The Importance of Melton in the Middle

| August 20th, 2012

To read my immediate recap of Saturday night’s preseason game with the Redskins, CLICK HERE. Here’s a thought and a half from Saturday night…


One thing became apparent to me watching the Bears against the Redskins: If Henry Melton takes the next step in his progression, Lovie Smith will have the best defensive line of his tenure with the organization. In 2011 Melton had flashes of brilliance, leading all defensive tackles with 7 sacks, but lacked consistency on a play-to-play basis.

Early Saturday night, one witnessed how powerful this defensive unit can be when there is a significant push from the middle of the defensive line. The cover-2 was never as dynamic, never as powerful, never as exciting to watch as when Warren Sapp was knocking centers on their asses during Tampa’s Super Bowl season. The fear of Sapp turned mediocre talents like Simeon Rice into all-pro defensive ends.

The Bears had that in spurts from from Tommie Harris in the middle of the last decade. But never during the Harris era did the Bears have a defensive end like Julius Peppers. And never during Julius Peppers’ career has he played beside a tackle with Melton’s potential. If it comes together in 2012 for the Bears, the NFC North will be put on alert.


It has never even been rumored and I don’t understand why. Why isn’t Chris Williams moving back to the left guard position he seemed to thrive at during the 2011 season? Does anyone NOT believe the best alignment for the Bears on the offensive line to start the 2012 campaign would be Webb-Williams-Garza-Louis-Carimi? What has led anyone to believe Chris Spencer, moving to his third different position in three years, is a better option at the left guard? This seems like a no brainer, doesn’t it?