Aug 9, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers linebacker Melvin Ingram (54) tries to go around Green Bay Packers running back Marc Tyler (26) during the third quarter at Qualcomm Stadium. Credit: Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE
By Travis Duncan
First impressions can be especially important in pro sports.
Reputations are quickly formed on National TV. The conversation begins, the adjectives and accolades are assigned, even if they are often formed on the smallest of sample sizes.
On the other hand, the tendency to put too much emphasis on an exhibition NFL game can be used to an advantage. A great start along with a ton of talent and ability, can lead to a tremendous rookie season and NFL career.
Journeyman tackle Herb Taylor against Chargers first-round pick Melvin Ingram, slated as one of the top defensive linemen/linebackers to come out of college last season, just was not fair.
Fair or not, Ingram arrived on the NFL scene and leveled a hit on arguably the biggest star in the NFL and arguably the best quarterback in the NFL, Aaron Rodgers, forcing the future Hall of Famer to throw a lame duck up the middle which was intercepted by defensive back Antoine Cason.
Ingram also broke up the first pass of the game, a pass from Rodgers intended for running back James Starks.
Ingram's performance probably was not a surprise to those who have followed him closely, including his head coach.
Chargers head coach Norv Turner, along with the rest of Chargers nation is downright giddy when talking about the steal of the 2012 NFL draft.
"Melvin brings a physical presence," Turner said after the game.
"He brought it from the first day he got here, it showed up at a high-level when we put pads on. And he's learning, I think when he gets more comfortable with what we're doing he's going to be even more physical and more explosive."
No. 54 was a force in a sloppy game. He brings the missing element on defense the Chargers have needed for several seasons. Every quarterback will have to keep an eye on No. 54.
"When you work hard and put pressure on a quarterback, even though you don’t get the sack, you’re helping to force that turnover," Ingram told Chargers.com
"It’s a defensive game of football, so it’s just an exciting feeling to have that opportunity to put that pressure to force that turnover."
"With some luck he could be available in four weeks, obviously it could go to six," Turner said after the game.
Chargers running back Ryan Mathews will be out for 4-6 weeks with a broken clavicle.
Brown, Curtis Brinkley and Jackie Battle will compete for the starting running back position or a share of the carries, with Brown having the upper hand.
"It's part of the game, I was impressed with the way Brinkley came in," Turner added.
"That's why Ronnie Brown is here."