EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 23: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) Greg McElroy #14 of the New York Jets is sacked by Melvin Ingram #54 and Corey Liuget #94 of the San Diego Chargers at MetLife Stadium on December 23, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Chragers defeated the Jets 27-17. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Two rookies and a second-year.
On paper, it doesn't scream intimidating defenders.
But then you go to the film.
Rookie Melvin Ingram out of South Carolina tosses Jets’ quarterback Greg McElroy to the ground, with fellow linebacker Shaun Phillips close at hand. A momentous moment for the two.
With that sack Phillips took over sole possession of the second-place spot on the Chargers’ all-time sacks list. It was Ingram’s first NFL sack.
Among his rookie class, Ingram is fourth in the NFL against the run.
Within his team, he and rookie Kendall Reyes are tied for a team high of 18 QB pressures.
Reyes, who joined the squad in the second round of the 2012 draft from UConn had a career high 3.5 sacks against New York in week 16. That’s the most by a Chargers rookie since 1986. He is tied for fourth in his NFL class with a season total of 5.5 sacks.
Then there’s the old guy of the group: defensive end Corey Liuget.
Liuget was joined the team in the first round of the 2011 draft. He scored two sacks last week in New York and now holds eighth place for sacks among his NFL class.
Liuget started out with a slow rookie year, making many question whether or not he was going to be a good pick-up for the team.
There are no questions now.
These three are aggressive, quick, and capable of keeping up with their Pro-Bowl teammates like safety Eric Weddle and linebackers Philips and Takeo Spikes.
“We’re young and we’re hungry,” Liuget said. “And we definitely want to let that be known.”
In a season where not much is going right within the Chargers’ organization, head coach Norv Turner says those three are definitely right.
“It’s something that I think is a positive for this organization,” Turner said. “We’ve done a good job in the last two or three years. That’s an impressive group of young players and I just think they can prove a great deal.”