“Bolts Back Looks Back”
He’s a stand up guy. I’d like to see him run more downhill.
Everything bad that could happen to a 1st round pick, did happen to that 1st round pick, Melvin Gordon last year.
The Chargers running back came in with such high expectations and struggled. The blame was heaped upon him, rather unfairly. Much of it had to do with what was going on, or not going on around him.
Gordon, who tore up the Big 10-Conference his final year at Wisconsin, was projected as a can’t miss prospect after being taken in the middle of the first round. He never lived up to others high expectations, because the people around him, and those supposed to help him, didn’t do their job.
There was not a 1,000-yard rushing season. He never had a 100-yard game. He did not score a rushing touchdown last season. All those type stats are normally expected when you have the credentials he carried with him into camp.
It became a convenient to dump on the kid. The media did in this town, words like ‘bust’ attached to his last name. The fans, calling talk shows, showed their uneducated side of the game. His fault they said, most all the time. The pressure must have been enormous on him, as he staggered week to week, never making much progress. Showing flashes of big gains, only to be tackled in the backfield more times than not.
To his credit, he never shied away from the media, never copped out, never passed on blame, just tried to get better.
A (3.5) yards per carry stat was not impressive. But his ravaged offensive line never blocked for him. Couldn’t block for him because they had so many people hurt, almost from week one. If there was a big burden on quarterback Philip Rivers, playing behind a patchwork offensive front, think about the burned on Gordon, never getting to the line of scrimmage, as his blockers kept getting blown up at the point of attack.
The Bolts had 24-different line combos last year; went thru 11-different offensive lineman, and were pitiful, the end result being a (4-12) season. There were seldom open holes. Seams were few and far between. He became tentative waiting for something to develop.
Gordon showed explosiveness at times. He caught the ball better as the season went on. Like all rookie running backs, he struggled with blitz protection, but improved right at the end of the campaign. Then he went down with a torn meniscus, necessitating surgery at the end of the season.
Blame Mike McCoy too for his stubbornness, which weighed in on Gordon’s anemic numbers. The Chargers drafted a guy who always lined up with a blocking fullback at Wisconsin. Seldom did the Chargers ever deploy any type of back to work with Gordon.
McCoy guilty of pounding a square peg into a round hole. And there mistakes made in the packages they put on the field. Gordon had 1-explosive first half, then did not touch the ball for the final 27-minutes of the game, that turned into a loss.
Yes Danny Woodhead deserved his playing time for his diverse talents, but Gordon never found any rythm.
Did he have shortcomings? Sure. Fumbles, a bunch of them, that got him benched for short periods of time. He’s no different than the one who came before him, Ryan Mathews, but coaching solved that with Mathews, and likely will also with Gordon.
He’s back in camp. Looks 8-to-10 pounds bigger, in the upper body. Looked explosive running and catching balls in the first OTA workouts, and is confident this year will be better than last year.
He’s an impressive specimen of an athlete. He’s an impressive specimen as a person.
Stand up guy dealing with the disappointment of year one. Hoping he runs downhill more this year.