Steelers Morning Huddle 5/4/2014


Steelers season goes all year long so whether we’re breaking down free agency signings, predicting the possible draft choices, or looking around for mentions of your Black & Gold we’ve got you covered. Here’s what’s being said about your Pittsburgh Steelers around the block.

McLendon up for a bigger role

ESPN’s Scott Brown spoke with Steelers DE Cameron Heyward about the direction the line seems to be going in. With the signing of Cam Thomas and the Steelers bringing in several defensive linemen in for pre-draft visits, one might think that Steve McLendon, the Steelers current nose tackle, could be headed towards a diminished role in 2014 or even a move to end. Heyward hints that the opposite may be the case.

"“I think our nose tackles have to be ready to play in sub package this year.” – Cameron Heyward"

What that means is that the nose tackle could be staying on the field instead of coming off when the defense goes into the nickel package, giving Heyward and McLendon the opportunity to pair as the inside pass-rushers. Who knows how it’s all going to work out in the long run because clearly there will be more added to this line via draft or undrafted free agents. Brown also adds that the Steelers will be looking for the development of Brian Arnfelt and Nick Williams to add to the depth for the line.

Former Steelers QB Charlie Batch staying busy

Charlie Batch might not be on the sidelines anymore backing up Ben Roethlisberger but that doesn’t mean he’s just sitting around or playing golf all day long. The Homestead native will be inducted into the 44th class of the Western Chapter of the Pennsylvania Hall of Fame reports the Trib’s Mark Kaboly. Not only that but he’s also giving the commencement speech at La Roche College, and taking part in the musical “Seussical” at Byham Theater. Along with his charity the Best of the Batch Foundation and his role as a Steelers analyst for WDVE and the NFL Network Batch doesn’t seem to sit still for a moment. Kaboly’s article is a very good piece on what it means to Batch to have played for the Steelers and still be a big part of the community.

Draft delay could affect rookie development

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk explains that the two week delay we’ve all been agonizing over waiting for the NFL Draft could actually be hardest on the NFL rookies. The draft was pushed back two weeks from its normal time at that end of April due to a scheduling conflict at Radio City Music Hall in New York where the draft is held. As a result, the newly drafted NFL rookies now will have a week turnaround time from their draft day experience to their rookie orientation/minicamp with their new team. That’s two weeks less of time for them to transition from college football to professional football. While it’s something that all the teams will have to deal with, it’s certainly something that will be noticed if it makes for a rookie class that takes longer to perform well as opposed to the rookie classes before them.

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