Having emerged victorious in the Denver Broncos' backfield duel with Philip Lindsay, one might think that running back Melvin Gordon would be feeling more comfortable as the team's undisputed No. 1 tailback. Yet, that chip on Gordon's shoulder persists as Denver7's Troy Renck found out when the ex-Wisconsin Badger laid out his goals for the 2021 season.
“Yeah, I just want to come out and be the best back,” Gordon told Renck. “I would love the rushing title, you know what I mean? I want to be the best back.”
Gordon’s extra motivation has a lot to do with his deep-seated feeling that he's been overlooked as a seventh-year pro, especially after spending the early part of his career with the relatively low-profile Los Angeles Chargers. Finally, his big opportunity to garner some recognition in Denver arrived (along with a $16 million payday) but that got turned upside down due to the pandemic.
“I feel like I’m so overlooked,” Gordon lamented to Renck. “Whatever that case may be because we didn’t get a lot of TV time with the Chargers and last year with splitting the ball and the fans not being there because of COVID, I don’t know. But I get overlooked a lot and I’m kind of sick of it.”
As if Gordon never had to split carries before donning the Orange and Blue. His last two years in L.A. resulted in the Chargers letting him walk in free agency because he was vanquished in his time-share with Austin Ekeler, who got the coveted second contract Gordon did not.
Gordon bemoans the lack of fans at Empower Field at Mile High because, despite leading the Broncos in rushing last year with 986 yards and nine touchdowns, the sheer popularity of the local boy Lindsay made it tough on the ex-Charger to garner the love of the fanbase. Add in the combination of multiple costly fumbles early on in his Bronco tenure, along with a DUI arrest mid-season, and the fires of discontent bloomed into a full rager for Gordon.
Now free of legal issues, and with Lindsay now playing in Houston, the dual-threat runner is hell-bent on winning, and perhaps, getting the recognition he's longed for since arriving as the No. 15 overall pick in the 2015 NFL draft.
“I want to get to the playoffs. I want that Super Bowl,” Gordon told Renck. “I am going into my seventh year. I want to taste that, I want to feel that. I want to be a champion.”
Follow Keith on Twitter @KeithC_NFL.
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