Henry Melton lined up with Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs in Chicago, and later with Rolando McClain and Sean Lee as a member of the Cowboys, but claims his current team’s duo possesses a skill like nothing he’s seen before.
“We have the fastest linebackers I’ve ever seen,” Melton said of Lavonte David and Kwon Alexander after the game Sunday. “I’ve played with great linebackers – future Hall of Famers – but these guys are the fastest linebackers I’ve ever seen. They can flat out fly.”
Riding an emotional high, Melton said this moments after David capitalized on his pressure of Matt Ryan by intercepting the pass to seal a 23-19 victory over the Falcons. It’s plays like that, Melton claims, that separate the great players from the good and turn young teams into contenders.
“Everybody is good in this league. All it takes if for somebody to make a play,” Melton said. “That Jameis play, and Lavonte at the end – that’s all it takes. You have playmakers who are in the right spot at the right time, and the team can go as far as they want.”
Speaking defensively, the Buccaneers can go a long way if they follow the lead of David and Alexander. More specifically, Tampa Bay is hoping Bruce Carter or Danny Lansanah will follow suit, as it’s becoming clear that Alexander will be suspended for the remainder of the season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.
In his first 12 games lining up along side David, Alexander has been on par with the Bucs’ outside linebacker. The ascending duo both rank top ten in the league in tackles and have each contributed with four takeaways and six tackles-for-losses.
But above all, the splash plays are coming in critical situations – Alexander’s strip in Atlanta and David’s interception on Sunday, among others –and the entire defense is reaping the benefits. Time will tell if Carter can play at a similar level or if Lansanah’s versatility can make for an easy transition to the inside spot.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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