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Thread: Steelers DE Cameron Heyward expects 'big season' for NT Steve McLendon

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    Legend hawaiiansteel's Avatar
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    Steelers DE Cameron Heyward expects 'big season' for NT Steve McLendon

    Steelers DE Cameron Heyward expects 'big season' for NT Steve McLendon

    By Neal Coolong on Apr 29 2014



    Most predict the strength of the Steelers' defensive line to be with Cameron Heyward, but the fourth-year pro thinks it will come from the man in the middle.

    Steve McLendon is all that stands between a future Pro Bowl defensive end and the unknown.

    On his left, Steelers 2013 breakout player Cameron Heyward. On his right could be a combination of newly signed free agent Cam Thomas, former seventh round pick Nick Williams and former undrafted free agent Brian Arnfelt.

    Heyward expects McLendon to be the catalyst that brings all of them together, according to a report from ESPN reporter Scott Brown.

    Many expected McLendon, and not Heyward, to have the breakout season in 2013. McLendon replaced stalwart nose tackle Casey Hampton, and mixed in with some injuries (and mixed reviews), he had a decent season. It wasn't exactly Hampton-like, but the hope was to let his pass rush and quick burst off the ball lead the Steelers' defensive line into a more aggressive penetrating unit.

    "Im expecting a lot out of Steve," Heyward told Brown. "Hes struggled with some injuries (in 2013) but thats part of the game. Hes definitely grown a lot and he sees his mistakes and definitely wants to be the best he can be."

    Heyward also said he expects Thomas to play both end and tackle, picking up the swing position vacated by Al Woods, who signed with the Tennessee Titans in March.

    He also mentioned Arnfelt has been working out with him frequently, and has learned a lot in his time with the veterans - Heyward and ex-Steelers DEs Brett Keisel and Ziggy Hood.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hawaiiansteel View Post
    Heyward also said he expects Thomas to play both end and tackle, picking up the swing position vacated by Al Woods, who signed with the Tennessee Titans in March.

    He also mentioned Arnfelt has been working out with him frequently, and has learned a lot in his time with the veterans - Heyward and ex-Steelers DEs Brett Keisel and Ziggy Hood.

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com...ne-depth-chart
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    Lets hope that Arnfelt quickly forgot any wisdom imparted to him by Ziggy Hood.

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    true lol philly

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    Quote Originally Posted by phillyesq View Post
    Lets hope that Arnfelt quickly forgot any wisdom imparted to him by Ziggy Hood.
    Let's hope the RDE is Keisel and not any of the options listed, with a rookie drafted as the future. I'm not exactly all amped about Thomas, Williams and Arnfeldt rotation at RDE.

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    1.15) Ryan Shazier - ILB/OLB
    2.46) Stephon Tuitt - DE
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    4.118 ) Martavis Bryant - WR
    5.157) Shaquille Richardson - CB
    6.173) Wesley Johnson - OT
    6.192) Jordan Zumwalt - ILB
    7.215) Daniel McCullers - DT
    7.230) Rob Blanchflower - TE

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    Gaping Hole at DE

    By Ed Bouchette Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

    Good morning,

    Various stuff today:

    --- Do the Steelers have a starting defensive end other than Cameron Heyward? They have mentioned Cam Thomas as a possibility but to hear Heyward talk yesterday, it sounds as though the former Chargers nose tackle will back up two positions, filling the role of Al Woods.

    I think hes going to be more of a swing man, as Al was last year, being able to play end and nose, Heyward said. Hes definitely got the body to play nose, but hes also got the agility to play outside as well. Well just see what hes comfortable with and well go from there.

    --- Want to meet a Hall of Famer, get an autograph or just be among greatness? There will be 100 Pro Football Hall of Famers at an event this weekend in Cleveland in which you can do just that. Among them: Terry Bradshaw, Jack Ham, Franco Harris, Lynn Swann, Mel Blount, Rod Woodson, Joe Namath, and Jim Brown to name a handful. For all the details and to buy tickets, go here.

    --- After just a few sessions catching passes from Ben Roethlisberger, Lance Moore has learned there is a difference between his new quarterback and his old one, Drew Brees.

    I would say Ben has a little bit stronger of an arm, maybe a lot stronger arm. Just from the couple of days with him here, thats something that kind of jumps out at me. If you are kind of lazy with your eyes I call it lazy with your eyes the ball will zoom right past you. Thats something that I will have to adjust to.

    I feel like the quarterback should never really have to adjust to the receiver. The receiver should make those adjustments and make things right with the quarterback, because they are the ones pulling the trigger. If they are waiting on you, its going to be tough for things to get done.

    Moore said that on Tuesday, the quarterbacks and receivers were running plays.

    We arent just throwing routes and stuff like that. That was kind of cool to bring that aspect in so early to try to get a leg-up on what is going on when we start doing more team organized activities here pretty soon.

    --- Moore stands only 5-9 and while he is ticketed to play in the slot, there is no obvious fellow starter right now opposite the 5-10 Antonio Brown unless its the 5-11 Markus Wheaton. There is a real opportunity for a top-flight rookie to come in and grab a starting job. If it is Darius Heyward-Bey, the Steelers really are in trouble.

    --- Scott Chrichton, a raw undersized defensive end at Oregon State, had high praise after his visit with the Steelers. A guest on Tuesday on Sirius XM NFL Radio with Pat Kirwan and Jim Miller, Chrichton said, I was one of those kids who wanted to play for the Steelers. Im a big Steelers fan. That was my team growing up. When I went over there it was just like a dream come true. I just fell in love with the place.

    At 6-3, 273, this Washington state native whose parents are from Samoa is probably better suited as a 4-3 defensive end. He should be drafted in the second or third round.

    --- YOU: I recently saw a picture of John Stallworth leaping to make a catch against the Cowboys. On the next page was a photo of Antonio Brown weaving through traffic with the ball tucked under his arm. In looking at these two shots I realized that the shade of "gold" in the Steelers pants has changed dramatically. Stallworth's are actually gold while the new ones are closer to yellow. When did this change occur? It slipped past me somehow. I wish they would go back to the classics.

    --- ED: Maybe the color just faded.

    --- YOU: Why do teams distinguish anymore between a "pass-catching tight end" and a WR? (aside from the Saints, who have a pretty good reason to do so) To me, Tony Gonzalez, Jimmy Graham, and others are just wide receivers who happen to line up close to the line and occasionally chip on a defensive lineman. I don't see how this is any different from Hines Ward, but nobody was calling him a TE. What am I missing?

    ED: I agree with you and have said that forever. How can you compare someone like Tony Gonzalez with Heath Miller. Gonzalez plays only half the position of tight end because he does not block. Its like some of the fullbacks/tight ends known as H-backs. There is no official NFL category for H-back and thats been around since the Joe Gibbs 80s Redskins teams.

    --- YOU: Seems this year there is more speculation by draft gurus & fans...Can't remember when the mock picks are changing almost daily. That being said. Realizing Steelers prime needs at CB/WR. If either one on their 1st round list is not available (I'm assuming at 15 it might happen quickly - especially if there is not a run on QB's) what are chances the Steelers try to move down a few slots if they can swing trade to get an early-mid 2nd round pick? (I do not see them trying to move up)

    ED: I think they would be good that they would try, not so sure they would be able to pull it off and get reasonable return. But its definitely a possibility. Moving up in the first round, as Ive said, is less likely.

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