As we approach the 2016 season, we are going to profile the players on the roster. Today we look at Steve McLendon.
Name: Steve McLendon
Year With Jets: 1st
Projected Role: Starting Nose Tackle
His 2015: McLendon was a part-time player for the Steelers. He participated in only 34% of Pittsburgh's snaps. There was a notable improvement in Pittsburgh's run defense when he was on the field, however.
During the regular season, opposing offenses averaged 2.31 yards per carry when Steve McLendon was on the field. #steelers— Steelers Depot (@Steelersdepot) January 22, 2016
Our friends at Behind the Steel Curtain seem to think McLendon moving on was as much about wanting more playing time as much as money. He will step into a defense where last year's nose tackle Damon Harrison took 53% of the snaps.
2016 will be a success if: McLendon can replace most of Harrison's snaps. With Leonard Williams likely to take on a bigger role, I would imagine the Jets will play with a conventional nose tackle less than they did a year ago. McLendon will still be called upon plenty. It would be unrealistic to expect him to play as well as Harrison, but the Jets can reasonably expect him to be a plus run defender.
Odds of Making the Roster: Lock (>99%)