Q&A: Casey Hampton

On Monday, NFL Network Insider Jason LaCanfora wrote that he would not be surprised if the Steelers cut Casey Hampton. He cited "people I know close to the situation." Well, here's Big Hamp on that and more.

Casey Hampton, NT, Pittsburgh Steelers

Q: Here's one for you, big guy. Someone from NFL Network is reporting the Steelers are going to cut you.

CH: He was serious?

Q: It's all over the Internet.

CH: Really? Are they going to cut me today?

Q: Well, before the season starts.

CH: Oh, yeah? It might happen. It might happen. You never know.

Q: So, you are on the bubble, aren't you?

CH: I'm on the bubble, man. Workin' hard.

Q: Didn't you say after the game you've never been on the bubble?

CH: There's a first time for everything.

Q: So, do you have a comment on getting cut?

CH: No, man (begins laughing). What do you want me to say?

Q: Is it laughable?

CH: Hey, man, you never know. It could happen to anybody. I'm not exempt.

Q: You don't seem too worried about it.

CH: No, man. I'm pretty sure I could make another team (raucous laughter). I'm not too worried about making somebody's team.

Q: You're playing up to your old standards, aren't you?

CH: I'm doing all right. Just trying to win a Super Bowl. That's my main thing, man. Trying not to be complacent like we were last time and trying to show these young guys how to work.

Q: When you get cut, the Lions would probably claim you. How would you win the Super Bowl?

CH: Nah, if the Lions pick me up on waivers, I'll tell them I'll retire. (Laughs) I ain't going there.

Q: Not to be with Larry Foote?

CH: I'll retire. I'm not going to the Lions. I don't care. Foote's my guy, but I can't deal with 0-16.

James Farrior: You going to the Lions, man?

CH: Yeah. Didn't you hear about that? They say they're going to cut me before the season starts. That's the rumor going around.

JF: Been nice workin' with you, dawg.

Q: Seriously, do you expect this to be your last season here?

CH: Well, my contract will be up. They don't do contracts during the season. That'll make me a free agent.

Ryan Clark: Tell them we're a package deal, Hamp.

CH: Yeah, me and Ryan are a package deal, baby.

RC: We'll shore up your middle.

CH: Damn right. We're a package deal. Wherever we go next year, we're going together. We're going straight up the middle of the defense.

Q: Did the Steelers contact you at all?

CH: Nah. They ain't going to do it. It ain't going to happen. We'll see what happens after the season.

Q: Do you think they want to see you (play) one more time?

CH: Now, y'all ain't going to get me with all this contract stuff, so y'all can be gone with that.

Q: What if they franchise you?

CH: They ain't going to do that.

Q: Why? Too much money?

CH: It ain't going to happen. I'm just going to say that. It's not going to happen.

JF: What about playing for Deebo?

CH: I would, and I'd work for a little bit less for him, too.

Q: Do you think you can regain your Pro Bowl form and be a star in this league for years to come?

CH: I definitely think so. Ain't no question in my mind. I know what I'm capable of doing. I mean, I was nicked up last year, banged up all last year. Played through it. Never said anything. Never complained. I'm really healthy this year, and I feel like when I'm healthy it can get ugly. So we're going to see. I feel real good, so, we'll see.

Q: People talk about players being motivated in their contract year. Is that the case with you?

CH: All that don't matter. My main focus is going back to the Super Bowl, man. I'm not a selfish guy. I've never been a selfish guy since I've been here and thought about myself. I've always been a team guy and my main focus is getting back to the Super Bowl and helping these young guys and showing them how to work and getting back. We can't get complacent. That's my only focus right now.

Q: Will you still leave the door open for them after the year here?

CH: We'll see. We'll cross that bridge when we get there.

Q: If it gets to there, there won't a hometown discount, will there?

CH: If I get to free agency, well, everybody knows what it is. I'm not going to say anything about that. If they let me get to free agency, everybody knows there's going to be something. It ain't nothing to talk about.

Q: You played tackle in the nickel defense next to Keisel the other night. Is that new?

CH: A lot of teams last year put us in nickel defense and tried to run the ball, so they got new packages where I play on third down a lot more.

Q: Isn't it funny that they put in new packages for you when they're going to cut you?

CH: (Laughs) We'll see, man. I mean, I'll deal with it. I ain't going to worry about it.

Q: When Alan Faneca went through this, he played all year but admitted he was bothered by it. Do you feel it'll be in the back of your mind all year?

CH: I'd be lying if I said it didn't bother me, but that's part of the business. So, I'm not going to worry about it. I'm not going to make a grudge and say that I can't understand how they didn't sign me. I understand it's a business. But being here this long, and just being here playing for this period of time, I'm not going to lie and say it doesn't bother me, because I want to be here and I would like the security of being here. But I understand it's a business, and it is what it is.

Q: With Ziggy here, do you see them working in a 4-3 at all this year?

CH: Nah. Nah. We're going to do what we do. What we've been doing been working for years. I don't see us changing.

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