Steelers Notebook: Players' vote leads to 4 captains
Linebacker James Farrior was voted to the Steelers' defensive captain. Hines Ward was voted to the Steelers' offensive captain position.
James Harrison and Clint Kriewaldt were named the special teams captains.
Share with others:
Staying with a theme under new coach Mike Tomlin, the Steelers just can't have enough special teams, whether it's practice, coaches or team captains.
Tomlin named his captains yesterday: Linebacker James Farrior on defense, wide receiver Hines Ward on offense, and linebackers James Harrison and Clint Kriewaldt on special teams.
Tomlin previously said he would name the captains, but the players took a vote yesterday morning. The reason there are two on special teams, Farrior said, is the vote was close there.
"Three linebackers!" Farrior noted.
Said Ward, "Any time you can get voted captain by your teammates is an accomplishment, something that goes further than some of the accolades we receive."
Under former coach Bill Cowher, there were six captains -- two each on defense, offense and special teams. This is the fourth year for Farrior as a captain, the third for Ward and Kriewaldt and the first for Harrison.
Faneca happy for Simmons
Alan Faneca sent a text message to fellow offensive guard Kendall Simmons Sunday: "Congratulations, you deserve it."
Faneca said he has no mixed feelings at all that Simmons received a contract extension from the Steelers Sunday and he did not.
"I love Kendall to death; I'm happy for him," Faneca said. "He's been working hard and playing great."
Simmons' contract is the last the Steelers will negotiate this year. If Faneca or any other player whose contract expires at the end of the season is to re-sign it will have to come when the season ends.
The Steelers took that approach years ago when they concluded negotiating contracts during a season had a negative impact on some players.
"It's gotten me at times," said Faneca, acknowledging the effects on him of his contract situation. "But I think for the most part I've done a pretty good job of staying focused on what I need to do and what was going on on the field."
He did not shut the door completely to the narrow chance that he could sign a contract with the Steelers after the season.
"I'm not saying never. I'm just saying the realities are what they are and the likelihood is slim. I can't focus on the probability of a slim chance."
The release of center Chukky Okobi opened the door for rookie linebacker LaMarr Woodley to change his uniform number.
Woodley wore No. 55 -- Joey Porter's old number -- in training camp, but he owned No. 56 throughout high school and his days at Michigan.
"I have to get my older number back," Woodley said.
He wore No. 55 in practice yesterday, but on the new roster is listed as No. 56.
Rossum happy camper now
Training camp for the newest Steeler, Allen Rossum, was different for the former Atlanta Falcons' cornerback and returnman this summer, and he is not unhappy to be away from the Michael Vick circus.
"Most of the time, you have a lot of people out there supporting you. This year, there was not that much support, it was more an antagonistic approach to everything we were doing," said Rossum, 31.
"It's an unfortunate thing for the organization, an unfortunate thing for the league and also for Mike, he's a good friend of mine. I'm sad to see that go down, but we all learn things in life whether he did it, I did it or you did it.
"I'm going to learn from it personally."
There was some celebrating in the Rossum household when the Steelers acquired him in a trade from Atlanta Saturday. His wife, Angela, is from Erie, and she and her family have long been Steelers fans.
"My wife is from Erie, Pa., and is not a Buffalo Bills fan," declared Rossum, who played at Notre Dame.
His role on the team has not yet been defined by Tomlin.
"I really don't know yet. I kind of got here this morning, suited up and went to practice.
"I played nickel, returned punts and kickoffs, I covered, I even played a little receiver. I kind of played anything. I just want to play. Whenever you have an opportunity like this with a legacy of a team like this, I think that's the attitude you should have."
Simmons also is practicing at center because he likely will be pressed into service there if something happens to starter Sean Mahan in games. ... Rossum will wear No. 29. ... Linebacker Marquis Cooper (hamstring) and quarterback Brian St. Pierre (toe) did not practice. Tight end Jerame Tuman, who missed the last preseason game, returned to practice.
First Published September 4, 2007 12:00 am