Philip Rivers: Chargers RBs will be 'committee crew'

Rookie Melvin Gordon has averaged just 2.2 yards per carry this preseason, leaving the San Diego Chargers' tailback plans in flux.

Quarterback Philip Rivers stressed this week that the backfield distribution is "not going to be all Melvin."

"As Coach has always said -- I'm not saying anything out of the blue -- it's a running back by committee crew," Rivers explained, via The San Diego Union-Tribune. "It's going to be a team effort in that bunch. We're going to need all of them to carry the load in the run game and to catch the ball out of the backfield."

The Bolts might have been planning all along to use Danny Woodhead as their primary passing-down back, but NFL teams don't spend first-round draft picks on running backs with the idea of installing a committee attack.

Gordon has disappointed this summer, acknowledging after his preseason debut that he must be a more decisive runner.

Following an underwhelming performance in San Diego's third preseason tilt, the former Wisconsin star is now concentrating on making the defender miss in open-field situations.

"There's so much I need to learn," Gordon said. "I am a young back that's willing to learn, has a lot to learn, and the more reps, the better."

Whereas quarterbacks, tight ends and wide receivers often struggle to read defenses and pick up NFL route concepts as rookies, running back is one skill position in which early-round draft picks are expected to make an instant impact.

While it's too early to write off Gordon as a draft reach, it's fair to question whether the coaches will be comfortable saddling him up for a heavy workload as a developmental project.

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