Running back Melvin Gordon spoke earlier this week about his health, offseason and getting past his rookie year. Here are some notable quotes:
How did you feel about Derek Watt being drafted?
"I was happy. I was rooting for that class. I kind of came in with those guys and I was rooting for all of them to be picked up somewhere ... [Derek and I] were real good. Obviously he was my fullback at Wisconsin -- you two gotta be on the same page back there. You got to be on the same page with your linemen, but you've got to be on the same page with your fullback as well. Watt definitely helped me out throughout the year."
On being in a one-back system last season:
"I've always been told that you have to be able to adjust. Obviously I didn't come from that type of offense, but as you get reps in practice, as you get reps throughout the season, you get more comfortable being there. [It's about] adjusting, and as an athlete you should be able to do that."
How's your health? (Gordon underwent microfracture knee surgery in January.)
"I’m getting better. I'm not where I want to be right now, but I think I'm ahead of schedule. I'm sprinting pretty good, cutting. I try to do a little bit more extra every day. The trainers push me to do a little extra every day so I can be ready ... No question I'll be ready for training camp. I'm not even worried about that."
What advice would you give to rookies?
"Just focus on your playbook and really soak it all in, and come out here and try to put your best foot forward. You have to. There's a lot of guys that went undrafted that will be out here. They've got a lot to prove to themselves, to the coaches. So obviously playbook is number one, because you can't play fast if you don't know what you're doing."
What surprised you most about last season?
"Really it was how fast the safeties feel. They feel way faster than in college. You have less time to think. It's really instincts. It's muscle memory [at practice], so you have to take full advantage."
How did you deal with the frustration of last year and the high expectations that were placed on you?
"Personally, I’m not even thinking about last year, honestly. It's over with, it's in the past. I've got a year under my belt. I'm not worrying about last year. It's a new year, new team, new players now."
Do you feel different now that you have a year under your belt?
"I do. You know what to expect. You have a little bit more confidence out there, just about everything. Your swagger, everything you do when you're out there -- you're not trying to get to know guys and this and that … I'm comfortable with [Philip Rivers] now, really comfortable. I'm not afraid to ask him questions. It's just little things like that that build confidence within yourself."