With a new offensive coordinator in Mike Tice, the Bears have a blank slate and a license to try out new schemes on offense. They can even reach over to the defense and see if there are any players who could help the Bears cross the goal line.
Henry Melton, who played running back at Texas for two seasons before finishing his collegiate career at defensive tackle and joining the Bears D-line, is getting a few carries at fullback.
“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. 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 ... you might see me out there a little bit.”
While at Texas, Melton had 132 carries for 625 yards and 16 touchdowns. The Longhorns used his big frame to get in the end zone.
It's not unprecedented for the Bears, either. In the 80s, William Perry had eight carries and came up with two touchdowns. At the time, Perry's 6-foot-2, 325-lb frame was an anomaly in the league and tough for offensive lines to stop.
Melton is 6-foot-3, 295 lbs, which hardly makes him a giant by today's NFL standards. The advantage he has over Perry is that he's a more athletic DT who actually has experience running the ball.
It's only June and the Bears have plenty of time to figure out their offense, but they are showing an openness and creativity that is nothing but promising.