On paper the Buccaneers appear to be thin at the defensive end position. The same cannot be said about the interior part of the line, however.
To go with All-Pro three-technique Gerald McCoy, 2014 free agent acquisition Clinton McDonald and veteran Akeem Spence, the team added a veteran Pro Bowler in Henry Melton, someone who they feel bolsters an already strong group of defensive tackles.
“Any time you have Gerald McCoy on your team, you have to brag,” said defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier. “He’s a special athlete. And then when you add Henry Melton to the mix, that should really improve our defensive line.”
While Melton will have a direct effect along the defensive line, the Bucs hope his presence will have an even greater impact beyond the front four. Essentially, depth at defensive tackle leads to a more productive pass rush, which leads to opportunities in the secondary.
“Our defensive line coach, Joe Cullen, always preaches on getting to the passer,” said Clinton McDonald. “If you can’t rush, you can’t cover, in a sense. Both of them work one and the same. Henry Melton’s just a great addition to this team as far as helping us get to the quarterback.”
And like McDonald, who won a Super Bowl with the Seahawks in 2013, Melton comes to Tampa with past success. The sixth-year pro joins the Bucs after spending four seasons in Chicago (2010-2013), where he was drafted by Lovie Smith, along with a playoff season in Dallas in 2014.
And for a 2-14 team trying to change the culture, McDonald thinks that kind of experience is just another reason why Melton was a good addition.
“Coming from his experience from Chicago and Dallas, teams that won and (were) successful, he brings a lot of camaraderie with himself as well,” McDonald said… “A guy like Melton, a former Pro Bowl guy, is a great asset to this team at this point.”
Zach is entering his 3rd year covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a writer for PewterReport.com. Since 2014, he's handled a large part of the beat reporting responsibilities at PR, attending all media gatherings and publishing and promoting content daily. Zach is a native of Sarasota, FL, and a graduate of the University of Tampa. He has also covered high school football for the Tampa Tribune and the NFL for Pro Player Insiders.
Contact him at: [email protected]
I think our DL atleast has decent rotation. I still don’t see our sack monster to get after the QB is on the team yet.
No we don’t have a sack monster yet! But 3 or 4 sack beasts in rotation will have to hold the line until we can get our own personal monster! lol!
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