Steelers notebook: Former Woodland Hills grad adjusts to his new position
When Wes Lyons weighed in at 255 pounds after the Steelers re-signed him in January, that was all Mike Tomlin needed to see.
The Steelers moved the 6-foot-9 Woodland Hills graduate from receiver to tight end — a position he never played in high school or college at West Virginia.
“Whatever they want me to do, I am willing,” Lyons said following the first day of rookie minicamp Friday, where players who have never been on an NFL roster are allowed to participate.
Lyons, who said he is now 260 pounds, spent training camp last year with the Steelers and played sparingly during the preseason before being cut.
Now he could provide a unique weapon for the Steelers if he can improve his blocking.
“The biggest concern is getting down the steps with the linemen and learning what the line does,” Lyons said. “At receiver, I didn't need to know any of that.”
The Steelers are thin at tight end even though Heath Miller returns and they signed Leonard Pope during the offseason. Weslye Saunders has to serve a four-game suspension to start the season, and David Johnson might not fit in new offensive coordinator Todd Haley's system. The Steelers did draft David Paulson in the seventh round.
• Fourth-round pick nose tackle Alameda Ta'amu answered his phone the other day and was stunned to hear that it was Troy Polamalu calling him. “I answered the phone and I didn't know what number it was,” Ta'amu said. “I answered it and was kind of star struck. I tried to play it cool. You hear his voice and you remember those Head & Shoulders commercials.” Polamalu and Ta'amu are of Polynesian decent. “It is nice have another Poly look out for you,” Ta'amu said.
• Brandon Lindsey was expecting to be drafted anywhere from the third to the sixth round of last week's draft. Lindsey, an Aliquippa and Pitt graduate, was never selected, instead signing an undrafted rookie free agent contract with the Steelers. “I was disappointed, I was mad, I was crying, but it just gave me something to shoot for,” Lindsey said of not getting drafted.
• Center Maurkice Pouncey said he is 100 percent following offseason surgery to remove bone spurs that made his ankle unstable. … First-round pick David DeCastro switched his number from 61 to 66. … Second-round pick Mike Adams said he will play exclusively at left tackle.
— Mark Kaboly