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Q&A: Melvin Ingram

Posted Apr 27, 2012

San Diego's first-round pick Melvin Ingram talks about working on a handshake backstage with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, his reaction to being selected and more.

Meet Melvin Ingram, the newest member of the San Diego Chargers.

Ingram, who made 26 tackles for loss in his last 27 games at South Carolina, is expected to boost the Chargers' pass rush.

He made 19 sacks in his last two seasons for the Gamecocks. At 6-foot-1 1/2, 264 pounds, Ingram can bust out a standing backflip and scored four touchdowns in his college career, running a fake punt 68 yards for a score.

Ingram answered some of your questions Friday.

Alex Wood; Aiken, S.C.

Melvin, what part of your game differentiates your skill set from everyone else? Also, it must feel good to be in sunny San Diego as opposed to Stephon Gilmore in frigid Buffalo! Go Bolts and go Gamecocks!

I would say what differentiates me from other players is I feel like I have my own unique style of play. I feel like I have my own relentless effort to be around the football. That’s where I separate myself from a lot of players. And I feel like I don’t pattern my game after any college players or NFL players. I just try to borrow some of the traits as far as being a hard worker, being relentless and having an obsession of being around the football, and I really take those traits from Ray Lewis.

Fernando Ramirez; Chula Vista

Hey, congrats on being a Charger, but why didn’t you look happy when you were selected? Were you surprised or what?

When I got selected, people said I didn’t look happy. I was kind of shocked. It was a reality check that let me know, ‘You’re finally a player in the NFL.’ It wasn’t that I was mad or I wasn’t happy. Reality hit me. It was like a dream come true and I really didn’t know how to express my emotions about it.

Thomas Bell; Diamond Bar, Calif.

Congrats Mr. Ingram. Since the Chargers invited you for a workout, did you have an idea that they wanted you or were you surprised? Also, how long did it take you and Mr. Goodell to get that handshake down?

When all the players met with Mr. Goodell, after we walked out, I told him, ‘I want to do something different, me and you. So we came up with a handshake and we practiced it a couple times, but while we were practicing, he did terrible. But then when we got to the big stage and the lights, he did perfect.

Tim Yee; San Diego

What do you have to say about the concerns regarding your “short arms?” Welcome to the BOLTS!

My outlook when people say I have short arms, I always tell people the same thing. Short arms do not define a football player. Just because you have short arms doesn’t mean you can’t play football. If that’s the case, everybody who has long arms should be able to play football. Short arms really aren’t a factor with me. It really doesn’t affect my play.

Eric Rarey; Anaheim, Calif.

Welcome to California! Who is your favorite pass-rushing linebacker in the game now, and who from the past do you admire?

I really don’t have a favorite pass-rushing linebacker. My favorite player is Ray Lewis. It’s always been that way. I feel like he is one of the most passionate football players there is and I feel like he has that relentless effort and he has obsession with being around the football, and I feel like you can be a successful defensive player when you do that.

Dayn Washburn; Stafford, Va.

Welcome to the Chargers! So glad we picked you. Do you like coming out of a three-point stance or standing up?

It really doesn’t matter to me. I feel comfortable doing both of them and I feel like I’m going to work that much harder to be dominant out of both stances.

Cris Breck

Hi Melvin, as a life-long Chargers fan I am really excited about your addition to the team. We need a pass rush and need to get back to the playoffs. I think just watching you play, you are probably the most explosive linebacker the Chargers have drafted since Junior Seau. What drives you to be successful on the field? And do you think you will be able to step in and make contributions right away? 

What drives me on the field is just having the opportunity to be blessed and wake up and do something that you love to do every day. Now I have the opportunity to get paid for what I love to do, and football is my life. I’m very passionate about it. I eat, sleep and live football. So that’s what drives me, and I feel like I can step right end and contribute big to next year’s season because I’m going to work hard and do everything my team needs me to do to have a winning season next year.

Melvin Garcia; Paradise Hills, Calif.

Do you think we can expect to see your incredible all-pads backflip celebrating a sack?

I don’t think it’s going to be the backflip. I think I’m done with the backflip for a long time now. But if I have a celebration, it’ll probably be something simple. It won’t be a backflip or anything like that.

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