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Old 09-13-2008, 09:51 AM   #1
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Default Steelers' Hampton to face former teammate tomorrow

Steelers' Hampton to face former teammate tomorrow
Saturday, September 13, 2008
By Gerry Dulac, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


It was a linebacker's dream and a center's nightmare. Nearly 700 pounds of girth, strength and athleticism paired side by side in the middle of the University of Texas' defensive line. Huge? Only Dallas and Fort Worth combined take up more space in the state.

For two years, beginning in 1999, Casey Hampton and Shaun Rogers lined next to each other in the Longhorns' defense, a pair of tackles who were hard to move and likely harder to feed. One is built like an anvil. The other a grand piano.

Hampton is 6-foot-1, 330 pounds. Rogers is 6-foot-4, 350 pounds.

"I would not like to be a center for that," said Steelers defensive end Brett Keisel.

"That's a linebacker's dream right there," said inside linebacker James Farrior.

Steelers center Justin Hartwig was a junior at Kansas when the Jayhawks lost to the Longhorns, 51-16, in 2000, Hampton and Rogers' final season. But Hartwig was granted the equivalent of a governor's pardon because he was a right tackle in college.

"I didn't have to block 'em," Hartwig said.

He will tomorrow, one of 'em, at least.

Hampton and Rogers will be on the same field again when the Steelers (1-0) and Browns (0-1) meet in Cleveland, but they will be in different uniforms and on different sidelines -- a comforting thought to Hartwig and just about any other center that had the daunting task of lining across from them in college.

Hampton was the Steelers' No. 1 draft pick in 2001 and has been to four consecutive Pro Bowls. Rogers was a No. 2 draft choice of the Detroit Lions and was acquired by the Browns in an offseason trade to perform the same role as Hampton -- anchor the middle of their 3-4 defense.

They still live near each other in Houston during the offseason and talk on the phone all the time.

"You couldn't double-team both of us, so there was always going to be one guy free," Hampton said. "That was always a plus."

Hampton still is no stranger to double-team blocks, getting them frequently but using them to create space for the inside linebackers, such as Farrior, to make tackles. When he is single-blocked, he can do what he did last week to Houston center Chris Myers -- push him with one arm into the backfield, right into running back Steve Slaton and forcing a 2-yard loss.

Rogers can do the same thing. Problem is, he doesn't have the linebackers around him like Hampton.

"He's the type of guy no one wants to play," Hampton said. "You can't block him with one person. You have to double-team him all the time.

"You can't believe how athletic he is. When he wants to go, you can't block him. I don't care who it is. Not one of our lineman can block him by himself, there's no question about that.

"It's definitely a plus when you got a guy who's disruptive like that and demands two people to block him all the time."

Sound familiar?

Hampton looked like his usual self against the Texans, making good on his preseason promise that he would be ready for the regular-season opener. That declaration came in the wake of being placed on the physically unable to perform list at the start of training camp, a punishment he was given for reporting nearly 40 pounds overweight.

Hampton will not disclose how much he has lost since the start of training camp, but his teammates say he has continued his extra workouts and is still watching what he is eating.

"Every time I go in the weight room, he's on the bike or something," Keisel said.

"He understands how valuable he is to all of us. He's a beast. He's one of the best in the league. That's one of the reasons he's been to four straight Pro Bowls."

"I'm a football player -- when it's time to play ball, I play ball. My play on the field has never been questioned. My weight has never been an issue. I don't care how much I weigh. I'm in good football shape, that's all that matters
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08257/911923-66.stm
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Old 09-13-2008, 01:06 PM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers' Hampton to face former teammate tomorrow

I will take Hampton over "I play when I feel like it" Rogers any day of the week. I hope he only feels like it less than 50% of the time on Sunday. He might be disruptive enough to cause our Oline some problems. Or NOT. Depends on who shows up. I don't think their LBs are good enough to take advantage of any push that Rogers gets.
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Old 09-13-2008, 02:52 PM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers' Hampton to face former teammate tomorrow

