Henry Melton came into the NFL in 2009 as a fourth-round pick out of the University of Texas.
Melton got his first playing time this past season. He played hard when he was out on the field. He flashed potential during his rookie year, 2009, but suffered a season-ending ankle injury during the pre-season.
Melton appeared in all 16 games last season making 16 tackles, three sacks and one forced fumble. Melton’s first sack came in week 10 against the Vikings. In that game Melton sacked Vikings QB Brett Favre.
Melton was a part of a much improved defensive line that included Julius Peppers, Israel Idonije and Matt Toeania. Melton will be a vital part of the Bears next season.
He will get his shot to start because the Bears like what they saw out of him. He is an athletic player who can come right in and replace the recently cut Tommie Harris.
I had the chance to catch up with Henry last week and I asked him about everything from the NFL lockout, high school football and food he likes to eat Chicago.
Q: First of all how are you doing Henry?
A: I'm doing great thanks for asking.
Q: Was it always your dream to play in the NFL?
Since I was young, it was always my dream to play in the NFL. My uncle, Ray Crockett played in the NFL and I grew up watching him.
Q: What is your take on the NFL lockout and how are you dealing with it?
A: I'm just taking it day by day, working out and staying in shape.
Q: How different is it playing for the Chicago Bears than the University of Texas?
A: It's not a dramatic difference besides the fact its in the NFL. Chicago and Texas both have huge fan bases and I love both of the cities. It does get pretty cold in Chicago especially comparing to Texas.
Q: What is your pre-game ritual?
A: My pre-game ritual is nothing special if I had a good game the week before I try and do the same thing I did to prepare for that game.
Q: What does your work out consist of?
A: My work out mostly is just consisted of maintaining. It's a long grueling season so you try and do things to keep your body where it needs to be to perform at its best.
Q: What kind of drills do the defensive linemen get put through?
A: The defensive linemen get put through a lot of bags and cones. So you just gotta keep your hands fast and your feet quick.
Q: You're projected to be part of the defensive line rotation next year, but your going to have to earn it. How do you deal with competition?
A: I love it.
Q: I know you played running back in high school and in parts of college at Texas, how different is defensive tackle than the running back position?
A: The defensive tackle is completely different in every way except trying to stay low and keep your feet moving.
Q: What did the veteran lineman teach you in your first two years with the Bears?
A: The defensive line is a tight group. Everyone wants each other to succeed, they taught me alot of important things.
Q: Where do you go to eat in Chicago?
Lou Malniti's, I love their pizza.
Q: What kind of music do you listen to? What TV shows do you like to watch?
A: Hip hop, R&B and whatever else is catchy. I'm not much of a TV show guy, I'm more into movies and my Xbox 360.
Q: Who is the person who helped you get to this point?
A: Everyone close to me in my family including my mother, sister, and uncle.
Q: What is your favorite vacation spot?
A: I dont know I need one though, I just spend time with my family in the off-season.
Q: Do your friends and family ever come to the games?
Yes my mother and sister try to make all of the games.
Q: Who are your closest friends on the team or in the NFL?
The entire defensive line.
Q: What is your favorite part of football?
Q: Does the cold bother you at all during games because the last game at soldier field was very very cold?
The cold isn't that bad once you start getting the blood flowing. Using the heater every now and then never hurts either.
Q: What team in the NFL did you cheer for growing up?
A: The Denver Broncos, they were the team my uncle played on from 1994-2000.
Q: Last season, was great seeing you out on the field and playing hard. What do you feel like you have to improve on for next season?
A: Just learning the position more that comes with more repetitions.
Q: What is your favorite part about the off-season?
Getting my body back to 100% and spending quality time with the family.
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