Melvin Ingram
Melvin Ingram is thrilled to be a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Will Ingram thrive as the Bud Dupree replacement? (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Melvin Ingram Is Thrilled To Be A Steeler

The Pittsburgh Steelers lost Bud Dupree this offseason and things were looking grim. How were they going to replace the sack production left behind by Dupree? TJ Watt is a beast but asking him to run through constant double and triple teams is a tall ask. Pittsburgh found a way to save the day by bringing in proven vet Melvin Ingram on a one-year deal.

The former Chargers pass rusher is thrilled to join the Steelers organization:

“That has no motivation for me,” Ingram said of his departure from Los Angeles. “It’s a business. I understand the business. I’m not a person that gets salty about it. They changed my life. Nine years ago, they changed my life. Ten years ago, they changed my life. That’s no motivation for me. Me, waking up and doing my work every day is all the motivation. I’ve got two kids and a family. My family, my girl, my kids, that’s what motivates me.”

“I just felt like the program, the coaches, the team, everybody,” Ingram said, “it was a place I felt like I could call home, a place I can come in and fit in. Everything was amazing here, down to the coaches, the players, the city, just how they do everything. They welcomed me with open arms.”

“This is a new place for me,” Ingram said. “New place, new start. Still the same me though. First time I ever played football, my number was 44. 4 + 4 is 8, and Kobe (Bryant) is one of my favorite athletes. Kobe year.”

Ingram, 32, has 49 sacks, 7 fumble recoveries, 360 combined tackles, and 108 quarterback hits in his NFL career. If the Steelers get prime Ingram, they probably won’t miss a beat even after losing Dupree. The only thing that was clear is that you can’t just hand this job to the unproven Alex Highsmith. A year ago, Highsmith had just two sacks while appearing in every game.

At the end of the day, this is a smart signing by Pittsburgh whether it works out or not. If Ingram can ball out, Pittsburgh remains one of the best defenses in the NFL.