SAN DIEGO -- As much as he would like to make plays, Melvin Gordon knows that he's still a work in progress.
The first-round selection of the San Diego Chargers this year and a Heisman Trophy runner-up in college last season, Gordon has found tough sledding at times in practice, particularly in pass protection drills against linebackers.
Melvin Gordon struggled in pass-pro drill today. Pad level too high pic.twitter.com/IkALfbuzYl— Eric Williams (@eric_d_williams) August 18, 2015
"It's really just technique," Gordon said about getting better in pass protection drills. "That's what it boils down to at this level, just being clean and sharpening your technique."
But he knows the endless reps will lead to more consistent play during games. Melvin finished with just 11 rushing yards on six attempts in San Diego's exhibition opener against the Dallas Cowboys last week.
After the game he talked about leaving some runs out there, and not expecting too much too soon.
"You just want to go out here and you want to do good," Gordon said. "You want to start fast and finish fast. And I've just got to understand some things are not going to go my way at the beginning -- right now.
"It's early, so I get down on myself when I don't play or do something as good as I want to, and I've just got to know that it will come to me."
Gordon will take a more patient approach in his second preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals this weekend, with a clear plan of what he wants to accomplish on Saturday.
"It's going out there and being decisive with my runs, and just being sharp and clean," Gordon added.
Melvin Ingram with the Superman socks at Chargers Park pic.twitter.com/SyrRiuTLIf— Eric Williams (@eric_d_williams) August 18, 2015
Coach Mike McCoy said it will be the first and last time Ingram wears the socks. "Me and him are going to negotiate," Ingram said. "He said we're going to evaluate it." Gordon has taken on the role of Superman for the Chargers, using his speed to run around and make plays all over the field, so the Superman socks were appropriate.
Ingram was asked if he's assumed more of a leadership role with Jarret Johnson and Dwight Freeney no longer on the roster. "I feel like the work you put in on the field will put you in a role like that," Ingram said. "You can't just tell yourself that since they left, I have to be that guy. You just have to go out there and work hard."
Keenan Allen making plays: Receiver Keenan Allen made a handful of impressive catches on Tuesday, including a one-handed catch while going out-of-bounds on a sideline route, and an over-the-shoulder catch on a deep ball against Brandon Flowers. It was all in a day's work for Allen, who's been one of the standouts so far at Chargers Park during training camp. Allen said that facing Flowers and Jason Verrett every day in practice is making him better.
"It's great," he said. "It's hard to get a lot of separation from those guys. So it's just being able to make tough catches, be physical and using your hands to get open. Jason is probably one of the fastest guys in the league, I would say. So getting separation from him is big."
Roll call: Reserve center Trevor Robinson returned to practice on Tuesday on a limited basis after missing Monday's workout. Cornerback Greg Ducre, outside linebacker Tourek Williams, guard Johnnie Troutman and safety Gordon Hill did not practice on Tuesday. … Center Chris Watt and nose tackle Ryan Carrethers got into a minor scrum during team drills, showing the feistiness of both players from the same draft class in 2014. … Tight end Ladarius Green made some nice catches during team drills.