The Steelers have beefed up their defensive line this afternoon with the addition of Cam Thomas, whom they’ve just signed as an unrestricted free agent. Thomas comes from the San Diego Chargers, where he was drafted by them in the fifth round of the 2010 NFL Draft out of North Carolina.
Camaron Thomas is a 6’4”, 330lb mound of man who just might be the answer to the Steelers issues on the run defense. He’s 27 years old and his nickname is “Baby Zilla”. Love a good nickname. ESPN’s Scott Brown reports that the Steelers had interest in him back in 2010 when he was coming out of North Carolina. Thomas recorded 23 tackles last season and one interception. He has 70 career tackles and 6 career sacks.
Could Thomas be the second coming of Casey Hampton? What does that mean for Steve McLendon? McLendon, who started all last season at the NT position, could be moved over to one of the ends where he might just be better suited since he’s not the massive presence the 3-4 defense, particularly the Steelers 3-4 defense, is used to and thrives on. With a big guy in the middle who can take on multiple blockers at once, the ends can get to the rusher or put pressure on the quarterback. Either way, the system trickles down to help the entire defense.
While this could mean a move for McLendon, it could also mean that Brett Keisel may not be back at all. The 35-year old veteran is still unsigned and his agent apparently says he’ll retire before working for minimum wage. He had a lot more leverage for the Steelers to offer him more money to come back before this signing though.
I doubt the Steelers are done with their revamp of the defensive line with this signing, but I think it’s a good pickup.
What are your thoughts, Steeler Nation? Do you like the signing of Cam Thomas?