The latest in Steelers news:

Our newest segment allows SCI reporters to post here any news, rumors or opinions they may have about the Steelers, before they go to work on the entire story. (To be updated throughout the day.)

MONDAY, AUGUST 13, 4:00 p.m.

* The Steelers re-signed long snapper Jared Retkofsky to their roster, the team announced today.

Retkofsky (6-5, 260) was originally signed by the Steelers as an undrafted free agent earlier this year out of TCU but was released by the team on July 19.

To make room for Retkofsky, the Steelers released rookie linebacker Matt King (6-3, 245). King was signed by Pittsburgh on August 3.

MONDAY, JULY 23, 4:30 p.m.

* The Steelers have agreed to a 5-year, $33 million contract extension with All-Pro strong safety Troy Polamalu, that includes $15 million in guaranteed money. The extension will keep Polamalu in Pittsburgh through 2011.

Details to follow.

MONDAY, JULY 23, 2:45 p.m.

* Players are beginning to arrive at St. Vincent College in Latrobe, site of Mike Tomlin's first training camp as head coach of the Steelers. Players are not required to report until 4 p.m. today, after which they will participate in Tomlin's surprise conditioning test. But that didn't keep one player from getting in really early to get a jump on things.

"It's a little scary, plus when you don't know what to expect," said RG Kendall Simmons, who arrived yesterday. "In past years you knew what to expect and it really didn't matter much. But now it kind of throws a wrinkle in things, kind of keeps you up in the air."

* And as reported in this space nearly a month ago, the Steelers announced today they have promoted veteran assistant coach John Mitchell to assistant head coach/defensive line.

Mitchell, is in his 14th season with the team and is entering his 34th season of coaching overall, including 17 in the NFL, 15 at the college level and two in the USFL.

A former All-America defensive end for Alabama, Mitchell was the first African-American to play for the Crimson Tide and began his coaching career under legendary 'Bama coach Paul "Bear" Bryant.

SUNDAY, JULY 22, 7:50 a.m.

* The Steelers gave fifth-round draft pick William Gay a $106,000 bonus after signing him to a three-year contract. That leaves first-round pick Lawrence Timmons as the team's lone unsigned pick. The roster is set at 86, with six of the players NFL Europe exempt until the final cut.

FRIDAY, JULY 20, 12:40 p.m.

* The Steelers officially announced the signings of draft picks LaMarr Woodley and Dallas Baker today, and also announced the signing of third-round draft pick Matt Spaeth.

Spaeth (6-7, 270), out of Minnesota, is the all-time career leader for the Gophers in receiving yards (1,291) and receptions (109) by a tight end. As a senior, he won the John Mackey Award as the nation's top tight end after finishing with 47 receptions for 564 yards (12.0 avg.) and four touchdowns. A two-time All-Big Ten first-team honoree, Spaeth finished his career with 12 touchdowns.

(Spaeth's contract, according to Scout's Adam Caplan: $564,000 signing bonus; $285,000 2007 salary; $370,000 2008; $460,000 2009).

The Steelers have now signed six of their eight draft picks from the 2007 NFL Draft. The only two that have yet to sign are linebacker Lawrence Timmons (first round) and cornerback William Gay (second of two fifth-round picks).

THURSDAY, JULY 19, 4:40 p.m.

* The Steelers released two players today, trimming their roster to 86 players four days prior to the start of team's training camp.

First-year wide receiver Gerran Walker and free agent rookie long snapper Jared Retkofsky were both released after the team signed draft picks Dallas Baker and LaMarr Woodley this week.

The Steelers can bring 86 players to training camp due to six NFL Europe League roster exemptions. As each of the remaining draft picks -- Lawrence Timmons, Matt Spaeth and William Gay -- are signed, a corresponding player will be released.

TUESDAY, JULY 17, 10:30 p.m.

*Seventh rounder Dallas Baker became the latest Steelers draft pick to come to terms with the team, agreeing on a three-year deal that will pay him $1.15 million, including a $39,750 signing bonus.

