Steelers LB Melvin Ingram explains reason for No. 8 jersey

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Steelers linebacker Melvin Ingram became one of the dozens of NFL players who bought into the league’s newly relaxed rules on jersey numbers.

Ingram, who was recently signed to add depth at the outside linebacker position, wore No. 54 for the first nine seasons of his career.

When asked why the change in number, Ingram sounded like a motivational speaker.

“New place, new me, new start,” said Ingram during his first press conference as a Pittsburgh Steeler. “And the first time I ever played football, my number was 44. Four plus four is eight.”

Ingram went on to add that the biggest reason is because of the late NBA legend Kobe Bryant. “Kobe is one of my favorite athletes.”

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