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Melvin Gordon’s addition is about situational football

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On Broncos Country Tonight with Ryan Edwards and Benjamin Allbright, Steve Atwater discusses the new running back’s role in the offense.

Los Angeles Chargers v Denver Broncos Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

Steve Atwater joined Ryan Edwards and Benjamin Allbright for his regular Tuesday appearance on Broncos Country Tonight to discuss potential Comeback Player of the Year for the Broncos as well as Melvin Gordon’s interview with Ian Rapoport on “RapSheet and Friends,” which I highly recommend.

Gordon, who told Rappaport that he didn’t think he’d end up at Denver at first, acknowledged that he knew Phillip Lindsay wasn’t thrilled with his addition.

“I spoke to Phillip a couple of times. ...I know he was unhappy about me coming,” Gordon said. “At the end of the day, it’s tough, but you got to do what you gotta do. I feel like we could be a good duo.”

Gordon added that he’s not completely sure how the coaches plan to use the two backs, but he’s “eager to find out.”

“It’s going to be competitive though, I can promise you that,” he told Rappaport.

Gordon, who admitted that he normally “would be skipping the hell out of OTAs” and thinks they should always be on Zoom, wishes he could be meeting with his new team right now so he could get to know his Denver teammates.

“Obviously you’d love to learn the playbook there. This is time to build that comradery and build that bond. I haven’t had a chance to be with the guys over there,” he said, admitting his former Chargers’ teammates are giving him a hard time for going to an AFC West rival. “I wouldn’t mind OTAS just this year so I could be the guys. But we have to work with what we can.”

Atwater noted that although he was also little surprised the Broncos went after Gordon, he understood the desire for “two superstars” and thinks Gordon plus Lindsay will be a great duo for the offense.

“If you can get two guys like that on your team, you have to go for it,” Atwater said. “I hope it’s going to be a powerful 1-2 punch. Both are explosive, both are not afraid to run up the middle, both can catch out of the backfield.”

Allbright added that he believes it’s mostly about situational football for adding Gordon.

Melvin Gordon is one of best at short-yardage pickups,” he said, adding that he also pass-blocks well. “Pat Shurmur leaves the running back in to pass-block fourth most often in the NFL.”

There’s also Gordon’s “ripped” build, as Atwater put it.

“You look at those guns? That’s how T.D. used to be,” he said. “People didn’t want to tackle TD.”

But Gordon also enters the picture perhaps as a dark horse for the Broncos’ Comeback Player of the Year.

While Bradley Chubb, who “won” the Broncos’ poll on Twitter yesterday is the obvious choice, Ja’Wuan James, Bryce Callahan and Gordon are good candidates.

Atwater started to take Callahan as his choice but then talked himself out of it.

“I’m hoping it’s Bryce Callahan, because we really need the cornerback position to play well, but we really need the right tackle position to play well too,” he said, noting that the trend for James is to play one full season in good health followed by a season where he’s playing half the games. 2020 should be a full season based on that trend.

“I’m thinking he’ll be 15-16 games strong this year, and when he was in there, he played well - great footwork, great hands, great punch,” Atwater added. “I’m going with him but I’m hoping Bryce Callahan comes on and does well too.”

Allbright countered with Callahan as his choice, noting that if James goes down, Elijah Wilkinson is a serviceable sub. If Callahan can’t play, there’s no similar guarantee.

Wilkinson filled in capably, so if he had to come in I don’t think anyone is throwing the season away,” he added. “If Bryce Callahan goes down again, there’s going to be some anger.”

OK, Broncos Country, who is your “Comeback Player of the Year?”

Poll

Comeback Player of the Year in 2020 for the Broncos - beside Bradley Chubb?

This poll is closed

  • 39%
    Bryce Callahan
    (297 votes)
  • 31%
    Ja’Wuan James
    (241 votes)
  • 13%
    Melvin Gordon
    (100 votes)
  • 15%
    "Shasta"
    (117 votes)
755 votes total Vote Now