Report: Steelers DE Al Woods Continues To Get Second Team Reps At Nose Tackle

I passed along the news to you last week that defensive end Al Woods was getting work at nose tackle during the Pittsburgh Steelers first OTA session of the 2013 season, and it appears that is continuing to be the case this week as well, according to Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review on Twitter.

I speculated that Woods was getting an opportunity to show his position flexibility, and that indeed appears to be the case as Woods reportedly told Kaboly that the coaches want him to be able to play all three positions on the defensive line this year.

While the news about Woods getting work at nose tackle is not earth shattering, the fact that he is stealing reps from both Alameda Ta\’amu and Hebron Fangupo is very noteworthy, however. I posted a few weeks ago that I was worried about the Steelers depth at the nose tackle position, and that I thought it would be tough for the Steelers to have either Ta\’amu or Fangupo ready to back up Steve McLendon by the start of the season.

While Woods certainly could be grasping the nose tackle position well, he can\’t be expected to be the regular season backup to McLendon, either. I have suggested for several weeks now that the Steelers should consider re-signing Casey Hampton at some point, and knowing what we do right now, I will be shocked if they don\’t.

Hampton says he still wants to play, and the Steelers should be able to sign him for the minimum in a few more weeks. Doing so will allow either Ta\’amu or Fangupo to be groomed one additional season with the hopes that one of them will be ready to serve as McLendon\’s backup in 2014.

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