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NFL: Steelers are doing their due diligence on D-line candidates

With Aaron Smith out indefinitely and Brett Keisel ailing, the Steelers will make a roster move before the end of the week.
DT Steve McLendon is the most likely candidate to be promoted to the active roster, but the Steelers are doing their due diligence with outside candidates.
The Steelers on Wednesday worked out DT Jay Alford who was the New York Giants 3rd round pick in 2007. Alford (6-3, 304), has 18 career tackles and 3.5 sacks in 36 games. In his rookie season, Alford made an impact with the Giants in the post-season and had 2 tackles and a sack against the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl.
Alford appeared in 16 games in 2008, recording 15 tackles and 2.5 sacks. He appeared to be on his way to being a productive player with New York but hasn’t been the same player since blowing out his knee before the 2009 season. Alford did not play in 2009 and was cut by the Oakland Raiders this season after four games. Alford is also long snapper.
Alford’s agent Peter Schaffer says his client has his explosiveness back and is at full health. He is an intriguing player.
Alford who was examined by the Steelers medical staff has been the only player to visit with the team thus far. The Steelers though have been in contact with others, including the agent for DT Deljuan Robinson, a four year veteran who appeared in 27 games with the Houston Texans. Robinson’s best season came in 2008 when he recorded 28 tackles.
At least for this week, it doesn’t appear likely that the Steelers will bring in a player from the outside.
If there’s a player that the Steelers feel is a better long-term option than McLendon, that move probably won’t happen until next week.
It is not believed that the Steelers will look to bring 2009 draft pick Rashon “Sunny” Harris back on their active roster. Harris’ agent reached out to Omar Khan on Monday but as of Wednesday afternoon was still waiting back for a followup.

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William DePaoli

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William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at

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