Cam Thomas Would Not Be An Upgrade Over Steve McLendon

For all of the grief that Pittsburgh Steelers nose tackle Steve McLendon has received, he is by far a more superior player than San Diego Chargers unrestricted free agent Cam Thomas is.

Thomas, who is scheduled to meet with the Steelers on Friday, has played well at times during his short NFL career, but found himself on the back end of a rotation behind Sean Lissemore last season.

I quickly sped through a few Chargers games over the course of the last 45 minutes and it’s clear that Thomas is inconsistent with his pad level, hand placement and ability to anchor in the middle. He’s a big boy, but that’s about it. It’s no wonder why the Chargers are letting him walk.

Runs stats is certainly no way to judge a player, but you might like to know that the Chargers allowed 4.82 yards per carry in 2013 on 121 running plays scored as going up the middle. That ranked them 26th overall in the league for runs in that direction.

Just to jog your memory, the Steelers defense allowed 2.88 yards per carry in 2013 on 109 running plays scored as going up the middle and that ranked them second in the league for that direction.

I have broken down the play of McLendon in 2013 in a few different post since the 2013 season and he was not the cause of the Steelers poor play against the run.

Should the Steelers ultimately sign Thomas on Friday, I sure hope they do so with the intentions of him being McLendon’s backup, because he’s certainly not an upgrade over the Troy product.

  • CW

    I agree. McLendon is pretty good overall. Not elite, but not bad either. Would not mind seeing Cam Thomas or Terrence Cody as a backup nose tackle, but that is what they should be backups.

  • unfurious

    Personally, I’m partial to Justin Ellis if he’s available on day 3 in the draft as a backup NT/ run stuffer. I liked Thomas when he was drafted but I’m not jazzed about where his career has gone. If Cam does sign, I’m hopeful that PIT can work with him. I’d love to see what McLendon could do at LDE but not if it’s going to create a new hole at NT.

  • cp72

    Maybe he allows us to kick McClendon outside reminiscent of what Kimo did. Now the big difference is Thomas is no Casey Hampton.

    One thing to consider on the Chargers run stats is they were starting a rookie inside backer…Teo.

  • gene mann

    this guy was benched during a playoff race have to pass on him

  • falconsaftey43

    they just need bodies at this point, it’s scary how little depth this team has. Safety is the only position I feel ok about on Defense, and that’s only because we signed Mitchell.

  • steelster

    Dave, I’m just curious so what was the cause of the steelers poor play against the run. Vince Williams?

  • mlc43

    I don’t think Vince’s problems were playing the run.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    I’m all for Arnfelt starting if he can win the job in camp. Something about his strength and motor tells me he is going to make believers out of a lot of people over time. We shall see.

  • george

    What FA NG are left other than Raji and Woolfolk?

  • Steelers12328882

    True. Then I guess the question would be is McClendon an upgrade at DE over any other option we have, as well as is Cam Thomas being an upgrade over Fangupo.

  • shawn

    Finally, an opinion i can get on board with here ! … if your not improving then … why bother !

  • steelster

    about a dozen or so, but we need to find someone with talent and comes at the right price. It’s not about quantity it’s about the potential for long term quality.

  • Rob

    They like to blame inexperience at middle backer, Ryan Clark’s deteriorating play at safety, and everyone other than McClendon. There’s truth to that. Woirlds hasn’t shown much in run support and ziggy hood was on roller skates half the time he was in there. Still McClendon deserves his fair share of the blame

  • mlc43

    LOL….you are absolutely right! Why bother! If you can’t have an all pro at every position just throw in the towel and cry mercy!! I’m going to turn you into a more optimistic person if it’s the last thing I do! 🙂

  • shawn

    I’ll grant u I’m a little demanding … but is it too much to ask to at least head in the right direction … i feel like we are going around in circles …

    I really felt after las season we weren’t that far away from being a contender again … just a few key pieces on both sides of the ball


    He’s young, and can get better I imagine. If anything he may be an upgrade over Fangroupo. It’s really a no brainer sign if for cheap.


    Raji is probably kicking himself for turning down 8 mil a year last year.

  • steeltown

    Im sure he would be a depth guy.. to compete with Fangupo in camp

  • steeltown


  • Janet Person

    Because it’s cheaper to let him go .. He’s no rookie .. He better at. 4-3 defense .. And for they benched him for isn’t great either

  • Janet Person

    Sometimes people do better when they leave and go some where else

  • Janet Person

    Backup or what ever .. It’s not up to us .. There might be potential … Everything your’er not good at .. But TALKING.. Which trash talk

  • unfurious

    Are you trying to set me straight? I can’t tell.

  • Janet Person

    No.. I just think sometimes people can do better in other environment .. It’s like a second chance.. How would you feel people say stuff .. It maybe football talk but people are human .. Somebody saw something in him that all I’m saying.. That’s why he makes the money

  • Janet Person

    After he was benched he still had to play starter …. Some

  • unfurious

    I think that I see what you’re saying. First, I absolutely agree that sometimes change is good. I hope that coming to PIT is good for Cam. I hope that he becomes a dominant starting NT for the team. I was simply stating that he hasn’t met my hopes for him since college. I’m sure that he hasn’t met his own expectations yet. That may be a criticism but it’s not mean. As far as how I would feel, I invite and welcome criticism. It helps me be a better person or tells me about the kind of person I’m talking to.

  • Janet Person

    What kind is that.. A person who believes .. God know what kind of person I am..I and your’er right cristicim is good.. I feel that way because he’s my child.. And your’er somebody’s child. That’s why.. No u don’t understand … To God be the Glory.: that’s why u have FAITH.. May God cotinue to bless you and may he continue to bless the Pittsburg Steelers.. Bye

  • unfurious

    As a rule, I don’t argue with mom’s about their sons. Rest assured that, as long as Cam represents the Steelers with heart, he will be loved. Don’t take blog conversation to heart. That will make you miserable.

  • shay stone

    That’s right Ms. Janet I truly believe the change is good and when God has chosen CAM that is enough said!!! And God has definitely called him and by the looks of things He has equipped him and designed his structure for this game and sport. He just Favored by God and when God speaks it doesn’t matter what others think or say. That’s right Ms. Janet I love that stand up for your baby!!

  • Janet Person

    I know god hasn’t chosen him.. And I’m so thankful.. Men want understand what’s happening , but we know cause we r connected to the SOURCE