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Tag:Chris Hoke
Posted on: January 26, 2012 4:31 pm
 

Casey Hampton to undergo ACL surgery

C. Hampton wants to return to Pittsburgh next season (US Presswire).

By Josh Katzowitz

Suddenly, the Steelers are in desperate need of a nose tackle. Or at least, a healthy one that hasn’t retired.

Casey Hampton told the Pittsburgh Post Gazette that he will undergo ACL surgery on Friday after injuring himself in the Steelers playoff loss to the Broncos. Considering Chris Hoke told the Steelers on Wednesday that he would retire, this means the depth at nose tackle is non-existent.

The paper writes the team wouldn’t be willing to go into 2012 without both players, so even though Pittsburgh is $25 million over the salary cap and Hampton will count $8 million against the cap next season, the team might not have a choice -- the Steelers simply might have to bring back the 34-year-old, assuming his rehab allows him to do so.

Steve McLendon is the only nose tackle in the organization with any experience, and he’s largely considered a backup player.

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Posted on: September 15, 2011 7:32 pm
 

Steelers accuse Ravens of playing dirty

Baltimore and Pittsburgh did not get along during their first meeting of the season (Getty).Posted by Josh Katzowitz

When people talk about the dirtiest players in the NFL, Steelers receiver Hines Ward is usually somewhere in the conversation. This might be one reason why. As is Pittsburgh linebacker James Harrison -- who can’t seem to go more than a dozen games without some kind of big fine because of an illegal hit.

So, for the Steelers to accuse another team of playing dirty, it’s akin to William Henry Harrison admonishing you for not wearing a coat when it’s cold and rainy outside (what? too soon?).

But dirty is exactly how Pittsburgh believes the Ravens played last Sunday during Baltimore’s four-touchdown embarrassment of the Steelers. And they point to the Ravens offensive linemen as the main culprits.

“You can get hurt from an illegal chop block, but I guess it isn't an illegal chop block if they don't call it," nose tackle Casey Hampton said, via the Pittsburgh Tribune Review.

Added nose tackle Chris Hoke: "Some of the things they were doing were questionable rules-wise and dangerous.”

In particular, Hampton pointed at Baltimore guard Marshal Yanda as one who continuously tried to cut-block Hampton. That includes the first play of the game when Hampton said he was blatantly chopped by Yanda, which helped set up a 36-yard run by Ravens running back Ray Rice. In all, Hampton said his legs were targeted on Baltimore’s first four running plays.

"There is really nothing you can do when you are engaged and fighting with a guy and they come chopping at your legs," Hampton said. "If it keeps happening, something is going to have to happen. I can't keep getting chopped up like that when I am engaged."

Yet, the Steelers go on to admit that they have plays in their offensive arsenal in which part of the goal is to cut at an opponent’s legs. "Not to the extent that (the Ravens) did," Pittsburgh defensive end Aaron Smith said.

Obviously, cut-blocking is dangerous and somewhat cowardly. But this is not a new problem. As the Steelers say, every team does it (I remember that the Broncos offensive line for years was accused of dirty play and cut-blocks). That doesn’t make it right, obviously. But you can’t be vigorously against cut-blocking when it’s targeting you and be totally cool with it when you use it against an opponent.

Otherwise, your claims of the other team being dirty don’t make very much sense. And don’t elicit much sympathy.

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Posted on: May 29, 2011 2:18 pm
 

Hot Routes 5.29.11: Furloughs and fun



Posted by Josh Katzowitz

  • There are many of us think it’s deplorable for teams to gut staff or send their lowest-level employees out on unpaid furloughs (even if it might make good business sense) during the lockout? Well, it also makes Steelers LB Larry Foote mad. Said Foote in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette: "I don't know who they're trying to fool. How the heck are they laying people off? I don't get that part. That ain't right right there. That's affecting people's lives; they're not making millions of dollars, many of them are going check to check. It's the first time I actually got mad when I read that the other day. They're going too far. That's ridiculous now. The owners are starting to make themselves look like the big companies that move people outside the country. I'm not talking about the Rooneys, I know what they're cut from."
  • T. Romo and his wife, Candice Crawford (Getty).Also in the above article, Pittsburgh NT Chris Hoke said he thinks 90 percent of the league’s veterans are OK with the lockout. Said Hoke: “I want to be in training camp, but, if we're not going in now, when's the last time I could go work out 3-4 hours in the morning and have the afternoon with my wife? Never."
  • Panthers owner Jerry Richardson to Pro Football Weekly about No. 1 pick Cam Newton missing offseason workouts: “The Panthers are going to be like everybody else and (Newton's) going to be like everybody else, so we all have to adjust and deal with what we have to deal with. I'm not really overly stressed out about it, personally."
  • CBSSports.com’s own Len Pasquarelli writes about the how and why the two sides of the labor dispute actually could agree about the monitoring of social media

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Posted on: September 19, 2010 11:35 am
Edited on: September 19, 2010 12:05 pm
 

AFC Inactives: Week 2

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Names of people who are ACTIVE include Todd Heap and Lardarius Webb.

