Daniel McCullers is a big man, and the Steelers have a big hole to be filled along their defensive line. Both are hoping to help the other out as the 2014 season approaches. The three day rookie mini camp that just concluded gave McCullers a glimpse of what he can bring to the Steelers defense. Versatility is the most important.
McCullers can not only play nose tackle, where he played all four years at the University of Tennesee, but also defensive end. He told Steelers.com, "I can be a physical nose tackle that a defense needs. I can control the center, help my linebackers make players. I feel like I can do a good job."
He says he's more comfortable at the nose tackle position, but realizes that what will keep him off the field will most likely not be anything physical, but mental. "The physical part you did your whole career. It's just mental now, learning the system. There are a lot of smart players. You have to learn all of the defense. it's a mental game. I am getting settled in to it. The process is going good overall. I am excited for it. Hopefully each day I get better and more acclimated to the system."
The Steelers have to be hoping that he can get acclimated to the system too, as there are positions to be had along the defensive line. Outside of Cam Heyward and Steve Mclendon, there are no returning starters currently on the roster. This opens the door for players like McCullers to not only be quality depth, but possibly see playing time his rookie season.
Now, the Steelers just hope that he 'settles in' faster than expected and is able to plug the middle of the line to allow the linebackers to flow to the ball and stop the run.