Steelers NT Alameda Ta\’amu Not Off To A Good Start In 2013

The 2013 season is not off to a good start for Pittsburgh Steelers second-year nose tackle Alameda Ta\’amu. During the offseason practices, Ta\’amu was forced to share second team reps at nose tackle with defensive end Al Woods of all people and now; the 2012 fourth-round draft pick starts his second training camp on the PUP list because of a hamstring problem.

During his Friday press conference, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said Ta\’amu would be out “a number of days,” so it\’s anyone\’s guess as to when he\’ll be able to practice. Every day missed is crucial for a young player such as Ta\’amu, who had his rookie season interrupted by off the field issues that he caused.

This makes the second year in a row that the Washington product won\’t be on the field for the first practice of training camp. If you remember, the veterans made Ta\’amu walk three miles to Wal-Mart last year to get them some snacks on the first night of training camp. That resulted in a sore foot for Ta\’amu and he didn\’t practice until day three as a result.

Last year during the preseason, Ta\’amu played all of 49 snaps, and he did not dress for a game during the regular season. Now that Casey Hampton is gone, Steve McLendon will be the starter, but behind him currently sits three nose tackles on the 90 man roster that have a combined seven regular season snaps between them.

Should Ta\’amu wind up being sidelined for the first week of training camp, you really have start wondering what his chances are at making the roster. While Ta\’amu is busy working on the side with the trainers over the course of the next few days, both Hebron Fangupo and undrafted free agent Omar Hunter will be stealing his reps. Reps that he will never get back.

The Steelers traded up 10 spots during the 2012 draft to select Ta\’amu and it cost them a sixth-round pick to do so. Right now, that trade and selection look like bad decisions. Hopefully Ta\’amu can put this latest setback behind him quickly, because if he doesn\’t, he just might find himself battling for a practice squad spot instead of a spot on the 53 man roster.

  • Brendon Glad

    I thought he should have been gone about 9 months ago. But…since the Steelers are one of the best teams in development…and I LOVE John Mitchell, I guess I’m going to hold-off judgement once again and trust them. It’s so stunning that he is still a Steeler after everything ON-the-field that we never saw…and everything off-the-field that we DID read about, that the guy must have some immense talent, in their opinions.
    I, for one, only have the off-field meltdown to go on. Since the dude rarely can get on the field during an actual game. So I’m going to be pleasantly stunned if he even makes the practice squad.
    And I’ll say “John Mitchell did it again,” if I even remember his name 5 years from now.

  • Matt Manzo

    I heard that he’s sitting out due to a “pre existing” injury. Did he hurt his hamstring in the off season?

  • Matthew Marczi

    Well, technically yes, some time between minicamp and yesterday, but it’s not exactly clear when. By pre-existing Tomlin simply meant that the hamstring injury did not happen during training camp (i.e. the conditioning drill). It could have happened two days or two weeks ago. Hopefully Tomlin or Ta’amu will clarify when it happened soon.

  • rn

    I would see that as a bad thing if he ends up on the PS. That means every other team saw him on tape and didn’t see enough in him to claim him off of waivers. That also means our coaching staff didn’t see much in him either, otherwise he would be on the 53 man roster.

  • Madi

    He’ll make the roster. Too much potential to be cut, especially with the relatively weak competition he’s got. Urbik looked even worse than Ta’amu looked last year, and he turned out okay. I don’t think they’ll make that mistake again. He’ll make it to at least next training camp, assuming he doesn’t get arrested.

  • Jazz

    I think it’s time people in the Front Office start to question some of the decisions being made on Draft Day. Some of the players they select are HORRIBLE!!! When you look at the Ravens, Bengals, their rosters have better talent. It soon will catch up to the Steelers too. There was a time when the Steelers were Tops in the NFL when it came to evaluating and drafting personell. I have no faith in whomever is making those decisions. Colbert? I would give him a C+. Tomlin? Incomplete. However, I will give credit were credit is do, the secondary is way better than when Cowher was there.

  • Jazz

    If he can’t practice, they need to cut his A$$ and place him back on the practice squad. This should be his last chance to do something too. I read the reports leading up to the draft last year, most Scouting Experts felt the kid had a lot of talent, but he was too lazy, took plays off, never really played for 60 minutes. Reports out off Washington was he also had some troubles while in college as well.

  • Dom

    You seriously think they come in and just pick random players, Luck is a massive part of it look at players like Swope. The Ravens wanted to draft Leftwich instead of Suggs in 2002 but if I remember correctly time ran out on the swap deal with Oakland?
    Every team picks HORRIBLE!!! players you probably notice it more with the Steelers because they are the team you follow and you take note of every draft pick rather than just the first 3 or 4.

  • Brendon Glad

    I wouldn’t. For whatever reason, that has really been a non-issue with the Steelers. They have successfully placed numerous guys on the practice squad who ended up starting for them. James Harrison, Isaac Redman, Nate Washington come to mind). And it seems like every time a team bull-rushes our waiver wire and snags someone…it doesn’t work out that well. (The OSU LB who went to SF…and Fred Gibson…and Danny Farmer, the NT Carolina snagged from 3-4 years ago). So I wouldn’t worry about that. The only player I can ever recall who was snagged from us on the training camp waiver-wire, and ended up CLEARLY proving that they outsmarted us…was Hank Frehley (C). I cannot recall another one that stung much at all.
    But I get your point. I just was assuming a free-rebound-run at him like 98% of our training camp cuts usually offer.

  • GunsDontKillWoodleyKills

    Is guy is a turd. Flush him already.

  • BurgherinMD

    I was ecstatic when the Steelers drafted him in the 4th round last year. Not impressed so far with very little to go off of…the brass must see something in him to keep him after his police chase which made that first chase scene in Detroit in Beverly Hills Cop look tame. If he fails would they swallow their pride and call the big snack? I do not think he will come in after playing for less to be a back up.

  • Mike.H

    On paper, I repeat, on paper, this year’s draft smells rosy nice. Check back in 4 years, — stay thirsty, my friend. Dos Exxis.

  • Milliken Steeler

    Jazz, that is way over the top guy. Its to early to tell with Taamu yet to call him a bust and they probably are willing to see what happens then throw away a really strong,quick and 350lb nose tackle.

    Someone brought up Swope. I saw some Steelers fans screaming because we weren’t going to select him this year and…he just retired already yesterday, after another concussion.

    You’re praising other teams who have rose up recently but have done so in the past and then went away. The Bengals still have to win out to prove anything. Are you buying into the fact that with NINE new starters and that fire sale, that the Ravens just pick up and win the division again? lol Have you looked at the injuries they have on top of those players being gone?

    Relax, we had injuries and we just got better on the defensive line trust me. The Steeler organization knows what they are doing.

  • BigRob

    Wexell said he hurt his hamstring running sprints. He has lost 50 lbs compared to last year.

  • cencalsteeler

    Lets not bury him yet. News came out that he hurt his hammy doing wind sprints last week. It was also noted he lost 27 pounds of belly fat and shows more size in his chest and shoulders.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    I never was happy with the Ta’Amu pick but was hoping for the best since we were in need of a NT. I hope a NT steps up to be a competent back up.

  • Steeler Wheeler

    Was he running from the cops? Come on Steeler Nation, rise up and send this guy out the door.