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Thread: Steve McLendon is the Steelers' Digest Player of the Week

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    Steve McLendon is the Steelers' Digest Player of the Week

    McLendon is Digest Player of the Week

    Bob Labriola
    Steelers Digest

    His night didn’t last very long, but when he was on the field, Steve McLendon was productive. Starting at nose tackle, McLendon played barely a half, but he made it count, with three tackles, including one for loss, plus a sack of Michael Vick on a third down to force a punt during a first half in which the defense allowed only 49 yards of offense and a single third-down conversion.

    McLendon is the Steelers Digest Player of the Week.

    Also considered were Chris Rainey, who had a 14-yard run and scored a touchdown by taking a screen pass 57 yards into the end zone; Emmanuel Sanders, who caught two passes including a 2-yard touchdown from Byron Leftwich; Al Woods, who intercepted an attempted screen pass and returned it 53 yards to set up a field goal; and Baron Batch, who carried the ball 19 times for 41 yards.


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    Thank goodness it wasnt Batch with his 2 YPC
    Crush your enemies, see them driven before you, hear the lamentations of their women.

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    McClendon has turned into a beast. He was collapsing the pocket even though he was seeing a lot of double teams.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Discipline of Steel View Post
    Thank goodness it wasnt Batch with his 2 YPC
    I understand that preseason is the time to experiment, but how often will Baron Batch be the RB inside the 5?

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    Batch seemed to have 2-3 guys hit him in the backfield every time he carried the ball. Seems to be that is on the sucktastic o-line we were fielding in the 2nd half.

    If Roquan Smith falls to late teens, trade 1.28 & 2.60 to SEA for 1.18 & 4.120:

    1.18 LB Roquan Smith
    3.92 FS Jessie Bates
    4.120 RB Royce Freeman
    5.148 DT Ken Norton
    5.165 TE Chris Herndon
    7.220 WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling
    7.246 OT Brett Toth

    If not:

    1.28 LB Leighton Vander Esch
    2.60 C/G Billy Price
    3.92 FS Jessie Bates
    5.148 DT Ken Norton
    5.165 TE Chris Herndon
    7.220 RB Ito Smith
    7.246 WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling

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    Steelers Display Good and Bad in First Preseason Game

    Written by: Kyle Curry on August 10, 2012.

    The Steelers played their first game of the 2012 preseason last night; luckily for them they still have 4 weeks to get better. The Steelers came out to a quick 13-0 lead, but ended up losing to the Eagles, in Philadelphia, 24-23. There was a lot of good and bad in the game, but overall the Steelers execution was below average at best. In the preseason wins and loses don’t matter; execution and player evaluations are the name of the game.

    The Good:

    First team – The first team offense drove the ball for almost ten minutes. They had to settle for a field goal, but they showed some good things. Ben Roethlisberger was sharp and the run game looked better than at most points during the 2011 season.

    Jonathan Dwyer – Dwyer played well as the primary back-up to Issac Redman. However, he suffered a shoulder sprain and was taken out of the game. Lucky for the Steelers the injury is not deemed to be serious and Dwyer should be back soon.

    Chris Rainey – The Steelers may have the steal of the draft in running-back Chris Rainey. Rainey didn’t disappoint in his NFL debut and score on a long touchdown catch and run. Rainey was a standout at Florida and looked like a a guy that could definitely contribute during the 2012 season.

    Myron Rolle – Rolle has a great career at Florida State, but missed an entire year as he was a Rhodes Scholar. Following his year off he entered the NFL Draft and was selected by the Titans. After failing to stay in Tennessee he was signed to a futures contract by the Steelers. Rolle is attempting to make the team as a back-up safety and special teams player. In his first game he played well; he still needs to get better to make this team, however.

    Brandon Johnson – Johnson was a free agent pick-up from Cincinnati and played really well at outside linebacker for the Steelers second team. He is trying to make this team as a back-up to Lamarr Woodley. He provided good pressure and showed good coverage skills.

    Byron Leftwich – Leftwich took a violent hit from Dominic Rodgers-Cromartie, but played very well and looked sharp. He will be Roethlisberger’s primary back-up in 2012.

