Mike Tomlin wasted little time in banishing Casey Hampton to physically unable to perform list in response to Hampton’s failure of the team’s annual run test.
Both Ron Cook of the Post-Gazette and John Harris of the Tribune Review hailed Tomlin’s decision, as does Steel Curtin Rising. Hampton is a three time Pro Bowler, and one of the team’s leaders. Tomlin’s message was clear and decisive clear: Everyone is held to the same standard.
The Steelers coach minced no words explaining that Hampton was “He’s overweight and not conditioned enough to participate at this point.”
While Tomlin clearly took the right course of action, Hampton’s response leads one to wonder about its effectiveness. Hampton displayed a rather caviler attitude toward the entire incident, explaining that his first failure of run test in 2003 coincided with his first Pro Bowl selection. When asked how long he would be out of camp, Hampton retorted “I hope all of camp.”
Sounds like being on the PUP list is right up Hampton’s alley.
Therefore, you’ve got to ask was putting him on the PUP the right thing to do?
The answer is yes.
There’s probably no there other suitable punishment Tomlin could have dished out. Forcing to him play extra snaps in full pads in the hot sun would not only deprive the team of opportunities to evaluate untested rookies like Kyle Clement, it would also increase Hampton’s exposure to injury.
In the larger picture, Tomlin wins if other players take note of this example. The smart money says they will. If Hampton doesn’t end up enjoying his extra time out of pads, so much the better.