When it comes to adding talent in the middle of a season where a team is already a playoff contender, the Kansas City Chiefs couldn’t have done much better than they did with the addition of Melvin Ingram III. His presence has bolstered the Chiefs’ pass rush when they needed it most, enabling Chris Jones to slide back to the inside without compromising the edge rush that fans in Kansas City crave from the team’s defense.

Pundits have pointed to the acquisition of Ingram as the turning point in the team’s season since they traded a sixth-round pick to the Pittsburgh Steelers for him ahead of Week 8. Some of his offensive teammates have praised him for the juice that he brings on the field, which we’ll surely see from the 10-year veteran on wild-card weekend.

Chiefs’ safety Tyrann Mathieu reflected on Ingram’s presence during his media availability time on Thursday, telling reporters that his impact has been felt both on the field and in the classroom.

“He just has a knack for really understanding blocking schemes and what offensive lines want to do, what coordinators want to do, and it kind of helps him anticipate what’s coming,” Mathieu said of Ingram. “I think anytime you have guys on the field that can really use their instincts to the defense’s advantage, I think it’s beneficial to the rest of us on the team. He’s a great leader, he’s a great communicator as well especially in the classroom with the coaches so he’s a guy that we feed off. Not just on the field, but off the field in the classroom as well so he’s been big for us.”

Few players in the NFL have had the impact on their team’s defense that Ingram has in Kansas City, but the work is far from over as the most important part of the schedule is just about to get underway. With everything on the line and so much at stake, Mathieu’s comments should instill some confidence that Ingram’s presence will be a gamechanger against his former team. Whether it’s something…

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