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Hawaii 5-0
06-13-2012, 09:32 PM
Casey Hampton Contributing As A Coach While Rehabbing His Knee

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012 by Dave Bryan

Pittsburgh Steelers veteran nose tackle Casey Hampton might not be ready to practice yet, as he continues to recover from off-season knee surgery, but it is not keeping him from contributing in mini-camp as coach and mentor to fourth round draft pick Alameda Ta'amu.

The video recap of the first day of mini-camp, that is posted on steelers.com, shows Coach Hampton in action as he instructs the Washington product during the Tuesday practice. This is the type of stuff that you love to see as a Steeler fan, and it is by no means a new occurrence, as the veterans have a long history of helping the young players on the roster instead of viewing them as someone that could ultimately take their job.

According to Will Graves, the Pittsburgh area AP writer, somebody put a "Coach Hampton" sign over Casey's locker recently. Hampton was evidently asked about it and joked that he's all for it "if they add it to my salary," according to Graves.

Since being drafted by the Steelers back in April, Ta'amu has said all the right things including how much he admires Hampton. With Chris Hoke now retired, the rookie will have to learn most of the nuances of playing nose tackle in the Steelers 3-4 system from both Hampton and Steve McLendon, along of course with defensive line coach John Mitchell. Even the Hoke is retired, he has been spotted at the Steelers practices this off-season, which gives Ta'amu yet another experienced player to learn from. That's the Steeler way in action.

Hampton was not only asked about his tutoring of Ta'amu thus far, but also about McLendon, who will likely start the season at nose tackle if Hampton is not ready by week one. According to Graves, Hampton said that McLendon could start for a number of other teams in the NFL already in his opinion. That's high praise, but not unexpected as Mitchell said following the selection of Ta'amu that the Troy product should not be discarded as big contributor in 2012. "Everybody wants to discard McLendon. Let me tell you this, hold your opinion until the season is over,” Mitchell said. “I’m just saying keep your opinion until after the season, (then) you make the decision.”

Hampton also commented Wednesday on his recovery from his third career ACL surgery as well. Graves reports that Hampton said that his rehab is going well so far at that his main focus right now is being ready for the week one game against the Denver Broncos. He added that he doesn't expect to be ready by the start of training camp and that is not a big concern to him. Hampton has long been expected to be placed on the Active PUP list once he arrives in Latrobe a little more than a month from now.

Prior to the draft, Hampton, who is entering his final year under contract, was asked to take a pay cut, and he obliged. The veteran surrendered his $1 million workout bonus he was scheduled to earn and allowed his 2012 base salary of $4.89 million base salary that he was scheduled to be paid to be reduced down to $2.8 million. The moved saved the Steelers $3.09 million in cap space as a result.

Ta'amu, who reportedly needs to lose 10 more pounds by the start of training camp according to Graves, will benefit greatly by having Coach Hampton around as he attempts to make up for time lost because of NFL rules that prevented him from attending OTA sessions until his college course work was completed.

http://network.yardbarker.com/nfl/article_external/ben_roethlisberger_says_hes_not_going_to_change_hi s_game/11006321

Hawaii 5-0
06-13-2012, 11:19 PM
Hampton still believes he will play in opener

JUN 13
By Jamison Hensley | ESPN.com

PITTSBURGH -- Veteran nose tackle Casey Hampton is still targeting to play in the regular-season opener, which would be eight months removed from tearing his ACL.

"Iím planning on coming back for the season," Hampton said Wednesday. "Thatís what Iím looking at. Thatís realistic for me. I donít know about anybody else.

The Steelers will have to make a decision on Hampton's status when they report to training camp in late July. They could put him on the physically unable to perform list, which would make him ineligible to play in the first six games of the regular season, or keep him on the active roster.

Hampton said he has yet to practice but he spent the time at Steelers mandatory minicamp running.

Has anyone mentioned the PUP list to Hampton?

"Nah, I canít see that happening," he said. "I feel like Iím ready to go."

Hampton isn't the only one being optimistic. "The one edge Casey will have on anybody is that he's been through this [injury] twice," Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert said in February. "He knows what to expect. He knows how to do this. He knows how much work he has to do and he knows how he feels."

If Hampton isn't ready, Pittsburgh has two options: go with backup Steve McLendon or rookie fourth-round pick Alameda Ta'amu. Asked about the massive 6-foot-2, 348-pound Ta'amu, Hampton said, "Heís got to be strong, not necessarily thick. Heís a big kid, though. He looks powerful. Weíll see when we put the pads on."

http://espn.go.com/blog/afcnorth/post/_/id/49695/hampton-still-believes-he-will-play-in-opener

Hawaii 5-0
06-14-2012, 12:38 AM
Hampton mentors likely replacement

June 14, 2012
By Gerry Dulac / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

http://c4241337.r37.cf2.rackcdn.com/06-14-48_casey-hampton_420.jpg

Veteran Casey Hampton, left, explains something to rookie Alameda Ta'amu during the team's minicamp this week.

A hand-written sign on top of nose tackle Casey Hampton's locker reads "Coach Hamp," a light-hearted poke at Hampton's new-found status as the oldest member of the Steelers defense.

