The Pittsburgh Steelers didn’t just win their second preseason game vs. the Philadelphia Eagles, but they got some players some valuable experience. Of those who returned to the lineup, two veterans got their first taste of football with the black and gold.
That would be none other than offensive guard Trai Turner and linebacker Melvin Ingram.
After the victory, both spoke to the media about their first experience with the Steelers, and how they thought it went.
“It’s going.” Turner said. “Just building continuity. I was glad to be out there, glad to be with the guys and just build. Building some chemistry, building some trust. It’s an unsung thing knowing where I’ll be and knowing where they will be when I don’t know them exactly. Just kind of feeling each other’s footsteps and footwork. It’s good to get that in a game setting.”
Turner, being a seasoned veteran in the NFL, knows this is just the first step in the overall process to helping the Steelers see success in 2021.
“Today was a step, definitely was a step going against some new people, going against some different individuals, and able to get my feet in the water some. To have Mason [Rudolph] back there, that was different. Like I said, just being out with KG [Kendrick Green] and Dan [Moore Jr.] and the rest of the guys, I would say just building continuity. That’s important, especially going against a different team.”
As for Ingram, his role on the team is pretty clear. Versatility and experience to backup either T.J. Watt and/or Alex Highsmith throughout the season. How was his debut? He enjoyed the experience.
“I just liked the whole atmosphere, just the team and how we came out and played.” Ingram said. “Just the energy. We came out with an energy and just how we played, it was definitely exciting to be out there.”
Ingram spent his entire career with the Chargers before entering free agency, and he understands the difference between the Steelers and his former employer.
“It’s been phenomenal since day one. Just how they lead, just how they work and how they play.” Ingram said of the Steelers’ defense. “They come to work every day ready to put the work in no matter what the day is or what the occasion is. So, it’s a blessing to be a part of.”
Does Ingram feel he is where he needs to be?
“Yeah, I’m definitely where I need to be. I’m still a pro, I still understand how to put the work in no matter if we get preseason or not, but just coming out and being able to play today was amazing and I’m definitely where I want to be.”
The last question Ingram fielded was about what he has to prove to the Steelers, or himself, entering 2021.
“The only person I’m proving something to is myself. I don’t feel like I have anything to prove, it’s just I love playing football.”
If the Steelers can get quality output from both Turner and Ingram in 2021, it will go a long way to helping their respective units succeed. This was the first step of a long journey which hopefully ends with a Lombardi trophy.
Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare for the 2021 regular season.