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Melvin Gordon Out to Make Defenses Pay in 2018

284 carries. A career-high 1,105 yards. Eight touchdowns.

Melvin Gordon III's 2017 season was his best to date, and now he looks to take it to another level.

With year four on the horizon, the running back is hungry for more and ready for what's in store for him and the Bolts.

"It feels good," Gordon said. "It feels good to be healthy, and I'm going to take full advantage of it. If you ask a player when they get hurt, they always wish they could have done more, so I'm kind of living in that moment right now. I'm trying to do the most I can because you never know…I haven't been feeling like this in a while now — for about a couple years. I've just been having to push through it. I think that little time I took off kind of helped me out a lot."

The time off he spoke of was a rest period during the offseason. Gordon dealt with injuries his first two years in the league, but played a full 16 games in 2017. However, it wasn't until the last half of the season that he truly felt like himself.

Now, his focus is on staying in tune with his body.

"I do a lot of single leg stuff and things like that," he remarked. "I'm putting a lot of extra work in because I have to. I have to stay on top of that, and I think that was part of the reason, too. Last year, you get tired, your mind gets tired, your body gets tired, you kind of let up on some workouts. Now you just have to stay on top of it. It's going to be like that for the rest of my career. You have to do the little extra things to keep you healthy throughout the year."

Head Coach Anthony Lynn noted that the break has served Gordon well.

"I just see Melvin running around healthy — and when a guy is running around healthy, you know he's in a different mindset," Lynn said. "He's having fun. He's enjoying the game."

He's enjoying a game that he has an enormous talent for, and when that talent is mixed with the rest of the O-line, the Chargers offense is booming.

"If you look at it statistically over the last eight games, there was nobody in the league that was better offensively," Offensive Coordinator Ken Whisenhunt said. "That was a combination of Philip, our offensive line and the running backs. That was something (where) we were playing well, we were playing with confidence — it was certainly nice to see Melvin have the kind of finish that he did — but I think it was a number of things."

As for looking onto this upcoming season, Gordon wants to be sure to maintain his energy for all 16 weeks.

"I've always felt like it's a mindset really towards the end of the year — how you approach it," Gordon said. "Some guys go through those first eight weeks of the season, guys that are excited to play, excited to put on the uniform, but then it gets old. Then guys are trying to stay healthy, and then guys that were coming in trying to break those tackles aren't really trying to break those tackles anymore. To me, my mindset is I'm going to make you pay. You think it's going to be a breeze your last eight weeks, and I'm going to turn it up."

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