It’s been obvious all along, but Phillip Lindsay is not going to cede the starting job to Melvin Gordon.
From undrafted free agent to back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons to start his NFL career, Denver Broncos running back Phillip Lindsay defines the term underdog. Then, rather than give him a contract extension this offseason, the Broncos went out and signed Melvin Gordon in free agency.
In reality, there’s plenty of pressure on Gordon to justify the move and produce as Denver’s “bell cow” running back over Lindsay. But Lindsay has not seemed ready to relinquish anything to Gordon, and his recent comments to the team’s website (via CBS Sports) are further confirmation.
Phillip Lindsay is ready to win the job for the Denver Broncos
“At the end of the day, does it matter? He’s here. I’m here,” Lindsay said, via the Broncos website. “When I get the opportunity to be in the game, I’m going to make explosive plays. That’s what it’s all about. I’m going to go from there.
“And that’s what it comes down to. And the fact is, I’m going to do that. So it doesn’t matter who they pay for or who they brought in, they’ve got to get through me and it’s very hard to do that.”
They’ve got to get through me….
As he surely carries a significant chip on his shoulder, the bluntness of Lindsay’s punchline says it all. Even if Gordon asserts himself as the lead back, his history with the Chargers says there will be ample room for Lindsay to contribute. Lindsay actually has more 1,000-yard rushing seasons than Gordon (2 to 1), though Gordon has shown himself to be a productive touchdown scorer and pass catcher.
Gordon and Lindsay have both said the right things about how they’ll co-exist as a 1-2 punch in the Broncos’ backfield. But Lindsay will not be pushed aside easily, and it’s worth wondering how long a fairly ordinary talent like Gordon will be able to hold him off.