Gordon isn’t ready to give up his star role in Denver

Denver Broncos <a class=running back Melvin Gordon III participates in drills during NFL team practice at Broncos headquarters, Monday, June 13, 2022, in Centennial, Colorado. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)” title=”Denver Broncos running back Melvin Gordon III participates in drills during NFL team practice at Broncos headquarters, Monday, June 13, 2022, in Centennial, Colorado. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)” loading=”lazy”/>

Denver Broncos running back Melvin Gordon III participates in drills during NFL team practice at Broncos headquarters, Monday, June 13, 2022, in Centennial, Colorado. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

PA

Two things Melvin Gordon III never concedes are his job as a running back and his vacations.

Although he skipped the Broncos’ OTAs after returning to Denver on a one-year, $2.5 million deal this spring, Gordon said during the mandatory minicamp this week that he wouldn’t give up his job. starter to second-year running back Javonte Williams.

Gordon rushed for 918 yards and eight touchdowns last season and added 28 receptions for 213 yards and two scores.

Williams rushed for 903 yards on the same number of carries as Gordon — 203 — and rushed for four touchdowns to go along with his 43 catches for 316 yards and three scores.

Williams started one game as a rookie and Gordon started the others.

Gordon is not among those expecting that to turn around in 2022, and he said he told general manager George Paton as much when he signed his incentive deal on April 30.

“I said to George when I was at the table, ‘I’m not going to lie down, man,'” Gordon said. “I’ve always had this mindset that I have to go get it and they bring someone here to take your job.

“I know a lot of people want me to take a back seat. I understand. It’s been like that for a while,” Gordon added. “It was like that when I was with the Chargers. Everyone wanted Austin (Ekeler) to start. I come here and do my thing.”

That is to say when his presence is required.

Before Monday, the only time Gordon was at Broncos headquarters this offseason was when he flew to Denver to sign his contract, pick up his playbook and meet new head coach Nathaniel Hackett.

“I spent about three hours going through the playbook at that time. I think Coach Hackett did a good job of explaining the games, game by game, what every guy has,” Gordon said. “It’s a bit difficult when you’re trying to teach yourself. I was trying to pick up (Monday), actually being there.

Then he was back in practice on his own while Williams took part in the team’s offseason program, establishing chemistry with new QB Russell Wilson.

“I don’t go to OTAs,” Gordon reiterated.

Not even last week when he returned to Denver and took part in a charity batting practice with teammates at Coors Field. But Gordon said he met Wilson, his former Wisconsin teammate.

“I was here all last week, doing things with Russ and kind of bonding with the guys,” Gordon said. “But it felt good to be back here. It’s been a while since I’ve played football and a few cups like that.

On a scorching first day of minicamp — which Hackett cut from three days to two — Gordon got snaps behind backups Mike Boone and Damarea Crockett.

What he is looking forward to is competing this summer with Williams.

“The goal is to make them want to play against me,” Gordon said. “I know we’re going to do our thing – me and Vonte are going to do it. I don’t really know how we’re going to do the rehearsals and things like that. The goal right now is to really get the hang of it. I’m definitely going to be ready to fight. That’s what it is. It’s going to make us better. It was last year.

“I will continue to do this. I don’t care how old people think I am getting. I feel good. I’ve been sharing the ball since I came into the league with running backs, so that’s nothing new,” said Gordon, who turned 29 in April.

“I’ve been fighting for a while. I think Austin Ekeler is one hell of a back, and I had to fight him and do the same. It’s just my luck, man. I happen to be paired with some great fullbacks – fortunately and unfortunately, I would say.

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Follow Arnie Melendrez Stapleton on Twitter at https://twitter.com/arniestapleton

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