Baker is the fourth Steelers draft pick to reach an agreement with the team, leaving only first-rounder Lawrence Timmons, second-rounder LaMarr Woodley, third-rounder Matt Spaeth and William Gay, the second of their two fifth-round selections, still unsigned.

As Jim Wexell reported last week, negotiations are also heating up between the team and Pro Bowl safety Troy Polamalu and a new deal could be struck before he reports at 4 p.m. Monday.(--d.l.)

WEDNESDAY, JULY 11, 10 a.m.

* The Steelers announced today that they will stick with their 3-4 defense ... no, just kidding. But the Steelers did get around to announcing the addition of WR/KR Dan Sheldon, whom the team claimed off the waiver wire a week ago. The Steelers also announced the signing of running back Larry Croom.

Croom (5-10, 201), from UNLV, was originally signed by the Arizona Cardinals as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2004 and finished with 29 carries for 76 yards in six games that season. He was signed by the Tennessee Titans before their 2005 training camp but was cut later in camp. He also spent time on the Detroit Lions' practice squad in 2005 and was signed to San Diego's 2006 offseason roster. He spent three seasons in NFL Europe.

The Steelers are obviously waiting to announce the promotion of DL coach John Mitchell to assistant head coach.

As for the contract status of Troy Polamalu, the Steelers, of course, won't say anything for the public record and Polamalu's agent, Marvin Demoff, won't return calls to Scout.com. However, an impeccable source with the team said the sides are close to a deal. (--j.w.)

MONDAY, JULY 9, 2 p.m.

* A source in Pittsburgh confirmed that the Steelers are close to a contract agreement with second-round draft pick LaMarr Woodley, but the big news, according to the source, is that the team is close to extending the contract of All-Pro safety Troy Polamalu. Stay tuned to SteelCityInsider.com for updates. (--j.w.)

MONDAY, JULY 9, 11:20 p.m.

* Dan Rooney's statement on the weekend resignation of former Pirates CEO Kevin McClatchy:

"Kevin McClatchy is a fine young man whom I have known for many years. He and my son, Dan Jr., went to high school together and played on the same baseball and football teams. He pioneered the efforts to keep the Pittsburgh Pirates in the city of Pittsburgh and did all of the necessary corporate work to make the team remain here. He also worked to get PNC Park built, which is the most beautiful baseball stadium in the country.

"The city of Pittsburgh has a debt of gratitude to Kevin. I am pleased with the progress he has made over the years with the Pirates."

SATURDAY, JULY 7, 9:37 a.m.

* The Steelers added former Northern Illinois record-holder Dan Sheldon to their roster yesterday. According to The Courier News of suburban Chicago, Sheldon was released by the Atlanta Falcons on Tuesday and claimed by both the Steelers and Philadelphia Eagles. By virtue of a worse won-loss record last season, the Steelers were awarded Sheldon.

The 5-foot-11, 173-pound wide receiver was second in NFL Europe with a 25.1 kickoff-return average. He was third in punt-return average at 10.6. Sheldon was hampered by a strained left hamstring injury all spring, which may explain his release by the Falcons.

The 25-year-old set school return records at Northern Illinois and was signed by the Arizona Cardinals following the 2005 draft. He spent the 2005 season on the Cardinals' practice squad and was released following the season. Last year he was released by both the Indianapolis Colts and Chicago Bears before signing with Atlanta this past February.

The Steelers lack depth in their return game. They're hopeful that second-year man Willie Reid overcomes foot problems that cost him his rookie season and much of the spring workouts. The team would prefer not to use starting split end Santonio Holmes as a return man, or reserve defensive back Ricardo Colclough because of his fumbling problems.

Here's the complete Sheldon bio. (--j.w.)

WEDNESDAY, JULY 4, 7:20 a.m.

* The Virginia Gazette reports today on a pair of Steelers who grew up in the Williamsburg area.

FRIDAY, JUNE 29, 9:45 a.m.

* According to Scout.com, the Steelers are close to signing second-round draft pick Lamarr Woodley. The report states that Woodley could sign a contract early next week. None of the league's first or second-round draft picks have signed contracts yet. The full story is posted elsewhere on the front page.

