McLendon has packed on weight over the last year, weighing in at 325 lbs now, a far cry from the 280 that he is officially listed at. It was a knock against him in the eyes of more than a few. "There's no way a guy that small can stand up to the rigors of NT on the Steelers defense for a whole year. It was a reason that some felt like the team looked to that position in this years draft. Whatever the reasons were though, it would be unwise to count out McLendon from winning the starting job this season. In fact, given that Alameda Ta'amu is a rookie, that could be enough right there to convince you that McLendon will be the starter.
Steelers defensive line coach John Mitchell warns everyone to keep an eye on #90: "Everybody wants to discard McLendon. Let me tell you this, hold your opinion until the season is over. I'm just saying keep your opinion until after the season, (then) you make the decision."
McLendon himself is certainly not lacking in confidence either but appears to not be taking anything for granted either: "My goal is to be great in every aspect of my game," McLendon said. "If there is something that Coach Mitch sees that I need to get better at, I told him to let me know. All I want to do is get better." "The tough part is the mental part," he said. "Knowing what to do and how to do and when to do it is important. I picked Hokie’s brain every chance I got last year. I want to be able to be smart like Hoke. I want to be quick like (Dallas’) Jay Ratliff, and I want to be powerful and strong like Hamp," McLendon said. "You put all that together, and I want that to be Steve McLendon."
Excerpt from an article on the SA homepage...