Broncos running back Javonte Williams did enough as a rookie to create the impression that, come 2021, he’d become a workhorse who generates plenty of yards and touchdowns and fantasy victories.
But it’s been clear for a while that new coach Nathaniel Hackett isn’t inclined to let one guy carry the load at the tailback position. Back in March, Hackett said he wants a “big stable” of running backs. Hackett later put his money where his mouth is by bringing back Melvin Gordon, who like Williams got 203 carries last year.
On Friday, Hackett spent some time gushing about Gordon, when asked why the first-year coach brought back a running back who played there before Hackett arrived with a new offense.
“Because he is Melvin Gordon,” Hackett told reporters. “I’ve been watching Melvin forever. He’s just a downhill, skilled player. He can catch from the backfield, pass protect, and all those things. Just getting to know him now, I’m even more happy that he’s here. Everything that I have witnessed, which was just off tape, watching him run for all those yards, run people over, and utilize speed. So now getting to know him it’s even better. He’s got a little swag to him, and he’s been doing this for a while, so it’s always great to have a veteran leader around.”
So how will Gordon and Williams fit together for a team that now has a franchise quarterback in Russell Wilson?
“I wish we could have a bunch of footballs out there and give it to all kinds of people,” Hackett said. “It’s not just about one guy, we want them to be able to cover everybody. We want to be able to use multiple people. We want to put maybe three halfbacks out there, maybe three tight ends, you never know. I think it’s all about being multiple and getting your best guys out there as much as you possibly can. So I’m excited to utilize both of those guys.”
Those who wanted Williams to become a guy with plenty of opportunities won’t be excited. But, as folks prepare to draft their rosters for the coming multiverses of football leagues based on a game that has yet to adopt a multiball feature, at least they know. If they’re paying attention.