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Monday, November 12, 2012
Steelers take hard stance by waiving Ta'amu

By Jamison Hensley

The Steelers showed their level of discontent with backup nose tackle Alameda Ta'amu on Monday by waiving the rookie fourth-round pick a month after his embarrassing drunken driving arrest last month.

It could be seen as a tactical move because Pittsburgh signed wide receiver David Gilreath to add depth at that position with Antonio Brown (ankle) sidelined. The Steelers could re-sign Ta'amu or add him to the practice squad if he clears waivers. But the fact that the Steelers are allowing him to get taken by another team shows they're willing to part ways with the 109th overall pick.

Some might consider this a strong reaction to Ta'amu's first offense in the NFL. But this wasn't just a typical DUI. According to police, Ta'amu was driving an SUV the wrong way at about 2:30 a.m. on Oct. 14 when he fled from officers and crashed into four parked cars, injuring a woman. He then tried to run away before he was restrained by four officers and arrested, authorities said.

This was a black mark for a public relations-conscious organization like the Steelers. In a football sense, it was an easy move to make. Ta'amu was drafted as the eventual replacement to Casey Hampton, but he never beat out Steve McLendon for the No. 2 job in training camp. He had been inactive for every game this season.