Originally posted on 60 Max Power O  |  Last updated 6/13/12

The Pittsburgh Steelers opened mini-camp today in preparation for the 2012 season. Of course, the big news of the day was expected as Pro Bowl wide receiver Mike Wallace did not report. The restricted free agent has still not signed his RFA tender and looks to continue his holdout by missing these five mandatory sessions. Besides the Wallace story, the focus turned to the Steelers first two selections in the 2012 NFL Draft, David DeCastro and Mike Adams, who are making their first appearance in Pittsburgh since the rookie mini-camp due to NFL rules regarding college scheduling.While these two rookies are extremely important to the offense and their progress will go a long way in solidifying the offensive line, another rookie in this same situation is being overlooked. In fact, rookie fourth round pick Alameda Ta’amu, the nose tackle out of the University of Washington, may be called on sooner than either of the offensive linemen.

Some fans may not see it that way considering the pedigree of DeCastro, a top ten talent that somehow fell to the Steelers, but one look at the positional depth may say otherwise. With nose tackle Casey Hampton returning from an ACL injury suffered in the playoff loss to the Broncos, there is no guarantee that he will be ready for the season opener. Yes, the team is optimistic, but injury recovery can be tricky and no one knows for sure.

If Hampton is limited, the nose tackle position should fall to tackle Steve McClendon, who was solid in a back-up role in 2011. Yes, that transition to starter should be relatively seamless, but with the early season heat and humidity the team usually endures, a sound back up with an understanding of the defensive system is a must. Like DeCastro and Adams, Ta’amu has had the playbook and can learn terminology, but that does nothing to help build chemistry inside an already complex defensive unit.

Unlike some fans, the Steelers saw the importance in adding Ta’amu, by trading up in the draft to grab the 6-3, 348-pound nose tackle. He is a massive man, with a wide base and some solid athleticism and should be able to develop into a defensive weapon. It is just unfortunate that his development has been put on hold by a NFL rule that makes little sense.

Note: it has been reported on twitter that the Steelers signed long snapper Matt Katula today. The 29-year old long snapper from Wisconsin has seen time with the Baltimore Ravens, New England Patriots and Minnesota Vikings over his career. In signing him, the team would have to make a corresponding move, although no moves have been officially announced by the organization.

Be sure to check out other great articles at Sports Media 101.

var switchTo5x=true; stLight.options({publisher:''});
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Padres reportedly latest team in on Sonny Gray sweepstakes

Chargers optimistic Mike Williams will avoid surgery

Cowboys not bracing for Elliott suspension with Hillman signing

Leonard Williams: Jets focused on winning SB, not tanking

Aaron Judge chips tooth in postgame celebration

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Odell Beckham Jr. wants to be NFL's highest-paid player

John Elway confirms Broncos were interested in Tony Romo

Mike Tomlin: 'Consequences' for Steelers in Bell's absence

Clay Helton says OJ Simpson would not be allowed at USC practice

It’s ‘obvious’ Panthers have ‘big plans’ for Christian McCaffrey?

Kyle Shanahan claps back at Matt Ryan

The 'Old Tom Brady is still the Ol' Tom Brady' quiz

BIG3 Week 6: Should we begin the MVP discussion as we head to Dallas?

Three Up, Three Down: Adrian Beltre is a national treasure

The 10 craziest NFL offseason stories

Box Score 7/27: USMNT brings home the Gold Cup

The 'Cooperstown: The New Class' quiz

For the revitalized Pirates, trade deadline has newfound meaning

Every MLB team's best and worst deadline trade from the last 25 years

The 'Kyrie revolts against the King' quiz

Box Score 7/26: Nothing but grand slams

The most memorable moments from the class of 2017 Baseball Hall of Fame inductees

BIG3 Ref Hotline Bling: James White slams the phone down

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

BIG3 Week 6: Should we begin the MVP discussion as we head to Dallas?

The 'Old Tom Brady is still the Ol' Tom Brady' quiz

The 10 craziest NFL offseason stories

For the revitalized Pirates, trade deadline has newfound meaning

The 'Cooperstown: The New Class' quiz

The 'Kyrie revolts against the King' quiz

BIG3 Ref Hotline Bling: James White slams the phone down

The 'When George Brett went completely batty' quiz

Finding the possible Achilles' heel for baseball’s best teams

Getaway Day: A pair of aces get lost in the shuffle

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker