LATROBE, Pa. -- A year ago at this time, Ola Adeniyi was an unknown commodity, memorable only because of his name as the Steelers entered training camp at Saint Vincent College.
But teammates quickly learned the rookie outside linebacker was no one to trifle with. There were a number of occasions during camp last season when Mike Tomlin would point out to an offensive lineman or tight end trying in vain to block Adeniyi that they were struggling with a former MAC defensive lineman.
And that was with Adeniyi working with a large cast on his right wrist to protect an injury he suffered early in camp that never fully healed.
"My right wrist is definitely better," Adeniyi told me Thursday as the Steelers reported to camp. "Last year, I went through the entire training camp with it, and then the entire season. This year, it's good."
Despite the issue, Adeniyi was good enough in training camp and the preseason to catch the eye of the coaching staff, recording three sacks despite the injury. After suffering a hamstring injury in the final preseason game, the team placed him on injured reserve and then designated him for return.
He was activated late in the season and though he appeared in just one game, spending four games on the inactive list, he's looking forward to a healthy training camp and the opportunity it could bring.