Steelers Nose Tackle, Winners, Bus to Bust


The 2015 NFL Draft has come and gone and your Pittsburgh Steelers 2015 draft class is preparing to enter rookie minicamp. There are just a few more phases of the offseason training program before the team breaks in June before training camp. While the new Steelers get acclimated with the Steel City we’ll be busy looking for mentions of your Black & Gold so we’ve got you covered. Here’s your Steelers Morning Huddle for Tuesday, May 12th.

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No replacing Big Snack

Steeler Nation has never really latched on to the belief that Steve McLendon could step in and fill the shoes left behind by the loveable, larger-than-life Casey Hampton. With Big Snack clogging the middle no one dare ran on the Steelers defense and with his absence we’ve seen players rack up 100+ rushing games more than we’d care to remember.

In Bob Labriola’s Asked & Answered he addressed the notion that McLendon is not even a poor man’s Hampton and the Steelers should explore other options at nose tackle, for the sake of the pass rush and run defense. Labriola countered with some cold, hard stats. Last season, when McLendon was healthy, the Steelers’ run defense was statistically better.

The Steelers gave up an average of 92.0 rushing yards in the games where McLendon played NT. Also, it is worth noting that Hampton, in all of his run-stuffing glory, was pretty much a two-down player, coming out of the defensive formation for passing situations. So his absence doesn’t mean a thing to the pass rush because he didn’t contribute to it when he did play.

While I do agree with Labriola that McLendon has shown improvement and doesn’t deserve to get the boot from the defensive line, that doesn’t mean the team needs to abandon the philosophy that a big fat man in the middle can help you out in certain instances. No need to spend high-round draft picks or big money in free agency from him, but he could come in handy. Here’s hoping Big Daniel McCullers becomes just that guy.

No Brady Yay!

With one whack of the Ginger Hammer Tom Brady goes from the Golden Boy of the NFL to an uncooperative cheater who has been sent to the corner to think about what he’s done. Yesterday afternoon the NFL announced the punishment levied against Brady and the Patriots for their mishandling of their balls as well as their uncooperative nature with the investigation.

The Patriots were fined a whopping $1 million and stripped of their first-round draft pick from 2016 and their fourth-round draft pick for 2017 while Tom Brady himself got slapped with a four-game suspension without pay. Who wins in all this? Well immediately it’s the Steelers who are the big winners.

You have to assume and expect that Tom Brady will appeal his punishment and you have to assume that the length of time will decrease with that appeal but it won’t go away at all. It’s almost assured that the Steelers vs. Patriots NFL season opener will not feature the Super Bowl XLIV MVP, Tom Brady. The Steelers will likely face Jimmy Garoppolo.

Don’t get too excited and already mark that a victory on your calendar, however. This is a team who lost to the Mike Glennon-led Tampa Bay Bucs just a season ago. No reason to take Jimmy lightly at all since the Pats will have the entire rest of the offseason and training camp to prepare him for this.

From Bus to Bust

If only the Bus Bust could somehow be running over Brian Urlacher. That would be amazing. Looking good though!

Next: Strong 2015 for Steelers Heath Miller?

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