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T.J. Watt says he's 'excited' to work with Melvin Ingram

Updated: Jul 24, 2021

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

The Steelers were in desperate need of a No. 3 outside linebacker, and they finally addressed the need prior to training camp by signing veteran pass rusher Melvin Ingram to a one-year, $4 million deal.

Ingram, 32, has a strong resume as a three-time Pro Bowler, and he recorded 49 sacks in his nine seasons with the Chargers. A knee injury limited Ingram to just seven games last year, and he didn’t record a sack and had just 10 tackles.

However, if Ingram can stay healthy, there's a ton of potential.

"I am excited," T.J. Watt said about playing with Ingram after Thursday's practice. "I worked with him during the Pro Bowl and I used to watch Chargers games when Derek was playing in San Diego and Los Angeles. He's just a player that has a lot of burst off the line of scrimmage. He's got a phenomenal spin move and just seeing him in person, he is a colorful guy and I am excited to work with him."

In addition to watching Ingram when he was with the Chargers, Watt got to know Ingram when they were at the Pro Bowl in 2018 and 2019.

"I watched him a lot," Watt said. "I was able to watch a lot of their games. He's one of the premier rushers in the league and I've watched a lot of his film and we connected at the Pro Bowl two or three years ago. He's a great guy and a great player. I am excited to have him here.

With Ingram now in the rotation, it gives the Steelers a nice trio of edge rushers with Watt, Alex Highsmith and Ingram. If Watt or Highsmith ever need a break, the Steelers know they have a serviceable and reliable player in Ingram to fill in. They didn't have that with journeyman Cassius Marsh and rookie sixth-round pick Quincy Roche.

"I am excited to have more depth, have a guy like Melvin in our rotation, in our room," Watt said. "A guy that I've watched a lot of over the years. A guy that I can learn a lot from too. Excited to have more depth, excited for our team."

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