by Anthony Defeo Feb 16, 2012 8:00 AM EST 2012 Steelers Draft
One of the most popular phrases uttered when analyzing any NFL game is "the team that wins the battle at the line of scrimmage usually wins the game." Despite the fact the NFL is now quarterback-driven, the team coming out on top is usually the one dominating the line of scrimmage.
As most loyal fans know, the Pittsburgh Steelers
have been using a 3-4 defense for many years, and the main job of a defensive lineman in this scheme is to take on double teams and allow the linebackers to flow freely so they can either get to the quarterback or shut down the running game.
This is especially true for a nose tackle in the 3-4 defense.
If the other team must use both a center and guard to occupy the nose tackle, he's more than doing his job. And if he excels in that role, he becomes a very disruptive force.
For the better part of the past 11 seasons, Casey Hampton
has been one of those dominant Pro Bowl (five times) nose tackles, and is one of the main reasons why the Steelers have had so much success on defense in recent years.
When I think of some of Hampton's more disruptive moments, I think of a playoff game against the Titans following the 2002 season when he drove the center into the backfield so far on a running play, he ran him straight into Eddie George and caused him to fumble. I also think about a play against the Vikings in a game during the 2005 season when Minnesota had the ball near their own goal line, and for some reason, thought it would be sound strategy to only use the center to take on Hampton. Bad idea. Once again, Hampton destroyed the center and forced a safety.
F@(k Wallace.. Throw it to Miller