Steelers Film Room: Can Steve McLendon Be a Three-Down Nose Tackle?

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August 19, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) is sacked by Pittsburgh Steelers defensive tackle Steve McLendon (90) during the first quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

“They’re old and slow,” Sapp told “The Dan Patrick Show,” saying he saw “old, ornery veterans get whooped” up and down the field. Regarding Casey Hampton, one could definitely agree with Warren’s statement. Big Snack is one of my favorite Steelers of all time, as I have experienced first hand what a great guy Casey is. As much as I loved Big Snack as a Steeler, his career went on a steep decline in recent years. Casey Hampton was a staple in the middle of the Steelers defense since 2001, taking double teams, opening up lanes, and man-handling guards and centers week in and week out. Last season, it was rare to see any of that, and while Casey was a fantastic Steeler for 12 seasons, his time as a starting nose tackle for the Steelers has come to and end.

Coach Tomlin’s favorite phase to use over the years has been “next man up.” In the case of the nose tackle position in 2013, it is time to turn to the man the Steelers have been grooming the past three seasons. An undrafted free agent coming out of Troy, Steve McLendon has been a reserve for his entire career. He is ready to step into the spotlight.

Earlier this offseason, it was reported that Steve McLendon would be visiting the Green Bay Packers. Not long after that report, it was announced that the Steelers had resigned Steve McLendon to a 3-year deal worth about 7.5 million over the three years. It then became obvious that McLendon was definitely in the Steelers plans, almost forsure as their starting nose tackle. Last preseason, McLendon flashed great potential, making splash plays and sacking the quarterback. The biggest question now is, can Steve McLendon be a three-down nose tackle?

I have decided to take a look at his film to help answer the question because as they say “the eye in the sky will never lie.”