‘Big Pooh’ Isaiah Buggs hopes for big role as Steelers rookie | TribLIVE.com
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Chris Adamski

“Big Pooh” is hoping to make a big impact on the Pittsburgh Steelers defensive line this season.

More formally known as Isaiah Buggs, the rookie sixth-round pick from Alabama can ideally add an infusion of youth and depth to a Steelers position unit that is arguably the best on the team.

So, about that nickname – one that’s digitally immortalized on Buggs’ verified Twitter account (handle: @BigPooh_91).

“It’s from my oldest brother,” Buggs said after a Steelers rookie minicamp session last week, “because ever since I was small I was kind of chubby and big – so he called me, ‘Pooh Bear.’ So that’s where that name came from ever since.”

As Buggs grew to weigh more than 300 pounds (the NFL’s official combine page lists him at 306, although the Steelers’ roster pegs Buggs at “only” 295), “Pooh Bear”, of course, evolved into “Big Pooh.”

Whatever you call him, Buggs enters organized team activities next week with a chance to compete for the Nos. 5-6 defensive linemen spots on the 53-man in-season roster. Cameron Heyward, Stephon Tuitt and Javon Hargrave are entrenched as starters with veteran Tyson Alualu assured of a spot as a backup.

Last season, L.T. Walton and Dan McCullers took the other roster spots, though their playing time was sparse when the top four were all healthy. And Walton’s contract expired, so he is no longer with the organization.

If Buggs can prove he can handle duties at end and nose in the base defense and at both tackles in nickel packages, he can fill a valuable role for the Steelers.

“Playing d-lineman in the NFL, you’ve got to know all downs (positions) on the upfront,” Buggs said. “They have got a different package for you to be in in every situation, so you have got to learn it all.

“There’s a chance (for a role) there. Just basically, I have got to come in each and every day like it’s my last day here – and that will set the tone for how I compete.”

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