Swag is a word you hear often these days.
Well, perhaps no one boasts more of it than defensive end Melvin Ingram, the man who also goes by “King Mel" and “SupaMel”.
The two-time Pro Bowler certainly plays with the type of swag and confidence needed to succeed in the NFL. However, it also pervades every aspect of his personality, which is what’s made him such a key influence on the team’s chemistry.
True to form, it was his swag once again on full display during the team’s first day of minicamp. Just check out his response when asked how he feels at this point in the offseason.
“Same way I look — amazing.”
Then there’s also this vintage Ingram remark when asked how he feels about turning 30.
“Amazing,” he said. “I feel like I’m 21 again, to be honest. I feel great. Like a kid in a candy store. (30) doesn’t mean anything to me. I’m not human, so it doesn’t mean anything to me.”
Just how rare is Ingram’s infectious personality?
Well, consider that Defensive Coordinator Gus Bradley has been among countless players during his coaching career yet admitted there’s something special about number 54.
“Melvin is one of those guys that, when he's back, he kind of lights up the room,” Bradley said. “He's a guy that sits right in the front row, right by me. We have our conversations up there before the meetings start, so it's good to have him back here.”
Ingram’s personality has left an indelible mark on the Bolts ever since he joined the Chargers as a first-round pick back in 2012.
Most recently, he came up with the team’s ASAP moto – Any Squad Any Place – that became the team’s rallying cry last season. It’s one the Chargers continue to embrace heading into 2019.
“That’s what it is,” he explained. “I’m not surprised (it’s resonated) because that’s what we were and that’s what we still are. It’s not something that we just make up, no. We created that by going out and performing no matter where we were. That’s what it was and that’s what it still is…. That’s how I live my life. That’s how I live everything that I’m about. Whatever obstacle that gets in front of me, it’s whatever with me and that’s how we all look at it. We don’t care who we play or where we’re playing. We’re about whatever.”
Ingram also isn’t shy to talk about the team’s Super Bowl aspirations.
Several times he remarked how that’s the team’s singular focus, and truly all that matters as the Bolts return following a conference-best 12-4 record. That’s why he defiantly denied feeling disrespected when asked if the Bolts are getting their proper due from the football world.
“We don’t have a chip on our shoulder (because) we don’t care about any of that,” he said. “We just care about what we’re doing. We don’t have a chip on our shoulder because of somebody else. We have a chip on our shoulder because we didn’t win a ring. It isn’t about New England, Kansas City or anybody else. It’s about us in this locker room, on this field, that’s what it’s all about.”