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Boom or Bust: Will Melvin Ingram thrive where Larry English failed?

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Bolts4lyfe, May 3, 2012.

  1. Bolts4lyfe

    Bolts4lyfe BoltTalker

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    The San Diego Chargers have been down this road before, of course.

    Three years ago, at the 2009 draft, the Chargers drafted Larry English out of Northern Illinois, with the hope that his pass-rushing ability would translate to stardom at outside linebacker in the NFL. It hasn’t happened — at least not yet. English has had one disappointing season after the next, culminating in 2011, when he played just five games and finished with seven tackles and two sacks.

    So, San Diego hit the reset button with the 18th pick and selected Melvin Ingram from South Carolina.

    The similarities are obvious: English runs at 6-foot-2, 255 pounds; Ingram 6-2, 264. Both guys played primarily along the defensive line in college, then faced a move to linebacker in the Chargers’ 3-4. At one point or another leading up to the draft, English and Ingram were each compared to Pittsburgh’s LaMarr Woodley.

    The difference — or, at least, what the Chargers hope is the difference — is that Ingram already has shown the versatility to line up just about anywhere, which should make his shift to an OLB spot that much easier.

    First and foremost, here’s one of Ingram as a traditional 4-3 defensive end. On the play pictured he was matched up against a tight end as the left tackle pulled — Ingram blew through that block and got to the running back.

    [​IMG]
    That alone is a good sign for the Chargers, since, if Ingram lines up as a wide linebacker in the 3-4 and everything goes according to plan with San Diego’s defensive linemen, Ingram could find himself dealing with plenty of one-on-ones against tight ends.

    He has the size to engage them physically, but also brings enough quickness to the table to blow past them.
    Example No. 2 is as eye-popping a piece of evidence as you’ll find regarding Ingram’s raw ability. Here, he’s lined up as a defensive tackle — remember, 6-foot-2 and at a playing weight of around 275 last season — and shoots the “A” gap between the center and guard to bring down the ball carrier.

    [​IMG]

    A player of Ingram’s size simply is not supposed to be able to do that, and it speaks to some of the different ways that San Diego might be able to use him. While his best days are ahead of him as a rush linebacker, it’s far from out of the question that he slide down and play with a hand in the dirt up front. In fact, a lot of Ingram’s production during his senior season came from the tackle spot.

    Jerel Worthy, was mostly a 4-3 defensive tackle in college, but his size (6-3, 308) means he could be in for an adjustment period as he, most likely, shifts to an end spot in Green Bay’s 3-4. We’re talking about Ingram, at 30-40 lighter than Worthy, being able to take on similar tasks. Amazing.

    Now, two looks that put Ingram in a position more like what he’ll see in San Diego. This is still technically a 4-3 front from South Carolina last season, but the way in which Ingram is utilized converts well to a 3-4.

    He’s standing up wide on the left side of the Gamecocks’ line, then rushes straight upfield after the snap.
    [​IMG]

    Here’s another shot of Ingram in a stand-up spot — on this particular play, he showed blitz, then dropped back into coverage before eventually converging on the quarterback on a rollout.

    [​IMG]

    Assuming San Diego uses Ingram as a rush linebacker, he’ll probably slide even further out, but his experience at South Carolina gives him a pretty solid base to start from. It is that versatility that made Ingram such an attractive first-round prospect.

    The main knock on him was that he has short arms, which can be a problem for players trying to get past NFL-caliber linemen. San Diego figured he was well worth the gamble anyway.
    With all that information on the table, what is Ingram’s outlook for 2012?

    Best-case scenario: Ingram immediately carves out a spot on defense, at the very least as a replacement for new Chargers LB Jarret Johnson on passing downs. He also carries that collegiate adaptability to the pros, giving San Diego the freedom to experiment with him as a 3-4 lineman, both on the interior and at end. He makes those Woodley comparisons look completely accurate.

    Worst-case scenario: Ingram struggles to adjust to playing the majority of his downs as a 3-4 linebacker, and his short arms lead to him being dominated when San Diego tries to play him up front. He reminds San Diego fans, in all the negative ways, of English and only sees action in sporadic spurts.

