Why Is Casey Hampton Still A Steeler?

Casey Hampton has been a really good nose tackle, and a relatively good Pittsburgh Steeler. We understand that the Steelers still run a Base 3 4 defense and a nose tackle is necessary. Chis Hoke, Hampton’s backup, retired just a short month or so ago so that leaves the Steelers with an injured Casey Hampton as the lone true nose tackle. ¬†Or does it?

Ziggy Hood will be taking over for Big Hamp whenever he retires or leaves so why is it that he is not doing that now? The Steelers have chosen to rework Hamptons contract to make more room under the Salary Cap but imagine how much room they could have saved all together if they would have just let him go?

Hampton plays less than 40% of the plays on this defense because of the offenses they are going up against for one and the other is because he is just not durable enough to stay on the field the entire game on defense as needed. Is Hood ready, maybe maybe not, but the fact is this upcoming year, the Steelers are really not poised to contend for a Championship. They rebuild and have been rebuilding along the way, but this upcoming year they will probably struggle a bit more with a new Offensive coordinator and the loss of some older yet effective defensive players. So what it is the real attraction to a guy that was injured late last season and yearly comes into camp way over weight and out of shape?

I have liked most of the moves the Steelers have made thus far this season, but this one completely baffles me. As offenses change, and they have and are changing to a more pass happy style, the 3 4 defense is becoming less and less effective. The use of a 3 4 nose tackle is just not what it once was.

The 3 4 is the perfect defense to stop the run, but if most teams are running only a small percentage of the time then why ride it out? The Steelers also switch off of the base Defense and play some 4 3 to go along with some of the nickel packages or cover 2, which is what Mike Tomlin was running before he took over as head coach of the Steelers. This is all Further proof that times are changing and that is why this move makes little sense.

There are still a couple of moves that can be made, but do not expect it to come via free agency. The Steelers “go quiet” during this period and tend to just work on their own house instead of investing in other teams cast offs. At least in the beginning. I have a hard time believing that they could not find a suitable fill for as little as this team will be using a nose tackle going forward.

The GM and the coaching staff really earn their money during these months brainstorming and planning for the upcoming season. Lets see if they can continue earning it as the game changes and time moves forward.

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