Melvin Gordon played five years for the Los Angeles Chargers and accomplished some great things. A two-time Pro Bowler, Gordon met the expectations that came with his first-round pedigree.
But after signing a two-year, $16 million deal with the Denver Broncos back in March, he's taken his talents to the Mile High City. In a recent conversation with Ian Rapoport on the RapSheet and Friends podcast, Gordon shed some light on at least one of the motivating factors behind his decision to leave behind the team that drafted him and sign with a big Division rival — the offense.
"It really didn't play out to my strengths, especially the first couple years there," Gordon told Rapoport. "I kinda just had to adjust and make it work. It kinda wasn't a system built for me. But I feel like Denver kinda runs my style of football and I think it's a great fit."
(If you want to listen to the conversation, fast forward to the 22:00-minute mark.)
Rather than make this an examination of the Chargers' scheme dating back to 2015, let's focus on Gordon's assertion that the Broncos' offense is a better fit for him. Why could that be?
First off, OC Pat Shurmur loves throwing the ball to the running back out of the backfield. The RBs are heavily involved in the passing game in Shurmur's scheme. Gordon caught 92 balls for almost 800 yards and five touchdowns over the last two seasons, so as a pass-catcher, he brings that element to the table.
On top of that, Shurmur rarely uses two-back sets, so Gordon figures to get at least a 50% share of those dedicated snaps, while Phillip Lindsay will garner the rest. As far as a blocking philosophy, Shurmur will no doubt lean on O-Line Coach Mike Munchak to dictate that.
The venerated trench coach uses both power-gap and zone-blocking principles, with perhaps a slight emphasis on the former. From a play-design perspective, we don't really know yet exactly how Shurmur's scheme will play out in Denver.
But we know that even splitting carries with Lindsay, Gordon is in line for a big year statistically if he can stay healthy. That's the rub for Gordon — fending off the injury bug.
It's going to be fun to see how it all plays out.