Hampton, a five-time Pro Bowler, will be 35 when the regular season begins Sept. 9 in Denver, and his goal is to be ready to play that game after recovering from surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his knee.

For now, he is playing the role of coach at Steelers minicamp, at least to the newest member of the defensive line and the player who ultimately could be his replacement -- rookie Alameda Ta'amu.

"It's easier than when I came to rookie camp," Ta'amu said. "I have Hamp and [Steve]) McLendon out there helping me out so I can get my technique right and play this defense right compared to one I had at [Washington]."

"At UW, as a defensive lineman, you want to shoot, get deep in your gaps. Here, you just want to stay on your man and play gap defense. You get out of your gap, you mess up the whole defense. It's hard, but I'll learn it."

Ta'amu, the team's fourth-round draft choice, is a 6-foot-2, 348-pound nose tackle who played at the University of Washington. Like Hampton, he is thick, powerful and harder to move than a grand piano.

But, until he sees Ta'amu perform at training camp, Hampton will not evaluate the player who is expected to be his heir apparent.

"He listens, he's willing to learn, but I don't judge guys until they put the pads on," Hampton said Wednesday between practice sessions. "He's a big kid, though. He looks powerful, but, like I said, we'll see when we get the pads on."

Hampton took a pay cut to return for one final season with the team after having ACL surgery on his left knee Jan. 27. He has been doing some resistance running at minicamp and said his rehabilitation is right on schedule.

"I'm where I need to be," Hampton said. "I feel my goal is to be ready for the regular season."

With one day of minicamp remaining, McLendon has been lining at nose tackle with the first-team defense and Ta'amu has been the backup. That is OK with Ta'amu, who is just trying to learn a different style than the one he employed in college.

Ta'amu did not attend the offseason training activities because of NFL rules that prohibit attendance from players whose college class hasn't graduated.

"It's real cool to be here," said Ta'amu, a native of Samoa. "It feels like I'm already part of this team. The veterans are already helpful. No one is trying to put you on the spot.

"I just want to help out. Whenever McLendon or Hampton get tired, I'll be there to back them up."

The Steelers defensive line has a decidedly different -- and younger -- look at minicamp. Not only is Hampton sidelined, but defensive end Aaron Smith and longtime backup nose tackle Chris Hoke retired after last season.

"It's definitely different when you've been with guys for 10-plus years," Hampton said. "That's the nature of the beast. That's how it is. I've seen a lot of guys come and go. I'm one of the old guys now."

Ta'amu loves having Hampton around because he considers himself a similar model of nose tackle.

"Hampton and big guys like [Vince] Wilfork [of New England], someone I can compare myself to, someone who can eat up the middle," Ta'amu said. "To have him here, to be like a leader and mentor to me, is a good thing."

Maybe he is Coach Hamp.

http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/sports/steelers/hampton-mentors-likely-replacement-640230/#ixzz1xjf0Y1Te

OX1947
06-14-2012, 11:28 AM
I love Big Snack. I still remember when the Steelers drafted him in 2001. Draft Day analysts thought they picked him too early. He turned out to be well worth the early pick and has been the perfect Pittsburgh Steeler.

Hawaii 5-0
06-19-2012, 01:09 AM
It'd be tougher to replace Steelers' Hampton

June, 18, 2012
By Jamison Hensley | ESPN.com

Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that he anticipates nose tackle Casey Hampton and running back Rashard Mendenhall to miss the start of the regular season.

"My guess is they'll open the season on PUP (Physically Unable to Perform list)," Colbert said. ďYouíve got to remember, both of those injuries happened late in the year.Ē

While this is no surprise because both had surgeries to repair torn ACLs in January, Hampton said last week that he was still targeting to play in the season opener.

If a player is placed on PUP to start training camp and remains there to start the season, he is required to miss the first six weeks. He is able to return during a three-week window of Weeks 7-10.

If Hampton and Mendenhall are both sidelined to begin the season, it will be tougher for the Steelers to replace Hampton. In the three years before Hampton joined the Steelers, their run defense ranked 13th, 26th and 12th. In the first two seasons with Hampton, Pittsburgh's run defense ranked No. 1. In fact, in 11 years with Hampton, the Steelers' run defense has ranked in the top three in the league nine times.

Pittsburgh is expected to replace Hampton with either backup Steve McLendon or rookie fourth-round pick Alameda Ta'amu. Both will get tested in those first five games which features running backs: Denver's Willis McGahee, New York Jets' Shonn Greene, Oakland's Darren McFadden, Philadelphia's LeSean McCoy and Tennessee's Chris Johnson.

http://espn.go.com/blog/afcnorth/post/_/id/49868/itd-be-tougher-to-replace-steelers-hampton

Hawaii 5-0
06-21-2012, 06:52 PM
http://thatschurch.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/steelerscamp1.jpghttp://thatschurch.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/steelerscamp61.jpg

Steel_Bus_24
06-21-2012, 07:33 PM
Sounding good

Man cant wait for the Camps to get under way....So much promise and things to look for this year...