THURSDAY, JUNE 28, 4:30 p.m.

* The Steelers today released three rookie free agents: wide receiver Eric Deslauriers, running back Paul Mosley and fullback Aaron Robbins.

Deslauriers (6-4, 207) was signed by the Steelers as a rookie free agent out of Eastern Michigan, Mosley (6-3, 236) out of Baylor and Robbins (6-4, 256) from Wyoming.

All Steelers are scheduled to report to Training Camp at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pa., on Monday, July 23.

THURSDAY, JUNE 28, 7:20 a.m.

* The Steelers yesterday released undrafted rookie free agent Eric Deslauriers. The 6-foot-4, 207-pound wide receiver from Eastern Michigan is a native of Gatineau, Quebec.

The Steelers are now one spot shy of a full roster, but have five draft picks to sign.

* Here's an interesting blog entry from an Oakland writer who thinks the Raiders' front office should be more like the Steelers'.

* According to The Akron Beacon Journal, the Pro Football Hall of Fame has opened a 2,500-square foot exhibit commemorating the Steelers' 75th anniversary. Read about it here.

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27, 11 a.m.

* Get a jump on college football with this story about the most overrated and underrated teams and players in 2007.

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27, 9:30 a.m.

* Defensive line coach John Mitchell has been promoted to assistant head coach by Tomlin. The announcement will be made later this week.

Mitchell, 55, enters his 14th season as the Steelers' defensive line coach.

The promotion fills the spot left open by former assistant head coach Russ Grimm, now with the Arizona Cardinals. The position requires that Mitchell pick up the tab at weekly bull sessions with reporters and office support staff, as Grimm had often done during his reign. (-- j.w.)

* Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is the feature attraction at Coach Mike Tomlin's alma mater this week. Read about it here.

* Also, here's an update on former quarterback coach Mark Whipple.

MONDAY, JUNE 4, 2 p.m.

* The Steelers announced they have re-signed veteran running back Verron Haynes to a one-year contract. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Haynes (5-10, 222), who was released on March 1, was the Steelers' fifth-round draft choice in 2002 (166th overall). He played seven games in 2006 before being placed on the reserve/injured list with a knee injury versus Oakland (Oct. 29).

Haynes has played in 60 games with the Steelers and has rushed for 738 yards and three touchdowns on 174 carries (4.2 avg.). Quotes from Haynes will be coming briefly.

* Today's O.T.A. session was missed by quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, linebacker Clark Haggans, safety Troy Polamalu and defensive end Brett Keisel. Further details will be provided this afternoon.

THURSDAY, MAY 31, 5:30 p.m.

* The Steelers signed draft picks Dan Sepulveda and Cameron Stephenson to three-year contracts.

Sepulveda, a punter from Baylor, was the team's 4A draft pick, and Stephenson, a guard from Rutgers, was the team's 5A draft pick.

Also, we have some injury news on return man Willie Reid, as well as several OTA notes from reporter Jim Wexell.

* A statement from Art Rooney, regarding the approval of the master plan for North Shore Casino:

"The proceedings at City Planning this week regarding approval of a master plan for Majestic Star were far less than satisfactory. The fact that people who object to the approval were given only three minutes to present positions is evidence that the proceeding was intended to push through an inadequate master plan that falls far short of what is legally required by city ordinance.

"The fact that it took this long for City Planning to include the requirement for a traffic study does not bode well for the future of the North Shore. The Steelers would like to avoid going to court to solve the issues we have about event-day traffic. However, PITG's lack of cooperation and the lack of a willingness to take responsibility for doing things right leaves us with ongoing concern for how this project will be done. We must do what is necessary to protect the interests of our fans in being able to attend games at Heinz Field in a safe and convenient environment. This is an important project which will have important long-term impacts on the North Shore. We will continue to insist that no corners be cut."

THURSDAY, MAY 31, 1:35 p.m.

