Nose tackle Steve McLendon looked solid against the Eagles, sacking quarterback Michael Vick. Sacking Vick is a challenge, but McLendon was able to do it pulling him down with just one hand.
“These are some big hands,” said McLendon outside the team’s cafeteria at St. Vincent College. “If I get them on you I think you are coming down. That is Michael Vick, everyone wants the chance to sack him and I had the opportunity and took advantage of it.”
Overall McLendon seemed pleased with his starting performance, but knows he has a lot of work to do.
“There are some things I can learn from and try to get better,” said McLendon. “I want to make sure I am running to the ball, quicker hands, and knowing my opponent better.”
He said defensive line coach John Mitchell was okay with the way he played, but he too sees room for improvement.
“He said it’s something you can grow from, you can learn from,” said McLendon. “He told me I am getting better, but you need to work on the little things. That is I what I take to practice with me and work on the little things.”
McLendon got the start as nose tackle Casey Hampton is still on the PUP list with a knee injury. McLendon is a different body type than Hampton, not the big guy that everyone is used to in the middle but still very effective.
“He is more powerful than I am,” said McLendon. “He is strong and I am strong, but he is more powerful. I am just going to use what I have, quickness and strength.
“Everyone thinks the typical nose tackle is heavy and a first and second down guy. I can play first, second and third down. I play in our nickel package. That is how I got my sack. I just play within the defense, execute my technique and assignment and everything turned out for the best.”
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