For Melvin Gordon III, the hard part of joining a new team hasn't been finding his role or fitting in with his teammates.
No, the hard part has been to that quintessential aspect of the Broncos' home-field advantage: adjusting to the 5,280 feet of elevation.
"The difference is the altitude," Gordon said Sunday. "I feel like I'm a little winded with the altitude. What I keep hearing is when we play other places, we won't get tired. I'm looking forward to that. Right now, it's tough trying to finish downfield. It's dry out here, so I'm trying to drink water every second. My lips are dry. That's the biggest adjustment, working all offseason then coming here and feeling like you're still not in shape because of the altitude. That's the difference."
All the rest has been easy, Gordon said. He's approaching his reps with the mindset of just making the most of every opportunity, and the camaraderie has come easily, as Gordon said he's joined in on freestyle rap battles in the locker room.
Outside of UCHealth Training Center, Gordon said he hasn't been able to experience all that Denver has to offer just yet because life in camp doesn't afford a lot of free time — not to mention, you know, the pandemic still going on.
"It's not too much of a life during camp, and everybody knows that when you get some free time, you're either studying, looking at the script for the next day, doing some rehab or prehab, icing up or laying down," Gordon said. "Life is pretty cliché at the moment. I know when I first got here, I was trying to get around the city a little bit, but everything is closed. It wasn't much you could do. Life is pretty simple at the moment obviously with COVID and everything. That's the reason for that. Maybe I'll be able to answer that once the season is over."
Let's hope so.
Below the Fold
In NFL.com's new rankings of NFL "triplets" — a combination of each team's quarterback, lead running back and top pass catcher — the Broncos are on the rise. The team is up nine spots to 20th, with Lock ranking 22nd and Phillip Lindsay and Courtland Sutton each ranking 16th. "When Lindsay isn't churning up yards on the ground, Lock will have the Broncos surging through the air," Ali Bhanpuri wrote. "At least, he had better, after GM John Elway invested Denver's top two draft picks on receivers Jerry Jeudy (No. 15 overall) and KJ Hamler (No. 46) to team with WR1 Sutton and 2019 first-round tight end Noah Fant. The buzz bubbling out of Mile High is contagious. I'm banking on the second-year passer meeting the moment."
With the Broncos' new additions on defense and the amount of experience on the defense from the front line to the back end, Todd Davis could be a major beneficiary in the middle of the field. As Kyle Newman of The Denver Post reports, Davis has his eyes on a big goal: "The bottom line, I want to be a top-tier linebacker in the league, make the Pro Bowl, things like that," Davis said.