    2012 prediction: English’s failures no doubt have Chargers’ fans holding their breath over this one. Everything that Ingram has shown on tape, though, indicates that he’ll be able to make the leap the pros and continue to be a dominant, disruptive force. He’s definitely an upgrade on passing downs over Johnson, a terrific run defender who has averaged about 2.2 sacks per season in his nine-year career. Given the chance, Ingram will succeed. Let’s set the line for 2012 at 30 tackles, six sacks, two fumble recoveries and one interception.
     
  2. matilack

    matilack Take A Knee McCree!!!

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    Our OLB depth is insane this year. If English is really 100% there is still a small hope he pans out as a solid rotational guy in the future.
     
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  3. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    Assuming, LaBoy is no longer on the team. ;)
     
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  4. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    I'm also hoping that English still pans out. And if he does, then LaBoy should be history.
     
  5. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    LaBoy should be history either way...... Gamble could hardly do worse, and for less money.
     
  6. matilack

    matilack Take A Knee McCree!!!

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    I don't see much reason to keep 6 OLBs on the roster, I think we go in with 5 and and we can withstand an injury or two.

    Phillips
    Johnson
    Ingram
    Barnes
    English

    If Gamble is still practice squad eligable we could stick him there.
     
  7. Bolts4lyfe

    Bolts4lyfe BoltTalker

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    Yeah I hope Gamble makes it on the practice squad, also you guys think they may move Jammer to nickel back?

    I think the safety position battle will be exciting this year and I think Cattouse has a good chance on beating out Stuckey and Polk. I still to this day have no clue who the hell Polk is hahahaha
     
  8. Ikeman83

    Ikeman83 Werter Pöbel

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    Ingram KEI: 71.5
    English KEI: 69

    English was also slower through the agility drills (3-cone, SS) and the 40.

    I think Ingram is coming in with a better body, and more experience at more positions playing against a higher level of competition.

    I don't expect it's a question of whether or not Ingram will be Englished. I think the question is whether or not we're going to get Elite level play or not. Keep in mind also that a large part of Larry's problem is that he A) is named Larry, and B) came from a small program and was immediately injured, which effectively started him behind, pushed him further back, and he's never gotten anywhere near our expectations because he's never played.

    I think he's a bust, but not because I think he's, for sure, an inherently bad player. I think he's a bust because he started out behind the 8 ball and was never healthy long enough to learn the skills necesary to be a good player.

    Ingram will most likely be a good player. The question is whether he'll be anything more than that.
     
  9. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    English's biggest problem was that he was injured, so he never really had a chance to develop. Whether he was worth his draft slot or not, is besides the point. The same can be said for Buster Davis.
     
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  10. HEXEDBOLT

    HEXEDBOLT Don't like it, lump it!!!

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    English already knows the system and if healthy may just be that extra icing on the cake. While Ingram may have all the tools the learning curve and being NFL ready go against him. It would be great if both of them have great years though, I'd have no complaints.
     
  11. boltssbbound

    boltssbbound Well-Known Member

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    I don't expect Ingram to have quite the learning curve Larry did. English came from a small school where he played almost exclusively with his hand on the ground. Ingram played in the best conference in college football (perhaps the toughest conference in college football history for a single season), and he lined up all over the defensive front. Ingram is also a better, more versatile athlete.

    In short, Larry had alot more developing to do and was hampered by injuries. If Ingram stays healthy, he should be an immediate contributor.
     
  12. HEXEDBOLT

    HEXEDBOLT Don't like it, lump it!!!

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    Other than he's never played in the Chargers 34 defense and a 16 game season, I agree with you.
     
  13. SuperCharger92

    SuperCharger92 Winners Win

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    Wasn't Gamble an ILB in a 4-3 in college anyways? I would prefer him inside at 6'2 - 255! Thats a big body inside..
     
  14. Bolts4lyfe

    Bolts4lyfe BoltTalker

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    I know its foolish to compare with Ingram not even stepping on the NFL turf yet. But, just looking at his film does anyone see a little John Randle in him? The explosiveness, athleticism, toughness, the ability to line up anywhere, Although Randle was a 4-3 DT and we're using Ingram as a 3-4 OLB. I was watching Sound FX last night on John Randle and couldn't help but see (Or hope) This being the player we drafted
     
  15. Ikeman83

    Ikeman83 Werter Pöbel

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    There are a lot of posts going around with this format:

    "Will Ingram be the next _______ (Insert name of impact player here)?"

