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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