Steelers' Faneca will skip voluntary drills

But says he'll report for training camp

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The Steelers were back on the practice field yesterday and guard Alan Faneca was back home in Louisiana, where he said he will stay until training camp.


Steelers offensive lineman Alan Faneca and new offensive line coach Larry Zierlein during mini-camp drills.
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Coach Mike Tomlin had held out hope that Faneca might attend some of the voluntary workouts with his teammates in Pittsburgh that end June 14.

Faneca said yesterday he will attend none and that he will next join the team when required July 23, the opening of training camp in St. Vincent College.

His position "never changed," Faneca said of his unhappiness with the Steelers over his contract situation.

The six-time Pro Bowl guard said it is likely he will play the 2007 season with the Steelers because they have not traded him as he had asked.

"My guess is they're not going to trade me, so that puts me in Pittsburgh," Faneca said.

The team held the first of its 14 voluntary sessions that will be spread out over the next four weeks before they take a one-month break before training camp starts.

Faneca, unhappy over lack of progress toward extending the one year he has left on his contract, has stayed away for all offseason workouts and practices this year except for the mandatory minicamp May 11-13. He did not attend the voluntary minicamp April 20-22.

Faneca also skipped one of the required minicamp practices the morning of May 12 when he became upset after someone from the Steelers said something to him.

Tomlin fined him for missing that, a Steelers source confirmed.

With Faneca out, third-year player Chris Kemoeautu, continued to run at his spot at left guard.

"I don't think Alan being out is a good thing; I don't want to say it's a bad thing either," said Chukky Okobi, who has been running with the first team at center since Jeff Hartings' retirement. "It is what it is. He's doing what he feels he needs to do and he's a professional. whether he's here or not, he's going to be ready to go when it comes July, August and September."

NOTES

-- Running back Verron Haynes, released in March, continues to work out at the Steelers' training facility. He hopes to pass a physical and re-sign with the team before training camp after knee surgery last year. ... Linebacker James Harrison and defensive end Brett Keisel did not attend practice yesterday; no reasons were given. ... Recently signed running back Kevan Barlow has swapped numbers with rookie cornerback William Gay. Barlow will wear No. 33 and Gay No. 22. ... Rhein Fire linebacker Derek Rehage, property of the Steelers, was named NFL Europa player of the week after he had 12 tackles, one sack, one quarterback hurry and one pass defensed in a 20-17 loss to the Cologne Centurions. ... The Steelers no longer will put a limited number of tickets on sale through the mail for the 2007 season. Now, all orders for the tickets must go through Ticketmaster.com/steelers or by calling 412-323-1919. The tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. June 23.


Ed Bouchette can be reached at ebouchette@post-gazette.com .


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