Before Tuesday’s trade deadline, the Kansas City Chiefs sent a sixth-round pick to the Pittsburgh Steelers to acquire pass rusher Melvin Ingram. During Sunday’s 13-7 win over the Green Bay Packers, the trade appeared to pay almost instant dividends.
Ingram pressured quarterback Jordan Love on the Packers’ third play of the game — a third-and-6 from Green Bay’s 28-yard line. Love’s throw to running back Aaron Jones fell incomplete — and the Packers started the day with a three-and-out. Though Ingram finished the game with only one tackle, his presence appeared to make the Chiefs’ pass rush more formidable as a unit.
Speaking after the game, Chiefs head coach Andy Reid discussed his newest player.
“I thought he did well,” Reid said of Ingram’s debut. “Sometimes I’m on the bench, sometimes I’m up — so I don’t get to see every snap — but what I saw in practice, I liked. It looked like it carried over. He’s very, very smart. He’s got good leadership. I could feel that today on the ones I was watching. Then he was bringing it. He did a nice job.”
Two of Ingram’s new teammates agreed with their coach.
“I could tell he’s hungry,” cornerback L’Jarius Sneed observed, “And could tell he’s coming to work, definitely.”
“I like Melvin,” replied defensive end Frank Clark. “Even before he came here, I was a big fan of Melvin’s. We always had conversations and always talked to each other like [he’s] my big bro. So having Melvin — and adding Melvin to [the] bunch — is only going to help us out in the long run.
“He does some special things — some things everyone has yet to see here with the Chiefs. I feel like the way he’s going to be utilized in the future, it’s only going to be a benefit to us defensively.”
Though Ingram arrived from the Steelers, he is very familiar to the Chiefs after playing his first nine seasons with the division rival Los Angeles Chargers. Reid and Clark noted how the team had welcomed a longtime nemesis into the locker room.
“Our guys welcomed him in — which isn’t always the case with teams,” noted Reid. [Defensive line coach Brendan Daly] used all the guys. Everybody had a chance to get out there and rattle it around a little bit.”
“I might have been one of the first guys to hit him up after the trade happened,” Clark claimed, “And told him like, ‘Man let’s go, let’s get it in,’ because I was just excited, knowing that caliber of player — a player with his experience — [and] just how productive he’s been since he’s been in the league.
“Like I said, the special things he can do. Him standing up and him being able to move around are things that [are] beneficial to us more than ever.”
Ingram can now turn his eyes to the Chiefs’ next game against the Las Vegas Raiders — a very familiar opponent from his days with the Chargers. 10 of Ingram’s 50 career sacks have come against the Raiders.
Ingram has sacked Raiders quarterback Derek Carr nine times — including his lone 2021 sack during the Raiders’ Week 2 victory over the Steelers.