The Pittsburgh Steelers were placed in a situation earlier this season in which they felt they had no other choice but to trade outside linebacker Melvin Ingram, a veteran they signed heading into training camp, who wanted to be traded. They eventually moved him for a sixth-round pick, despite being a solid rotational player, having grown unhappy with what he perceived his role to be moving forward.
That was unfortunate all around, as he seems to have been liked by the players and the coaches, generally, outside of his dissatisfaction with playing time. Nobody spoke ill of him when he left, and he praised the Steelers after he moved on, merely chalking it up to the experience being ‘different’ than he expected.
Alex Highsmith, essentially, was the reason that he was traded, because the Steelers were not going to play him over the second-year up-and-comer, yet Charlotte product earlier today expressed disappointment about the fact that he was no longer in the building.
“It really sucks that the Melvin situation didn’t work out, because he was a great guy ever since he got here”, he told reporters a short time ago following today’s practice. “I was thankful for everything he showed me, coming in, being a guy from North Carolina just like I am, being a guy from the 910, so it sucks the situation didn’t work out”.
Outside of T.J. Watt and Highsmith, the rest of the Steelers’ outside linebacker depth chart comes from players added after final cuts. Quincy Roche is with the Giants, Cassius Marsh is with the Bears, and Jamir Jones is with the Rams.
But they like the potential of Taco Charlton, a former first-round pick, who has now played in two games for them. “We’re excited for the guys we have right now, but Melvin was a great guy when he was here, so I wish him nothing but the best”, Highsmith said.
Asked whether or not Ingram was a mentor to him, he said that he was. “Since Melvin stepped in the building, me and him, I feel like we instantly connected. He taught me a lot. I was just thankful for everything he did teach me while he was here”.
Ingram played in his first game with the Chiefs this past Sunday, logging 29 snaps (46 percent of the defensive total). He registered one tackle. Pro Football Focus credited him with generating four hurries on 21 pass-rushing snaps, but was not graded positively in that area. He was graded higher in run defense.
As for Highsmith, he is not happy with how he is playing. He recorded three tackles and two hits Monday night on 49 snaps. He has 1.5 sacks on the season along with six hits, 28 total tackles, and four tackles for loss on 338 snaps played.