Steelers NT Steve McLendon Making Himself Great With Other Sports

Pittsburgh Steelers nose tackle Steve McLendon has made it known this offseason that he wants to be more than good; he wants to be great. The former undrafted free agent out of Troy recently revealed during an interview with Teresa Varley on that his offseason training regime includes several key aspects from other sports such as baseball, karate, basketball and swimming.

For starters, McLendon, under the direction of Chip Smith from CES Performance in Atlanta, worked at a batting cage in order to improve his eye coordination in order to get a jump on the snap.

“It’s the same with a center,” said McLendon. “You see him grip the ball; his windup is the snap. If I can catch his hand and am able to attack him, it will make me that much quicker and better applying pressure to the quarterback, running back and the offensive line.”

McLendon said that he uses basketball drills to improve his explosion, swimming to improve his breathing and karate to improve his discipline.

“My dad used to make me sit in splits for maybe 30 minutes long as discipline,” said McLendon, whose father is a second-degree black belt. “It was so long. I think back on it and I am glad he did those things. He taught me discipline. He took the violence out of it and used it for discipline. You could use it to protect, but only when being harmed.”

McLendon signed a new three-year contract earlier in the offseason and you can tell just how devoted he is to his craft as he now takes over for Casey Hampton after backing him up last season. His attitude has been fantastic and so too are the words that have been coming out of his mouth.

“I am going towards greatness and there is only one way to get there, through hard work and dedication,” said McLendon. “If we all can accomplish that, we are going to be great together.  Sometimes you have to do things yourself to help everyone get better.”

  • Jason White

    Karate will do him good. Before some health problems derailed me I was training in Muay Thai. Really helps with conditioning, stamina, strength and flexibility. Good for Steve.

  • steeltown

    Love this guys attitude.. he has that Ike Taylor workout warrior mentality

  • hp

    The makings of a true Pittsburgh Steeler.
    After Steed, Hoke and Hampton, it’s what expected and this man is definitely on the way. One of the key positions on the entire team.

  • TJimmy

    He also said he is doing ballet. I could picture Lynn Swann, but a 320 lb nose tackle doing ballet? He could sell tickets for that.

  • Michael Mazanowski

    Don’t mess with ‘Little Snack’!

  • Mike Sweeney

    glad he understands and gets it.

  • Ahmad

    I can’t wait to see all this hard work and dedication pay off.

  • steves

    No thanks,,, I don’t wanna watch,,, didn’t like to see Swanee and No Thanks with McLendon. Will be watching him on the football field. Have watched a couple interviews of McLendon on and he has a Great Attitude. Steve say’s he fast and can get to the QB,, which is something we been lacking from the D-line.

  • charles

    Ziggy did this last year. Maclendon sounds like he wants to be one of those “new” defensive leaders we need to replace the old guard.

  • Michael Mazanowski

    Who’s Maclendon?

  • Brendon Glad

    I love the idea. I think that football is an extremely difficult game to train for because simulating the job on the field is so hard to find training partners for…(and also beats the body up too much). So other than WR, DB, and QB, I think cross-training is probably essential for those guys.

    I think the karate one is fairly obvious. Basketball is always good (probably more for OL than DL, but still good)…Swimming is probably good as long as he can maintain his weight since it burns so many calories…and the baseball one, that one is intriguing for a DL. Interested to see if it shows up.

    A notable absence in his cross-training was freestyle wrestling. I think all of us old enough to remember the early 90’s witnessed Carlton Haselrig rise to complete dominance in one year (and unfortunately FOR only about 1 year) as an olympic caliber wrestler dabbling in NFL football. So that permanently etched “freestyle wrestling” as a sport which translates “in the trenches”. He should think about that one too while he’s being creative. But I love his attitude. I expect very nice things from him in 2013 and beyond.

  • sgtrobo

    yep. hopefully it translates on the field. Love the work ethic though, just like Ziggy.

  • hp

    I remember that well.

    Never played and was all pro first year.

    Co-captain too.
    It was quite a feat. Remarkable.

  • Brendon Glad

    Yes, it was. Quite a shame about him, in the end Such a remarkable talent. Always heard he was a pretty good guy too…just with the alcoholism thing. I hope he is doing ok.