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Gordon still stinks

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Blue Bolt, Oct 17, 2016.

  1. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    UPDATE: Melvin Gordon still stinks
    Just because San Diego Chargers RB Melvin Gordon isn’t as terrible this season as he was last year does not mean he’s anything more than a “bust” and a major mistake made by the team’s front office.
    by John Gennaro @johnmgennaro Oct 17, 2016

    About a year and a half ago, the San Diego Chargers used a 1st Round Pick (#17), 4th Round Pick (#117), and 5th Round pick (#142) to draft Running Back Melvin Gordon from Wisconsin, a college football program well-known for turning out disappointing Running Backs.

    Since then, Gordon has given the team and fans plenty of reasons to think that he was not worth the investment....

    Rookie vs. Sophomore
    Let’s do a quick statistical comparison of the 14 games Gordon played in last season against the 6 he has played in this season.

    2015 - 2016
    Rush Yds Per Attempt 3.5 - 3.4
    Rush Yds Per Game 45.8 - 65.5
    Rush TDs Per Game 0 - 1
    Rec Yds Per Game 13.7 - 20.3
    Rec TDs Per Game 0 - 0.16
    Fumbles Per Game 0.42 - 0.33

    Here are the things to take away from this statistical comparison:
    • Melvin Gordon is being used much more this season than he was last season, the result of season-ending injuries for Branden Oliver and Danny Woodhead.
    • Melvin Gordon has figured out how to get into the end zone.
    Don’t Blame the Offensive Line
    When I mention on Twitter that Melvin Gordon still appears to be an average-at-best Running Back, and not worth the team’s investment in him, I usually get at least a handful of responses from people blaming the Offensive Line in front of him.

    For instance, I compared Gordon to Ezekiel Elliott and was promptly told that it was an unfair comparison because of the difference in talent along the Dallas Cowboys’ offensive line to that along the Chargers’ offensive line.

    If the offensive line is so important that a comparison between Running Backs simply can not occur without factoring in the offensive line, I have two questions:
    1. How could you ever evaluate a Running Back properly? And, for that matter, how could you ever evaluate an offensive line’s ability to run-block properly?
    2. If the Running Back’s performance is heavily influenced by the offensive line, doesn’t that make the argument that a strong running game doesn’t require a team investing largely into the Running Back position?
    Basically, if you’re telling me to blame the offensive line and not Melvin Gordon, I am agreeing with you and saying that is exactly why you don’t use a 1st Round Pick on a Running Back unless you are certain that he will be so special that he will be relatively unaffected by the offensive line in front of him.

    Where Gordon Stacks Up
    By most every statistic, Melvin Gordon is nowhere near being a top 10 running back this season.

    Among the 20 most used Running Backs in the league this season...
    • Gordon ranks 5th in carries per game and carries overall.
    • Only Todd Gurley has a lower yards-per-attempt.
    • Only Todd Gurley, Jeremy Hill and DeAngelo Williams average less yards-per-game.
    • Nobody has more touchdowns than Melvin Gordon.
    • Only Spencer Ware, who has lost his job to Jamaal Charles, has more fumbles than Gordon.
    Football Outsiders, who tries to take things like offensive line play and play-calling out of the equation, has Gordon ranked 28th out of 31 starting Running Backs, once again ahead of Todd Gurley...

    In theory, Todd Gurley is an excellent comparison. He and Gordon were the only Running Backs drafted in the 1st Round of the 2015 NFL Draft, they both play in Southern California, they have both had knee injuries, and they both play behind offensive lines.

    So, should the same things I’m saying about Gordon be said for Gurley? I’m on the fence.

    You see, Melvin Gordon should have plenty of room to run as the change-of-pace back for one of the best passing offenses in the league. Philip Rivers ranks 3rd in QBR this season, so defenses need to account for his arm on every play. Case Keenum, who ranks 30th in QBR this season, likely isn’t going to have success....even if opposing defenses load up the box to slow down Gurley. In my mind, the situations are different.

    Summary
    I’m getting tired of beating this dead horse, but I’m also getting tired of people not getting the point:

    You can’t blame the offensive line for Melvin Gordon’s failures without admitting that the team would’ve been better off using at least one of those three draft picks on offensive linemen instead of a Running Back.

    I have nothing against Melvin Gordon, but I have major issues with how the Chargers’ front office seems to be 20 years behind the rest of the league in figuring out the value of Running Backs (and Inside Linebackers) on draft day. Melvin Gordon (and Manti Te’o) are weekly testaments to that.

    Solutions?
    Don’t be silly, there are no solutions here!

    The San Diego Chargers drafted a guy that, at best, will be an average Running Back with fumbling issues and a lingering knee issue (or so his offseason microfracture surgery would lead us to believe). It is what it is. Just like we all eventually did with Ryan Mathews, it is time for us to lower our expectations and move along. Just like it’s time for the San Diego Chargers to figure out how to win with an average-at-best running game going forward.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2016
  2. Blitzy

    Blitzy Spanos Chargers Troll

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    Pretty much spot on. In their haste to replace the suspect, often injured and never-lived-up-to-the-billing Ryan Mathews (drafted by the AJ regime), they (LJS and Tommy Minion) went ahead and replaced (overpaid actually) him with, well; a Ryan Mathews lite (less power and worse vision) ;)
     
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  3. Jesse Kemp

    Jesse Kemp BoltTalker

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    To this point, Gordon basically gets what's blocked. That type of back has some value in the NFL, but ideally they aren't featured players. And they certainly don't warrant high draft picks.

    Great backs get the unblocked yards. They make people miss, they blow through tacklers, they outrun tackle attempts, or some combination thereof. Gordon runs tough at times, but by and large he doesn't pick up many unblocked yards.

    What irks me is that his main issues (lacks vision inside the tackles, fumbles, struggles to create for himself) were pretty evident in college and yet the FO traded up for him in the first round.
     
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  4. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    It didn't take that in depth of an investigation to see that Gordon ran behind not a good O-line in college, but a dominant O-line. He often ran through holes that you could've driven a truck through. To not have taken that into account when judging his draft value was foolish to say the least.

    There was nothing that I saw of his college performance that said this was a special back worthy of a 1st round selection, much less trading up in the 1st round to get him. The FO overvalued Gordon just as they did T'eo. You only trade up for truly special players. When a team has as many needs as the Chargers, it is unwise to give up valuable picks like that.
     
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  5. JohnnyX

    JohnnyX 2017 Chargers Head Coach

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    Jay Ajayji is looking better than him so far. Hopefully we get #2 that challenges him.
     
  6. I Maze I

    I Maze I BoltTalker

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    John Gennaro is always good for a laugh.

    Where did you get this Kemp? I know we've talke about it before on the CMB, but Gordon had one of the highest yards after contact per carry in the NFL last year... so where are you getting that he is struggling to create for himself? Fumbles are about the only legitimate complaint with Gordon at this point.

    This makes no sense to me. He had the 2nd most rushing yds in a single season in NCAA history, and was 2nd to one of the greatest ever in Barry Sanders. If what you're implying is true that they didn't consider his offensive scheme, then he would have been the 1st overall pick.

    And FWIW, if you couldn't see his talent in college then you obviously weren't looking.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    Yes, he's pretty fast...... and? What I see is a good blocking line that allowed him to turn the corner at get downfield 20 yards before anyone was close enough to lay a hit on him.

    I never said Gordon wasn't a good athlete, but his O-line was dominant. Something the Chargers haven't had since LT's days. But if you were honest, you'd have to admit that there are a lot of college backs that would've been very productive playing behind that line. And yes, I stand by what I said... Gordon wasn't so great that he was worth trading up for in the 1st round.

    Don't agree?....... that's fine. If he's a great as you seem to think, why don't his pro stats reflect that?
     
  8. I Maze I

    I Maze I BoltTalker

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  9. Jesse Kemp

    Jesse Kemp BoltTalker

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    Bro... it warms my heart that we are arguing over Gordon. I feel right at home!
     
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  10. Blitzy

    Blitzy Spanos Chargers Troll

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    To be fair though, let us not forget that the so called draftniks and draft experts were also very high on Melvin Gordon who was consistently mentioned as the # 2 RB in that draft after Todd Gurley and IIRC, some (not too many though) even were mentioning him above Gurley because of Gurley's knee injury issues.

    Nevertheless, it is the FO's job to weed through all the noise and do their own independent analysis and evaluation which is where this FO failed badly on Melvin Gordon and paid dearly for him.
     
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  11. Lawyers guns & money

    Lawyers guns & money BoltTalker

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    I don't think Gordon is a special back but there was an interesting stat that showed that he faced more stacked boxes than any other RB thus far in the season. In other words, teams are picking to load up against the run when they play the Chargers instead of the the pass. Could be a result of Keenan going down but it is what it is.
     
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  12. Jesse Kemp

    Jesse Kemp BoltTalker

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    Interesting. I hadn't heard that. They need to get Gordon more involved as a pass catcher to make defenses more wary about that. But part of it would stem for his love of running behind a fullback. FB's mean stacked boxes. That's just the way it is.
     
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  13. ShowYourBolts

    ShowYourBolts Offering free samples.

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    And yet he was passed over for a guy coming off of injury with lesser stats. He was extremely overrated.
     
