Henry Melton is a 6-foot-3, 295-pound defensive tackle for the Bears, but he started his college career at Texas as a running back, and now he may be moving back there — at least some of the time.
Melton told the Chicago Tribune at Wednesday’s Organized Team Activities that he’s been spending some of his time working with the offense, and he may line up in the backfield in short-yardage situations this season.
“I have some experience playing running back. [They’re] trying to bring me back, play some fullback a little bit,” Melton said. “We’ll see how it goes. I’ve got to go the right way first. We’ll get a hold of that. Hopefully you might see me a little bit on offense.”
Several teams have lined up defensive linemen in the offensive backfield, and the most famous example also came in Chicago, when William “The Refrigerator” Perry became a star during the Super Bowl-winning 1985 season. But Perry in the backfield was just a gimmick. Melton has legitimate experience playing the position, carrying 132 times for 625 yards and 16 touchdowns in two seasons as a backup running back for the Longhorns before the coaches moved him to defense.
“I played a little bit,” Melton said. “Trying to bring it back, see what I’ve got left. It’s fun. I’m trying to perfect my craft at defensive tackle. But it’s a fun switch-up. Any way I can help.”
It’s easy to see how an explosive 295-pounder who has experience at fullback could help the Bears’ offense.