Steelers coach Mike Tomlin chuckled when asked how important it is for his team to be physical.

"It's pretty important," he said matter-of-factly over his laugh. Then, he turned serious: "It's a collision sport. We like men who play with a physical demeanor, and we desire to play with physical demeanor as a football team." 

It's shown these past nine days at St. Vincent College. The 2012 Steelers' physical nature has been on display in during training camp, from the "mean and nasty" (guard Ramon Foster's words) offensive line to the skirmishes after the whistle. 

Thursday, it was some surprisingly-hard hitting for a training camp practice. 

Once, WR Antonio Brown initiated contact with S Will Allen as the whistle blew following a play run during a drill. 

But the most striking hit -- one that would have stood out during a regular-season game -- was by CB Ike Taylor on WR Derrick Williams late in the practice. 

Follow Steelers reporter Chris Adamski on Twitter @CBSSportsNFLPIT and @BuzzsawPGH.