Can Only Help

March 13th, 2015
Henry Melton surely won't drag down the anemic Bucs pass rush.

Henry Melton surely won’t drag down the anemic Bucs pass rush.

If the Bucs don’t find someone to get double-digit sacks this season, it will have marked 10 years — 10 friggin’ years! — since a Tampa Bay defensive lineman had 10 or more sacks.

The last man to do that? You guessed it: Simeon Rice.

Look, you almost have to try to be that bad, to not have a guy hit double-digit sacks in a decade.

How many draft picks and how much Team Glazer cash were simply thrown away in an effort to address this (yes, Joe is looking right at you sackless Kyle Moore and ghostly, Snuggle-soft Michael Johnson, to name two of many)?

So it can’t hurt that Bucs coach Lovie Smith reached into his past and plucked Henry Melton off the street yesterday. Mike Renner of Pro Football Focus, typing for BSPN, claims Melton is an upgrade, but not the kind of upgrade Bucs fans and reasoned football minds are craving.

While he won’t be the answer to Tampa Bay’s woes in the run game, Melton can provide a legitimate situational pass-rusher alongside Gerald McCoy. Melton made his name in Chicago under Lovie Smith as the penetrating 3-technique that is essentially responsible for creating as much havoc as possible play after play. It’s a position already filled in Tampa Bay by arguably the league’s best 3-technique in McCoy. Melton’s size (6-foot-3, 295 pounds) and run defense (never had a season graded positively against the run) mean that he won’t be an every-down player, but he can still bring a lot to the table in a league where passing is so important.

With Dallas he was purely a sub-package player (433 snaps last season) and he has never really been a high-volume player for his career. The defensive tackle’s highest single-season snap total is just 639 and that came back in 2011. His usage in Tampa Bay shouldn’t be any different, likely only getting snaps in obvious passing situations and the rare spell of McCoy.

Melton has been superb in that role, though, and that didn’t change even after a 2013 ACL injury. His past three healthy seasons saw him rank inside the top 10 among defensive tackles for pass-rushing productivity, with a high PRP of 8.2 last season, and rack up 21 sacks. Teamed up with McCoy on third downs, the Bucs will have one of the league’s deadliest interior pass-rushing tandems.

Joe is certain Melton will be tried on the edge. The Bucs have enough decent-to-good defensive tackles as it is.

The draft is top-heavy with defensive ends, not so much in the later rounds. It would not shock Joe one bit if the Bucs try to trade back up into the first round from No. 34, their second round pick, in order to bag a defensive end.

27 Responses to “Can Only Help”

  1. Bama Rich Says:

    Can’t trust the draft to find an edge rusher. Just give Hardy the money and scare the hell out of the rest of the NFC South!

  2. Chocolatecvb Says:

    I don’t think I like the idea of trading up in the first round for a DE. Really need to get O-Line help desperately. If anything, trade down into the second round if the value at O-Lineman isn’t there.

  3. bucs4lyfe Says:

    yea he’ll probably fill in where bowers attempted to look like a football player at end and d tackle but it’s the kind of upgrade we are looking for because it’s quality depth which we need to keep players fresh up front. but please someone step up on the edge and make people forget hardy’s name, seattle has a dominating defense and they were 21st in sacks, bucs were tied for 22nd so who cares as long as we can get penetration and make quarterbacks uncomfortable

  4. Zam Says:

    I’m always wrongly optimistic at this time of year, but what you are describing sounds pretty good.

  5. Bucs55 Says:


    Seattle plays alot of man on man as well as they blitz much more than we do we play a tampa 2 were we are expecting pressure just using youre fromt 4 defensive lineman the right end its a real diffrence maker in the this defense expecually if he can get to the qb

  6. 87ForJameisNOMariota Says:

    It’s almost like there is some powers that be out there that is making us pay for our defensive domination back in the 90’s and early 2000’s.

  7. Teacherman777 Says:

    Hardy will take the money and party.

    He cant be trusted.