* Offensive line coach Larry Zierlein apologized to the fans, the team and his family for mass-forwarding a pornographic e-mail that had been sent to him by a member of the Steelers' front office earlier in the month. An interview -- that had been requested by only SteelCityInsider.com and the Post-Gazette but soon included several reporters -- will be available shortly, as will several notes from today's OTA workout.

WEDNESDAY, MAY 30, 3:20 p.m.

* For the second consecutive day, Willie Colon is starting at right tackle over a healthy Max Starks. More on this, as well as rumors and observations from Jim Wexell, by clicking this link.

WEDNESDAY, MAY 23, 2:40 p.m.

* Let's start the notebook off with Kevan Barlow's explanation for changing from No. 22 to No. 33: "My mother read a bunch of bad stuff in some magazines and asked me to change. I'm not the kind of guy who worries about bad luck because I'm into the Lord. But, then again, I did sprain my ankle my second day with 22."

And here are the rest of the notes from today's workout.

TUESDAY, MAY 22, 4:55 p.m.

* The official statement from Steelers spokesman Dave Lockett appears to indicate that O-line coach Larry Zierlein has gotten off with a warning. From Lockett:

"An inappropriate email communication was sent from our office to unintended recipients last week. The sending of inappropriate email messages is against club and league policy, and the sender has been warned about the policy violation. The sender has issued an apology to all of the recipients."

TUESDAY, MAY 22, 4 p.m.

* The Steelers "are looking into it," was PR man Dave Lockett's only statement on an inappropriate e-mail that was allegedly forwarded to the team by offensive line coach Larry Zierlein.

* Here's the Quickie Q&A with LaMarr Woodley that we'd promised earlier.

TUESDAY, MAY 22, 3 p.m.

* As expected, Alan Faneca missed the first of 14 voluntary spring workouts. Two other starters also missed today's workout. Read about that and other notes right here.

TUESDAY, MAY 22, 7 a.m.

* Organized Team Activities begin today and will continue through June 14. We'll be there to cover all 14 of the practices. Until then, here's a feature on former Steelers great Rocky Bleier. It may be gone in seven days, but for now it's free on the Notre Dame Internet Network.

SUNDAY, MAY 20, 8:35 a.m.

With a busy week on tap here at SteelCityInsider.com, I hand the floor over to some of the Sunday morning stories circulating the net that aren't in the mainstream media: (--j.w.)

* In the Washington Observer-Reporter, John Steigerwald is already looking to bench Ben Roethlisberger.

* A Beaver County Times notes column by one of my favorites, John Mehno, touches on Alan Faneca, Joey Porter and John Fedko.

* WTAE-TV news "caught up with Roethlisberger" at a high school function to ask him about his dinner with Mike Tomlin, as reported by Sports Illustrated.

* AOL/SCI/HSS writer Ryan Wilson comments on Dan Rooney's recent remarks about Faneca.

* And finally, to our message board for notes on relevant players from around the league, courtesy of The Sports Exchange.

SATURDAY, MAY 18, 6:40 a.m.

* Joey Porter told WPXI-TV "I will make a statement" when he returns to Pittsburgh on Nov. 26 with his new team, the Miami Dolphins. Porter also commented on LaMarr Woodley, the Steelers' new No. 55.

FRIDAY, MAY 18, 7:35 a.m.

* Dan Rooney told KDKA TV that talks with Alan Faneca "get down to paying him what he wants and we just don't think we can do that."

SATURDAY, MAY 12, 5:50 p.m.

* Alan Faneca returned to practice this afternoon and explained his morning absence this way: "Just some things were said and I just had to cool off, a little cool off time."

He didn't expound, only to say he and management talked and "I still stand by what I said yesterday."

Was anything resolved?

"No, it was just talk," he said.

SATURDAY, MAY 12, 4:25 p.m.

* Alan Faneca missed the morning practice, but is back on the field this afternoon. After practice I hope to get an answer for his curious day ... unless he punches me in the face first. Also, we'll have Mike Tomlin comments after practice as well. (--j.w.)

SATURDAY, MAY 12, 12 p.m.

