Before I begin this post, let me state that a “tip of the cap” goes to Alameda Ta’amu’s lawyer Bob Del Greco.
Regardless of whether or not one agrees ethically with the type person who defended Ta’amu after his October “joy ride,” Del Greco really helped Pittsburgh’s nose tackle to avoid a laundry list of punishments for the moronic and dangerous crimes he committed last Fall.
Somehow, Ta’amu received what appears to be a very light punishment for a person who according to police did the following:
- Operated a motor vehicle with a .196 BAC.
- Drove down the wrong side of a road and a bridge.
- Hit four parked cars with his Lincoln Navigator.
- Attempted to leave the scene of the automobile carnage.
- Needed four police officers to restrain him when they made the arrest.
According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Alameda pleaded guilty to 3 counts of recklessly endangering another person, driving under the influence, and resisting arrest. Overall, the nose tackle will have to serve 18 months of probation, serve 4 days in a DUI housing facility, pay more than $10,000 in restitution, and perform 150 hours of community service.
With the criminal legal “red-tape” is out of the way now though for Ta’amu (he has already paid close to $150,000 for damages to the four vehicles he struck), Pittsburgh’s 4th Round selection in the 2012 N.F.L. Draft will be able to focus solely on football for the first time since last Fall. This of course is great news too for the Steelers and their defense, because veteran nose tackle Casey Hampton remains unsigned and is unlikely to return to Pittsburgh.
Positive vibes aside, Ta’amu will no doubt be on a “short-leash” this summer. In fact, the former Washington Husky will definitely have his work cut out for him just to make the team. Not only will Alameda have to face off against veteran Steve McLendon, a player who has been groomed to be “Big Snack’s” successor over the last three years, but he must also jockey for backup reps with 2012 late-season signee Hebron “Loni” Fangupo.
I actually did a write-up of Fangupo before the 2012 NFL Draft, and I believe that he has the tools to be an effective developmental nose tackle at the professional level. Like McLendon, Fangupo also has some positional versatility as well, and played defensive end (5-technique) when during his college days at Brigham Young University.
My hope is that Alameda can work his way into the lineup to help in goal-line and short-yardage situations. At 6’3” 348 lbs., Ta’amu would be a tremendous weapon to employ in those types of moments, and it would be nice to see him utilize his massive frame to clog the A-gaps against run-heavy packages with the likes of McLendon.
Of course, as I stated before, the soon to be 2nd year player must find a way to make the 53-man roster out of training camp and the preseason first. Plus, it would do Ta’amu a enormous amount of good to stay out of trouble off of the field, and only concern himself with making headlines for his play on it.