  14. Lawyers guns & money

    Lawyers guns & money BoltTalker

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    Agree about getting him in space. When he has room he can get yardage in big chunks.

    The stat about stacked boxes is in this article about Gurley. http://www.espn.com/blog/los-angele...ing-back-todd-gurley-still-has-nowhere-to-run
     
  15. ShowYourBolts

    ShowYourBolts Offering free samples.

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    Great on the edges and lost in the trenches.
     
  16. Jesse Kemp

    Jesse Kemp BoltTalker

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    This is weird to say, but I think that the poor blocking last season actually helped his ability to gain so much yardage after contact. Note, I am NOT saying that Gordon actually benefits somehow from bad line play. But I do think that much of the reason for that particular stat is the line allowing so much early contact. Gordon was consistently having to break contact to gain 2-3 yards.

    Now good on him for being able to do that, but I don't see the same ability consistently at the 2nd level of the defense. It seems as though every game you hear the announcers say, "Gordon was only one man away from breaking a huge one." But I don't ever see him actually beat that man and break the huge one.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2016
  17. The LBC

    The LBC I'm a Real Prick

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    BFID, someone needs to tell John to check his info again - a lot of half-truths and misleading-to-fit-the-narrative statements in that article.
     
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  18. I Maze I

    I Maze I BoltTalker

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    Sorry guys I was having some technical difficulties earlier... it wouldn't let me reply... suspicious I know :D

    Let me catch up.
     
  19. Jesse Kemp

    Jesse Kemp BoltTalker

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    I'm not a big Gordon apologist, but I did think it was funny how he couched the TD stat as "TD'a per game" which made it look unimpressive (0-1). In reality he is on pace for 16 more than he had a year ago.
     
  20. matilack

    matilack Take A Knee McCree!!!

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    I'm torn on Gordon. At times I totally see the All Pro potential, speed, power, acceleration...and at others he just doesn't seem to have "it".
     
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  21. I Maze I

    I Maze I BoltTalker

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    I want to mention a few things briefly to put his performance this season into perspective.

    In the 4 games where we've had our starting OL, Gordon has averaged 4.0 yds per carry and 81 yds per game. That would have placed him top 5 in rushing yds per game last year and middle of the pack on a yds per carry basis... so why is everyone freaking out and calling him a bust already? His stats are actually pretty incredible seeing as how we have a below average OL, even when healthy, and we've faced some really talented defensive fronts in those 4 games (KC, Jax, Oak and Den).

    In the 2 games where we didn't have our starting OL, Gordon averaged 2.0 yds per carry even though we faced much easier defenses (Indy and NO).

    So, with our below average starting OL, Gordon performs at more or less an average level - if not slightly higher. Further to the point... this begs the question of what kind of statistic impact a good OL can have, and while this isn't all inclusive I want to bring up 2 specific examples:

    DeMarco Murray - Murray was approx. a 5 yds per carry rusher during his time in Dallas with an OL that grew to be one of the best in the league. Then last year he dropped off significantly when he left to go to Philly where he averaged 3.5 yds per carry. Then this year, behind an entirely rebuilt Tennessee OL his rushing avg is back up to 4.6.

    Darren McFadden - McFadden though he had some up and down years in Oak, his total rushing avg there was horrible. His final 3 years in Oakland he averaged 3.3 yds per carry. The next year he goes to Dallas: 4.6 yds per carry.

    A good OL/running scheme can impact a RB's yds per carry by 1-1.5 yds. That's huge. Elliott is being praised as practically the greatest rookie RB ever and has a 5.1 avg, but as I've just shown the OL can mean up to 1.5 yds of that... success that Gordon would likely have if he actually had some quality OL play in front of him, but as of now we're stuck with the league's worst OG combo.
     
  22. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    Charger fans are admittedly spoiled, but when you compare Gordon to Tomlinson, there really isn't a comparison. LT's vision, instincts, and cutting ability were on another level from Gordon. He could weave through slop that Gordon would just get bottled up by. Melvin is fast, but he's best running outside.

    Just to be clear, I don't agree with trading up in principle. There are very few players worth that price, and Gordon was not one of them. The only time a team should consider trading up is when they have extra picks in the draft, or think they are one special player away from being a Super Bowl caliber team. The Chargers were in neither of those positions.

    T'eo is a perfect example. They traded up in the 2nd round for an ILB that's not as good as Jatavis Brown, who we got in the 5th round. That's terrible value. Who know's, that extra pick given away for T'eo could've netted us somebody like Brown. It's foolish to give picks away, especially when you only have the usual 7 (or fewer) to begin with.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2016
  23. matilack

    matilack Take A Knee McCree!!!

