Last season, Denver Broncos running backs Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon split carries evenly, each receiving 203 deaths.
Heading into the 2022 season under new coach Nathaniel Hackett, Gordon admitted staff tends to give Williams a more prominent role in his sophomore year.
“I think they have a plan of what they want, but as far as rotation goes, I really don’t know,” Gordon said Wednesday, according to team minutes. “I think they want ‘Vonte’ to be the guy, but we rotate. He takes the first series and then the second series [No. 1 offense], I will take. Sometimes we switch, but you know how it is. I don’t know how they will make the turn. I gotta go back and see how they handled the carries and stuff like that in Green Bay. My mom says just get out here and compete and go as hard as I can. I don’t know what else the future holds, but I just want to do my best, so when I do that out there, they say, ‘Okay, we need to get him out there more.’ I know I have the game; I know I can play and I still have the juice, but we’ll see.”
(That roar you heard was the sound of those who drafted Williams in Fantasy Football screaming with delight.)
Last season, Williams proved he can be a tackle-breaking expert with the power to break through defenders without losing speed in space. Denver was ready to let Gordon run free, but the 29-year-old returned on a one-year deal worth just $2.5 million.
Hackett mostly let talent dictate touches in three seasons as the Packers’ offensive coordinator, but he always used multiple backs.
In 2019, Aaron Jones was the clear No. 1 (236 carries), while Jamaal Williams received 107 carries. In 2020, with Jones missing two games, Williams took on a bigger role, splitting carries 119 to Jones’ 201. Last season, AJ Dillon led the Packers in carries, catching 187 in 17 games with 34 catches, while Jones had 171 carries in 15 games with 52 catches.
Our bet — given Gordon’s contract and Williams’ talent — is that Hackett will be closer to carry in Green Bay in 2020 than he was last season, assuming both stay healthy.
Though he expects to see less carry than his young, exciting counterpart, Gordon prepares for any role and will do whatever it takes to win.
“Just be consistent,” Gordon said. “Be consistent. You never know how the future will turn out with anything, but you just have to go out there and give it your all. You have to take advantage of every opportunity, whether it’s the same or less than last year. I know when I’m coming in, I have to make it count and that’s all that matters. I have to do what it takes – ‘Hack’ told me if I come in it’s about the Super Bowl. It’s about winning the Super Bowl and we’re going to do what’s best for the team. I’m 100 percent convinced because I want the ring more than anything. I feel like I can help this team, so I have to show that when I come in.”