Bears pleased with Melton's progress

Chicago Bears defensive tackle Henry Melton (69) sacks Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder (7) in the first half of an NFL football game in Chicago, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

INDIANAPOLIS — Phil Emery said on Jan. 2 that while Henry Melton clearly is an important part of what the Bears want to do on defense, he needed to show he’s committed to football and rehabbing from his torn ACL.  

Based on comments from Emery and Marc Trestman from the NFL Scouting Combine on Thursday, Melton is making a good case to try and get re-signed.

“He’s in every day early. He’s got to drive in from downtown. If you see him, you’ll see that he has been training and he has been working,” Trestman said. “He’s very focused. You’ll see he dropped some weight. He looks very good physically right now.”

Trestman mentioned that he sees Melton at Halas Hall every day, and that they spent 30-45 minutes talking together on Wednesday.

“… He’s committed to getting himself back and he’s got work to do to get there, but he’s in a very good place right now and we all understand the situation and we’ll see where it goes.”

Melton, who will be 27 next season, tore his ACL in Week Three against the Steelers. He played last year under the franchise tag and will officially be a free agent if not signed by March 11.

“We do want to bring back Henry, and we’ll work through that process,” Emery said. “He’s made progress, he’s made positive progress.”

Emery and Trestman were open about Melton's impact on the defensive front. The team's opening day base personnel was its most effective unit, with Melton in the lineup, allowing 1.94 yards per carry.

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