Print McLendon an Unsung Hero

Posted Jan 24, 2018

Veteran DT Continues to Take Advantage of All His Opportunities

Along an ever-changing defensive front, veteran defensive tackle Steve McLendon provided stability and leadership for the Jets. In his second season with the Green & White, the 32-year-old McLendon often clogged up the middle and’s Matt Harmon recently noted his contributions.

The former undrafted player was a key asset in Gang Green's front seven. McLendon led the Jets with an 8.2 disruption rate (percentage of plays with a run stuff or pressure), especially showing well as a run defender.

After signing as a free agent in March of 2016, McLendon was limited to just 11 contests as a nagging hamstring injury kept him off the field down the stretch. But in 16 games this past season, McLendon totaled 55 tackles including 39 solo stops. He also registered six tackles for loss.

“I just wanted to be better than I was in 2016,” McLendon said. “I wanted to play the whole year. Unfortunately, the year before I had an injury. I had a setback, but that was on my behalf. So I had to do more, and in order for me to be successful and to improve, I had to do more and I did those things.”

A consummate professional who just completed his eighth pro season, the former undrafted player out of Troy has come a long way since being cut by the Steelers multiple times early in his career.

“I’m going to stay focused. I’m going to stay driven and I understand — in this business and outside of this business — I only get one life,” McLendon told the media before the Jets exited for the offseason. “I don’t leave anything to chance and no guy in this locker room should.”