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View Full Version : Steelers' Tomlin addresses weighty issue



Captcoolhand
06-18-2009, 10:08 AM
As Steelers coach Mike Tomlin delivered a not-so-subtle conditioning message to his players at the end of voluntary practices last week, one of his intended targets was nose tackle Casey Hampton, who is entering the final year of his contract.

Perhaps it was no coincidence that Tomlin also praised defensive lineman Ziggy Hood, the team's first-round pick.

At the start of training camp last year, Tomlin held Hampton out for the first week, when he failed to complete a conditioning run. When asked if Hampton is in better shape this year, Tomlin didn't exactly give Hampton a ringing endorsement.

"I'm always in a wait-and-see position (with Hampton)," Tomlin said.

When it came to Hood, a 4-3 defensive tackle at Missouri who is learning to play 3-4 defensive end, Tomlin had plenty of good things to say.

"The one thing that stands out about (Hood) is him running to the football," Tomlin said. "He covers a lot of ground for a big man. It's unique for his position.''

According to Steelers defensive line coach John Mitchell, end is more difficult to learn than nose tackle.

Hood, though, has an advantage in that he is a natural one-gap defensive tackle, the type the coaching staff prefers (Hampton is a natural two-gap.).

One-gap nose tackles are counted on to attack and shoot the gap between the center and guard and make plays in the backfield. Two-gap nose tackles are expected to read and tie-up multiple offensive linemen, thereby allowing linebackers to make plays.

Perhaps Tomlin's comments regarding Hampton's conditioning is a signal that Hood could receive playing time at nose tackle early in his rookie year.

Also, the Steelers have veteran backup Chris Hoke, who started three games last season, when Hampton was injured, and rookie Ra'Shon Harris, a sixth-round pick out of Oregon.

For the moment, at least, Hood will play outside.

"I just know defensive end right now," Hood said. "That's what I'm working on. My goal is to focus on my job, not on anything else. If they move me to nose tackle, I'll have to pick up even more. With me playing end, I kind of know what the nose is doing.

"I've got great teachers, especially with Hoke and Big Hamp. With those guys teaching me, I'll be able to adjust to anything.

"I'll just have to be able to put more weight on, plus become a better player at that position if they decide to move me. Not to say I'm going to develop as much as Casey, but I'll probably be a little quicker. Maybe on passing downs, I can come in and aid them a little bit."

Like Tomlin, Mitchell addressed Hampton's conditioning issues after the Steelers drafted Hood in the first round.

"Casey, I think he was embarrassed when he came back (to training camp last summer) with the weight situation," Mitchell said.

If Tomlin doesn't think Hampton's conditioning is where it needs to be at camp, Mitchell sounded like he believes Hood - the first defensive lineman taken by the Steelers in the first round since Hampton in 2001 - can play defensive end and nose tackle.

"He is not going to have any problem learning our scheme because we ask our defensive ends to do a lot," Mitchell said. "It is easy to play nose tackle because we do a lot of things with them, but it is simple."Love the depth we're building...:clap:
http://img40.imageshack.us/img40/4302/61202022.gif (http://img40.imageshack.us/i/61202022.gif/)Oh Hampton better consider cutting back to eating a half of bucket instead of the whole thing.....:D

TampaSteelGirl
06-18-2009, 11:37 AM
Hampton knows this is going to be an issue so why the hell doesn't he get in shape during the offseason...Get the donuts outta your hands Casey!!! HOpe he enjoys sitting on the bench this year!!

lloydfan4life
06-18-2009, 12:12 PM
The reason he's so hard to run through is because he's so big.
I wouldn't wanna try and move him outta the way! :lol:

Captcoolhand
06-18-2009, 12:29 PM
The reason he's so hard to run through is because he's so big.
I wouldn't wanna try and move him outta the way! :lol:Call me stupid call me whatever but if a linemen can weigh whatever, why is it such a problem for Hampton to be 15-20 heavier than what he is. :dunno: If it don't slow him down then whats the problem?

HUNT4SEVEN
06-18-2009, 07:52 PM
Big Hamp was spoiled because Coward never got on em for his weight coming into camp, Coach T want guys to be in shape befor camp rolls around:yesnod:, he did the same thing with Pat WIlliams in Minnesota, I would like to see Hamp stay atleast for 2-3 more years this way he can groom Hood, But if he comes to camp this year outta of shape he could be playin his last year with us:evilshake:

Iron City South
06-18-2009, 08:40 PM
Here's the thing that bothers me with all the attention that's been given to Fat Casey's girth the past 2 years .....

