The folks at Gatorade reached out to us Bolthype with the opportunity to talk to Chargers first-round pick Melvin Ingram about their Beat The Heat program. We like Gatorade...we like #54 Ingram...sounds like a win-win to me! Enjoy a few moments getting to know the newest Chargers outside linebacker, Melvin Ingram.
Jeff Williams: Melvin, how you doin? We’re really excited to have you in San Diego!
Melvin Ingram: Yes sir, I’m very excited to be here
Jeff: I’m really looking forward to the upcoming season. But first, let me ask you about the Gatorade Beat The Heat program. Can you tell me a little more about what you’re doing with Gatorade in regards to this program?
Melvin: Yeah, the Beat The Heat program is a good program. It educates athletes about the importance of being hydrated in sports during hot summer days, out there practicing for a long period of time; it teaches you how to hydrate yourself and refuel yourself to get you back to point A.
Jeff: What exactly has it taught you that has changed that way you train to make sure that you do beat the heat?
Melvin: It’s taught me a lot actually about the right things to put in your body. Being out there in the hot sun it kind of wears and tears on your body, and Gatorade shows you that the proper fueling helps you to stay safe. You can perform better when you put the right things in your body. Your body is what got you here, so you gotta treat it right so you can go out and perform at a higher level.
Jeff: I had a chance to meet LT last summer when he was doing something with Gatorade, reaching out to a lot of high school kids talking a lot about nutrition and proper hydration- it’s a really cool program put on by Gatorade.
Melvin: It’s a very cool thing that Gatorade is doing and it’s a very helpful thing.
Jeff: Absolutely. Are there concepts that you learned in the Beat The Heat program or at the Gatorade Sports Science Institute that have really changed the way that you practice and the way that you train now?
Melvin: There’s a lot of things I’ve learned. It shows you a whole different way to train, a way to control your breathing and things of that nature.
Jeff: Are these concepts that you’ve been able to share with your fellow teammates, maybe fellow rookies there with the Chargers?
Melvin: Yes sir, I tell a lot of people, when we’ve been conditioning and things of that nature, I tell them to control their breathing, to slow their breathing down and breath in through their nose and out through their mouth, and to consume the right things. If you go out on your days off and you put bad things in your body you can’t expect for your body to come back and perform at a high level. Gatorade taught me a lot about consuming the right things so you can come back and perform at a high level.
Jeff: So being at the head of this year’s Chargers rookie class, do you feel that you carry any extra influence among your fellow teammates who are working out with you in this first week of training camp?
Melvin: Yes sir, I feel like I carry a lot of influence, but I feel like anybody can just be a leader by being vocal. I feel like where you can call yourself a real leader is when you can go out and lead by example. I try to go out and lead to the best of my abilities and let them follow (my example).
Jeff: Do you think that having that role of first round pick and coming in as a highly regarded rookie outside linebacker puts any extra pressure on you, not just to be a vocal leader but to perform?
Melvin: I wouldn’t say it puts a lot of pressure on me because pressure is something I never really ran from. Being a part of this football club; it comes with the territory being the number-one draft pick. So I just take it in stride and try to go out and do it to the best of my abilities.
Jeff: So what has it been like being one of the new guys on the Chargers and one of the new guys on the defense?
Melvin: It’s been a great experience being around the great group of vets that we have out here, the high caliber athletes as far as the offensive and defensive side of the ball, so I just look at it as a blessing to have the opportunity to be in California, in one of the most beautiful places in the world with the best weather and the best fans on one of the best football clubs in the NFL. Such a blessing.
Jeff: You can’t knock it, right?
Melvin: No sir!
Jeff: I know you’re a really diverse guy. Do you have any hopes of getting in on an offensive play or two?
Melvin: (Laughs) You never know. If God has that in my plans, and the coaches have that in my plans then I’m willing to do it.
Jeff: So is there any truth to the rumor that you’re in the running for the 3rd QB spot?
Melvin: No sir!
Jeff: We can always hope. Is there one or even a few veteran players on the Chargers who have taken you under their wing and are showing you the ropes, so to speak?
Melvin: I wouldn’t say just one player, I would say every player. Every player on this football club has given me a piece of advice at some point in time. That’s why I say it’s a blessing to have a group of vets like that to all chip in and give me advice is just a dream come true.
Jeff: The nice thing about the defense your playing on is that there is a lot of experience; there’s a great group of veteran linebackers with Shaun Phillips and Takeo Spikes, and I’m sure you’re going to be learning a ton from those guys. What’s it been like working under coach Pagano?
Melvin: It’s been a great experience. He is one of those people who is just helping me out, both day in and day out, so it’s been a great experience. He’s a great football coach.
Jeff: Do you have any sense of how the coaching staff plans on using you on game days?
Melvin: I can’t really tell you how they are going to use me on game days. All I know is they tell me they have a great scheme for me, a great package for me to go in and have a successful rookie year, so I’m just going to go in and work hard and do whatever they tell me.
Jeff: It should be a lot of fun watching how it all unfolds. How much time have you been able to spend in San Diego since you got drafted?
Melvin: I’ve been out here a nice amount of time.
Jeff: So what’s your favorite thing about being in SD?
Melvin: The weather.
Jeff: It’s hard to beat it, right? Do you have any favorite hot spots, or any favorite activities that you’ve picked up in the last few months out here?
Melvin: No sir, I’m just out here enjoying the weather and enjoying being part of the football club, so it’s just a blessing.
Jeff: Very good, man. We’re really looking forward to seeing you out there this year. Here at Bolthype we have high hopes for you guys. Have a great season, and it was definitely a pleasure talking to you.
Melvin: Thank you.
I really enjoyed talking to Melvin. Gatorade stuff aside (really, it's a great program), Melvin seemed to genuinely appreciate the opportunity he's been given. He doesn't seem to be caught up in the hype; he truly seems focused on working hard, getting better, and making a difference.
Will Ingram be the difference maker we all hope him to be this season? Maybe. Nothing against Ingram, but on this unit he seems to be just one more piece to a larger puzzle. That outside linebacker puzzle, mind you, has a chance to collectively be very good. And should the injury bug rear it's creepy head, it's nice to have Ingram in coach Pagano's back pocket to fill in at linebacker. Or defensive tackle. Or safety. Or long snapper. Where ever they need him, I think he could come through.
What is your prediction for Melvin Ingram in his first season?
Follow Jeff on Twitter: @JSWilliams75
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