Friday, September 27, 2019 | Hoag Performance Center | Costa Mesa, Calif.
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS RUNNING BACK MELVIN GORDON III
On being back with the team:
"It feels good, man. I've missed the guys. I've been away from them for a while. We are all like brothers, so it's good being back. Some of them gave me a hard time, as expected, but it's all love, man. Some guys might walk into the locker room and it might be different, but the guys, they missed me, it was all the same. It was like I never left."
On the timing to come back:
"I wanted to. You don't want to get into a big hole. You work the whole offseason being in a good position to make the playoffs, that's the whole goal and I had to come back at some point. Obviously, you come back and the record isn't what you expect. The whole work in the offseason really was for nothing. I just want to come back and help contribute."
On watching the team play:
"You kind of walk into the game and you feel different watching. You kind of go in neutral, not feeling anything and then we won the first game and I was like, 'Okay,' then the second game, we lost, and I didn't feel how I thought I would feel. I was kind of upset, it kind of messed up my mood a little bit and then we lost again and I'm like, 'Okay, I'm not really feeling this at all.'. These guys here did nothing to me. We didn't have any problems, conflicts and things like that. These are my brothers so just seeing them slamming their helmets, things like that, you kind of feel that."
On looking back on the holdout:
"Nothing came out of it, so I try not to think about it. Obviously, there is no contract so there's really not one to speak on. All I can do is come out here and just play ball and just kind of let my skills take place and determine my future."
On how to remain positive:
"Just the guys, man. That's why coming here, it makes things a lot easier. Just being around the guys. You really don't think about the contract stuff too much. You're just out here trying to get better. My coach always said to be where your feet are. When you're out here, I don't want to embarrass myself and go out there. I've been saying, 'I'm the best back,' and this and that, you go out there and look trash, they're going to be like, 'Eh'. I'm just trying to just get better. Being around the guys and just laughing kind of takes your mind off things."
On training in San Diego:
"Well, I think [Cowboys RB Ezekiel] Zeke [Elliott] got an agent that lives out in Cabo. I wasn't trying to pay for anything. I wasn't trying to pay for a place to live when I've got a place up here, but I'm familiar with Todd. I just kind of wanted to stay in Cali. I have a lot of stuff going on at home as well and that kind of was a reason for me staying. Like I said, I'm really familiar with Todd and with San Diego, so I was just back and forth."
On playing on Sunday:
"We do what we've got to do to win.
"I'm good, man. I didn't really get to gauge myself as much as I wanted to. Like I said, if they call my number, I've been grinding. It's not like I've been sitting around coming in overweight or anything like that. You have to get an adjustment. It's not like I've got a preseason game to get warmed up. You get in and get right into the fire .There will be some adjustments and getting back into football and game shape but for the most part, I think I'll be alright."
On no practice in pads:
"I got a couple reps in pads. Nothing crazy but we'll see."
On the fines being resolved:
"To a certain extent. It comes with consequences, sitting out. To think the fines would be completely washed away, I knew if I got into this position it wouldn't be. You do something against the rules, you've got to pay the consequences and know that. I understand that but I think they did what they could to help satisfy me and make me feel better about being out there, so here we go."
On if bridges were burned with the front office:
"I don't think so. Business is business. Football is football. We're good. I talked to [General Manager] Tom [Telesco] during this process. We talked a few times. He definitely let it be known that he wanted me back and he has no problems and he understands and the players respect it, so that made me feel better about everything. I don't think the bridges are burned. I love being a Charger. They drafted me and it changed my life. We just had some differences, but we are good. They are not treating me any differently. He was one of the first people I spoke to when I came in, we hashed it out and we are alright. Like I said, football is football, business is business. Unfortunately, we couldn't figure this thing out but we've got more than enough time to."
On if he missed interacting with his teammates:
"You don't really think about stuff too much. You have guys like that making you feel right at home."
On staying in touch with his teammates:
"Oh, I talked to a lot of guys on the team during this process. I tried to stay as close with them as possible. Out of sight, out of mind. That's another reason that I stayed in Cali and stayed around here, too. I'd go kick it with [WR] Keenan [Allen], kick it with [WR] Mike [Williams]. A lot of guys — [DE Melvin] Mel [Ingram III], go to his house. I tried to stay around some of the guys. They had some team bonding things like that. I tried to be with the guys. We didn't have to make it public or anything like that, but I just wanted to show the guys that I still love [them] and that we're still brothers. They definitely helped a lot with this process, for sure.
"A lot of captains and guys that should have been captains that weren't were hitting me up. I talked to a lot of guys. [LB Thomas] TD [Davis Sr.] was on me, too, trying to get me back in. That definitely made a difference. [QB Philip] Phil [Rivers] was hitting me up. A lot of guys were just talking to me. None of them were like, 'Man, you have to come in.' They were cool about it. No one was hating or mad at me. They said, 'Do what's best for you, but just know that we miss you and would to have you back here.'"
On being in contact with other players in the league:
"Oh yeah, a lot of guys. I had a lot of support from people, which is cool. That's why, at the end of the day, that shield means more than just individuality with different teams — it's a brotherhood. A lot of guys reached out to me from different positions. That's just dope to have."
On the situation being handled professionally:
"I mean, it just shows what type of people we are. No one hashed out really. I know a lot of people got on my agent, saying that, 'You're the reason. He should switch agents or fire his agent,' and things like that. I was the reason that I didn't come in. They wanted me to come in. I was like, 'No.' There's that. I think, during this process, no one got really disrespectful. I think we handled it. We just couldn't figure things out. Like I said, we have more than enough time. It's not like I hate being a Charger. I love being a Charger. Like I said, they changed my life. I'm hoping that we can figure something out from this point on and that I don't have to go to another team. Sometimes, that's just the business side of things and it has to be that way sometimes. Hopefully, it's not."