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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Henry Melton Wowed by Gerald McCoy

"His work ethic is crazy," Melton said about McCoy.

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When Henry Melton arrived in Tampa after the Bucs signed him as a free agent this spring, he spoke about how excited he was to team up with three-time Pro Bowler, Gerald McCoy. Why wouldn't he be – both players were among the ten-best pass-rushing defensive tackles in the league last season, per Pro Football Focus.

Melton has had a relationship with McCoy since the two met at the Pro Bowl in 2012. But they had never played together. Seeing McCoy in action during the Buccaneers' Organized Team Activities (OTAs), though, has given Melton a newfound respect for the Bucs' defensive captain.

"I really didn't realize how good of a player Gerald is," Melton said in a one-on-one interview with Senior Writer Scott Smith. "His work ethic is crazy. I'm just learning from that and trying to be a better player."

McCoy is glad to have Melton in Tampa, too. After Melton was signed, McCoy sent him a text congratulating him on signing. "Yeaaaaa boy!! We 'bout to tear something up," McCoy said. "O-lines 'bout to hate us rushing."

"Ya nightmare," Melton replied.

Photos from Day 8 of OTA practice at One Buccaneer Place.

Melton is new to the Bucs, but isn't new to Head Coach Lovie Smith's defensive system. He played under Smith for three seasons in Chicago, during which he earned 15.5 sacks and a Pro Bowl nomination. His familiarity with the scheme, McCoy said, makes him a valuable asset.

"I think it's always great to have guys that have been in the system that you play," McCoy said during a press conference in April. "Coach (Smith) did a great job of bringing in guys who have been in the system that we play, guys have won games in the system that we play so they bring a lot of experience – something we need."

On Wednesday, the Bucs will take the field for their ninth of 10 OTA practices before reporting for mandatory mini-camp next week. So far, Melton likes what he's been seeing from his new team.  

"We've got a lot of new guys," Melton said. "It's been exciting to see everyone meshing together. The team camaraderie is coming together. I'm just excited."

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