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Sun., Jul. 19, 2015 7:30 AM PDT
Tue., Nov. 24, 2015 10:00 AM PST
Ingram, Reyes Live Up to Hype
The San Diego Chargers had huge expectations for their first two draft choices this past April, and Melvin Ingram and Kendall Reyes did not disappoint in their NFL debuts. The duo wreaked havoc on the Packers all game long, giving fans a taste of what the youngsters can provide right away as rookies.
Ingram finished the game with two tackles and one QB pressure, but it was a big one, forcing an Aaron Rodgers interception that led to the game’s first touchdown. Reyes also made an impact, amassing one tackle and three assists along with half a sack.
While many rookies feel the game goes by too fast when they enter the league, this was clearly not the case for the young Chargers.
“I feel like me having the opportunity to play with some of the highest caliber players there are and at the highest tempo in the NFL, I felt like the speed was everything I expected,” said Ingram. “It was what my teammates and my coach prepared me for.”
Ingram was particularly pleased with his pressure on Aaron Rodgers that led to an interception.
“Words really can’t explain (how gratifying it is),” he said. “When you work hard and put pressure on a quarterback, even though you don’t get the sack, you’re helping to force that turnover. It’s a defensive game of football, so it’s just an exciting feeling to have that opportunity to put that pressure to force that turnover.”
While the Chargers first round pick claimed he didn’t have any nerves before the game, their second round pick admitted he had butterflies before the opening kickoff.
“I’m not going to lie, I was a little nervous,” said Reyes. “But after a couple of snaps I got comfortable…During pregame I was thinking ‘this is finally it’ but it went away during the game. There are still some things I need to work on but I just like being out there.”
The veterans of the defense came away raving about the duo’s performance and what they can bring to the table this season.
“They did a good job of translating everything they do in practice on to the game field,” said Takeo Spikes, the elder statesmen of the team. “At the end of the day, that’s the bottom line.”
The other members of the team reiterated the same opinion, and the look in their eyes as they spoke about the rookies spoke volumes about what they have already accomplished.
“The two of them did great,” said Antonio Garay. “I think the way I feel is the way everyone feels, and that is since they got here they have shown up to play every day. We are really excited about what they bring to the table and what they can do to help this team win. They both went out there and had great nights and showed tremendous talents working in with the first teamers. Athletically, there is so much speed with the two of them and they will really help this defense. I have big expectations for both those guys this year.”