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Marshal Yanda on Steelers nose guard Casey Hampton: 'He's been a force'

Ravens Pro Bowl offensive guard Marshal Yanda is bracing for what amounts to a heavyweight wrestling match with beefy Pittsburgh Steelers veteran nose guard Casey Hampton.

Hampton is one of the stoutest interior defenisve linemen in the game.

The 6-foot-1, 325-pounder is a five-time Pro Bowl selection and was named to the Steelers' 75th anniversay all-time team.

Although he's in his 12th season, Hampton has staying power.

"Obviously, he's getting the job done well or he wouldn't still be in there," Yanda said. "He's been a force in there for over a decade. He works hard in the offseason. He continues to play at a high level even though he's up there in age."

Hampton's statistics aren't impressive -- he has a dozen tackles this season -- but he's the anchor of the Steelers' front seven and keeps blockers off of the linebackers for the NFL's top-ranked defense.

For his career, the former University of Texas standout has 387 tackles, 9 1/2 sacks, five forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

"He's just blessed," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said of Hampton during a conference call with Baltimore reporters. "This is a tough game, particularly the position that he plays. Obviously, it wears people down. Not a lot of people do it for an extended period of time. He has been able to do it, more than anything, because he has been extremely blessed.”

awilson@baltsun.com

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