    I hope that Ingram will be so damned awesome that people will start being compared to him, and not the other way around.
     
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  16. DenverBolt67

    DenverBolt67 BoltTalker

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    Him being healthy today before football has started, and being healthy come game 1, are totally different things
     
  17. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    Hoping for the best but remembering the times that Buster Davis started the year out healthy.
     
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  18. Enormo

    Enormo BoltTalker

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    If you watch the college tape, you'll often see Ingram beating defenders with his initial move.

    The only thing I saw from English were either sacks from missed blocks or valiant second efforts. Plus his injuries make me as pessimistic as I can get about a player before his 3rd year.

    For those reasons and others I don't think the comparison is terribly constructive.
     
  19. Ikeman83

    Ikeman83 Werter Pöbel

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    Ingram also has a Freeney-esque spin-move
     
  20. Bolts4lyfe

    Bolts4lyfe BoltTalker

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    Anyone see that special on NFL.com "Everything to prove" episode 2 has some scenes with him in it where he's at Lucas Oil Stadium and just listening to him being so passionate at wanting to be the best was awesome
     
  21. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    They also were both on Sports Science. ;)



     
  22. Ikeman83

    Ikeman83 Werter Pöbel

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    I don't think Ingram does the little "figure skater" hop in the middle of his though
     
  23. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    I think that's better actually. You get more push, if you don't leave the ground. You don't get as fast a rotation, but you maintain leverage better.
     
  24. Ikeman83

    Ikeman83 Werter Pöbel

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    I remember in 2005 watching a Colts/Bengals game while waiting for the Chargers to come on, and the Bengals had a Tackle, Guard, and a chipping TE on Freeney. I'll never forget it. If Ingram can even command a double team based on his athleticism and strength we'll be in business.
     
  25. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    Short arms or not, he looks like he'd be a handful for any one player to deal with...... even at the NFL level.
     
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  26. Ikeman83

    Ikeman83 Werter Pöbel

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    One thing I noticed about Freeney is that he holds his hands like a boxer. I'm curious how relevant long arms for a pass rusher actually are
     
  27. matilack

    matilack Take A Knee McCree!!!

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    In a matchup between DE and OT, the guy who gets his hands on the other first always has an advantage because he can lead the other guy where he wants him to go.

    I think a guy who has short arms like Ingram and James Harrison has to have exceptional quickness and hand placement to make up the difference for the OT being able to get his hands on him first. It also helps if you're one of those guys who just explodes off the snap and turns the corner in a flash like Dumervile or Mathis, but I don't see that kind of speed in Ingram.
     
  28. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    Will Ingram short-arm the skeptics?
    By Bill Williamson | ESPN.com

    [​IMG]

    One of the reasons why pass-rusher Melvin Ingram fell to the San Diego Chargers at the No. 18 pick in the recent NFL draft was his relatively short arms.

    The South Carolina product was expected to be a top-10 pick yet one of the few red flags on Ingram is he doesn’t have the long arms that classic pass-rushers have. Ingram’s arm length is 31.5 inches, according to Steve Muench of Scouts Inc.

    The Chargers aren’t worried about Ingram’s arms and were thrilled that Ingram fell to them. San Diego general manager A.J. Smith quipped to U-T San Diego about Ingram’s supposed issue:"I think Melvin will have the same problem Tyrannosaurus rex had millions of years ago."

    Still, teams prefer pass-rushers with longer arms because it allows them to separate quickly from offensive linemen. Still short-arm pass-rushers can have success. Two of the better pass-rushers in the NFL, Kansas City’s Tamba Hali and Minnesota’s Jared Allen, have arms in the same length range as Ingram.

    Muench is not worried about Ingram’s shorter arms being an issue.

    “The thing I love about Ingram is he makes plays on film and against the highest level of collegiate competition,” Muench said. “I think he has the motor, active hands and motor to overcome an concerns about his length.”
     
  29. Ikeman83

    Ikeman83 Werter Pöbel

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    I think that the advantage is a factor of the movement. If the OT can disrupt the rusher with his hands, then yes, you're right. I think what we're all hoping is that Ingram's combination of agility, speed, and strength will allow him to create questions for the OTs blocking him, so that they aren't just waiting on him and driving the truck as soon as they get their hands on him.

    Hopefully Ingram doesn't have garbage hand placement though.
     

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