Melvin Ingram at TE? Chargers could do worse

"I'm going to try and go break Gates' record," Melvin Ingram said, smiling. "I told Phil (Philip Rivers) the other day, me and him can go break whatever touchdown record he and Gates got." Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports

COSTA MESA, Calif. -- Players and coaches had their bags packed and cars practically idling in the parking lot after the team's final mandatory minicamp practice for the Los Angeles Chargers on Thursday.

Head coach Anthony Lynn said the last practice focused on younger players, giving them some extra reps to get more comfortable with the team's schemes before training camp begins at the end of July.

Lynn spoke for a few minutes to the entire team afterwards, but would not divulge what he said.

"That's kind of between me and them," said Lynn, smiling.

However, you can bet part of the speech Lynn gave his players included staying in shape and out of trouble for the next six weeks, giving the Bolts the best chance to hit the ground running once training camp opens on July 28.

The Chargers also took care of a bit of housekeeping in the personnel department this week, announcing that pro scout Regis Eller, the son of legendary Minnesota Vikings defensive end and Hall of Famer Carl Eller, has been promoted to assistant director of pro scouting.

The Chargers also announced that area scout Justin Sheridan will now serve as the national cross-checker, college scouting coordinator Tyler Lyon has been promoted to area scout, Kevin McGuire will serve as a scouting assistant and Mike Jasinski was added to the staff as a combine area scout.

Let's take a look at a question from this week's mailbag:

@eric_d_williams: Melvin Ingram earned the nickname "Supa Mel" for a reason. He had two touchdowns on fumble recoveries after sacks and on a 68-yard fake punt return in college at South Carolina. He started three years at point guard for his high school basketball team and allegedly can throw a football the entire length of the football field.

So playing a handful of plays at tight end should be within the realm of possibility for Ingram, right?

"It's just getting in where I can fit in, you feel me?" Ingram said, when asked about the possibility of playing tight end in 2018. "Just making some plays -- the more you can do -- everybody here knows that I want to get me a couple touches."

Of course, Ingram already has been lobbying for some snaps on offense because the Chargers' are thin at tight end after losing Hunter Henry for the year. He even fielded a few punts during special teams period this week, and showed what he can do as a pass-catcher after practice on Tuesday.

After Virgil Green, the play at tight end for the Chargers during offseason work has been uneven at best.

Of the young tight ends, Braedon Bowman probably has stood out the most because of his pass-catching ability and athleticism. However, Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt said those guys really won't start to differentiate themselves until the Chargers put the pads on in August.

General manager Tom Telesco confirmed reports earlier this week during a radio interview on San Diego's 97.3 The Fan that the Chargers have reached out to Antonio Gates' representation to gauge the veteran tight end's interest in returning to the field, so the veteran tight end still remains a possibility to return at some point before the season starts.

Ingram believes he can help fill the void.

"I'm going to try and go break Gates' record," Ingram said, smiling. "I told Phil (Philip Rivers) the other day, me and him can go break whatever touchdown record he and Gates got."

Like Gates, Ingram does not lack for confidence.

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