The Pittsburgh Steelers wrapped up their 2014 training camp Thursday with one final scrimmage against the Buffalo Bills and by the sound of things, big Dan McCullers made a big impression on head coach Mike Tomlin during his time in Latrobe.
“He’s progressing. He’s doing a nice job of really working the techniques and really getting better from an assignment standpoint,” said Tomlin of the Steelers second of two sixth-round draft picks during his Thursday afternoon press conference. “Obviously he has a distinguishing characteristics, he’s an enormous man and one that’s difficult to move.
“But I think day in and day out he’s proven that he’s more that. He likes to play football, he comes to work everyday. I like the progress he’s making, but obviously he has some progress ahead of him.”
In the preseason opener last Saturday night against the New York Giants, McCullers played above the line. While he only registered one tackle, he did push the pocket a few times when rushing the passer and overall did a good job at attempting to keep his pad level low while clogging up the middle on running plays.
“I think I did pretty good overall. For most of the plays, I held up the linemen to let the linebackers make plays,” McCullers said Monday about his performance against the Giants, according to Ralph N. Paulk of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “I was just trying to run around and make plays. I have to adjust to the speed. That is the biggest thing. It was a huge difference when I first got out there. It hit me for a second, but I adjusted.”
McCullers didn’t play until later in the second half against the Giants as he entered after fellow nose tackle Hebron Fangupo exited. He did, however, get to face the Giants rookie second-round center Weston Richburg.
Saturday night in the Steelers second preseason game against the Bills, we shall see whether or not the big man out of Tennessee made a big enough on impression on Tomlin to warrant him getting into the game before Fangupo does. If that happens, it will be a good sign that he’s moving up the depth chart in his attempt to make the final 53 man roster.
Be on the lookout this morning for a film breakdown of McCuller’s play Saturday night against the Giants by Matthew Marczi.