* One day after venting about the lack of progress in his contract talks, guard Alan Faneca walked out of the team's minicamp Saturday. Chris Kemoeatu stepped in at left guard. We'll have more later.

FRIDAY, MAY 11, 12:55 p.m.

* Alan Faneca attended minicamp only because it's mandatory, he said. He answered every question put forth to him by a mob of reporters and at one point said he's convinced this will be his last year with the Steelers because their new contract offer wouldn't put him in the top 10 paid guards in the league. We'll have the full transcript within a half hour.

THURSDAY, MAY 10, 12:15 p.m.

* The Steelers released veteran linebacker Richard Seigler, the team announced today.

Seigler, a second-year linebacker who spent parts of the past two seasons on the Steelers' practice squad, was originally drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in the fourth round (127th overall) of the 2004 NFL Draft. He saw action in seven games as a rookie, finishing the season with one assisted tackle on defense and six special teams stops.

Seigler signed with the Steelers on Nov. 9, 2005, and spent the remainder of the season with the team. He was released during training camp in 2006, but was added to the practice squad Dec. 23.

WEDNESDAY, MAY 9, 11:15 a.m.

* Interviewed LaMarr Woodley and his former defensive coordinator the other day. Go here for the transcripts.

WEDNESDAY, MAY 9, 7:45 a.m.

* According to NFL.com, Kevan Barlow is returning home to play for the Steelers. The former Peabody High and Pitt star will suit up for this weekend's minicamp.

MONDAY, MAY 7, 5 p.m.

* To the surprise of no one, charges against Deshea Townsend have been dropped.

SATURDAY, MAY 5, 8:15 a.m.

* The amount of money the Steelers can pay their rookies is $4,257,000. The "rookie pool number" is the amount within the salary cap that the Steelers can spend on rookies.

FRIDAY, MAY 4, 4:15 p.m.

* For the running back-starved Steelers, it had to be one of two veterans: Kevan Barlow or Chris Brown. On Friday, it was Barlow who visited the Steelers. The former Pitt star is looking for a team after being released by the New York Jets. Barlow has spent six years in the league.

THURSDAY, MAY 3, 4 p.m.

* The Steelers released veteran tight end Tim Euhus, leaving the team with veterans Heath Miller and Jerame Tuman, practice player Jon Dekker, draft pick Matt Spaeth and rookie free agent Cody Boyd.

Euhus (6-5, 249) played with the Steelers in 2006 after signing on Aug. 29. He saw action in the Steelers' 2006 season opener and then was inactive for three games before being released on Oct. 12. He did not sign with another team in 2006 and re-signed with the Steelers in February.

WEDNESDAY, MAY 2, 4:30 p.m.

* A couple of nuggets from my quick trip to the South Side:

1. The undrafted rookie free agent with the best chance to make the team seems to be Rutgers center Darnell Stapleton. His is the only name that comes up during such discussions with sources. No one seems impressed with the undrafted rookie running backs ... at least yet.

2. Linebacker coach Keith Butler will be looking at second-round pick LaMarr Woodley at inside linebacker as well as outside and as a third-down defensive end. Several of us on the message boards had speculated during the season that Woodley looks like a buck inside backer, and it appears the Steelers are wondering about it as well. After all, the great Levon Kirkland made the move from college defensive end to buck backer.

We'll have many more of these nuggest -- as well as features on the new players -- as the weeks progress, but particularly once minicamp begins on May 11. We'll mix the news of the day with features on the rookies during the spring workout season. (--j.w.)

WEDNESDAY, MAY 2, 11:10 a.m.

* The Steelers have assigned jersey numbers to their rookie class of 2007. First-rounder Lawrence Timmons was assigned #94, the number made famous and last worn in Pittsburgh by Chad Brown.

Lamarr Woodley will don the #55 of departed Joey Porter, the man he is ultimately replacing, at least in the dime. Third-round TE Matt Spaeth will wear #89.

