After spending six years with the Pittsburgh Steelers, DT Steve McLendon joined the Jets as a free agent this offseason. The Alabamian discussed what he likes to do with his time outside of football.
Q. You refer to yourself as a country boy. What exactly is a "country boy?"
SM: Somebody who lives in the country and likes to get dirty basically. You can say, a country boy consists of a lot of things: listening to country music, where you're from. But I consider myself a country boy because of what I do – work on a farm.
Q. So what kind of work do you do on your farm?
SM: Basically, I just work on maintaining the farm and anything that comes with a farm like chickens, the hayfields, etc. We have a hayfield, so there is a ton of hay. My granddaddy and I are in the process of getting some cows.
Q. What made you want to start ballet and how much has it improved your game?
SM: I did it when I was in college. I was finished with school and just needed one more class to give me a full set of credits, so I took ballet. The teacher said, "Take it seriously because it can really help you." So I did and it turned out for the best. It helped me stay away from injuries. That was one of the biggest things – it helps you strengthen muscles in your body, especially in your legs, that you normally wouldn't strengthen just in the gym. I didn't put on those tights though –I just went in there in normal workout clothes.
Q. So it feels like the D-line has a lot of characters on it. Can you describe some of the guys' personalities?
SM: They are all nice guys, but I think the funniest guy is Sheldon Richardson. He keeps everything going and has everybody laughing. He cracks jokes all day long, so you don't get too uptight during practice. Even if you mess up, he'll crack a joke and say, "Hey man move on to the next play." Leonard Williams is just a big "old kid" that can play football extremely well and he has a great future ahead of him. Deon Simon – he's the quiet guy. He doesn't say much but he's very strong, explosive and quick. Jarvis Jenkins – he's another funny guy. He's an "old guy" also, played with two other teams.
Q. What do you remember about the 2010 AFC Championship game between the Steelers and the Jets?
SM: The only thing I can really remember is Bart Scottsaying, "Can't wait." That's like the biggest thing. The game itself was played so fast and it was a very physical game. When we won there was no better feeling in the world because we knew we were going to the Super Bowl. We knew we were the best in the AFC at that time.