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Thread: Steve McLendon primed for bigger role?

  1. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Chadman View Post
    McLendon did not play well for a 3-4 NT last season. Teams ran at comparative will (compared to seasons past) against the Steelers. Its the role of the 3-4 DL to negate running lanes, which they simply did not do. McLendon is a member of that DL. Fans were getting on Vince Williams being the weak link in the D, but quite frankly, the D starts up front. If Williams is getting caught up by OG's off the LOS, the DL has not done it's job. Not only McLendon played poorly, but that does not give him a pass. But that's just run defense. Fans were getting on Jarvis Jones for only getting 1 sack last season. Go back & see how many times he closes in on the QB only for the QB to step INTO the pocket, leaving Jones clutching at air. Note- steps INTO the pocket. Now, McLendon is supposed to be some kind of penetrating NT right? How does a QB step FORWARD if McLendon is closing the pocket? The answer- it doesn't happen. The pocket didn't collapse in the middle. The poor play of the DL resulted in poor results for the LB's & also made our DB's look much worse. Fix the DL.
    It is the linebackers.
    Not only did we start a 6th round rookie inside but we lost the leagues best run stopping outside linebacker in James Harrison.

    In 2012, aging JH MISSED SEPTEMBER, and had more tackles than CLAY MATTHEWS has EVER had in a season.

    We don't have to guess. When we had quality linebackers, it made NO STATISTICAL DIFFERENCE, whether Casey was in or not. McClendon played PLENTY in 2012 and we showed no weakness based on him being in the game.

    We were the number one defense in the league, the best record in team history with Hoke starting in place of Casey who was injured most of the season.

    This team is 17-1 in games when Hoke started.

    During September 2012 we averaged 100 Yards rushing allowed. 88 the rest of the way. And THAT year we did not have a 6th round rookie starting inside.

    I know it sounds "smart" to say (in the elitist voice of Mr Howell ) "the educated fan sees the unheralded value of the nose tackle in freeing up the linebackers"....blah, blah, blah. I say that job does not require an elite skill set.

    Do you REALLY THINK we have a top ranked run defense with an average set of linebackers regardless the NT? It has never happened.

    We proceed to lose two of our top three run defenders, 3 out of 4 if you count Farrior from the year before at LBer and losing CASEY is the problem?

    I CAN say we have been the best defense in the league with a nose tackle (Hoke) who came out of college not being able to crack the all "Mountain West" team replacing our 1st round pick probowl NT. We all saw no difference in McClendon and Casey in 2012, many in fact were excited in what they saw in McClendon.
    Last edited by Captain Lemming; 05-04-2014 at 01:26 PM.

  2. #22
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    cap'n, you're making a very strong argument to go after Mosley in the first
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  3. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by birtikidis View Post
    cap'n, you're making a very strong argument to go after Mosley in the first
    When people wanted to foolishly go Nix in the first that is EXACTLY what I suggested if goal one is run defense.

    "NIX can't FIX a scub linebacker chosen in the SIXTH."

    However, with the talk of going corner I do like that route in this pass centric league.

  4. #24
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    On the Steelers: Starting nose tackle plans to be a heavyweight next season

    By Ed Bouchette / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

    Steve McLendon played nose tackle last season. Today, he looks like one.

    The Steelers did not just get bigger in the middle of their defensive line when they drafted 352-pound Daniel McCullers in the sixth round last month. They also got bigger because, well, McLendon got bigger.

    He added 17 pounds since last season and now weighs a robust 330 pounds at 6 foot 4. At 313, he was quick and speedy but admittedly wore down. He was overpowered at times by bigger players in front of him. He vows that won’t happen in 2014.

    “It’s time for me to step up and be a player for this team,” McLendon declared after another spring practice.

    McLendon last season replaced the longtime anchor at nose tackle, 335-pound Casey Hampton, and he promised to be a different kind of nose tackle — a lighter, quicker version that might even get to the quarterback more often.

    He said he dropped weight preparing for the role at the behest of his coaches, going from 328 in 2012 to 313 last season. It was some learning experience, as he got swallowed up and beaten up at times inside.

    “When you’re trying to hold a guy who weighs more than you, there’s going to be wear and tear on the body,” McLendon said. “Me staying there, I couldn’t do it. Me gaining the weight was the most important thing for me, I felt, to be a healthier and better player.”

    He swears he has not lost his quickness and promised his coaches he would not when he decided on his own to get bigger. He gained the weight by doing less long-distance running and more heavy weightlifting, along with consuming the usual permitted protein supplements. Along the way, he made sure he was not losing quickness, and, in turn, he became stronger.

    Statistics from the second half of his first season as a starting nose tackle are evidence of the toll his body took. After eight games, he had 19 tackles. He had only four over the second half of the season, when he missed two games with ankle injuries.

    “It most definitely wore on you, because you’re coming from not playing so many snaps to playing double and almost triple your snaps,” he said of the additional play at the lighter weight. “I’m definitely better prepared. I have confidence in myself. I don’t want to talk about it, I just want to show what I’m capable of.”

    He also worked on strengthening the muscles in his ankles so he does not have similar injury problems in 2014.

    “I want to make sure I keep those ankles strong because I want to be a player for my team. I am going to be a player for my team. They need me as I need them.”

    Steelers coaches privately talked about needing better play at nose tackle this year to keep the blockers off their linebackers, something Hampton did so well.

