Chargers GM Tom Telesco: "We have to be better"

Time to prepare in earnest for the No. 3 pick in the draft.

Chargers general manager Tom Telesco spoke at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis Thursday, echoing the team's need to improve from last year's dismal 4-12 season. As he prepares for the No. 3 pick in the upcoming draft, Telesco is also eyeing free agency and upgrades to the Chargers' roster, which he spoke about Thursday. Here are some of the topics Telesco touched on:

On the state of the tight end position:

"It’s in flux right now. We’ve got two that are free agents — Antonio [Gates] and Ladarius Green. We’ll see how it goes. We’re going to talk with both of their agents here at the Combine. We’ll see how it shakes out from there."

Do you need to prioritize one over the other?
"We don’t see it like that. We could do both if we have to, which we’d like to do. As far as where we are cap wise, we could handle both."

On running back Melvin Gordon:
"Melvin progressed through the year. I think he played well early, and then like a lot of our team, he got a little frustrated late in the year. We weren’t having the success that we liked. Like most young players, I think he pressed a little bit. But we saw progress, and we saw progress in a couple categories that coming from college he hadn’t done a lot — as far as pass protection, as far as catching the ball out of the backfield. He was on pace for over 40 catches before he got hurt. So, we saw growth in him. We need more growth from our entire offense, especially in the running game, which is something that we’re going to really emphasize this offseason. We think [Gordon] has big things ahead of him."

On the offensive line:
"It’s something we have to still keep working at because we didn’t get where we wanted to get last year. We had a group together that we just never got 'together.' We had no continuity from the group. It’s a little hard to evaluate the players in the group because we never really had our full five out there. But I will say, our guys who played — we played about 10, 11 players — the pass protection was pretty good, the run game wasn’t nearly good enough. … It’s still a work in progress."

On wide receiver Keenan Allen:
"With Malcom Floyd’s potential retirement, obviously our [WR depth] is not as strong. Keenan’s had a very good couple years for us. He was leading the league in receiving before [his injury]. His development has been very, very good, but it’s also a position where we’d like to get some depth there too.

[Keenan] is healthy. He’ll be in our offseason program with everyone else, coming into the season."

On safety Eric Weddle:
"I think in San Diego, he’ll be universally recognized as the best safety that’s played there, and probably one of the best overall defensive players that’s played there. It’s not only his playing ability, his physical ability, but his smarts. … At safety right now we have Jahleel Addae, who is a restricted free agent. Jahleel has come along the last couple years. He’s gotten better every year, plays a nice tempo for us. But it’s gonna be a younger group next year, more than likely. So we’ve got some work to do there."

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