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Analyzing the First Team Defense

Posted Aug 8, 2014

The mix of veterans and rookies helped keep Dallas at bay during the first quarter.

After deferring the ball to the second half, the Chargers put their defense on the field first during Thursday night’s preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys.  It paid off.  While the Dallas run game started rolling, the Chargers D brought the pressure to keep the game scoreless at the end of the first quarter.

Third-season veteran Melvin Ingram hasn’t played a preseason game since his rookie season and relished being back out on the field.

“It was a blessing,” Ingram said.  “It was special just having the opportunity to be back out here.  The energy was very high; the fans, coaches, everybody really made it special out there.”

Ingram was coy during training camp about how he was going to get to the quarterback this season but his actions spoke for themselves Thursday night.  Facing a 3rd-and-18, Dallas quarterback Brandon Weeden was forced to throw the ball away after Ingram brought serious pressure.

How did it feel for the outside linebacker to rush an opposing offense?

“It was great,” Ingram said.  “I just try to play to the whistle and try to get to the quarterback.”

One of the new faces on the Chargers defense also brought the pressure.  2014 second round selection Jerry Attaochu enjoyed playing his first game under the lights of Qualcomm.

“It was a fun experience running out there,” Attaochu said.  “It was one of those moments where I felt like I’m finally here, so it was fun.”

On multiple plays during the defense’s first series, Attaochu brought the pressure making sure Dallas didn’t keep moving down the field. At one point, he and Ingram posted back-to-back pressures on quarterback Brandon Weeden.

“It was good to get out there and do what I like to do which is rush the passer,” Attaochu said.  “Our coach has put me in a good position to do that.”

Defensive Coordinator John Pagano has openly discussed how aggressively he wants his defense to play this season.  As a rookie, Attaochu has openly praised his coach and teammates for helping him get acclimated to life as an NFL player on the field.

“(Coach Pagano) encourages me when I do good things and coaches me up enough so when I come out here on the field it’s not foreign and more natural.”

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