    Antonio Brown – Brown looked good in his first game as the Steelers #1 option with Mike Wallace still absent. He played a big role in the Steelers first two drives that culminated in a field goal and touchdown.

    Steve McLendon – Some fan’s may have though Casey Hampton was out there, but the big body in the middle of the defense was the “Work in Progress” Steve McLendon. McLendon played well and even recorded a sack on Michael Vick early in the game.

    Al Woods – Woods is going to be one of the Steelers back-up defensive lineman and he played very well. He made the highlight reel with an interception that he returned inside the five yard line setting up a field goal for the Steelers.

    Drew Butler – Butler was the only punter in uniform for the Steelers as Jeremy Kapinos is out with a back injury. He punted pretty well for his first NFL game. He has a strong leg and a good chance at unseating Kapinos in 2012.

    Cortez Allen – Allen is in a big time battle with Keenan Lewis for the starting corner job alongside Ike Taylor. He got a lot of looks last night and played very well. He definitely is the only guy left in competition to start with Lewis as Curtis Brown struggled.

    Emmanuel Sanders – Sanders looked healthy which is about all we wanted to see from him. He also played very well and scored on a nice slant route from Leftwich.

    Alameda Ta’amu – Ta’amu played well and had some good pressure from the middle of the Steelers defense when he was in there. Ta’amu is fighting to be the primary back-up to McLendon, but will drop on the depth chart once Casey Hampton returns.

    David DeCastro – DeCastro was being questioned heading into the game. Fans were wondering why Mike Adams was playing better than him, but they both showed very different things. As you can see DeCastro is in the “good” section. He displayed why he was considered a great run guard and pull guard coming into the draft last night.

    Chris Carter – Carter filled in for Harrison and didn’t disappoint. He set the edge well and is in line to take over as the back-up outside linebacker pushing Jason Worilds down the depth chart.

    Sean Spence – Spence looked good in his first NFL game. He was able to pressure the quarterback, cover, and looked good moving sideline to sideline making plays.

    Rob Golden – Who? Exactly, Golden is a undrafted rookie free agent safety out of Arizona, but he made some nice plays last night. He looked good in coverage and on special teams and coaches notice the players that stand out. He may get some more looks if the team thinks he can be good.

    Adrian Robinson – abused the left side of the Eagles line late in the game and just may make this roster as an undrafted free agent outside linebacker. With Carter and Johnson potentially stepping up as back-ups the Steelers may keep a project and potential star in Robinson over the oft-injured Worilds.

    The Bad:

    Entire 2nd team O-line - In particular Kelvin Beachum, Mike Adams, and Trai Essex . However, all of the second team guys, Adams included, looked very bad in pass coverage. The Steelers gave up a discouraging seven sacks last night. Adams gave up two and a half sacks in a nine play stretch.

    Curtis Brown – Brown was also in competition with Allen and Lewis to be a starter at corner, but his play last night showed he isn’t quite ready to start in the NFL. Brown got beat multiple times last night. He will still contribute in 2012, but likely not as a starter.

    Special teams coverage – The special teams overall were bad too many penalties and big returns given up. The will need to work on their special teams coverage because 40+ yard returns are not ok in this league.

    Andre Freeman – Freeman, a rookie free agent, struggled in pass coverage and a missed tackle allowed a touchdown late in the game.

    Jamie McCoy – He is making this list for two blocks in the back that negated good returns on special teams. Not a good start for a guy who is a long-shot to make the roster.

    John Clay – Clay is probably the guy on the outside looking in at running-back and he only really stood out for a missed assignment on a third down.

    The Ugly:

    David Johnson who was expected to be a back-up tight end and the primary fullback on the Steelers offense was injured early in the game and carted off the field. Later reports have indicated that Johnson tore his ACL and will miss the entire 2012 season.

    This is a huge blow for a guy who was standing out early in the preseason. Will Johnson, the Steelers only other fullback, seems a lock to make the roster, unless they sign another fullback that performs better. This injury could also cause Haley to use a fullback less than he had expected in 2012.

