After an intoxicated ride on the roads of Pittsburgh, Alameda Ta'amu has been traversing the road to redemption with the Steelers. He knew it would be an uphill trek, but it looks a bit steeper with each passing day.
Ta'amu struggled through his rookie camp and to stay with the team who traded up to draft him in the fourth-round of the 2012 NFL draft to be an eventual replacement to then NT Casey Hampton. Entering training camp 2013, Steve McLendon was the one replacing Hampton, and Ta'amu was on the verge of being replaced by Hebron Fangupo, a late-2012 pickup from the Seattle Seahawks.
Ta'amu took the field in his most impressive showing in a Steelers uniform when the team opened its preseason schedule at home against the New York Giants. Despite falling into old habits at the start, he played more like the team has wanted him to as the game went on. However, despite his improvement, he continues to be listed third on the team's defensive depth chart.
Fangupo has not been overly impressive at the position either, but he has played well enough. He did draw the attention of head coach Mike Tomlin in practice by discarding rookie center Joe Madsen like a ragdoll, but a Steelers nose tackle is expected to handle starting centers and the occasional guard simultaneously. They are not as easily tossed about like undrafted rookies.
Both men will continue to grind away at every snap. Their next preseason opportunity to shine comes Monday night when the Pittsburgh Steelers travel to FedEx Field to take on the Washington Redskins.
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