You'd think a day after Melvin Ingram signed his new four-year contract with the Chargers, he'd have a pretty big celebration, right?
Well, if you guessed celebrating on field for the first day of mini camp, you'd be right.
Ingram took to the field with the Bolts for the first time this offseason. With the franchise tag and new contract things of the past, he was ecstatic to get back to work.
"It's a huge relief," Ingram explained. "(It was) just a stressful time, but now that it's over with, it's all fun and games. You get to do what you get to do…. Stressful might have been the wrong word. It wasn't really stressful; sometimes it just got annoying. When people ask, 'Are you going to get this done? Are you going to get that done?' it kind of got annoying. Stressful wasn't the best word because I'm stress free. I'm living the American dream, getting to do what I love to do."
A premiere pass rusher in this league, Ingram notched 66 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, four forced fumbles and a team-high 23 QB hits in 2016. In addition, he ranked second on the team in sacks (eight).
But although he gets to come back and play the game he loves, there are many changes to this Chargers team including Head Coach Anthony Lynn and Defensive Coordinator Gus Bradley. As an edge rusher in the DC's 4-3 defense, Ingram is excited for his chance to get after the quarterback even more.
"I think it's going to be good," he said. "I think (Bradley) has a great plan in place for each and every one of us, and I think it's going to maximize our potential…. I just love (DC Gus Bradley's) energy. Just the way he comes out. He'll put a smile on your face because he's coming out with a smile on his face. He just wants to be successful and I think all of us want to do that. When we combine everything together, I think we have a great chance of doing that."
Bradley is someone Ingram has admired from afar. He's even picked his peers' brains about the type of coach he is.
"I've talked to people who have played under him. Everybody I've talked to *loves *him. Everybody says he's a great coach and he's going to come out ready to work every day. That's what we need. We need to be able to come out every day because we have a goal we're trying to obtain and that's the only way you're going to get to it."
The Los Angeles Chargers take the field to kick off mini camp.