  8. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    “the rare spell of McCoy.”

    That depends if you consider 20% a rare spell. No not during seasons when GMC is healthy, but he has played 65 of a potential 80 games missing 20% due to biceps etc. I love GMC and he is a warrior but it is what it is.

    Melton give us a little backup just in case…..

  9. The Buc Realist Says:

    here is a question, Has anyone that the Bucs drafted ever had a 10 sack season? Simeon Rice was a free agent so that does not count, does anyone know???

  10. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    @ Realist

    Yes…..Glennon has been sacked at least ten times….

  11. Flumunda Cheese Says:

    They drafted Warren Sapp, Marcus Jones they both had 10+ sack seasons. I assume Selmon did as well, but didn’t verify it.

  12. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I’d just settle for a combination of 2 guys….making 10 sacks and earning their paychecks in the process….perhaps a couple of $2m guys…..that’s really not asking for much.

    I do think sacks are a bit overrated….I’d like to see some passes tipped and batted down on occaision….

  13. Bama Rich Says:

    Teacherman777, as long as he’s partying in the opponents backfield. I’m sure we can get more out of Hardy than we got out of Johnson.

  14. lurker Says:

    lee roy selmon and warren sapp had double-digit sacks

  15. lurker Says:

    nfl started tracking sacks in 1982

    selmon had 11 in 1983

  16. BucsFanInChina Says:

    Henry Melton played exclusively on the inside. Clinton McDonald is the one who will probably be kicked to the outside.

  17. Chris Says:

    The Buc Realist – Yes, the Bucs have drafted a DE that has recorded a 10 sack season. How dare you make me tell you the answer. Lee Roy Selmon!! I’m shaking my damn head at you.

  18. WS99 Says:


    Come on dude. How do you not remember the 1 DE we drafted that had 10 sacks 32 years ago? You call yourself a bucs fan. I have very found memories of the selmons specifically his daughter, if you know what I mean. Let’s just say he’s not the only sack monster, hello. Ty mr selmon for bringing that fine little lady onto this planet. #RIP

  19. 87ForJameisNOMariota Says:

    Off topic well sort of :

    “I think the word to describe my pass rush is just physicality,” the 6-foot-3-inch, 280-pound Clayborn said. “I’m not going to be the fastest guy around the edge and I’m not going to bull rush you over, but I’ve got a good combination of all of that speed and power. I’m just going to try and get to the quarterback.” -Adrian Clayborn being interviewed in Atlanta.

    That was for you Realist! lol

  20. Todd Says:

    Lol Melton a de lol at joe if he could do that dallas would have kept him.

  21. Buc-O's 82 Says:

    Well when the Glazers keep hiring the likes of Rah, Schiano, Lovie, licht, and Rock star , what can you expect? Actually says it all.

  22. Chris Says:

    WS99 – This is Lee Roy Selmon we’re talking about. You make it sound like I’m talking about some obscure name from decades ago and giving him a hard time for not knowing.

    “Has Tampa ever drafted a player that recorded a 10 sack season?”

    Yes, in fact it was their first ever draft pick. He’s the first Buc to get enshrined in the hall of fame. He has restaurants all over Tampa.

  23. Todd Says:

    Team is a joke they sign Collins and Johnson big fa busts! Bad drafting until the glazers hire the right people to run this team this will go on always. We need a de and lt and don’t tell me wait till the draft because we have proven we can’t pick in rounds 2 and 3.

  24. WS99 Says:


    You’re right. I’m just mess’n around. Although I’m sure he meant some in recent history. You know some of our fans are in there twenties. When you say the old days they think 98 not 78.

  25. Todd Says:

    Almost 10 years since 10 or more sacks here unreal

  26. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Hardy is the solution. Then take Eric Kendrick in round two for MLB and the defense is fixed…unless we need yet another safety also. Which is likely.

  27. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Todd Says
    “…we have proven we can’t pick in rounds 2 and 3.”

    No we have not.