The San Diego Chargers didn't just lose their leading tackler when Manti Te'o tore his Achilles, they also lost one of their two defensive captains.
On Wednesday, the team named Melvin Ingram to take his place.
Ingram joins Brandon Mebane as captains on defense, and the nose tackle gave number 54 a ringing endorsement.
"He's a good choice number one, because he is a phenomenal player," he said. "As players, we always look to each other, and we expect a lot out of Melvin. We know what type of player he is, and Melvin is a playmaker in this league. He was the right decision. He is going to enhance our guys even more by the way he leads by example. The way he plays. The way he works. I thought it was a great choice because he also has a great attitude."
Getting to wear the C is an honor Ingram doesn't take lightly.
"This means a lot because it means everybody believes in me," he said shortly after finding out. "It's a blessing to be in this position. I'm going to be the same guy I've always been. I was always taught to lead by example, so that's what I'll do. You'll continue to see the same guy."
The fifth-year linebacker has grown as a player and person since being drafted in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft. He transformed his body over the past two years with a vigorous work ethic, and he's reaped the benefits on the field. Ingram became the first Charger since 2011 to reach double digits in sacks with a career-high 10.5, and leads the team this year in sacks (2.0) and pressures (10).
That type of leadership by example is what Ingram's teammates admire most in him. Jerry Attaochu has spent countless hours with his fellow outside linebacker over the past three years, and detailed why his teammates have such respect for Ingram.
"He is a leader first and foremost," he said. "And he does it by example with the way he comes out there each day and plays. He is motivating to all of us with the way he does that. We need that right now as a defense with Manti going down. When Melvin speaks, everyone listens."