The Big Snack has been with the Steelers since 2001 when Cowher drafted him. He's been rock solid, a perfect replacement for beast that was Joel Steed. Hampton is now 33 and to this point has not played like he's losing any steam at all if you ask me. He does his job by tying up blockers week in and week out, year after year. He's a pro bowler and considered one of the best Nose Tackles in the league annually. This past year was no exception; he was still able to play at a high level and was the only one of the 3 starting defensive lineman to play every game in 2010 if I remember right.
In any event, he's not getting any younger and a 34 defense does not work without a top flight Nose Tackle. That position is just too important to have an average player there. He may not get all the accolades that the linebackers get but if Casey isn't in the game it's noticeable. I would think that sometime in the next year or two at the very latest the Steelers are going to have to draft a stud Nose Tackle and groom him to take over for Casey. Regardless of other needs this will have to be a position of importance in the very near future.