Originally written on 60 Max Power O  |  Last updated 5/31/13

PITTSBURGH - 2009: Steve McLendon of the Pittsburgh Steelers poses for his 2009 NFL headshot at photo day in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by NFL Photos)
Pittsburgh Steelers nose tackle Steve McLendon is getting a late start o heading for greatness. After sitting behind Steelers great Casey Hampton, he isn’t in the mood to settle for good anymore. McLendon is the heir apparent to Hampton, but he’s still has to go out and prove he’s the right guy for the job. He was signed by the Steelers as an undrafted free agent in 2009 and he was a final cut in training camp, but re-signed to the practice squad the next day. He was released in November 2009, but re-signed in December. He was signed to a reserve/future contract on January 2010. McLendon was a final cut for the second straight season when he was released in September 2010. He was re-signed to the practice squad and the Steelers signed McLendon to their active roster in September and he’s been gradually fighting towards to starting nose tackle job since then. When Hampton was let go in 2013, the team announced McLendon the starter, for the first time in his professional career he wasn’t looking up at anyone. Also, he’s changed his attitude, he's not taking anything for granted, his struggles led him to this point, and they will carry him to ‘greatness’ as he puts it. "If y'all want to know the typical Steve McLendon, I can tell you," he instructed. "The typical Steve McLendon is I want to be powerful and strong like Casey, I want to be smart like Chris Hoke, and I want to be quick and fast like Jay Ratliff of the [Dallas] Cowboys," McLendon said, via Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "I changed my whole my way of thinking this year. I'm no longer saying 'good,' I'm saying 'great' because if you speak greatness, greatness will come." "The only thing you can do is wear it like a coat, keep it on your shoulder, humble yourself. That's when you become successful, when you humble yourself, remember those things and push forward from those things." ”Opportunities sometimes like this for a guy like myself are hard to come by," McLendon said. "That's why I have to play fast, play harder, play smarter, and just play with the gift God gave me."          
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