As the Chargers move from San Diego to Los Angeles, there are surely many things on the franchise’s to-do list. One of those things? Have the players meet the new coaches.
“I haven’t even met the running back coach yet,” Chargers running back Melvin Gordon said on CBS Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show. “I’m anxious to meet him. Coach Lynn says he’s a good dude.”
Alfredo Roberts is the running backs coach, while “Lynn” is Anthony Lynn, who spent the last two seasons in Buffalo. Lynn, 48, inherits a team that has missed the playoffs in six of the last seven seasons and is coming off its worst two-year stretch (9-23) since 2000-01 (6-26).
“One thing we need to do better is just get more grit – the whole team,” Gordon said. “Just be gritty, man. You got some guys that just got that grit and just go out there and no matter what, you just get it. You need guys like that on the team. You need some dogs. You need some dogs, and we just got to get more dog to us.”
Gordon had plenty of dog in him this past season. The 2015 first-rounder struggled as a rookie, averaging just 3.5 yards per carry and failing to score a single touchdown in 14 games. Gordon, however, made up for it in 2016. He had 1,416 total yards, averaged 3.9 yards per carry and scored 12 touchdowns (10 rushing, two receiving).
“Just confidence, man,” Gordon said. “And obviously we had so many guys injured on the line the first year. Guys was just in and out. Not for that to be an excuse, but my play wasn’t up to par, either. We just need to be confident out there, man. That second year, just grinding, you actually have time to train and work out, rather than flying and things like that. You got time to grind and get after it. And just the confidence, man. Just believing in myself, believing I can go out there and make plays.”
Gordon is the latest first-round running back to have success in the NFL, as Todd Gurley and Ezekiel Elliott both impressed as rookies. Diamonds in the rough can be found later in the draft, but either way, running backs are crucial to any team’s success.
“As a running back, we’re valuable,” Gordon said. “We’re valuable. Let’s see what Le’Veon Bell is doing, what David Johnson is doing. When you got backs that can catch out the backfield and that can run, it opens things up for the offense. When you got guys that can do both like that and can stay on the field on all downs, it’s unreal. You can open up the offense.”