The Henry Melton X-File Grows

August 25th, 2015

MeltonRemember when Lovie Smith directly instructed Joe not to read much into Henry Melton practicing at defensive end because, per Lovie, Melton only practiced there because somebody probably needed “a blow?”

Yeah, well, Joe never bought that. And Melton started at left defensive end last night.

The Melton X-file is officially larger.

That’s where Melton played for a chunk of last season in Dallas. The former Pro Bowl defensive tackle had five sacks in the first nine games before fizzling out, while his surgically repaired knee didn’t seem up to a full season.

Last night, Melton collapsed the pocket on Andy Dalton leading to the first sack of the Bengals quarterback. Here’s the video. George Johnson got the sack officially, but he was on a delayed blitz and was cleaning up what Melton and Gerald McCoy served up off the edges. Melton bull rushed solid veteran Eric Winston and got him off balance.

Melton rotated with Larry English at the position. Melton didn’t look like a superstar, but he played quite well.

Just prior to last night’s game, former Bucs tight end and current radio color analyst Dave Moore shared his concerns for the Bucs getting abused in the running game this season because their defensive ends, Jacquies Smith and George Johnson, are lightweights under 265 pounds. Melton is listed at 290, and Joe would be stunned if he weighs under 280.

Joe wouldn’t bet against Melton starting at DE on opening day.

16 Responses to “The Henry Melton X-File Grows”

  1. ChanEpic Says:

    Melton, English, McCoy looked RIDICULOUS last night. I’m still trying to figure out if we’re that good or if Cincy is that bad.

  2. Getaclue Says:

    I feel really good about McCoy and McDonald at dt with McDaniel and Melton rotating in there and melton smith Johnson and English rotating at de. You sounded down on english before the game yesterday but I thought he showed some flashes last year, definitely more than gholston or any of the others that I didn’t mention

  3. mike Says:

    With great depth and play at the dt positions, the ends don’t get double teamed and get depth in the back field… gives the qb no where to go. Looks like the D could be very good this year!

  4. Another J Says:

    I was happy with the way the D-line looked last night.

  5. NewTampaChris Says:

    It’s hard to criticize anything related to the starting defense last night. Even with Cincinnati looking bad, the Bucs took advantage of those mistakes. Plus, I thought the tackling was way better than what I saw last season.

  6. BucinNC Says:

    Alexander actually looked pretty good. Haven’t seen that kind of speed in the middle for a while. If the line can get any form of oressure then our lbs can make more splash plays. That corp is freakishly athletic and fast.

    Can any of you guys remember the last time we were in plus territory multiple times in the first qtr of a game?

  7. BucsFan85 Says:

    I haven’t seen the Buc’s D look this good since…well late 90’s early 2000’s. I hope the dominating D causing turnovers, sacks, safeties, pick 6’s is back and better than ever. Although it’s preseason, that was our 1’s against their 1’s last night and it looked reeeal gooood.

  8. drdneast Says:

    Bucs defense made the Bengals look bad. I’m sure if the Bucs offense played like the Bengals did ChanEpic, you would just say it sucked as did the team. You wouldn’t wonder about it.

  9. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Personally, I think the Bengals offensive line was just really bad last night. I wouldn’t read a whole lot into the sacks we got.

    But…the good thing is that the defensive line got a taste of what it’s like getting sacks…and I believe that will inspire them going forward.

    I saw McCoy on the sideline saying “I told you it would come!” to his teammates. He’s trying to keep them fired up.

    McCoy is becoming quite the leader.

  10. OneLove Says:

    I was really impressed with how our D line played. Anyone who knows Hue Jackson knows he PRIDES himself on being able to run the football! I also LOVED seeing the look on Marvin Lewis’ face on the sidelines! I don’t think he is used to seeing his players getting MAN HANDLED the way they did! Glad to see the Bucs play with some intensity and hopefully this kind of play translates into the regular season!

    “It’s as simple as that” – Lovie Smith aka “AND YOU THOUGHT ALL I DID WAS CALL COVER 2 on EVERY PLAY!!”

  11. Damion Says:

    everyone did a great job, only thing I would have liked is for kwon to get a deeper drop on that pass that Swearinger lit the tight end up. That and the weakside lb let didnt contain weakside on the run that ended in a fumble. Besides that our defense did a great job.

  12. Wausa Says:

    DL looked great, LB’s looked very good and the secondary played well.
    Our QB is going to be a star as a rookie as long as we can give him decent protection.

  13. TB4Eva Says:

    The bucs defense looked like it could win some games for us last night. How those cannons fired when Verner leaped into the end zone… what a beautiful sight to see. But what I will mention is that the Bengals drafted two offensive linemen very early in this year’s draft, the guy from A&M and Fisher from Oregon and neither one of them played so it’s clear that they need work along that oline. Still doesn’t diminish the effort from our guys though. Promising stuff.

  14. buc4life1979 Says:

    That George Johnson sack was out of a old school 85 Bear 4-6 formation. I’m sure if u asked Lovie about it, he’d say to “not read too much into that,” or even turn it around and ask u if that’s really what it was. But yeah, I believe a caller asked about that possiblilty while u guys were paired up with the Big Dog a few weeks back, and after last night I found that very interesting. If I were to guess wht Lovie’s philoshphy might be while calling the defense, I’d guess bring pressure early to get results so that when u bring just 4 later, the 4 only rush is more effective. DEFINATELY worked on the Bengals last night.

  15. Pickgrin Says:

    I had a feeling Melton would be playing some DE this year. Johnson got in on the action last night with a good game – and I’m sure Jack Smith is chomping at the bit and ready to join the party as soon as he is cleared to play. It was really nice to see some pass rush for a change last night. Hope to see a lot more of that when the regular season starts.

  16. Stpetebucsfan Says:

    “if we’re that good or if Cincy is that bad.”

    Cincy has won 40 games in four years they are not bad! They simply are chokers in the playoffs.

    However I concede the Bengals were flat last night. But they are a good team and the game wasn’t even close. We totally manhandled them and imagine how bad it would have been without all the penalties.

    If the “real” Bengals had shown up it would have been closer but IMHO the Bucs still would have won the contest. Bottom line is that we have some talent this year!!!