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 steelers.com 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."