2013 Steelers Draft: Searching for a nose tackle

Greg Bartram-US PRESSWIRE

Even with Alameda Ta'amu's recent posting of a picture that could potentially hack off the Steelers' brass, nose tackle was a possible position of interest with the Steelers.

Just like the Steelers are breaking the Max Starks Bailout habit, we should not expect nose tackle Casey Hampton to be back in Pittsburgh this season.

Barring injury, of course.

The notion of Alameda Ta'amu's recent Twitter foul-up being anything that would affect current plans for the nose tackle position in 2013 seem a longshot. Ta'amu hasn't even dressed for a game, and he is heading into minicamp without even the semblance of roster security.

If anything, the Steelers would have been just as likely to bring in a nose tackle in this draft anyway. With third-year Steve McLendon appearing to have the advantage in the battle for the starting position, Ta'amu was thought to be battling with Hebron Fangupo for back-up time, but the group itself has very little experience as it is.

That could suggest the team has sent a quiet message to Hampton to stay in shape and be prepared.

Outside of some usual apprehension over how a group of younger players will take to playing much more active roles, it isn't likely a concern. Yet.

It will be very difficult to find a player in the draft who could honestly expect to step in and play right away. Defensive players just don't do that on the Steelers. But it's really hard at this point to take any kind of feeling of optimism from either Ta'amu the player or Ta'amu the person. He's got a long way to go, and outside of that, you're looking at McLendon, who averaged single digit plays per game last year and Fangupo, an undrafted free agent who played at USC and BYU who hasn't seen the field at all.

Perhaps that does seem bleak, and drafting a player certainly won't add experience to the roster. However, the team no longer gets to enjoy the luxury Hampton's stability has afforded them nearly every season since he was drafted in the first round in 2001. Outside of a few torn ACLs, Hampton has been a fixture along that defense, and is the longest tenured player on the team.

It's possible if the Steelers don't like what they're seeing from the younger guys, they can bring Hampton back, but they'll have to move on at some point.

Is his heir apparent currently on the roster?


X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join Behind the Steel Curtain

You must be a member of Behind the Steel Curtain to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Behind the Steel Curtain. You should read them.

Join Behind the Steel Curtain

You must be a member of Behind the Steel Curtain to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Behind the Steel Curtain. You should read them.

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker