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“It’s a legendary number, and he definitely wore it with pride,” Adeniyi said. “But I’m a new rookie and I don’t want to be compared to anybody else right now.”
Harrison is the franchise’s career leader in sacks, piling up 80 1/2 during his 14 seasons with the Steelers. The five-time Pro Bowler helped lead the Steelers to two Super Bowl championships and was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2008.
“Obviously, it’s a great feeling to be compared to one of the greatest of all-time, but I don’t think I’ve reached that level,” Adeniyi said. “I’m just trying to make a name for myself right now.”
He’s off to a good start.
Adeniyi, a former Toledo standout, did his best impersonation of Harrison three plays into the second half of the Steelers’ preseason opener against Philadelphia. Adeniyi sacked Joe Callahan and stripped him of the ball Elias Lindholm Jersey , forcing a fumble.
He did it all with a hard cast on his injured right wrist, too.
“I wanted to bring down the quarterback, but with the cast, trying to grab him is a lot harder,” Adeniyi said. “It was pretty clutch, and I was definitely excited, though.”
Adeniyi’s high motor also caught the attention of veteran defensive end Cam Heyward.
“I think Ola took some steps,” Heyward said. “I think he plays with good leverage and I think he wants to learn. I just appreciate his hustle. He plays a lot of plays out there.”
Adeniyi has been forced to see a lot of action for the Steelers during preseason practices. T.J. Watt injured his hamstring during the fourth practice of training camp and Bud Dupree sustained a concussion the following week, creating additional opportunity for Adeniyi and others. At times during training camp, the Steelers have been down to three healthy outside linebackers, including Adeniyi.
“It’s a struggle, but it also helps with conditioning Nico Hischier Jersey ,” Adeniyi said. “I embrace (the extra snaps) to the best of my abilities because when (Watt and Dupree) get back, chances are, I’m not going to see the field as much anymore.”
Still, Adeniyi realizes there could be a position available with the Steelers.
The Steelers released Harrison late last season after the two-time All-Pro was active in just five of Pittsburgh’s 14 games despite being injury-free. They also parted ways with veteran Arthur Moats in the offseason, making Anthony Chickillo the only outside linebacker on the roster with at least three years of experience.
Adeniyi is trying to earn a spot through his special teams work, just like Harrison.
“Especially as an undrafted free agent, you have to show that you have more value to the team than just defense,” Adeniyi said. “Chances are, during the season, you’re not going to see the field as much when you have (Watt) and (Dupree) back, so you have to show that you can do something extra.”
Proving that he can reach the quarterback like Harrison doesn’t hurt, either. But Adeniyi is trying to carve his own path with the Steelers.
“I’m not trying to be in anybody’s shadow Womens Evander Kane Jersey ,” Adeniyi said. “I want to make a name for myself.”
NOTES: Practice on Monday was delayed an hour and moved to a turf field on campus because of heavy rains and thunderstorms that rolled through the area. … WR Antonio Brown left Monday’s practice early. Also sitting out were: Watt, Dupree and Chickillo, QB Ben Roethlisberger, RBs James Conner and Stevan Ridley, TEs Vance McDonald and Xavier Grimble, WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, safeties Sean Davis and Marcus Allen and DE Stephon Tuitt.
As the Packers now adjust to the reality that they’ll see Khalil Mack on Sunday Night Football in one week, the Rams adjust to the reality that they won’t see Mack the next night.
鈥淚 would say I’m not upset about that,” coach Sean McVay told reporters on Sunday. And then it was time to say the things coaches are supposed to say in these situations.
“You still have a lot of respect for the guys that they will put out there and [Raiders defensive coordinator Paul] Guenther does a great job mixing it up,” McVay said. “They’ve got a variety of different players and different front structures that they can create, so it’s going to be a great challenge for us.鈥?/p>
Right, but they won’t have Mack. Running back Todd Gurley was more blunt Devin Shore Jersey , without the equivocation on the back end.
“I’m just glad Khalil Mack got traded to the Bears and I don’t have to worry about him Week One,” Gurley told reporters.
“We’ve got a lot of respect for this front,” McVay added, “but when you’re talking about a player of Khalil’s caliber, there’s always an element of you do some different things maybe to just be mindful and aware of where he’s lined up. But they’ve got some guys that are going to pose a great challenge for us and that’s something that we’ll kind of continue to evaluate and see how our protection plan, our run game plan and the specifics of what we want to do kind of evolves as the week progresses.鈥?/p>
What the Rams want to do will likely be a little easier to do without having Mack crashing around the edge to disrupt the offense. While that hardly guarantees an L.A. victory in the final game of Week One, it definitely will make it easier than it would have been otherwise.