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How Did Melvin Gordon Look at First OTA?
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Many players were front and center on the first days of OTAs.
However, it is only natural that all eyes gravitated toward Melvin Gordon. As the team’s first round pick, the Chargers traded up to select the rookie running back they believe can be a true impact player. Thus, the extra attention is to be expected.
So how did Gordon look during the team’s first OTA?
While the quarterback has often said it isn’t fair to draw comparisons between players, he is the latest to admit Gordon has a lot of Jamaal Charles to his game.
“Jamaal Charles is a guy that stands out. Now, I don’t know if Melvin will agree with me, but Jamaal is probably a little faster but Melvin is bigger. But they do look alike. Some of the cuts they make and the way they run, he is the first guy who comes to mind.”
Head Coach Mike McCoy also praised the rookie running back, yet cautioned as a rookie he still has a lot of room to develop.
“He did a good job overall. I think he’s got a long way to go really learning how we’re going to run the football here, protection, schemes; things like that. The route techniques we want him to use. When does he need to help a little bit more. Obviously we’re not in pads right now, so it’s not fully game speed yet, but not a bad start.”
Perhaps the best sign is that while he has made a strong first impression, Gordon agrees that he still has a lot to learn before he can reach his true potential.
“I have a lot to learn still,” he said bluntly.
In particular, Gordon is focusing on learning the playbook and system in order to play faster.
“It’s not like I don’t know it, it’s just your heart starts racing when you get out there a little bit. But I am going to get with coach, and we will go over some things and just get better that way….Mental reps are important (too). They are definitely important for us rookies, and even when you aren’t a rookie, mental reps are important. So I am trying to take in as much as I can even when I am not in the play.”
Gordon also noticed a night and day difference from rookie minicamp, especially the speed of the game. Luckily, teammates like Rivers have been in his ear to help him acclimate to the tempo.
“It’s definitely a lot faster. The game’s moving a lot faster, and it’s definitely different from the rookie minicamp. Just with your reads, the calls; everything is a lot faster….(Rivers) told me how it was going to be. He said it was going to be fast, but he said it is just a process. You’ve just got to learn how to take in information and learn how to play fast. (It will slow down) just being out there more. That is just really what it is. Having more reps and taking more reps with those guys, it will start to piece together and you’ll start to understand. ”
The good thing is Gordon has teammates he can learn from, especially in respected veterans like Danny Woodhead and Donald Brown.
“(Woodhead) is definitely a vet. I mean, he knows his stuff and he’s been around the game for a while. Anytime I’m confused about this play or this certain route and what I need to do, I sit right next to Danny and Donald. I’m right between those guys, so I ask both guys questions if I need help on anything.”