By now, it’s obvious Melvin Ingram wasn’t used by the Pittsburgh Steelers the way he thought he would. Ingram clearly believed he was going to start and play more snaps than he did. When the group got healthy and it became evident Ingram was the third wheel in the rotation, he requested a trade. Pittsburgh obliged, sending him to Kansas City for a conditional 2022 sixth round pick.
Speaking as a Chief for the first time Thursday, Ingram discussed his time in Pittsburgh.
“The situation was, it was kinda different,” Ingram told Kansas City reporters Thursday. “I ain’t into telling lies, it was kinda different. It wasn’t what I thought it was going to be. But it’s good. It was a dope situation. I respect all of those guys. I respect Coach Tomlin, all the coaches. I respect all the players. It was definitely a blessing just to be there with those guys. I can’t sit here and downplay that in no way, shape or form. It was definitely a blessing to be there.”
A cordial though clear message from Ingram. What isn’t clear is the lengths he went to get out of Pittsburgh. If he went the James Harrison route and forced his way out or if he was more diplomatic. Based on these comments, it sounds like the latter.
Of course, how it happened doesn’t really matter. What’s relevant is that it did happen, Ingram’s no longer a Steeler, and where Pittsburgh goes from here. They’ll rely on Taco Charlton and Derrek Tuszka to serve as their EDGE depth the rest of the season. Charlton played well in ten snaps against the Cleveland Browns and figures to be the team’s top backup.
Ingram was then asked about Tomlin’s “volunteers, not hostages” comment he made during his Tuesday presser shortly after the trade.
On the surface, that quote may sound sinister. But it’s merely a Tomlin-ism to explain the Steelers want guys who want to be here. Those who don’t can go play somewhere else. That reduces any strain or tension or distraction inside the locker room.
Ingram will get a fresh start with the Chiefs, who will presumably use him more than Pittsburgh did. He’ll also get to play the Steelers later this season, Week 16 when Pittsburgh travels to Arrowhead.