Chiefs’ defensive rise aided by newcomer Melvin Ingram’s production, The Supporting Voice – The Athletic


KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Melvin Ingram easily referenced players: Eric Weddle, Shaun Phillips, Takeo Spikes, Jarret Johnson, Dwight Freeney, Antonio Gates and Philip Rivers.

Every player mentioned by Ingram no longer plays in the NFL. These players, however, were mentors, older veterans who helped motivate defensive end Ingram to earn his accolades throughout his 10-year career – a triple Pro Bowler, 50 1/2 sacks and a former team captain.

Thursday marked the 38th day of Ingram’s new chapter. He became the Chiefs’ oldest defenseman when he joined the team on November 2, just hours before the NFL trade deadline. Since that day, Ingram, 32, has been both a student and a teacher, one player learning a new playbook as quickly as possible while offering guidance to a team of 46 players aged 29 or under.

“I’m just going out and sharing what I’ve learned over the years, how to study film, how to approach certain situations,” Ingram said ahead of practice Thursday.

Steve Spagnuolo, the Chiefs’ defensive coordinator, had an idea of ​​how he could use Ingram, a passer known for his intelligence, tenacity and power. Throughout the 38 days, Spagnuolo observed Ingram’s influence on the defense of the Chiefs, a group of players who just before his arrival began to transform into one of the best units in the league. Spagnuolo described Ingram’s personality inside the team’s training center as charismatic.

During the filming sessions and afterwards, Spagnuolo noticed that Ingram was not afraid to give his point of view.

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