Pittsburgh Steelers second-year nose tackle Alameda Ta\'amu had a good showing in the preseason opener against the New York Giants this past Saturday as he continues to try to show the organization that they didn\'t waste a fourth-round draft pick on him. Even though he showed up at training camp this year with an injured hamstring, he was in much better physical shape than he was a year ago, and he credits defensive end Cameron Heyward for helping him in that area of need.
According to the Associated Press, Heyward picked up Ta\'amu nearly every morning during the offseason so that the two could train together at the Steelers facility. More than that, Ta\'amu had a friend who could support him through all the fallout he was going through that stemmed from his drunk-driving escapade that took place in October of last year.
"I was just trying to help," Heyward said. "I always tried to talk to him and be straightforward with him."
Heyward said he too thought Ta\'amu had a good showing Saturday night, but that he still has some technique issues that he has to fix. Ta\'amu evidently knows that as well.
"A lot of mistakes," the Washington product said. "There were times I had good push. But even if a play is 50-50, it\'s an F. I\'m working on my way to make it a better grade for next time."
That next time should come next Monday when the Steelers take on the Washington Redskins in their second preseason game. While nobody is expecting Ta\'amu to become Casey Hampton in just a few more weeks, as long he continues to make strides in every preseason game, he will slowly start to change people\'s perception that he should have been dumped permanently last October.
As far as Heyward goes, you can clearly see he understands the "Steeler way" as he is slowly developing into a team leader even though he isn\'t a starter just yet. Should Ta\'amu wind up becoming a reliable cog on the Steelers defense, Heyward will be able to take great pride in the fact that he was somewhat responsible for it.