“It felt good to finally get one,” Charlton said. “Hopefully this is the first of many, but it felt good to finally get one in an NFL game.”
Finally? It was only his second game -- second preseason game. Finally? He played in only 16 snaps in the Hall of Fame Game against the Arizona Cardinals.
“I’m just very impatient,” Charlton said.
So, too, are some fans and critics who overreacted to the first appearance in which he played just the first three series. When T.J. Watt put up two sacks in the Pittsburgh Steelers' preseason game on Friday, some of the ‘I-told-you-so’ doubters came out as well.
It hasn’t gone perfectly for Charlton in the training camp practices. The first-round pick has had some moments of success but also moments in which he was blocked by undrafted offensive lineman Nate Theaker.
In the first quarter against the Rams, he was credited with three tackles, a tackle for loss, a quarterback hurry and the sack. On the sack, he was able to move to the inside shoulder of left tackle Pace Murphy and power his way through.
Charlton gave credit to the defensive backs, but he got to Sean Mannion almost before the quarterback could set up after a play fake.
“I just think the biggest thing for all these guys is to understand the opportunity they have each and every day,” coach Jason Garrett said. “When you’re a defensive lineman, you have the opportunity to go against our offensive linemen in practice. What a great opportunity to get better. And you’re not going to win all the time, you’re going to lose a lot. But you just have to keep battling. He’s certainly done that. He demonstrated that in Michigan, he’s demonstrated that so far. And that’s how you get better. So, we’re going to give him plenty of chances to play in these preseason games and hopefully grow before our eyes. The fact that we have five preseason games is really valuable for all the young players and Taco’s included in that group. I think he’s getting better week-by-week.”
Maybe this is the first of many sacks.
“I mean, I played 16 snaps (last week). I think I played like 26 (Saturday), so 10 more,” Charlton said. “I guess the more plays, I can make some stuff happen.”