It’s easy for a player to stand in front of cameras and talk about their play or the play of the team when things are going well. But in a season where the overall performance of the team has been disappointing, being a go-to guy for the media is never an easy thing.
But Casey Hampton has never shied away from it, never tried to avoid the glare of the camera and the probing questions, and that is why the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Pro Football Writers of America voted him this year’s winner of the “Chief Award,” established in honor of Steelers’ founder, Arthur J. Rooney, Sr. and presented annually to the member of the Steelers’ organization who best exemplifies the spirit of cooperation with the media.
“I don’t mind talking,” said Hampton. “I don’t do a whole lot of it. I know how to talk so it doesn’t really bother me.
“It’s definitely tough (this year). It’s definitely not the result that we wanted this year, but being around this business for as long as I’ve been around, I’ve almost seen everything. Nothing surprises me and you just have to take the good with the bad, keep on being professional and keep on working. That’s just what we have to do at this point.”
And as Hampton was barely finished saying thank you for winning the award, he was asked about this year’s team and if an overhaul is needed to get back to their winning ways. As always, he was frank with his answer.
“I think it’s just a few things here and there,” said Hampton. “We’ve got a mix of young guys and older guys. We’ve got to do a better job of getting those younger guys ready to go and ready to play week-in and week-out. Not only the younger guys, but everybody needs to understand that every game is important and the gravity of every game. You can’t take any game for granted. You have to go into every game the same way, and I don’t think we did that this year.”
Hampton pointed to games early in the season, games many thought the Steelers should win but didn’t, to where problems began.
“Losing to teams that you’re not supposed to lose to, not taking anything away from teams that beat us earlier, but point blank, certain teams you are supposed to beat,” said Hampton. “We just didn’t do that.”
While the Steelers had a laundry list of injuries this year that had starters missing multiple games, Hampton wouldn’t use that as an excuse, sticking to his guns on not beating the teams they should have as the main reason they are not in the playoffs this year.
“Everybody in this league has a lot of injuries,” he said. “I’m not going to make that excuse. I’m not going to say that it’s the reason that we’re in the position we are. I think more so you’ve got to win the game you’re supposed to win early. You can’t let teams that you’re not supposed to lose to beat you early and I think that’s what got us in trouble this year.”
Tags: Casey Hampton
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The Steelers Huddle Show will air on KDKA-TV on Saturday’s at 11:35 p.m.
Show tapes at Heinz Field and is hosted by KDKA’s Bob Pompeani with a special Steelers gues each week.
There is a $5 admission charge. Parking is available in the Stage AE Parking Lot for $5.
6:30 PM – Doors Open
7:30 PM -Show Taping Begins
The first four weeks taping is in the FedEx Great Hall and then moves to the East Club Lounge the last four weeks.
Wed., Sept. 12 - Steve McLendon and Heath Miller (FedEx Great Hall)
Wed., Sept. 26 - Brett Keisel and Maurkice Pouncey (FedEx Great Hall)
Tues, Oct. 9 - Larry Foote and Antonio Brown (FedEx Great Hall)
Wed., Oct. 24 - Mike Adams and Casey Hampton (FedEx Great Hall)
Wed., Nov. 7 – (East Club Lounge)
Wed., Nov. 21 – (East Club Lounge)
Wed., Dec. 5 – (East Club Lounge)
Tues., Dec. 18 – (East Club Lounge)
Tags: Casey Hampton, Mike Adams
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Among the weapons the Steelers defense has to prepare for this week is a familiar face to the black and gold, Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer.
The Steelers faced Palmer for eight years while he was with the Cincinnati Bengals, and they know what he brings to the table.
“He stays poised in the pocket, he doesn’t let too much stuff rattle him,” said cornerback Keenan Lewis. “He has experience so he knows the throws he wants to make. He can find mismatches real quick so we have to be alert for that.
“We have been watching him a lot. We know what he likes to attack, what they don’t like. We have a feel for him.”
It’s not just Palmer the defense has to be alert for. Running back Darren McFadden brings multiple wrinkles to the Raiders offense, with the ability to hurt a team on the ground or in the air.
“He is a great running back, one of the best in the league,” said Lewis. “He is a fast guy. He can make people miss in space and in closed space as well. You have to have an alert out on that guy. He has soft hands like a wide receiver and runs good routes as well. That can be a problem if we aren’t ready for him.”
McFadden hasn’t had his normal production so far this season, with only 54 yards on 26 carries. He has caught 15 receptions for 105 yards, including 86 yards in the opener against San Diego.
“We know he is an explosive back,” said nose tackle Casey Hampton. “He can go off any time. We are very aware of that. We are not taking it for granted.”
Safety Troy Polamalu, whose status for Sunday’s game has yet to be determined after he didn’t practice for the second straight day, knows the defense has to be on point with the way the Raiders use their running backs.
“You just have to be on your keys,” said Polamalu. “As a safety as good as their play action is they set up screens nicely. We just have to be disciplined in our techniques, our gaps and ready our keys.”
Tags: Casey Hampton, Keenan Lewis, Troy Polamalu
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Nose tackle Casey Hampton has his sights set on one thing – returning in time to play against the Denver Broncos in the season opener on Sept. 9 on NBC’s Sunday Night Football.
“My thing is to be ready for the first game,” said Hampton. “That is what I am aiming for. I just need to keep progressing. My goal is to be out there for the first game. That is what I am working toward. I can see myself being out there.”
Hampton was placed on the physically unable to perform list prior to the start of training camp as he comes back from an ACL injury suffered in the playoff loss at Denver last year. He was taken off the PUP list last week, but his problems aren’t over.
Hampton’s left elbow has also bothered him and he said he recently, “got the elbow fixed,” and it’s healing.
“It’s been an issue,” said Hampton. “When you get to my age everything kind of hurts a little bit. It was something that was nagging me, and didn’t go away so I had to take care of it.
“I just got the elbow fixed so I have to let it heal up and let it get right. It’s just been bothering me for a while. I have to let it heal up for a little bit. It’s cool. I’ll be out there pretty soon, hopefully. I’m not worried about my knee at all.”
Hampton, who never has been a fan of training camp practices, understands that he will need to get time on the field before he can play.
“Hopefully I will get out there soon enough,” said Hampton. “I complain a lot about camp, but you do need to put the pads on and get acclimated. Maybe not for a month, but you do need it to get ready to play. I always knew that. You don’t have to like to practice. I still don’t but you need work to get ready to play.”
Nose tackle Steve McLendon has stepped in for Hampton so far this preseason, and while Hampton wants to start against the Broncos he knows if he has to work his way back gradually that McLendon can be counted on.
“I am sure I am not going to be in the best shape when I get back after not playing football,” said Hampton. “He has earned his right to be out there. It’s definitely good having a guy playing with you that is capable of getting the job done. I am comfortable with him out there.”
Hampton has been enjoying watching McLendon’s progress and knows that there is a lot more to come.
“He can be a very good player,” said Hampton. “He’s just scratching the surface of how good he can be. When he figures it out and realizes how good he is, the sky is the limit for him. I definitely think he can be a great player in this league.
“I think what everybody is seeing isn’t even close to the kind of player he can be.”
Tags: Casey Hampton
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Nose tackle Casey Hampton is nothing but a spectator in camp so far, on the PUP list with a knee injury, but his goal is to be on the field for the start of the season.
“I’ll be ready to go,” said Hampton. “I have been running. My goal is to be ready for the first game.”
Hampton has always said he doesn’t like training camp, but missing time because he is injured is something he likes even less.
“It is different when you are forced to be on it because of injury,” said Hampton. “You never want to be hurt. But hopefully I will be ready to go.
“I don’t have a problem with being on there (PUP list) as long as I need to be. I just want to get it right and be right when I am out there. I don’t want to be out there hobbling, limping around. I want to be ready to go.”
With the Summer Olympics underway, Hampton was asked what his best event would be.
“The 10-yard sprint,” joked Hampton. “I am at top speed at 10 yards .I don’t have nothing left after that.”
Tags: Casey Hampton
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Share your opinion on who you think the Steelers best first round draft pick was in the 2000s.
Also, be sure to vote on the polls below.
Tags: Ben Roethlisberger, Casey Hampton, Heath Miller, Lawrence Timmons, Troy Polamalu
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Sunday, January 8
There are plenty of Terrible Towels in the crowd as the Steelers get ready for kickoff.
Steelers starting center Maurkice Pouncey is among those inactive for today’s game against the Broncos. Doug Legursky will start at center.
Also inactive are cornerback Cortez Allen, safety Ryan Clark, linebacker Mortty Ivy, tackle Jamon Meredith, running back Mewelde Moore and defensive end Al Woods.
Ryan Mundy will start at free safety for Clark.
As the Steelers prepare to take on the Broncos, running backs coach Kirby Wilson is in the thoughts of all of Steelers Nation.
“Kirby is a fighter, he is fighting,” said Coach Mike Tomlin. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family as we prepare to play this football game.”
Tags: Al Woods, Casey Hampton, Cortez Allen, Doug Legursky, Jamon Meredith, Kirby Wilson, Maurkice Pouncey, Mewelde Moore, Mike Tomlin, Mortty Ivy, Ryan Clark, Ryan Mundy, Steelers Inactives
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Tags: Antonio Brown, Casey Hampton, Jr.
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Casey Hampton returned to practice on Wednesday after missing the last three games with a shoulder injury.
“It’s frustrating, but it’s part of it,” said Hampton of the injury. “I don’t get mad at anything I don’t have control over. I don’t have control over when I come back. Whenever I am healthy, that is when I come back.”
Hampton said the plan is for him to play on Sunday full speed ahead.
“If I am out there, I am playing,” said Hampton. “There will be no limitations.”
Five players didn’t practice on Wednesday, including LB James Harrison (eye), NT Chris Hoke (neck), G Doug Legursky (toe), WR Hines Ward (ankle), and LB Jason Worilds (quadriceps). Linebacker James Farrior (calf) was limited in practice.
Patriots linebacker Dane Fletcher (thumb) didn’t practice, while seven players were limited in practice, including S Josh Barrett (thumb), CB Leigh Bodden (thumb), CB Ras-I Dowling (hip), RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis (toe), DE Albert Haynesworth (back), LB Jerod Mayo (knee), T Sebastian Vollmer (back).
Tags: Casey Hampton
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