KANSAS CITY, Mo. — As the Kansas City Chiefs prepare to take on the Green Bay Packers Sunday, they’re also working on getting their newest pass-rusher up to speed and ready for game time.
The Chiefs traded for Melvin Ingram from the Pittsburgh Steelers on Tuesday hours before the trade deadline.
“I’mma bring me. I’mma bring my style, my unique style of play,” Ingram said. “I’mma work hard and I’mma go in and try to contribute to what they got going on.”
Kansas City tried to land Ingram’s signature during the offseason when he was a free agent, but even after hosting him on a visit, were unable to come to an agreement.
The 10-year veteran said the fact the Chiefs came after him again before the trade deadline showed their belief in him and he wants to prove them right.
“God always got a plan,” Ingram said. “He brings you where he wanna bring you, when he wanna bring you.”
Prior to joining the Steelers, Ingram played nine years with the Los Angeles Chargers where he recorded 360 tackles, 49 sacks, 14 forced fumbles and 3 interceptions.
Ingram played six games this season with the Pittsburgh Steelers, tallying 10 tackles and a sack. As his play time started to shorten, it led him to seek a trade.
In Pittsburgh, he wore No. 8, and now will wear No. 24 with the Chiefs in homage to the late Kobe Bryant.
“I started off with the Kobe mentality from the beginning of this year,” Ingram said “It’s just a never-stop, never-give-up, keep-grinding type mentality and put the work In. Coming here, I wanted to keep that same mentality.”
Ingram and the Chiefs are very familiar with each other having been in the same division for a decade.
“It’s dope just to be on this side of it and to see that everything that you were thinking was true,” Ingram said.
“I’m glad he’s on my team. I know we play the Steelers later on in the year, so just glad to have him on our side of the football,” quarterback Patrick Mahomes said. “He’s smart, he’s a vet, he’s very crafty in the way he does things, he has all the moves, but he’s also really good against the pass and really good against the run as well.”
Aside from his talent as a pass-rusher and run-stopper, safety Tyrann Mathieu looks forwards to Ingram’s locker room presence.
“I think his talent speaks for itself,” Mathieu said. “I’m more excited about his leadership and what he’s going to provide on that end. So, I think our guys up front got another guy that they could use and rely on and hopefully, he can help complement the other guys that we have here already.”
Ingram’s status for Sunday’s game is on a day-to-day basis as he tries to catch up to speed with defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo’s defense and lingo.
His addition to the defensive line will team him up with Frank Clark, Chris Jones, Alex Okafor and Jarran Reed as they look to build on a much-improved performance against the New York Giants Monday night.
“They let guys play. They big on the rush so that’s another positive. They big on the rush and they got guys on that back end that play football for real, so that’s good,” Ingram said.
The 32-year-old said he can play linebacker or defensive end as he transitions from playing in a 3-4 defense to a 4-3 defense, and has high expectations for the second half of the season.
“From the outside looking in and now from the inside looking in, I think we got a chance to be special,” Ingram said. “I think that’s gonna come with time.”
And when it comes to the week 15 Thursday night matchup against the Chargers, Ingram was asked if he had it circled on his calendar to which he replied, “For what?”