The other numbers assigned: P Daniel Sepulveda #9; DE Ryan McBean #69; OG Cameron Stephenson #65; CB William Gay #22; WR Dallas Baker #81; OC Darnell Stapleton #61; RB Gary Russell #33; FB Aaron Robbins #46; RB Paul Mosley #40; WR Chris Jackson #14; WR Eric Fowler #82; OT Jason Capizzi #67; TE Cody Boyd #48; LS Jared Retkofsky #64; DL Derrick Jones #67; and WR Eric Deslauriers #13.

MONDAY, APRIL 30, 9:10 p.m.

* One change on the UFA roster: DE Aaron Robbins of Wyoming has replaced FB Gijon Robinson.

MONDAY, APRIL 30, 12:25 p.m.

* The Steelers agreed to terms with the following rookie free agents:

PITTSBURGH STEELERS 2007 ROOKIE FREE AGENTS

1. Cody Boyd, TE, 6-8, 264, Washington State.

2. Jason Capizzi, OT, 6-9, 315, Indiana (Pa.).

3. Eric Deslauriers, WR, 6-4, 207, Eastern Michigan.

4. Eric Fowlers, WR, 6-3, 198, Grand Valley State.

5. Chris Jackson, WR, 6-2, 205, Millsaps.

6. Derrick Jones, DL, 6-4, 282, Grand Valley State.

7. Paul Mosley, RB, 6-3, 235, Baylor.

8. Jared Retkofsky, LS, 6-5, 260, TCU.

9. Gijon Robinson, FB, 6-1, 261, Missouri Western State.

10. Gary Russell, RB, 5-11, 215, Minnesota.

11. Darnell Stapleton, G/C, 6-3, 285, Rutgers.

SUNDAY, APRIL 29, 11:45 p.m.

* The names of two other undrafted free agents have surfaced. Darnell Stapleton, a center from Rutgers, and running back Gary Russell of Minnesota have landed with Pittsburgh.

Russell, 5-11, 217, amassed 1,274 yards on 210 carries (6.1 avg.) and ran for 18 touchdowns in 2005, but was declared academically ineligible in 2006 and did not play.

The 6-3, 305-pound Stapleton was one of six finalists for the Rimington Trophy, an award given annually to the nation's top center.

SUNDAY, APRIL 29, 9:15 p.m.

* Scout.com: Had the Steelers not selected Matt Spaeth in the third round with the 77th pick, the Jacksonville Jaguars were poised to choose him with pick 79.

SUNDAY, APRIL 29, 7:40 p.m.

* The Steelers won't release their list of rookie free agents until tomorrow, but a source confirmed they've signed 6-foot-9, 324-pound left tackle Jason Capizzi of Indiana University of Pa. and Pine-Richland High School.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 25, 5:55 p.m.

* Per Adam Caplan, Steelers RT Max Starks signed his one-year RFA tender today.

* The Steelers apparently have UTEP WR/KR Johnnie Lee Higgins high on their draft board. Read more about Higgins here.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 25, 6:18 a.m.

* SCI publisher Jim Wexell chose Joe Staley in the first round of the recent Scout.com mock draft, but sources have told Scout that the Steelers are not interested in fortifying the position in the first round. Sources told the network the Steelers are instead interested in mid-rounders Chris Denman (6-6 1/2, 315, 5.64) of Fresno State and Allen Barbre (6-4, 300, 4.88) of Missouri Southern State.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 25, 5:18 a.m.

* The Steelers will host their annual Fan Blitz at Heinz Field on Saturday, April 28. The event allows fans to watch the draft excitement unfold on the Jumbotron and on large screen televisions throughout Heinz Field while participating in numerous interactive activities.

The Fan Blitz will be open to the public from 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Fans will be permitted to kick field goals on the playing field while current and former Steelers players sign autographs. For more details on this event, visit www.steelers.com.

MONDAY, APRIL 23, 5:25 p.m.

* Steelers third-string QB Brian St. Pierre signed his one-year tender offer today.

FRIDAY, APRIL 20, 1:45 p.m.

* Nothing further on Faneca. Coach Mike Tomlin will address the issue after this evening's practice.

