Iron sharpens iron.
That was the motto of the guys in the locker room in 2015 when the Denver Broncos made their historic Super Bowl run. It’s the kind of mentality that drives players to compete against each other with the focus of getting better, not just winning jobs and securing position.
That is also the mentality running back Melvin Gordon showed when asked this week about the possibility of having to compete for playing time against second-year standout Javonte Williams.
“I told [General Manager] George [Paton] when I was at the table. I told him I’m not going to lay down. I’m not going to lay down, man. I’ve always had that mindset that I have to go get it and that they’re bringing someone in here to take your job. I know a lot of people are wanting me to take a backseat. I get it. It’s been like that for a while.”
He went on to note that fans wanted Austin Ekeler over him while he was with the Los Angeles Chargers too, and he revels in it. It motivates him. He drives him to do the iron sharpens iron thing to get better.
“I just come out here and do my thing. Thanks for the motivation, everybody. I appreciate y’all for the extra motivation. I need it. I’m just going to go out here and do what’s best for the squad. I put my best foot forward every time I go out there, then I’ll see what happens. The goal is to make them want to play me. I know we’re going to do our thing—me and ‘Vonte’ (RB Javonte Williams) are going to do it. I don’t really know how we’re going to do the reps and things like that.”
Anyone who watches the film can see that a committee approach in today’s NFL helps keep running backs fresh and explosive down the stretch. Whatever the reps end up being, the Broncos will be a better football team with both Gordon and Williams sharing the rock.
It’s also good to have a veteran looking to compete and grind for that share. They will likely both come out of training camp better and more prepared for the regular season. Again, those are things that will help the team.
“The goal right now is to really master the playbook and let things play out. I’m definitely going to be ready to battle. That’s what it is. It’s going to make us better—it did last year. I’m going to continue to do that. I don’t care how old people think I’m getting. I feel good. I’ve been sharing the ball since I’ve gotten in the league with running backs, so this is nothing new. I’ve been battling for a while. I think Austin Ekeler is one hell of a back, and I had to battle with him and do the same thing. It’s just my luck, man. I just happen to be paired up with some great backs—fortunately and unfortunately, I would say.”
I’m personally a big fan of Javonte Williams and I do think he’ll be the primary back this year, but only by a little. Having Gordon here will help keep Williams explosive throughout the entire season and vice versa. I like that. I like having an offense deep with talent. It’s going to be a good season - our first in quite some time.
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