Big Snack was never svelt. Fat Casey has always been the round mound of pound since the day he strapped it on for the Steelers .... why all the attention on his weight in recent years is beyond me.

SteelersfaninPhilly
06-18-2009, 08:57 PM
Keep in mind he is in his contract year......

Stlrs4Life
06-19-2009, 06:24 AM
I agree, being a contract year, I highly doubt Hampton does the same this year.

JensK
06-19-2009, 06:52 AM
Here's the thing that bothers me with all the attention that's been given to Fat Casey's girth the past 2 years .....

Big Snack was never svelt. Fat Casey has always been the round mound of pound since the day he strapped it on for the Steelers .... why all the attention on his weight in recent years is beyond me.

Casey have always been fat, but not this fat. He couldnt do the condition-training last year at camp, which is what Tomlin had an issue with. Its alright to be fat as long as you are in great shape and strong. if you are not, thats the problem.

Iron City South
06-19-2009, 07:23 AM
Casey have always been fat, but not this fat. He couldnt do the condition-training last year at camp, which is what Tomlin had an issue with. Its alright to be fat as long as you are in great shape and strong. if you are not, thats the problem.

I think what you meant to say was that Fat Casey couldn't pass TOMLIN'S conditioning-camp last year. Who's to say Casey could have passed Tomlin's camp 5 or 6 years ago? What I'm saying is that I think this has more to do with the changing of the guard (Cowher to Tomlin), than it does Fat Casey's weight and conditioning. Casey is no bigger than he was 3 or 4 years ago. As far as his conditioning is concerned, I doubt that has changed much either. What did change was the standards .... :yesnod: The expectations became much higher.

It's a widely held position that Cowher held "Camp Creampuff" for the veterans and all the newbies did the heavy lifting which is why the vets, like Faneca and even Ward, were terrified of how things would be run once Tomlin took over.

JensK
06-19-2009, 11:49 AM
Ah right, i see your point.. i do believe that Tomlins approach is fair though. Football is their job, its not really all that much asking for, that the players is able to do a simple condition training. They have like 4 month to get their, plus they are supposed to be in great shape already from previous seasons. As far as i recall, it wasnt the most horrifying test ever - They had to run some, which all football players, imo, should be able to do.

ejsteeler
06-19-2009, 12:09 PM
There should be no reason he cannot perform what his team requires him to perform. He makes big bucks to do it and should be held accountable if he can't. What tests used to be run and what he could do in the past is irrelevant. I love Big snack, but he needs to get it together and have no set backs this year.

Iron City South
06-19-2009, 03:32 PM
Tomlin came in as the "young gun" and wanted to make a name for himself; the veterans knew this. This is no different than in corporate America when a new Director or Sr. Manager takes over .... they want to "change" things that the workers in the office have done for a long time; Sometimes managers don't care if the old way was working well or not, they just want to let everyone know a new sheriff is in town and if you don't change your old habits and do it his or her way .... life will soon turn into a living hell for you.

Surely some of you have been through it

BlitzburghRockCity
06-19-2009, 04:35 PM
In a 34 you want a big, strong NT that can occupy blockers which is what Casey does and how he made the pro bowl. I don't get the sudden urge to trim him down either. He's not a spring chicken anymore and he's still a top NT in the game. Having depth is great and with Hoke and at some point Hood being able to play NT we'll be fine. Casey will be Casey, he does what he's expected to do on the field, what more do you want.

If Tomlin wants to use the NT to get penetration and make plays in the backfield then Hood will get some playing time but in our defense the 2 gap NT is ideal.

Woodson_DownUnder
06-20-2009, 10:05 AM
Good to hear Coach Tomlin voicing his concerns. Can't afford to have Big Snack letting the D down with the Steelers toughest part of the schedule in the opening month. I agree with much of what has been said...contract year or not, complacency is No excuse :nono: after winning ring #2. C'mon Big Snack, pull yourself together for your team's sake. :yesnod:

andyg1984
06-20-2009, 02:01 PM
we can get at least a couple more years out of him even if he is up to his usual tricks .. he is more of an anchor guy than a playmaker .. guys like casey can have long careers occupying blockers and simply being too stout at the point of attack for any1 to really move backwards and let the best LB's in the league do their thing