The Buccaneers' defense was a much different unit over the final eight games in 2014 than they were in the first half of the season. During those final eight games of 2014, the Bucs found themselves in the top half of most statistical categories. Despite that improvement, the Bucs still changed over many faces on that side of the ball, one of which might become their secret weapon.
The Bucs might have invested most of their 2015 draft to offense again, but their main focus during free agency was adding players on defense that are familiar with Lovie Smith's scheme. Players like Bruce Carter (MLB), Chris Conte (S), and Sterling Moore (nickel) could all have big roles on the Bucs' defense in 2015, Henry Melton might end up as the Bucs most important addition in free agency.
According to our friends at PewterReport.com, Melton has spoken to the Bucs about playing some defensive end in 2015.
“I played a little bit at (defensive) end last year,” Melton said after practice last Thursday via Pewter Report. “They (Buccaneers) have brought that up to me and we’ve been messing with the rotation a little bit. We’re just going to take it into training camp and see what works.”
Melton has played a majority of his career at the 3-technique, a position that Gerald McCoy anchors on the Bucs defense. Melton totaled 13 sacks for the Bears in 2011 and 2012 before recording 5 sacks last year for the Cowboys. A slide to defensive end could lead to Melton getting much more playing time than originally thought.
The Bucs have been on the search since they drafted Gerald McCoy three coaches and two general managers ago. If Melton can provide a secondary threat to McCoy in the middle, Melton might just turn out to be the Bucs' secret weapon in returning to a dominant defense.
As Gil Arcia pointed out a couple weeks back, the Bucs are still searching for help at defensive end. Perhaps their search has turned from external to internal.Subscribe to The Commish Online Podcast on iTunes!
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