Broncos RB Melvin Gordon Says Chargers Offense 'Wasn't a System Built for Me'

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMay 19, 2020

Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon celebrates after scoring during the first half of an NFL football game against the Oakland Raiders Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)
Kelvin Kuo/Associated Press

Melvin Gordon is happy to be with the Denver Broncos after playing in a Chargers offense that wasn't well-suited to his game. 

"It really didn't play out to my strengths, especially the first couple years there," he said on RapSheet and Friends (conversation starts at 22:00). "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."

The running back signed a two-year deal with the Broncos this offseason following a five-year stint with the Chargers that included two Pro Bowl selections. 

Gordon had a quiet rookie season after being selected in the first round of the 2015 draft, totaling just 641 rushing yards on 3.5 per carry with zero touchdowns.

He explained that the team "did a lot of stuff out the 'gun," which made sense with an established quarterback in Philip Rivers. The veteran led the NFL in passing attempts during Gordon's rookie year.

The next four seasons saw significant improvements from Gordon, who averaged 1,320 yards from scrimmage and 11.8 total touchdowns per year.

The 27-year-old admitted to Ian Rapoport the Chargers system helped him become a "better player all-around" but said the Broncos' strategy can better play to his strengths. 

"They run a lot of inside zones, and that's what I did a lot at Wisconsin," he said. "It's going to really help me get back in the feel of what I do best. I'm an inside-zone runner."

Gordon led the nation with 2,587 rushing yards during his final year in college.

A similar style in Denver could allow him to thrive in 2020, improving a rushing attack that ranked just 20th despite the presence of a pair of quality young runners in Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman.

Meanwhile, Los Angeles can move forward with Austin Ekeler, who seemed to fit better within the pass-heavy offense with 92 catches for 993 yards and eight receiving touchdowns in 2019. He also added 557 rushing yards and three more scores on the ground during a breakout third season.