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Melton seeking more consistency

Posted by Larry Mayer on September 10, 2012 – 5:27 pm

Bears defensive tackle Henry Melton charged out of the starting gate with two sacks in Sunday’s season-opening rout of the Indianapolis Colts.

Melton also recorded two sacks in last year’s Week 1 win over the Atlanta Falcons, but then mustered only one sack in the next seven games. This season the 2009 fourth-round draft pick from Texas is determined to string together a series of productive outings.

“That is the thing I am going to try to work on this year, to keep going back-to-back instead of one amazing game and then kind of falling off and then a good game and then falling off,” Melton said. “I am going to try to work on my consistency.”

Melton heated up late last season, compiling four sacks in a five-game stretch to finish with a career-high seven sacks, tied for third most among NFL defensive tackles.

“I think he did enough good things last year,” coach Lovie Smith said Monday at Halas Hall. “We’ve been talking about Henry for a long time. Now we’re just judging him on this year. He played one regular season game and he played outstanding football.

“I just see him doing the same each week, no more than that. We’re going to keep taking it to the practice field and getting him better. He is a coachable guy. He does everything you ask him to do. There’s reason to think that just with maturity he’ll make that next step.”

Just like last year, Melton hopes to record at least 10 sacks this season.

“That’s just a personal goal,” he said. “But I know if I get double digits, then as a defense it’s really thriving off of me, and I want to win.”

Melton proved that he can do more than sack the quarterback Sunday when he knifed into the Colts backfield and dropped running back Donald Brown for a four-yard loss in the first quarter.

“A lot of people kind of just have me as a one-dimensional player that all I can really do is pass rush,” Melton said. “I want to be more than that. That is the first key; really getting off the ball. If you’re really getting off the ball on the run it’s going to translate in your pass rush.”

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Tillman recovering from leg injury

Posted by Larry Mayer on September 10, 2012 – 4:33 pm

Although the Bears did not practice Monday, they were required to submit an injury report to the NFL because they play Thursday night against the Packers in Green Bay.

Had they worked out, cornerback Charles Tillman (shin) and tight end Kyle Adams (shoulder) would not have practiced and tackle J’Marcus Webb (thumb) would have been limited.

Brian Urlacher also would have been held out as a precautionary measure as he works his way back following arthroscopic knee surgery.

The star middle linebacker started Sunday’s season opener against the Colts after missing more than a month of training camp and all four preseason games. Urlacher sat out most of the second half after the Bears had built a 20-point lead.

“I’m pleased with the way he played his first time out,” coach Lovie Smith said Monday. “You have to look at it like that. It was his first action when they’re cutting you live and having to take on blocks. I think he did a decent job with it.”

Tillman injured his lower leg while blocking during a Colts punt early in Sunday’s game. He returned for a couple defensive series before being replaced by Kelvin Hayden, an eight-year veteran who signed with the Bears in April.

“Of course we want Charles out on the football field as much as possible,” Smith said. “We felt coming in that we had three starting corner types, saying Kelvin is one.

“Kelvin came in, did a good job, had a big hit, and made a couple big plays, so it was good to get him into the mix. We’ll need all three corners during the course of the year. But we need to get [Tillman] back out there.”

Smith said that he expects Tillman to play Thursday night in Green Bay, but the Bears coach conceded that his “glass is half-full always.”

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Podlesh unaffected by injury

Posted by Larry Mayer on September 10, 2012 – 3:20 pm

Bears punter Adam Podlesh said Monday that the hip flexor injury that forced him to miss the final two preseason games did not affect him in Sunday’s season opener against the Colts.

“I didn’t have any discomfort,” Podlesh said. “My hip felt fine. I wasn’t on any painkillers or anything like that at all, not even Advil. I didn’t feel like I had to let up on any punts. It felt good.”

Podlesh averaged 41.6 yards on five punts with a long of 50 yards. He said he wasn’t tentative because he had tested out his leg during the week in practice and was fine.

“I felt like coming through the ball I wasn’t going to have to worry about my hip hurting just because I had had a couple of punt days where I really just didn’t feel anything,” Podlesh said.

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