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  7. #7
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    McClendon looked like a beast last night. Warren Sapp should get to know him better.

  8. #8

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    By Mark Kaboly

    Published: Saturday, August 11, 2012


    Nose tackle Steve McLendon views himself as sort of a new-age nose tackle because of his size, strength, body type and, most importantly, his ability to stay on the field.

    “Most nose tackles are first- and second-down guys,” McLendon said. “Actually, I can play first, second and third.” McLendon’s sack of Michael Vick on Thursday came in the Steelers’ nickel defense. Typically nose tackles for the Steelers come off the field for third down.

    McLendon led the team with three tackles, two for losses.


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    Steve McLendon Making His Chances Count So Far For Steelers

    Aug 11th, 2012 by Dominic Di Tolla

    Instead of droning on and on about a Prima-donna pass-catcher currently playing a losing game of “chicken” with the Steelers’ Front Office, I thought it would be nice to focus on the positives and talk about some guys which appear to want to play this season. Entering Training Camp 2012, one of the biggest question marks which faced the Steelers was the uncertainty at the Nose Tackle position. Veteran Pro Bowler Casey Hampton is likely be shelved for an extended period due to his knee injury, and veteran Chris Hoke retired this past offseason.

    Due to the franchise’s pressing need for a 0-Technique solution in the short and long terms, the Steelers drafted massive Alameda Ta’amu in the 4th Round of April’s Draft. And while Ta’amu figures to be the Nose Tackle of the future for this Defense, he is not projected to be the starter when the regular season begins. Why you may ask? Well that is because the Steelers already appear to have a short-term answer at the position: Steve McLendon, the former 2009 UDFA from Troy.

    McLendon & The 2012 Preseason

    Now bulked up (6’4″ 325 lbs. from 280 lbs.), McLendon has his best chance to make the most of his opportunity for extended playing time with the 2010 1st and 2nd stringers unable to play. And if McLendon’s continued development from 2009-2011 and his performance against the Eagles were any indication, the Steelers might have found themselves a terrific stop-gap at the position, and at the very worst, a terrific backup at the 0-Technique for years to come.

    In Thursday’s game versus Philadelphia, McLendon had himself a fine 1st Half with the 1st-Team Defensive unit, and was arguably the most impressive Steelers player that night. Overall, McLendon made 3 Tackles, 1 For Loss, and 1.0 Sack on Michael Vick as the Steelers took a 13-0 lead into Half Time. For his efforts, McLendon was named the Steelers Digest Player of the Week according to Bob Labriola on the Steelers’ team website.

    As I alluded to before, this will be a big season for McLendon as his only competition for playing time early on will be the Rookie Ta’amu. Coming off of a season where he racked up 13 Tackles and 1.0 Sack in limited reps behind Hampton and Hoke, the stage will be set for McLendon to have a career season at the 0-Technique. In addition, a fine performance in 2012 could really help McLendon as he will be a Restricted Free Agent after the season, and any indication that he will be a fixture on the 53-man roster for years to come should boost his RFA tender heading into 2013.

    Final Thoughts

    I will be rooting for McLendon this season as he has a golden opportunity to become yet another UDFA “diamond in the rough” found by the Steelers scouting department, developed by the Coaching Staff (most notably D-Line Coach John Mitchell), and succeeding due to his own hard work. Because “Snack” is shelved and likely has only a year or two tops “left in the tank,” and Ta’amu likely to go through a year or two development process, the starting job is now McLendon’s to lose for the time being. Thus, a strong preseason showing will make him a fixture in Pittsburgh (or elsewhere in the N.F.L.) for years to come.

    While it was only one preseason game, it was at least nice to see one of the Steelers’ players take advantage of his extended work with the 1st team unit. There are three more games left to go, and three more chances are left for McLendon to nail down a starting job and continue his solid development from raw and unheralded UDFA, to solid starting professional.


  10. #10
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    I don't know why they keep thinking this guy is a stopgap. If he keeps playing like he did at the end of last year and the one preseason game the guy is going to be a star. He becomes the nose tackle and Ta'amu has to look for another position or be relegated to a backup.


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