Melvin Ingram studying linebacker and defensive end positions

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With the 18th pick in the 2012 draft, the Chargers picked defensive end Melvin Ingram.  He was instantly presumed to be destined to play linebacker in San Diego’s 3-4 defense.

That may not be the case.

Speaking to the media on the first day of rookie camp, Ingram said he’s been studying both the linebacker and defensive end positions.  Which means he could be playing either, or both.

“I look at outside linebacker and also I look at defensive end,” Ingram said regarding his review of the playbook, via comments distributed by the team.  “There is not just one position I solely focus on.  I try to focus on both.”

He says he’s not confused by learning the dual assignments.  “It is really not that difficult [to sort them out],” Ingram said.  “You can’t just try to learn every play.  You have to learn the play and the concept.  So I just try to put each play into a concept to make it easier.”

Even if he plays exclusively linebacker (more likely) or exclusively defensive end (far less likely), the more any player knows about what the other men will be doing on a given play, the more effective he’ll be — and the more equipped he’ll be to become the kind of leader who can hold teammates accountable.

Regardless of where he lines up, Ingram is getting closer and closer to fulfilling the prediction his late father made when Melvin was a toddler.  As explained in an excellent profile of Ingram by Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune, more than 20 years ago George Melvin Ingram Sr. described young Melvin to his wife and friends as “my NFL baby.”

13 responses to “Melvin Ingram studying linebacker and defensive end positions

  1. Still surprised Super Melvin fell to the Bolts at No. 18. We won’t know for sure until football starts, but he really should help improve the Bolts’ pass rush, and fix the weakness that killed the Chargers last season: the inability to get off the filed on third down. With each division rival now starting QBs who’ve been to the Pro Bowl and have won division titles, improving the pass rush is going to be vitally important in 2012.

  2. What a great article by Gehlken. The guy is a physical freak. I’m sure he is going to be excited to show each team that passed on him just how “short” his arms are. Was the best pass rusher in the draf in my opinion. He wasn’t even in the Chargers “cluster” of players in round 1 because they didn’t think there was any chance he would be there at 18.

    Shawne Merriman was the Defensive Rookie of the Year, made 3 Pro Bowls and had 39.5 sacks in his first 3 seasons (42 games). I think Ingram can be better.

  3. Chargers fans should feel fortunate to have Ingram. As a Panthers fan, he was the guy I wanted most. He is an unbelievable athlete and will prove it in short order.

  4. People make too big of a deal out of mersurables. While I agree some are important, especially when it comes to DB’s and WR’s you can’t deny that some guys are just straight up football players. Ingram is a straight baller.

    Ingram fell in the draft due to short arms, and I’m sure GM’s and scouts were scared away of this because of guys like Brandon Graham. I don’t see Ingram being a non factor in the NFL though like Graham has been so far. Ingram wrecked havok in the SEC and has fought plenty of NFL calibre linemen. If he could get it done there, he can get it done in the AFC West for sure.

    Also glad to see him go to a 3-4 team because I think he’ll have much more success there than he would a 4-3 team.

    Best of luck San Diego, and this is coming from a fan of a rival AFC team.

  5. Its not against the plan. AJ Smith has done an exceptional job building talent on the Chargers. The Defense SHOULD be one of the best in the NFL.
    Its like the curse of the perfect climate. Two years ago it was the horrendous special teams. last year it was ex-49er Manusky emasculating the Defense, the way he destroyed the 49ers D the year before. Except for the O Line, the team is Super Bowl ready. That’s a big IF.

  6. I have a feeling people will look back on this draft and agree that Ingram was a Top 5 pick who slipped because of a tape measurer. Melvin is a game-changing/impact football player on the defensive side of the ball and will prove his worth at the next level.


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