As narratives go, I hadn’t previously seen or heard the one that Broncos offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur “pounded the table” for running back Melvin Gordon. But the narrative apparently is out there, and Shurmur was asked about it on Thursday during a conference with reporters.
“I think that’s a false narrative,” Shurmur said. “Listen, I’m all for adding good players at every position. I feel like Phillip Lindsay’s an outstanding player that we can hand the ball or throw the ball to. The fact that we have two running backs now that can be very explosive with the ball in their hands whether you throw it or run it, I think is a good thing. I really do think you need more than one running back. Royce Freeman obviously did a great job last year as well. We’re going to try to utilize both and all three of them and try to utilize their skills. The whole pounding the table narrative — listen, I’m the new guy here, but I will say this, I’m looking forward to adding outstanding players to all the position groups.”
Shurmur also was asked to describe the anticipated roles of Gordon and Lindsay in 2020.
“They’ll have specific roles,” Shurmur said. “I think there are times when they both can be on the field at the same time. There are times when one or the other will be on the field. I think they share the same skill set in terms of — when you’re a running back, you have to obviously be able to run the ball effectively, which they both can do. Whether we’re running the ball inside or outside, you have to be aware enough and physical enough to pass protect, to protect the quarterback, and then when we choose to throw you the ball, whether you’re primary or you’re the outlet, you need to be able to catch the ball and do something with it. I think both those players that we’re mentioning — not to mention the other runners we have on the team — they can do all three of those things. What separates a running back and both those players have it, Phillip as well as Melvin and Royce and really all the backs, is you’ve got to have some collision balance. Your ability to break a tackle, bounce and create what is normally a good gain into an explosive one. They share those traits. They’ve both been very productive in this league, and we intend to use both of them.”
Lindsay, undrafted in 2018, has a pair of 1,000-yard seasons. Gordon had one 1,000-yard campaign in five NFL seasons with the Broncos. He had a career low 612 rushing yards in 2019, after missing the first four games in a holdout.
Broncos may use Melvin Gordon and Phillip Lindsay at the same time originally appeared on Pro Football Talk