(Photo courtesy of the San Diego Chargers)
Talk of Fame Network
San Diego running back Melvin Gordon, the team’s first-round draft pick, insists he won’t try to be the next LaDaianian Tomlinson because, as he put it, he doesn’t need “that added pressure.” Plus, as he said, it might not allow him to “play the way I want.”
Smart man. Gordon’s predecessor, Ryan Mathews, gave it a whirl, and look how that worked out. He’s in Philadelphia.
But that doesn’t mean Gordon can’t try to go where Tomlinson soared. He not only was one of the greatest players in Chargers’ history; he still holds the NFL single-season scoring record with 31 touchdowns – a mark Gordon thinks can be broken.
And he should know. He not only broke Tomlinson’s single-game NCAA rushing record last season with 408 yards in three quarters vs. Nebraska (a mark that stood for exactly one week); he scored 32 touchdowns in 2014 at the University of Wisconsin, too.
So no wonder he think’s 31 can be beaten. He's already done it.
“It’s possible,” Gordon said on the latest Talk of Fame Network broadcast. “I didn’t think it was possible for my (single-game) record to get broken in a week. But it happened. Anything is possible. You just have to have the right guys around you, and sometime you have to have luck on your side. It’s not out of the question for any back. It’s just how bad you want it.”
The Chargers badly want a revitalized rushing attack, one reason they moved up to draft Gordon. San Diego ranked 29th in rushing last season, averaging 3.4 yards a carry. Gordon is the second all-time leading rusher in NCAA history, averaged nearly 8 yards a carry for his career and had runs of 44 or more yards in 15 of his last 27 games.
Connect the dots, people. Gordon doesn’t have to be the next L.T. He simply has to balance San Diego’s attack. Then maybe, just maybe, San Diego fans will start comparing their newest running back to their favorite one.
“Nah, man, I’m not the next L.T.,” Gordon said. “I’m just Melvin Gordon. That’s all there is. Obviously, (Tomlinson) did a lot of this organization. I know people are going to compare us, but I don’t feel any pressure … I just want to go out there and do what I need to do and be Melvin Gordon . I’m not trying to be LaDainian Tomlinson and live up to what he did. Because if I do, I might not be able to play the way I want. That’s just going to put added pressure on me, and I don’t need that. I just want to go out there, play free and play ball.”