More Expected Out Of Henry Melton................
Lovie Smith expects to see more from Henry Melton
By Mark Potash firstname.lastname@example.org November 4, 2011 9:38PM
Updated: November 5, 2011 2:10AM
When the Bears played the Philadelphia Eagles last season, Henry Melton didn’t make a big impact on the stat sheet — he had one tackle — but he still made an impact on the game, primarily as a third-down defensive tackle.
On the first series, Melton fought through a double team that allowed Israel Idonije to sack Michael Vick to force a punt. On the Eagles’ second possession, Melton pressured Vick into an incompletion that forced the Eagles to settle for a field goal. On the Eagles’ third possession, Melton had the initial pressure that forced Vick to scramble for a gain short of a first down.
That’s the Henry Melton that coach Lovie Smith wants to see on every play as a starter, not just as a situational player. And Melton said Thursday he has gotten the message.‘‘I’ve been trying to work as hard as I did last year,’’ Melton said. ‘‘When I was coming in and getting limited snaps, I would just go out there and every time go as hard as I could. That’s what I’m trying to do now.’’
Melton, who has struggled to make an impact after getting two sacks and six quarterback pressures in the opener against the Atlanta Falcons, had no problem with Smith letting him know the team expects more out of him in the second half.
‘‘It’s great motivation,’’ he said. ‘‘It shows me he believes I can do it and that everyone wants me to do it. There were high expectations of me coming into the season, that they expect out of me, my teammates expect out of me and what I expect out of me. So I [had] a great start. . . . I’ve been close the last few weeks, but I just haven’t made the plays I made at the start. I’ve got to make those plays.’’