him up close in person. These last few days I’ve been watching film on him as well just kind of seeing how they open things up for him and analyzing him a little bit. I think we can be a great one-two punch. Me and [Chargers RB] Austin [Ekeler] were kind of that one-two punch. I feel like we were one of the better tandems in the league. I just hope to continue that with Lindsay.”
Lindsay is a fan favorite, and Gordon will need to play well out of the gate should he want to win over local support.
Gordon’s focus is on winning games, but he knows that the Broncos’ fan base is passionate about their team from playing in Denver the last four seasons.
“Since I’ve been a Charger, I always felt like it was an away game when we played the Broncos,” Gordon said.
The Chargers have one of the weakest fan basses in all professional sports, so for Gordon, the transition to Broncos Country is a significant upgrade.
Last season was bizarre for Gordon, but the 2020 campaign will allow him to get his career back on track.