Steelers News

Steelers Mike Tomlin Interested In Illinois DT Jihad Ward?

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin received some face time during a Wednesday Senior Bowl practice as the ESPN cameras spotted him chirping away at Illinois defensive tackle Jihad Ward.

While I caution you about reading too much into this, Ward certainly will be a player to watch in Saturday’s All-Star game as he seems to be a potential 3-4 defensive end candidate. During Tuesday’s weigh-ins, Ward, who registered 53 total tackles and 1.5 sacks in 2015, measured in at 6051, 296-pounds and because of that he feels he can play anywhere on an NFL defensive line.

“I’m extremely versatile. If hey want me to play three technique, I can play three technique. If they want me to play five technique, I can play five technique. It’s no difference for me,” Ward said Tuesday.

Currently, CBS has Ward ranked as 7th round prospect but that means absolutely nothing right now. He was a two-year starter at Illinois after transferring from a junior college. Last season, Ward was an named an All-Big Ten honorable mention by the coaches and media.

The Steelers could certainty stand to use more depth at the defensive end position behind starters Cameron Heyward and Stephon Tuitt as both were forced to play high percentage of the teams defensive snaps in 2015. Currently, 2015 sixth-round draft pick L.T. Walton and former Tampa Bay Buccaneers undrafted free agent Caushaud Lyons are really the only two players under contract for next season who could potentially wind up serving as depth at the defensive end position for the Steelers.

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