Justin Herbert got his “Welcome to the NFL” moment practicing against Melvin Ingram

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In 2020, Justin Herbert was the Chargers’ first-round rookie quarterback, while Melvin Ingram was a three-time Pro Bowler in his ninth and final season with the franchise. And it didn’t take long for Ingram to teach Herbert a valuable lesson on the practice field.

Herbert said in a PFT Live interview that the biggest adjustment for him as a rookie was the speed of the game, and he had never faced someone like Ingram, who was big and strong enough to play on the defensive line, while also fast and athletic enough to make leaping interceptions, as he did to Herbert.

“I think the speed of the game is so incredibly fast,” Herbert said of the biggest adjustment from college. “As soon as I got down to Southern California, practicing with those guys, I threw a screen pass to Keenan [Allen], but Melvin Ingram reached up with one hand and picked it off like it was nothing, like he just did it regularly.”

Herbert said practicing against Ingram (who in 2021 played against Herbert with the Chiefs) was an eye-opener about how every single player on the field in the NFL was a great player in college.

“Ever since then I realized that every guy on the team was the guy where he was,” Herbert said.

Herbert is now the guy for the Chargers, but every NFL player has a moment when it hits him that it’s going to be a lot harder at the professional level.

11 responses to “Justin Herbert got his “Welcome to the NFL” moment practicing against Melvin Ingram

  1. ghjjf says:
    February 8, 2022 at 6:44 pm
    Proof positive that college football is and always will be a joke!

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    Absolutely not, its an important step in the process.

  2. Great story. How many QB’s never got that? BOOM. Welcome to the big time. It had to help. BIG JUMP from them to the Pro’s.

  3. txdr says:
    February 8, 2022 at 7:45 pm
    Brian Flores would be QB of the Chargers if not for the lawsuit.
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    This is categorically untrue. Bill Belichick personally chose the starting QB for the Chargers as he does for most NFL teams.

  4. I like Herbert but I’d have more respect for him if he’d have laughed at the NFL and “thanks. But no thanks” to the Pro Bowl MVP.

  5. “… was an eye-opener about how every single player on the field in the NFL was a great player in college.” Every player except Matt Cassel. He had 192 passing yards in college.

  6. Melvin Ingram is/was a freak of an athlete. At South Carolina he could do standing backflips while weighing 260+. There are rumors that he could throw the ball the entire length of the field.

  7. Godzilla says:
    February 8, 2022 at 6:59 pm

    Absolutely not, its an important step in the process

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    So is High School football, but you don’t see that being televised nationwide. The NFL product is lightyears ahead of college football.

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