Keith Rivers, LB, Bengals: He's been bothered by a bad foot, and that's bad news for the Bengals defense. Rivers might be the best LB on the roster, and Cincinnati's run defense will suffer from his absence. Brandon Johnson will take his place.

Jake Delhomme, QB, Browns:
This is no surprise. He was doubtful coming into the weekend with an ankle injury, and now, it's official. Seneca Wallace, who doesn't have the throwing potential of Delhomme but has good scrambling ability, will get the start.

Jon McGraw, FS, Chiefs:
He was expected to start - especially after being in the lineup in Week 1 - but instead, Kansas City's coaches are going with the youth movement. The Chiefs will start fifth-round pick Kendrick Lewis, who's exceeded expectations in his first season, and together with Eric Berry, that's a very young safeties corps.

William Hayes, DL, Titans: After missing the season-opener last week, it was thought Hayes possibly could play today. Hayes, in fact, said this week that if he was needed, he definitely could go against Pittsburgh. Ultimately, a lack of conditioning might have been the reason he's not playing.

Casey Hampton, NT, Steelers: With Titans RB Chris Johnson coming to town, this isn't great news for Pittsburgh, even though everybody knew this was going to happen. Chris Hoke likely will take his place.

Jared Gaither, OT, Ravens: The right side of Baltimore's offensive line still remains in limbo, because Gaither still hasn't recovered from his back injury. He says he's doing well and recovering, but that hasn't translated into anything on the field. Marshal Yanda gets the start in his place.

Ikaika Alama-Francis, LB, Dolphins:
He missed last week with an illness, and he was scratched about 90 minutes before Miami's win at Buffalo. Apparently, he's still sick, and apparently, Koa Misi, who had a good game last week, has passed him on the depth chart.

Paul Posluszny , LB, Bills: We knew this already. Posluszny is out a couple weeks with a knee injury. But it's worth noting that perhaps the happiest player about this news is Green Bay TE Jermichael Finley. He might be in for a big day.

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Posted on: September 17, 2010 7:29 pm
 

Chris Johnson vs. the Steelers front seven

C. Johnson hasn't had great success in the past against Pittsburgh (Getty). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

I wondered if Andy, in his weekly key matchup feature, would look at how the Steelers front seven would try to shut down Titans RB Chris Johnson.

Andy went with Michael Vick vs. the Lions defense (read it; it’s a fascinating look), so that leaves me to make sense of the Tennessee-Pittsburgh game.

Johnson, as you know, has 12-straight games where he’s rushed for at least 100 yards. That’s two off Barry Sanders’ all-time record. But remember, the Steelers are traditionally pretty good at stopping the run – in the past 35 games, an opponent has reached the century mark in rushing only once (Baltimore’s Ray Rice).

So, what will happen Sunday? Well, if the past is any indication, it could be a long day for Johnson. Last year, in the season opener, he gained 57 yards on 15 carries, and the season before, he was held to 69 yards.

But the past two seasons, Johnson – no matter what Adrian Peterson thinks – has been the best RB in the league. Yet the Steelers have their gameplan.

"It's a big priority,” OLB LaMarr Woodley told the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. "You stop the run, you force a team to go to its passing game, which allows us to bring a little heat and get to the quarterback.

"We hit him as a team (the past two seasons). We constantly got to him. When running backs are taking hits after hits from big guys, they slow down a little bit."

True, but not every team can boast the tackling skills of Woodley, James Farrior and James Harrison. This week, though, Johnson might catch a break because starting NT Casey Hampton is out for the game.

Most important for the Steelers is for the defense to maintain gap control.

"He's not real heavy but he's so fast and strong," NT Chris Hoke told the paper. "He jump-cuts on a dime, he's very quick at making his reads. You have to make sure you're gap-sound on every play because he gets a little crack and he's gone.

"It's easy for a guy like that, to get everybody a little over-excited – you want to make sure he doesn't make a big play so maybe you get out of your gap a little bit and you run to the ball and he cuts back when you're running to the ball. You have to make sure you stay square to the line of scrimmage so there is no cutback lane."

And what does Johnson – and his teammates – have to do in order to get that 100-yard game? The Titans offensive line has to work harder than the Steelers.

"One thing they do a lot of times is just outwork guys," Titans guard Leroy Harris told the Tennessean. "Every guy is working to the whistle, no matter what. Their technique is sound. They hold responsibility. They do their job. They outwork guys and they keep running to the ball.

"You can’t let the other guy outwork you. You don’t let the other guy make the play. We’ll do that. We also make sure we see the different looks they have and the blitzes they have. We get bodies on guys."

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Posted on: August 11, 2010 10:07 am
 

Chris Hoke does a jig followed by falcon kick

Posted by Will Brinson

Training camp is a fun, silly time. Unless you're Albert Haynesworth. Then it's a time to be lazy and fat and harassed by the media. Fortunately, Steelers' NT Chris Hoke is not Alberto. In fact, he seems like a pretty chill bro.

Provided, of course, that you can assume such a thing about a man based on a 15-second video in which he does an Irish jig and then follows it up with a Falcon Kick. I think that's a pretty safe assumption. Vid graciously provided by the always excellent PSAMP .




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