Quote:
Originally Posted by LVSteelersfan View Post
I will take Hampton over "I play when I feel like it" Rogers any day of the week. I hope he only feels like it less than 50% of the time on Sunday. He might be disruptive enough to cause our Oline some problems. Or NOT. Depends on who shows up. I don't think their LBs are good enough to take advantage of any push that Rogers gets.
I agree big time.
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Old 09-13-2008, 03:09 PM   #4
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Default Re: Steelers' Hampton to face former teammate tomorrow

Quote:
Originally Posted by lamberts-lost-tooth View Post
Steelers' Hampton to face former teammate tomorrow
Saturday, September 13, 2008
By Gerry Dulac, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


It was a linebacker's dream and a center's nightmare. Nearly 700 pounds of girth, strength and athleticism paired side by side in the middle of the University of Texas' defensive line. Huge? Only Dallas and Fort Worth combined take up more space in the state.

For two years, beginning in 1999, Casey Hampton and Shaun Rogers lined next to each other in the Longhorns' defense, a pair of tackles who were hard to move and likely harder to feed. One is built like an anvil. The other a grand piano.

Hampton is 6-foot-1, 330 pounds. Rogers is 6-foot-4, 350 pounds.

"I would not like to be a center for that," said Steelers defensive end Brett Keisel.

"That's a linebacker's dream right there," said inside linebacker James Farrior.

Steelers center Justin Hartwig was a junior at Kansas when the Jayhawks lost to the Longhorns, 51-16, in 2000, Hampton and Rogers' final season. But Hartwig was granted the equivalent of a governor's pardon because he was a right tackle in college.

"I didn't have to block 'em," Hartwig said.

He will tomorrow, one of 'em, at least.

Hampton and Rogers will be on the same field again when the Steelers (1-0) and Browns (0-1) meet in Cleveland, but they will be in different uniforms and on different sidelines -- a comforting thought to Hartwig and just about any other center that had the daunting task of lining across from them in college.

Hampton was the Steelers' No. 1 draft pick in 2001 and has been to four consecutive Pro Bowls. Rogers was a No. 2 draft choice of the Detroit Lions and was acquired by the Browns in an offseason trade to perform the same role as Hampton -- anchor the middle of their 3-4 defense.

They still live near each other in Houston during the offseason and talk on the phone all the time.

"You couldn't double-team both of us, so there was always going to be one guy free," Hampton said. "That was always a plus."

Hampton still is no stranger to double-team blocks, getting them frequently but using them to create space for the inside linebackers, such as Farrior, to make tackles. When he is single-blocked, he can do what he did last week to Houston center Chris Myers -- push him with one arm into the backfield, right into running back Steve Slaton and forcing a 2-yard loss.

Rogers can do the same thing. Problem is, he doesn't have the linebackers around him like Hampton.

"He's the type of guy no one wants to play," Hampton said. "You can't block him with one person. You have to double-team him all the time.

"You can't believe how athletic he is. When he wants to go, you can't block him. I don't care who it is. Not one of our lineman can block him by himself, there's no question about that.

"It's definitely a plus when you got a guy who's disruptive like that and demands two people to block him all the time."

Sound familiar?

Hampton looked like his usual self against the Texans, making good on his preseason promise that he would be ready for the regular-season opener. That declaration came in the wake of being placed on the physically unable to perform list at the start of training camp, a punishment he was given for reporting nearly 40 pounds overweight.

Hampton will not disclose how much he has lost since the start of training camp, but his teammates say he has continued his extra workouts and is still watching what he is eating.

"Every time I go in the weight room, he's on the bike or something," Keisel said.

"He understands how valuable he is to all of us. He's a beast. He's one of the best in the league. That's one of the reasons he's been to four straight Pro Bowls."

"I'm a football player -- when it's time to play ball, I play ball. My play on the field has never been questioned. My weight has never been an issue. I don't care how much I weigh. I'm in good football shape, that's all that matters
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08257/911923-66.stm
Rogers probably hates the failure in Cleveland while Hampton enjoys his ring.
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