That is why they traded Ingram to the Kansas City Chiefs.
He wasn’t getting the playing time he desired, and the team did him a favor.
But head coach Mike Tomlin made an interesting comment when he alluded to the fact he didn’t want players who felt like hostages on the roster.
#Steelers Tomlin on Melvin Ingram:
"From a team perspective it's better to have volunteers instead of hostages."
One of my personal favorite Tomlin-isms.
— Mike Nicastro (@MikedUpSports1) November 2, 2021
Ingram decided to offer up clarification on how he felt about the Steelers.
“I never felt like a hostage,” Ingram said, as shared by Pro Football Talk. “I don’t know what he means. The situation was kind of different. I don’t want to tell a lie. It was kind of different. It wasn’t what I thought it was going to be. It was a dope situation. I respect all those guys. I respect coach Tomlin, all the coaches. I respect all the players. It was definitely a blessing to be with those guys.”
Tomlin’s words didn’t appear to carry any malice, and Ingram still seems to think his time in Pittsburgh was simply a bad fit.
We have acquired DE Melvin Ingram in a trade with the Pittsburgh Steelers. pic.twitter.com/lUrqOez6KJ
— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) November 2, 2021
Clarifying The Comment
What Tomlin is saying is that he doesn’t want anyone on the roster who feels like they should not be there.
Obviously, using the term hostage may come off as extreme to some.
But if a player does not want to be there, that will only hurt the team’s goal of success.
That meant trading Ingram was the best move because he was not comfortable with his role.
He now gets a shot to help a Kansas City defense that has been struggling all year.
Ingram is 32 years old and even if he has slowed down a bit, he brings a veteran presence to the Chiefs defense.
He should also feel like more of a volunteer than a hostage in his new role as the Chiefs actively traded for him.
NFL coaches use silly terminology all the time that can be misunderstood.
In this case, Ingram may have just missed the point Tomlin was trying to make.