PITTSBURGH (93-7 THE FAN) — Casey Hampton was presented with “The Chief” Award by the Steelers on team awards day Thursday in honor of his superior cooperation with the media, which can’t have been easy in the wake of unfulfilled expectations.
“Being in this business for as long as I’ve been around, I’ve almost seen everything. Nothing surprises me. You’ve got to take the good with the bad, be professional, and keep on working. That’s where we are at this point,” the 12th-year nose tackle said.
Hampton, who believes early-season losses to lesser competition, and not injuries, did the team in, also believes more needs to be done in terms of preparation, especially when it comes to grooming the young talent that hasn’t fully realized its potential.
“We’ve got to do a better job of getting those younger guys ready to go,” he said. “Not only the younger guys, but everybody needs to understand…the gravity of every game. You can’t take any game for granted. You’ve got to go into every game the same way, and I don’t think we did that this year.”
He gave his own scouting report on the younger players expected to contribute on defense in the future, including fellow lineman Steve McLendon, and, as a veteran of ACL injuries, what he told Heath Miller about his own rehab process:
Hampton, a multiple Pro Bowl honoree, was not selected to the 2012 AFC squad, but was one of the healthier, rock-steady members of a Steeler defense that has a chance to finish No. 1 overall in total yardage allowed, and tops in both run and pass yardage allowed.
Kickoff between the Steelers and Browns is set for 1:00 at Heinz Field Sunday, and can be seen on KDKA-TV.