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Thread: Steelers will count on 'Typical Steve McLendon' to emerge in Casey Hampton's absence

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    Hall of Famer SteelCrazy's Avatar
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    Steelers will count on 'Typical Steve McLendon' to emerge in Casey Hampton's absence

    Pittsburgh Steelers nose tackle Steve McLendon has changed his work habits, his expectations and his vocabulary this offseason.

    Aiming to fill the shoes of longtime nose tackle Casey Hampton, McLendon said he's no longer thinking in terms of "good," only "great."

    "This team has been built on greatness for so long," McLendon told Steelers.com today. "That's my kind of look. I'm not coming here just to be good, I want to be great. So I changed my mind, and I changed my work ethic."

    McLendon is charged with stepping up in the absence of Hampton, who former teammate Chris Hoke called "the best locker-room guy the Steelers had," according to the Post-Gazette.

    McLendon signed a three-year, $7.25 million deal in April, all but guaranteeing Hampton would not be back. A former first-round pick, Hampton spent 12 seasons in Pittsburgh and made five Pro Bowl appearances as the team's starting nose tackle.

    The Steelers are counting on McLendon to use his powerful frame to penetrate, occupy blockers and disrupt plays from the inside. He'll do that with a style all his own, he said.

    "The only thing I can do is be the typical Steve McLendon," he said.

    "And if you all would like to know the typical Steve McLendon, then I can tell you. I want to be powerful and strong like Casey. I want to be strong like Chris Hoke. I want to be quick and fast like Jay Ratliff for the Cowboys.

    "You put all those guys together and you get the typical Steve McLendon."

    Typical Steve McLendon is some 40 pounds lighter than Hampton, but has better length and quickness. He's expected to line up next to veteran Brett Keisel and former first-round pick Ziggy Hood.

    McLendon arrived in Pittsburgh as an undrafted free agent from Troy and had to work for every opportunity to this point. Now, he'll be relied upon to play a pivotal role in Dick LeBeau's defense.

    "I've been preparing like a starter since Day One," McLendon said. "I never came in here thinking I was going to be a backup. I prepare hard every day, I work hard every day. I listen to my coaches.

    "Opportunities like this, for a guy like myself, are hard to come by. That's why i have to play fast, play hard and play smart.

    http://www.pennlive.com/sports/index...ill_count.html

  2. #2
    "This team has been built on greatness for so long," McLendon told Steelers.com today. "That's my kind of look. I'm not coming here just to be good, I want to be great. So I changed my mind, and I changed my work ethic."
    This type of attitude seems to be a prevalent theme in interviews I've read since OTAs first started. Players like Redman, Troy, Woodley, now McLendon, and probably more who I'm forgetting. This drastic change after an embarrassing 8-8 season. Kind of funny because half of the teams in the league would celebrate a record like that. Just shows the difference in culture of the elite teams.

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    My enthusiasm has been tempered greatly, since last year hanging such high hopes on "prospects" Redman and Carter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shoe View Post
    My enthusiasm has been tempered greatly, since last year hanging such high hopes on "prospects" Redman and Carter.
    The difference is we've seen more of McClendon and know he has talent. I'm more concerned about the transition to playing every down. That may take some time and we could see a slide in his game and improvement the following year.

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    Steelers NT McLendon wants to be full-time threat

    By Mark Kaboly
    Published: Wednesday, June 5, 2013



    The Steelers' Steve McLendon celebrates a defensive play against the Browns on December 2012 at Heinz Field.

    Here today, gone tomorrow

    Steelers nose tackle Steve McLendon has been signed or released 11 times during his first 18 months in the NFL.

    Apr. 27, 2009 — Signed as an undrafted rookie free agent

    Sept. 5, 2009 — Released

    Sept. 6, 2009 — Signed to practice squad

    Nov. 25, 2009 — Released

    Dec. 2, 2009 — Signed to practice squad

    Jan. 7, 2010 — Signed to offseason roster

    Sept. 4, 2010 — Released

    Sept. 6, 2010 — Signed to practice squad

    Sept. 18, 2010 — Signed to 53-man roster

    Sept. 20, 2010 — Released

    Sept. 21, 2010 — Signed to practice squad

    Oct. 2, 2010 — Signed to 53-man roster

    Oct. 7, 2010 — Released

    Oct. 11, 2010 — Signed to practice squad


    Oct. 30, 2010 — Signed to 53-man roster

    Don't get Steve McLendon wrong — he's quite happy taking over for Pro Bowl nose tackle Casey Hampton.

    But the undrafted free agent out of Troy wants more … much more.

    McLendon wouldn't mind sliding over to defensive end on third downs when the Steelers are in their nickel package in order to showcase something a 3-4 nose tackle shouldn't be able to do — rush the passer.

    “I tell them not to take that pass rush from me because I can do that, I can rush the passer,” McLendon said. “I tell (defensive line coach John Mitchell) that all the time, but he won't let me.”