    “It was a learning season for me,” McLendon said. “I started off pretty good, I thought. As the season went on my body started to get beat down. It started to get tough for me. I continued to fight, no matter what.

    “I have seen it, I really understood what Casey had to go through. Those are tough seasons, especially as a young and new guy; people try to take advantage of those things. Now that I know that, I’m not a young guy, I’m not new to this system.”

    At least one analytical site gave McLendon, 28, high marks for his ability against the run last season. He received a 5.7 rating from Pro Football Focus, the highest they gave any Steeler against the run.

    The Steelers signed McLendon to a three-year, $7.25 million contract last year after he paid a visit to the Green Bay Packers as a restricted free agent. This year, they drafted McCullers and signed another nose tackle, Cam Thomas, as an unrestricted free agent. McLendon has a positive attitude about those additions and the return of another big nose tackle, Hebron Fangupo.

    “They want to start, I want to start; they want to play, I want to play. I’m going to do whatever I need to help them be successful and that will help me be successful too.”

    The job is McLendon’s and he aims to not just keep it, but throw his weight around more.

    http://www.post-gazette.com/sports/s...#ixzz33qdgoroI

  5. #25
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    Lets hope so....NT is the biggest hole right now
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  6. #26
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    LESSON LEARNED

    Jim Wexell
    Publisher SteelCityInsider.net
    Jun 05, 2014



    Steve McLendon lost his strength last year by overtraining in the summer months. The Steelers' nose tackle won't make that mistake again.

    Steve McLendon stood on the sideline between the two new giants of the Steelers' defensive line, Daniel McCullers and Cam Thomas, and for the first time looked like a nose tackle.

    Accused by some of being a defensive end because of his tall, 6-4 frame, McLendon up close shows off a moon face and round body that makes him look a lot more like Casey Hampton than at any time in the past.

    And McLendon couldn't be happier.

    "I feel a whole lot better," he said. "I'm at 330."

    McLendon said he was actually a bit heavier at this time last year. He said he weighed 335, but he ended up at 308 before the start of the season due to a maniacal summer of training. And he believes that hurt him.

    Experts call it overtraining.

    "Trying to get ready to play multiple positions last year, I wanted to be in the best shape possible," he said. "I knew the way I lost the weight probably wasn't the healthiest way, just running and running it off. I felt I ran myself into the ground because of just being nervous about being a starter and all the new things that come with it. Once I talked to all my mentors outside of football, they were like 'Man, it's something you've been doing all your life. Don't change up your habits and your routine. If you gain five to 10 pounds of muscle every year, take it.' They said that was the craziest thing I could've done."

    Of course, McLendon took over the Steelers' nose tackle position from the great Hampton last season. From the 335 at spring drills, McLendon got down to 313 for training camp by running "legit three times" a day. One of those runs was the team's conditioning test.

    "So by the time we came back here for our conditioning test, I killed it," he said. "I would run 100 down and 60-65 back. I wasn't tired, but it took a toll on me when the hitting and pounding started. That's when I started feeling it."

    During camp, McLendon lost another five pounds. So he was in great shape, but ...

    "I lost my strength," he said. "I could move quick, but I couldn't hold those guys off the linebackers, and that's what we're known for."

    And then McLendon, with his new body, pulled a hamstring in the opener. He struggled with that for a month, struggled with his loss of power, and then later in the season struggled with a sprained ankle.

    But he's back, stronger, heavier and rounder than ever.

    "I feel much stronger and so much more powerful. And I feel fast with it," he said of the extra weight. "At the end of last season, I was like, 'Man, I gotta get back to the stuff I was doing.' So I started back doing everything. And I feel better, man. I thank God for giving me the opportunity to see another year, especially doing something that we all love. Guys could be anywhere. I could be anywhere. But I got me here and I'm so thankful for it. I'm thankful for the day. Very thankful."

    http://pit.scout.com/story/1409061-lesson-learned?s=68

  7. #27
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    "I lost my strength," he said. "I could move quick, but I couldn't hold those guys off the linebackers, and that's what we're known for."............surely Steve is mistaken. It was all on the linebackers.
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  8. #28
    Accused by some of being a defensive end because of his tall, 6-4 frame, McLendon up close shows off a moon face and round body that makes him look a lot more like Casey Hampton than at any time in the past.
    He isn't close to 6'4. He was a little over 6'1 at his pro-day.

  9. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Chadman View Post
    "I lost my strength," he said. "I could move quick, but I couldn't hold those guys off the linebackers, and that's what we're known for."............surely Steve is mistaken. It was all on the linebackers.
    Yes, taking ownership, looking critically of his own play and wanting to get better......bravo Steve.
    Ben does the same when his line is horrible. But we draft linemen early not quarterbacks so WE KNOW where the problems were.

    Yes the linebackers WERE the biggest issue with the run defense.
    Proof?

    Round 1: Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shazier
    An ultra-athletic run-and-hit defensive player who will likely start in Week 1 opposite Lawrence Timmons.

    Yes, and we draft A SECOND LBer before addressing the "ever so pressing need" at the NT in the sixth round.
    Last edited by Captain Lemming; 06-07-2014 at 11:12 PM.

  10. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by birtikidis View Post
    cap'n, you're making a very strong argument to go after Mosley in the first
    The case was that a middle linebacker was a bigger priority than an NT to shore up the run D. Looks like the experts agreed with me.

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