4 big takeaways from the Steelers signing LB Melvin Ingram

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The big news out of Pittsburgh just days away from the start of training camp is the Steelers addition of free-agent edge rusher Melvin Ingram. Ingram gives the Steelers an experienced pass rusher opposite T.J. Watt to replace Bud Dupree. Here are our big takeaways from the signing.

Alex Highsmith just got demoted

(AP Photo/Justin Berl)

Alex Highsmith showed promise as a starter in place of Bud Dupree but the addition of Ingram changes everything. You can view this as a demotion of sorts but this gives Pittsburgh a more sure thing as a pass rusher while keeping Highsmith in the fold as an important rotational player on both sides.

T.J. Watt is a happy man

(AP Photo/Don Wright)

Last season, part of the reason T.J. Watt was about to be so successful was that he had Dupree on the other side keeping offensive lines honest. This will once again ensure that offenses cannot focus on him and must respect Ingram on the other side.

The secondary can take a breath

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

All of the success on the Steelers defense is predicated on the pass rush. This includes the play of the secondary. With losses at cornerback, adding another pass rusher up front gives the Steelers secondary some leeway while they sort out who is replacing Steven Nelson and Mike Hilton.

Pittsburgh continues to bank on health for one more run

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Ingram is the second free-agent signing after guard Trai Turner who is coming in on a one-year contract coming off of injury. If you figure in linebacker Devin Bush and offensive tackle Zach Banner, the Steelers are banking heavily on guys who are coming back from significant injuries to be full-time starters.

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