The Denver Broncos are still planning to split the carries between Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon. The team is also preparing for a potential suspension from Todd Gurley.
The “Denver Broncos still plan for Melvin Gordon or Javonte Williams to share carries” is a statement made by the Denver Broncos. The team has not yet decided on who will start at running back in week one.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The Denver Broncos’ offseason has seen a number of changes, including a new players lounge, as first-year coach Nathaniel Hackett and his staff work to overhaul the team’s playbook.
The Broncos’ meetings have a new appearance, practices have a new schedule, and Hackett has continued to stamp his mark on everything the team will accomplish on the field this season.
Running backs Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon III will again divide carries, like they did in 2021. The Broncos had hoped for Gordon’s return, which came with a one-year, incentive-laden contract disclosed two days before the NFL draft.
“We simply want the greatest players,” stated George Paton, the general manager. “Melvin will assist us in winning football games. He and Javonte, I believe, bring out the best in one other. There are never enough excellent football players. He’ll assist us in winning games. Melvin is a favorite in the locker room. We like his attitude and work ethic, and he’s a fantastic football player. There aren’t enough of them.”
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Last season, no team in the NFL divided its responsibilities at running back with the accuracy that the Broncos did. Williams and Gordon both had 203 carries, with Williams running for 903 yards and Gordon leading the team with 918 yards.
Gordon made no secret of his admiration for Williams and his Broncos colleagues, but he remained unsigned as March went to late April. Gordon said that he wanted to explore if there were any chances for a higher workload.
Gordon comes to the Broncos knowing that the club has great hopes for Williams, who “jumped out” on the game film quickly after his arrival, according to quarterback Russell Wilson.
Just before the draft, Williams remarked, “Whatever [general manager] George [Paton] has planned, I’m ready.” “It doesn’t matter whether I have to share carries or if I’m the starter. Whatever it is, all I care about is winning the Super Bowl.”
Gordon’s return also demonstrates the Broncos’ lack of enthusiasm for the draft’s running back class. The Broncos did not choose a running back with any of their nine draft selections, and just one of the 13 undrafted rookies with whom the organization first struck an agreement this past weekend was a running back.
“It was really straightforward,” Paton said. Melvin is an excellent football player.
The Broncos aren’t planning on becoming a run-first team with Wilson at quarterback, but play-action in the passing game is crucial, as is Wilson’s protection. This season, Williams is projected to get somewhat more carries, but Hackett has pledged to keep the running backs active, so there will be opportunities.
Aaron Jones had 236 carries in 2019 and 201 in 2020 during Hackett’s three seasons as the Green Bay Packers’ offensive coordinator, while Jamaal Williams had 107 and 119 carries in those years. When Jones was out for two games during the regular season last year, AJ Dillon led the club in carries with 187, while Jones had 171.
In recent weeks, Hackett has said that running back Mike Boone would play at least some part in the scheme. Boone signed a free agent contract with the Broncos last year, but due to a thigh injury in training camp, he never had a chance to play.
Boone didn’t participate in a game until Week 6, and he only had four carries in eight games total.
“You need a stable of running backs,” Hackett added, referring to his former experiences. “You want to hand the ball off because it protects the quarterback, aids the play pass, and increases the threat of being able to go downfield. You’ve got two players like that, and then you’ve got [Mike] Boone, who’s a change-up player. It’s a fantastic bunch…. We want to feed whomever is fashionable. That’s part of what makes it so appealing.”
The “javonte williams” is a running back for the Denver Broncos and was drafted in the third round of the 2015 NFL Draft. In an interview with Mike Klis, he said that he and Melvin Gordon would share carries.
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