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Chargers wise to take it slow with Forrest Lamp at training camp

As the Chargers open training camp on Saturday, there's no reason to rush Forrest Lamp back onto the field after his knee injury last summmer. AP Photo/Chris Carlson

COSTA MESA, Calif. -- Los Angeles Chargers GM Tom Telesco doesn't have to worry about unpacking boxes or using the map on his phone to locate the team's new training camp facility here in Jack Hammett Sports Complex.

Now in Year 2 of the Chargers relocation from San Diego to Los Angeles, Telesco said the team has finally settled into their new surroundings.

"We're all human," Teleso said. "We were moving our families still at the same time we were getting ready for training camp, and even though you have that football mentality that nothing is going to affect us -- it really didn't feel like it did -- but when you look back, yeah, it was unique, to say the least.

"And that's all done now. This is home."

While adjusting to the change in scenery and playing in a new temporary home, the 27,000-seat StubHub Center, the Chargers sputtered through an 0-4 start before winning nine of their last 12 games to finish 9-7 last season.

Telesco believes the Bolts can get off to a better start this season as they open training camp Saturday at a fan friendlier site.

After surveying fans about how to make training camp better, Mark Tamar, in charge of fan engagement for the Chargers, said the team developed a larger footprint of activities for younger fans, including a punt return station and a timed 40-yard dash station. They expanded food options, including Tulsa Rib Company providing Chargers Barbeque. They doubled the size of the team store and expanded the autograph alley area so fans have more access to players after practice.

"We're never going to sit still and be satisfied," Tamar said. "We're always going to try and make things better. I think this year when the fans walk in, it will be entirely different. Everything is bigger, better, faster and more fun."

The Chargers said they had 5,000 fans on opening day of camp last year and averaged about 2,000 fans per practice. This year the Chargers have 14 open practice dates.

"Our attendance last year was great," president of football operations A.G. Spanos said. "But I think the goal this year is to build on the attendance. And that's why we've made all of the improvements we have."

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

@eric_d_williams: The Chargers placed offensive lineman Forrest Lamp on the active physically unable to perform (PUP) list to start training camp.

A second-round selection out of Western Kentucky in 2017, Lamp suffered a torn ACL in his right knee during the opening week of training camp last year. Lamp had a second procedure on his knee three months ago has not participated in any on-field activities since suffering the knee injury.

Lamp is penciled in as the team's starting right guard.

"He looks alright to me running around, but he hasn't played football in so long," Telesco said. "His last snap, you guys saw it. It was right over here. It was the first week. The knee is coming along pretty well, but he needs to get back into football condition as well. We'll see how that goes."

While it would be nice to see Lamp working full-go in pads with the starting offensive line, with the Chargers already losing Hunter Henry and Jason Verrett for the year, there's no reason to rush Lamp back on the field.

This offseason the Chargers signed Michael Schofield to decent money for a swing tackle at two years and $5 million, including $2.5 million in guaranteed money. Schofield started seven games last year in place of an injured Joe Barksdale at right tackle, and offers versatility because of his ability to play guard.

Schofield has been working at right guard with the first-unit offensive line as Lamp continues to rehab his knee injury.

"There's a reason why we brought him back," Telesco said about Schofield. "He can play tackle, he can play guard. He's smart, tough. In the offseason, he was working at guard and he looked pretty good there -- but there's not a lot of contact going on.

"But I feel confident that he can play that position if need be and he can play tackle if need be -- that was one of the reasons we brought him back, for depth on the offensive line."

For answers to more mailbag questions, click here.