Pittsburgh Steelers nose tackle Steve McLendon already has a career high in total tackles this season with 29. If he keeps up that pace, he will surpass his predecessor Casey Hampton's career high of 43. Despite his efforts, however, the Steelers run defense has allowed a 4.24 yards per rush average this season which ranks them 15th in the league right now in that stat.
McLendon, who has played the outside zone fantastic this season, still has room to improve when two-gapping against inside zone and power runs. Defensive line coach John Mitchell, however, is still happy with the progress the Troy product has made so far.
"Steve is still a young guy," Mitchell said, according to Scott Brown of ESPN.com. "He’s learning how to play. He’s got to learn how to keep his pad level down. The guy has good effort. He’s got to be able to take from what he sees on tape in the meeting room onto the field, and a lot of young guys who haven’t played a lot can’t do that."