Steelers NT Dan McCullers survived constant verbal abuse before getting to the NFL

Joe Sargent

MMQB writer Robert Klemko insists McCullers is far more muscular than he is fat. Even McCullers says "I'm just big-boned." He was tormented as a child and with drug-addled parents, life wasn't easy in North Carolina for the Steelers rookie.

Everyone's heard this joke.

A big guy is offered the chance to go to the franchise restaurant Cheesecake Factory. The big guy denied the requesting saying, "I'm not in the mood for cheesecake."

According to MMQB writer Robert Klemko, that's what Steelers rookie nose tackle Dan McCullers said to his girlfriend upon her request to dine at the quasi-Italian restaurant.

McCullers' size is certainly a hit among the media. Klemko points out McCullers is 60 pounds heavier than the second tallest player who attended the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine and six inches taller than the second-heaviest guy there.

Klemko also notes a tragic story of upbringing, involving two drug-addicted parents and a kid who weighed 270 pounds as a 12-year-old. Coaches of his middle school football team turned him away, McCullers feels, because he couldn't finish a wind sprint, and this was a team that kept a girl on the roster.

He's grown up, he's grown out and he's grown-and-contracted. He weighed in at 352 pounds, but, writes Klemko, he lacks the vital essential most football fans have; a protruding gut. Part of his instructions from the Steelers were to eat right, and he's doing just that - even at the Cheesecake Factory.

Klemko ends it with the kind of quote that will have fans lining up by his side.

"I’m just big-boned," he says, echoing his maternal grandma as he accepts, with considerable disdain, a smaller-than-expected sheet of dried bread, dull white cheese and sausage. The aproned waiter senses the urgency of the moment and asks if that will be enough for Big Dan.

"Can I also have a Caesar salad… with chicken?"

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