Chargers Melvin Gordon: “We can be great. I feel like we could be special."

Melvin Gordon addresses the media after the last day of training camp.

On the NFL's new tackling rule:

It's hard. With some of the calls, they've been calling it's tough. Just to play this game so physical, but I get why they are putting the rule in just to make it a safer game. You hear about schools and parents stopping their kids from playing football. We are just trying to prevent all of that. I understand, but some things are just going to be hard to change.

On how he is adapting to the new rule:

I'm more cautious when I make contact. Our whole life we have led with our heads down a little bit, so it's tough. You have been doing something for 15-16 years and out of the blue one day they say you can't do it anymore. It's going to be tough. We have to try and adjust to it. We do gauntlet drills and things like that. [Head] Coach [Anthony] Lynn is on us about keeping our head up. When someone is on you constantly about it, that kind of helps.

On trying to change his instincts with his helmet:

I think so. You try to make it second nature, that is why [Coach Lynn] tries to really coach it to us. You try to, but you can't think about it too much because there is a chance you can get hurt out there.

On the value of running backs:

We just do so much as far as blocking and catching, running the ball. We have a lot to do, so our value should be high. I'm glad we are the type of back that can change that.

On his goals for the preseason:

Just improving your craft [and] getting live reps while it doesn't count. This is a time to work on your craft and build as a team before things get real.

On RB Detrez Newsome:

He's been balling. He's been doing his thing. I'm excited to continue to watch him grow. He has some things here and there where he can get better, but that is every rookie. I feel, if he stays at it, keeps working his craft and stays humble, he will get to where he needs to be.

On RB Austin Ekeler:

He's just a playmaker. You expect him to come out here and keep making plays. He is just that type of player.

On entering his fourth year:

It is just detailed. You see something they [the young players] aren't doing right and you do your best to coach them up. You just have to be there with them when mistakes happen. We just hate to make mistakes. We try to be perfect, but you can't. We have to motivate each other and help [each other] get through those mistakes.

On the upcoming season:

We can be great. I feel like we could be special. We have all the tools and all the pieces, but it's all about staying healthy.

On continuing momentum from last year:

I feel like we started a formula to winning, but you cant think about last year because it's a whole new season. It's a different team than last year, so you cant really speak too much about last year. I know we ended off pretty hot and obviously that left a taste in some people's mouths okay, these guys could be great but you cant think about it because like I said, it's a different team so were just going to come out here and do what we need to do. We feel like we have a formula. Were going to put it together and see what happens.

On if expectations of the upcoming year motivate during offseason:

Yeah, it does, but I feel like every year since Ive been here we've been special. We've just had that injury bug, which that kind of hurt us here and there and stripped us a little bit. We lost some key players, but Ive always felt like we could be special. Theres hasnt been a time when I was going into the season with the Chargers and was like, I dont know about this year, I dont think we have the team. I've always felt like we've had the team. It's just about being healthy, thats the biggest thing.

On the difference between preseason games and joint practices:

Its still different, the guys will tell you, its different from the game. The intensity is different. Guys are flying around. It's not just youre just tagging off or thudding, you never really know. A guy could tackle you and you could break it. When you get thudded, the refs consider it down so there are more explosive plays to be made or be had and you just dont know what can be done until gameday. So it's good in a sense just because we're out here battling against a different team. You still pick up the tempo a little bit, but it's still not the same as game day.

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