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    I smelled trouble when his first pick was DJ Fluker. That was an inexcusable blunder in the scouting room, no respectable scout looks at that fatass and says "yeah, I'd like to line him up against Von Miller 2 games a year." Bonehead F'n move. Trading up for Te'o and Gordon was impulsive of course, but I wasn't really down on either player.

    Then there are picks like Allen, Verrett, Perryman, Attaochu (regressing), and now Bosa/Henry/Brown all look like future cornerstones, and you wonder if the guy is just winging it and getting lucky or if he actually knows what he's doing? I also loved the signings of Woodhead, Franklin, Flowers, and Hayward. And Dunlap worked out better than anyone could have expected; the concussion problems can't be blamed on TT.

    In the end, he's a young GM, and I wonder if we should just stick with him and let him learn from his mistakes. I do not have a problem with our roster when it's healthy, and I don't know that it's fair to blame him for health issues.

    As far as roster holes, I would say RG, FS, SS, and RB all need high consideration next year. Also LT because of Dunlap's "migraines":cautious:. Also depth of course, but no fan ever really thinks his team is deep enough.
     
  24. Whooki Mane

    Whooki Mane BoltTalker

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    It is completely unfair to be saying something like Gordon stinks. What stinks is the run blocking by this offensive line, and honestly it beyond stinks i never seen a worse run blocking line in my life. Completely awful and pathetic when considering the size of our line. We have just about the biggest offensive line in the nfl and it takes gordon breaking 1-2 tackles and pushing the pile just to get 3 yards. You could put any rb in the nfl behind this line and they arent gonna be successful. Every1 was in love with todd gurley last year saying "NEXT ADRIAN PETERSON!" well look at how thats going for gurley behind a terrible offensive line. Meanwhile, someone like ezekiel elliot is rushing for 100+ every single game basically when he dont even get touched on most runs until hes at least 4-6 yards past the line of scrimmage.

    Jury is still out on gordon until he has a somewhat respectable line in front of him, u cant judge what he can do when he gets the ball and immediately has 2 guys in the hole where the run is designed to go. Having said that, I have been pretty impressed with gordon's power, the kid runs really hard and hes more powerful as a runner than i thought hed be. Unfortunately he has nowhere to run on 95% of his carries but when he does have an opening he does show ability and an explosive burst. If we had even a slightly below average run blocking in front of gordon I honestly think he would be a top 10 back in the league.
     
  25. Lawyers guns & money

    Lawyers guns & money BoltTalker

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    It looks like they got lucky with Brown in the 5th. Doesn't mean you can always get that production out of a 5th rounder nor should it be used to invalidate higher picks. 1st and 2nd rounders are statistically the ones that stick. He missed on some of those but probably for the right reasons. It appears that Telesco has a profile he's looking for in the draft. Character guy's from good programs who are leaders. I wish we went BAMF once in a while tho
     
  26. Whooki Mane

    Whooki Mane BoltTalker

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    I think telesco has done a pretty solid job as GM he has revamped this roster into a pretty young team with some nice core guys to build around. He has missed on some early picks and gave out some bad contracts but he has also hit on some late picks and hit on some bargain under the radar free agent signings. Overall, I hope we keep telesco and allow him to continue to add talent to the roster as I think we are on the right track
     
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  27. I Maze I

    I Maze I BoltTalker

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    I agree with most of this. The Fluker pick was pretty bad and clearly out of desperation, but it's worth noting that it was a notoriously poor draft class and almost every pick before him has turned into a monumental bust: Fisher, Joeckel, Jordan, Mingo, Cooper, Austin, Milliner and Warmack. Ansah is the only one in the bunch worth his pick. Johnson has had a solid career, but due to the PED scandal we'll give him half credit. Still, idk if I've ever seen an 80% bust rate of top 10 picks in a single draft class. This may be the first and last.

    TT has had his share of busts, no question there, but IMHO his track record is much more positive than it is negative. Coaching is another story lol.
     
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  28. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    No, you don't always get lucky like that, but you never know... that's the point. There are no throw away picks, because you never know where the value pick might come from. It's far from an exact science, so you need to use all you're picks to give you a greater chance of hitting on players. Trading up is not a good policy.
     
  29. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    He made a big deal last year about how Gordon was a wasted pick, and sucked. Now people are letting him know about it so he is trying his best to solidify his false narrative. Kinda like CC...
     
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  30. Lawyers guns & money

    Lawyers guns & money BoltTalker

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    I don't like trading up either (unless you've stockpiled a bunch of late round picks) but starters are generally 1-3 rounders. Later rounds are for depth. Especially necessary if you're injury riddled like the chargers
     

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