Pittsburgh Steelers Team Notes

Backup inside LB Larry Foote said he and many of his defensive teammates don't miss former defensive coordinator Tim Lewis. Cowher fired Lewis and replaced him with Dick LeBeau, a coordinator the players hold in high regard.

"It's more of a respect thing," Foote said. "I think a lot of people like (LeBeau) . . . With Tim Lewis, a lot of people didn't like him. Some people did, some people didn't He was a lot more personal. He directed a lot of stuff, upset a lot of people."

Lewis is now defensive coordinator of the New York Giants.

The Miami Dolphins showed an interest in halfback Jerome Bettis, but the Steelers cannot trade him. Bettis counts $2 million under their salary cap this year. He would count $3 million if they trade him because the remaining pro-rated portion of his signing bonus at $1 million per year through 2006 would all count this season.

Rookies who do not sing in the dining hall, pay for it later. CB Ricardo Colclough found that out after he refused to sing his Tusculum alma mater one day. Veteran defensive backs tied Colclough to a goalpost after practice, using tape. They dumped ice water on his head before finally cutting him loose.

Bill Cowher escaped that kind of hazing when he was a rookie linebacker with the Eagles in 1979.

"Those are usually for high draft choices," Cowher said. "I was the first one in the locker room. I was a free agent. I don't think they even knew my name."

WR Hines Ward enjoys the company of Eagles WR Terrell Owens, no matter what he does on or off the field.

"I'm a big fan of Terrell's," said Ward. "He's a character, he's an entertainer. Some may say he does it for attention, but he backs it up."

Ward hung out with Owens at Six Flags over Georgia a few years ago and even has one of Owens' jerseys on display in his Georgia home.

LB Nathaniel Adibi, from Virginia Tech, became the first fifth-round draft choice waived as a rookie by the Steelers since 1995.

BY THE NUMBERS: 19 - The shoe size of 6-7, 338-pound rookie Max Starks.

QUOTE: "I'm really expecting a big year out of Tommy. If we can stay healthy up front and continue to run the ball, we're a deadly offense." - WR Hines Ward

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