Steelers’ Steve McLendon: I can play nose tackle at 280 pounds

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At 6-foot-4 and 280 pounds, Steve McLendon is not a small man. At least, he would not be a small man if he were something other than an NFL defensive tackle.

But as an NFL defensive tackle, he’s frequently described as “undersized.” And as a nose tackle in Pittsburgh, where they’re accustomed to Casey Hampton showing up to camp at 350 pounds or so, McLendon looks tiny.

McLendon, however, insists that he’s the right size for the job.

People may say I am not the classic nose tackle, but what is the classic nose tackle? Some nose tackles are big, some small,” McLendon told “If you look at Jay Ratliff for the Cowboys he is not a big nose tackle, but he plays very well. You look at Casey Hampton and he is a big nose tackle and plays well. I figure I will be in between. If I can move quick at nose and play strong at nose, it’s all going to work itself out for me.”

With Hampton likely to open the season on the Physically Unable to Perform list while he recovers from a torn ACL, McLendon is currently penciled in as the starting nose tackle in Pittsburgh. He says that’s a job he’s ready for.

“I want to be great,” McLendon said. “I have taken my work ethic to the next level. I am pushing myself every day. If the stars are where I want to reach, I need to reach past them. The expectations are really, really high. That should be of everybody in the Steelers organization. The expectation is to win the Super Bowl and be great.”

And McLendon is confident he can be great without being 300 pounds.

12 responses to “Steelers’ Steve McLendon: I can play nose tackle at 280 pounds

  1. Gonna be a big change not having Hampton up front clogging the middle; let’s hope McLendon is up to the task!

  2. It depends on what you want out of your NT and what type of 3-4 you’re playing.

    Having said that, I think he’s too light to play the 3-4 the way the Steelers play it.

    It’s a linebacker defense, with the DL eating space and blockers while the LB’s clean up and make all the plays.

  3. And here I thought McLendon had bulked up to the 325 lbs range. Did he go on a diet or something?

    He is plenty big and strong enough to hold down the nose position.

  4. Ravernator must have taken a break from reading about Suggs injury, Reed mulling retirement, Jacoby Jones’ stone hands, and the lack of news on either Rice or Flacco’s contract extension.

    I’d be trolling other team’s stories too if I we’re unfortunate enough to be a Raven fan right now.

  5. ravenator says:
    Jul 11, 2012 11:20 AM
    And here I thought the expectations were to lose to Tim Tebow in the playoffs

    Yeah I was confused last year too….Cause I kind of thought it was to consistently knock that 1 purple team out the tourney year after year.

  6. @vincentbojackson – Be nice to Ravenator – all he has to live for is to scroll through webpages, trying to degrade anything Sixburgh. Yes, sitting in one’s basement in his underwear, trying – again and again – to convince himself that the Ravens will EVER reach the promised land… yes, it’s a pathetic life, but it’s all he has. Be gentle with him.

  7. Ravenator I wouldnt be talking about any other teams and the way they lost last year after the way your team got knocked out of the playoffs. From my point of view, you dont have much to comment about.

  8. How is losing the AFC championship game worst than getting beat by Tim Tebow in the wildcard round? Have Ben and the steelers ever beat Tom Brady and the Patriots in the playoffs?

  9. @ Yinzgotsix – yes, the Patriots* beat Pittsburgh in the playoffs… back in the day when they earned their ****’s. The Patriots* haven’t won squat since. Apparently, Mom Belicheck never told Billy that cheaters never win.

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