    It's possible McLendon just isn't beating the right ear. Maybe he needs to step up a level of management to be heard?

    “If he shows that he is capable of us helping us through three downs, I'll utilize him,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. “So tell him I said that.”

    Actually, the Steelers are more interested in McLendon being able to use his 320-pound frame on first and second downs to stop the run rather than chase the quarterback.

    Still, McLendon dropped 15 pounds from a season ago in order to have the opportunity to stay on the field on all downs.

    “I don't want to be good, I want to be great,” he said. “And great players don't come off the field.”

    McLendon showed enough promise last year in his limited opportunities to allow the Steelers to part ways with Hampton after 12 seasons. And he showed enough that when Green Bay expressed interest in the restricted free agent in April that the Steelers quickly responded with a three-year, $7.5 million deal for the 27-year-old.

    “Steve has a lot of potential,” veteran defensive end Brett Keisel said. “He's a good, hardworking kid who comes to work ready to work every day.”

    Despite being lauded by Mitchell before last year, McLendon didn't see the field a lot. He averaged a little more than eight snaps per game, which included a six-game span in the middle of the season when he averaged five.

    Still, he was able to make plays when given the opportunities.

    “We've seen flashes of him making big plays,” Keisel said. “It will be great to see it on a regular basis.”

    McLendon had two fewer quarterback pressures and two more sacks than Hampton despite playing in 370 fewer snaps.

    McLendon didn't let the lack of opportunities bother him. In fact, he believes sitting behind Hampton will do nothing but help him.

    “This is what I've learned here because I have seen it — we all have roles,” McLendon said. “They groom you just like a baby. When you come into this defense, you are an infant. You don't know anything. The three or four yearsyou are in this defense (when) you aren't playing are the most valuable. ”

    McLendon did a lot of learning over the past couple of years — that is when he was on the roster. The Steelers signed or released McLendon 11 times over a span of his first 18 months in the league.

    “Nobody probably believed in me, but I believed in myself,” he said. “I knew I could do it … actually, I knew I was going to do it. I never had a doubt that I was going to be a starter. My uncle told me that if I am going play football in the NFL that you aren't taking that field just to take the field. He said take that field to become a star.”

    And if it is up to McLendon, he would never come off the field.

    http://triblive.com/sports/steelers/...#ixzz2VMClN2il

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    This guy was sorely underused last season IMO.

    By the way, didn't Hampton say he's easily be able to find another team if the Steelers didn't renew his contract? How'd that work out big snack?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain QB View Post
    This guy was sorely underused last season IMO.

    By the way, didn't Hampton say he's easily be able to find another team if the Steelers didn't renew his contract? How'd that work out big snack?
    Yeah, he kept screwing up by showing he had the ability to pressure the QB. Why would we want our defensive linemen to do that when they could just do their job and "occupy blockers"
    Playing Fantasy Football does not qualify you to be the in the front office or on the coaching staff of the Pittsburgh Steelers. They are professionals and you are not!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oviedo View Post
    Yeah, he kept screwing up by showing he had the ability to pressure the QB. Why would we want our defensive linemen to do that when they could just do their job and "occupy blockers"
    You know, three years ago you would've been lynched for saying such a thing in Stiller Nation that could be taken as a shot at LeBeau. Now, I think more and more Steeler fans are wondering if Lebeau is past his prime now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain QB View Post
    You know, three years ago you would've been lynched for saying such a thing in Stiller Nation that could be taken as a shot at LeBeau. Now, I think more and more Steeler fans are wondering if Lebeau is past his prime now.
    I did say that three years ago and yes more and more people have been seeing that there is truth to what I have been saying even if I exaggerate for effect at times.

    Our defense is not working like it use too. We don't get pressure like we use to and the proof is the historically low number of sacks we have had the past few years. And LeBeau refuses to change because "his baby ain't ugly"
    Playing Fantasy Football does not qualify you to be the in the front office or on the coaching staff of the Pittsburgh Steelers. They are professionals and you are not!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oviedo View Post
    I did say that three years ago and yes more and more people have been seeing that there is truth to what I have been saying even if I exaggerate for effect at times.

    Our defense is not working like it use too. We don't get pressure like we use to and the proof is the historically low number of sacks we have had the past few years. And LeBeau refuses to change because "his baby ain't ugly"
    It could also be the talent. Hampton has always been the key to the 3-4 and he aged. Smitty is arguably one of the best 3-4 DEs in the history of the game. Take away 2 guys that need to be double teamed in their prime and the pressure is going down.

    Not to mention the new passing league where it's easier to get rid of the ball quickly.

    But the biggest problem has been, we haven't been collapsing the middle of the pocket. So if a QB can step up, it's harder for the OLBs to get to him.

    But that's all in the base D. With the emphasis on passing we're in the nickle/dime with 4 lineman all the time. And we don't get pressure then either. So saying the guys we have are better suited for a 4-3 isn't all that true either. Which is why I go back to the talent being the issue moreso than Lebeau.

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