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Extra Big Snack

July 28, 2008 - John Mehno

The Steelers open on Sept. 7, and Casey Hampton may be ready to do his usual fine job at nose tackle.

That doesn't excuse his showing up for training camp out of shape and unable to complete the annual sprint test. Hampton disrespected his coach and his teammates by taking it upon himself to set his own standard for conditioning.

It's an inexcusable mistake by a veteran player who ought to be even more diligent about his weight as he gets older. It's not just a running test, it's a character test. And one of the team's veterans failed it badly.

Troy Polamalu's hamstring injury on the first day of camp shows why coaches like players to stick around the team complex during the offseason. Polamalu went to California to undertake his own training program. Looks like that didn't work out too well.

Coaches hate surprises, and Mike Tomlin got a couple of big (and bad) ones on the first day of camp.

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