Draft Notebook

Steelers head coach Bill Cowher said Sunday that the long-anticipated move of Marvel Smith from right tackle to left would now be made.<br><br> "I haven't even talked with Marvel yet to tell him that," said Cowher. "So you guys will be breaking the news to him."

While it can be inferred that Oliver Ross and free agent signee Todd Forham will battle in training camp for the starting right tackle position, Cowher did not map out any plan for former fourth-round draft choice Mathias Nkwenti, who is entering his third season. "This is a big year for Mathias," Cowher said.

No Dayne
ESPN reporter John Clayton said the Giants and Steelers had been talking about a trade for former Heisman Trophy-winning running back Ron Dayne, who has fallen out of favor in New York.

"That's the first I've heard of that one," said Cowher.

Return of Mathis?
The Steelers did not acquire a wide receiver in the draft and could be in the market for someone to play in the slot opposite Atwaan Randle El in their four receiver set. The Steelers like Lee Mays as their No. 4 guy, but Mays is seen as an outside receiver. If the Steelers don't sign a veteran, they would probably slide Hines Ward to the slot when they go to four wide receivers with Plaxico Burress and Mays on the outside. Cowher said bringing back Mathis, a free agent who caught 23 passes in the slot receiver role last season, could happen. Mathis, who will be 36 in June, has yet to sign elsewhere. "I wouldn't rule it out," Cowher said of bringing Mathis back for another season.

Logan at strong safety
According to Cowher, Mike Logan will begin the team's preseason drills as No. 1 on the team's depth chart at strong safety ahead of first-round draft pick Troy Polamalu, while Chris Hope will initially back up Brent Alexander at free safety.

Rookie free agents
The Steelers plan to sign 17 or 18 rookie free agents, but will not release the entire list until Monday. They did announce, however, that they have signed Duquesne's Jeremy Conley, a wide receiver and linebacker Russell Stuvaints from Youngstown State, who is from McKeesport, PA.

Dale Lolley

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