Ed Bouchette checks in from Day 3 of training camp in Latrobe:
The presence of Kevin Greene in training camp this week prompted a question: Why isn't this guy in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, along with Dermontti Dawson?
Greene's 160 sacks are the most in NFL history since the league started counting them as an official statistic 25 years ago. He's second on the all-time list only to two pretty good ends, Bruce Smith and Reggie White.
Then there's Dermontti Dawson, the all-1990s center who made seven Pro Bowls. I was told many times that he was better than Mike Webster - by people who worked and coached for the Steelers.
Yet neither Dawson nor Greene have made the finalists for the Hall in their several years of eligibility. It's time one or both of these men get their due.
It will take more than walking
The Post-Gazette's Pete Diana produced a front-page photo of an overweight Casey Hampton (the photo cutline called him 325 pounds -- if he were anywhere near that weight he'd be practicing right now) walking with Hall of Famer Joe Greene.
I have little doubt that Greene told Hampton about his former teammate, the late Ernie Holmes, who wasn't called "Fats" for nothing. Holmes was an original member of the front four Steel Curtain of the 1970s, but he wasn't around for the end of it the way Greene, LC Greenwood and the late Dwight White were. That's because Holmes constantly battled weight problems and ate himself out of the league.
Now, in the 1970s, weight problems were different. We're talking more in the low 300s rather than what Casey appears to be pushing now, the higher 300s. Also back in the ‘70s, there were no offseason programs with the club to speak of other than a required one-week minicamp. The players reported to training camp much earlier in July and got into shape there, playing six and sometimes seven preseason games.
The Steelers would put Fats on a diet at Saint Vincent and he would follow it in the cafeteria. However, Holmes was famous for buying packages of hotdogs and hoarding them in his dorm room, where he feasted on them at night.
The Steelers traded Holmes after the 1977 season, primarily because of his weight, which reduced his quickness and thus his effectiveness.
Good thing they don't sell tickets
The crowd for the first practice Monday afternoon was small by recent Steelers training camp standards. In fact, it was so thin it looked like something from a Pirates game.