"Monday Night Football" is a big deal for NFL players. And when the game is played less than 20 miles from your high school, you're bound to feel extra excitement. That was the case Monday for Bears defensive tackle Henry Melton. The native of Grapevine, Texas, spoke with RedEye about Bears fans at Cowboys Stadium and roughing up Tony Romo.
Henry Melton: You could see all the Bears fans when we were coming in. It looked like a Bears tailgate out there. I was really surprised. I think a lot of Bears fans just moved down south to get away from the weather. [Laughs.]
There were a couple times when I was on the field on defense where I was pumping up the crowd like I was at home. You'll see me on film pumping up the crowd at an away game, you know? [Laughs.] I felt like half the stadium at least was Bears fans.
Jack Silverstein: You had two big plays: the sack, and the, um [pauses] the Briggs …
JS: On the inter- …
HM: No. Sack. It was a sack.
JS: It looked like a sack.
HM: It was. It will come back a sack.
JS: So take me through the sack-sack.
HM: It was just a little stunt that me and Shea [McClellin] put on. The key was that Romo does a little spin out—he turns his back to you and tries to spin away. You're not supposed to be expecting that he's going to spin out. You're supposed to completely miss him. But we've been scouting that all week on film. So I just tried to stay up on his upper right shoulder for when he was going to spin out, and he happened to run right into me.
JS: And the Briggs touchdown?
HM: I gotta give compliments to the guys, because I came in on third down on that drive. I was a little fatigued, so I took first and second down off, and then I came back in to get a good rush. Amobi [Okoye] and P [Julius Peppers] let me do that.
I honestly didn't know what happened. I hit his arm and I just felt the ball pop out. I didn't know if he'd shoveled it or if I ripped it out, but going back to film, I popped it out of his hands. I looked up and saw Briggs catch it, and he just blew by me. I felt the breeze and everything. And then I just put my hands up. I knew it was a touchdown.
JS: Yeah, he had a little shake getting around …
HM: Oh man, he was gone. I mean, we've seen him running on the field sideline to sideline, but when he had that ball in his hand, he hit another gear. That was the backbreaker. That hurt 'em. They just got a turnover, and they were going to try to go in and make it a game. And then that happened and I lost my mind. All I knew is that we pretty much had the game under control.
Special contributor Jack M Silverstein covers the Bears for RedEye. Say hey @readjack.
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