Head Coach Mike McCoy knew the question was coming when he took the podium for the first time during training camp yesterday afternoon.
It's the same question he's received for the better part of the offseason – What does Melvin Gordon need to do to improve?
Sick and tired of being asked about it, the head coach decided to set the record straight once and for all.
"I'm going to make one thing clear about Melvin, ok?" a feisty McCoy began. "It's not Melvin Gordon (that is) the running game. Let's make that clear right now. I want to stop talking about him individually. In order for Melvin Gordon to have success in our system, the other 10 guys have got to do their jobs better. And Melvin's got to do his job better, too. He'll tell you some things he has to clean up. But I get a little sick talking about one guy on offense when there are 10 other guys out there. I want to make sure from day one (to point out) the entire team has got to run the ball better."
Even though he stressed Gordon's success is dependent on more than just one individual, he did assert that number 28 must improve his play as well. To that end, McCoy has liked what he's seen from the second-year running back, who he says is healthy following knee surgery earlier this offseason.
"He looked great today. (Friday in) the conditioning test, the guys were running six half gassers, and somebody told me (Melvin) stepped up and said let's keep going. He did 10, and he wasn't even breaking a sweat. I'm very pleased with where he is, and his attitude and mindset. I'm really looking forward to seeing him play this year."
McCoy isn't the only one.
Philip Rivers noted he saw a whole different Melvin Gordon on the field on Saturday than the rookie running back we saw in 2015.
"Today I saw a more confident guy," the quarterback said. "He felt a little more comfortable and I think that is key for running backs. You've got to be hungry and do all those things, but if you are antsy as a runner, you don't see things. Just like as a quarterback, if you are all sped up you don't make the right reads. It's the same thing with reads with him as a far as running the football. So yeah, I saw a guy a little more comfortable, a little more confident and hopefully that will build throughout the preseason and through the year."
Gordon admitted Rivers is correct in that he is far more comfortable in his second season.
"I definitely feel more confident. I feel more confident about the playbook and I feel more confident in myself. You had a whole year pretty much to kind of figure things out. You kind of know how the games are going to be and you kind of know how everything's going to be. So right now, it's just about just trying to improve and better yourself for the team."