* Missing from today's practice, from the starting lineup, were Faneca, Troy Polamalu and Clark Haggans. My understanding is that Polamalu is at a retreat and Haggans just had a baby born premature by several weeks.

* Positions of interest on the first team: C Chukky Okobi, LG Chris Kemeatu, LOLB Rian Wallace, RCB Deshea Townsend and SS Tyrone Carter.

The second-team O-line, from left to right, consisted of Brandon Torrey, Sean Mahan, Marvin Philip, Trai Essex and Willie Colon. The second-team D-line, from left to right, consisted of Nick Eason, Chris Hoke and Travis Kirschke. The second-team linebackers, from left to right, were Wallace (still), Richard Seigler, Ron Stanley, and Marcello Church. The second-team corners were Ricardo Colclough and Bryant McFadden and the second-team safeties were Mike Lorello and Anthony Smith. The wide receivers rotate at a different pace than the rest of the players so I hesitate to say whether Santonio Holmes or Cedrick Wilson was the starting split end. Also, I saw Arnold Harrison in the hallway but don't remember if he was on the field rotating with Wallace at LOLB.

* Kendall Simmons played center only for the third- and fourth-team quarterbacks during 7-on-7 drills. He snapped shotgun and dribbled the last one of the session back to QB Bryan Randall.

* The last of the college visitors were in today. The Steelers hosted Arkansas CB Chris Houston and Pitt CB Darrelle Revis. (--j.w.)

FRIDAY, APRIL 20, 11:15 a.m.

* Okay, we have our first mistake of the hour-long season. Alan Faneca is NOT on the field. He reported to the South Side facility Thursday night and showed up again Friday morning, but did not suit up. Dan Rooney confirmed Faneca had been at the facility.

"He WAS here," Rooney said.

Was he negotiating with you?

"No," Rooney said.

What's he doing here?

"I'm not going to speak for him," Rooney said.

Updates as we get them.

FRIDAY, APRIL 20, 10:15 a.m.

* Alan Faneca is practicing with the team right now. We'll have quotes from him after the first workout of the day. (--j.w.)

FRIDAY, APRIL 20, 6:15 a.m.

* According to the Post-Gazette, the Steelers on Thursday hosted Miami OLB Jon Beason, Washington TE Cody Boyd, Missouri Southern State T-G Allen Barbre and Baylor P Dan Sepulveda.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 18, 4:45 p.m.

* The Steelers today hosted East Carolina wide receiver Aundrae Allison. The 6-0 1/4, 198-pounder caught 145 passes for 1,732 yards and 11 touchdowns during his two seasons at ECU. At the combine he ran his 40s in 4.39 andn 4.41 seconds.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 18, 10:16 a.m.

* Steelers defensive line coach John Mitchell will be inducted into the Mobile Sports Hall of Fame tomorrow night. Read the story in today's Mobile Register about Mitchell's career.

TUESDAY, APRIL 17, 12:10 p.m.

* The Steelers hosted three players on Tuesday and all three had been reported upon earlier by SteelCityInsider.com.

The players are defensive end Adam Carriker of Nebraska, defensive tackle Amobi Okoye of Louisville and wide receiver Jacoby Jones of Division II Lane College.

TUESDAY, APRIL 17, 7:05 a.m.

* After watching Willie Reid and Rasheed Marshall play basketball the other night, I'm not so worried about the Steelers' No. 5 wide receiver spot. Here's a closer look at Marshall by the Wheeling Intelligencer. (--j.w.)

MONDAY, APRIL 16, 6:25 p.m.

* Scout.com's Adam Caplan is reporting that Louisville defensive tackle Amobi Okoye visited the Steelers' offices.

MONDAY, APRIL 16, 5:30 p.m.

* Defensive end Nick Eason has signed a contract with the Steelers. A 2003 fourth-round selection out of Clemson by the Denver Broncos, Eason spent the last three seasons with the Cleveland Browns.

MONDAY, APRIL 16, 4 p.m.

* Well, well, well. Just when you write a story wondering about the guy, he shows up. The Steelers hosted Purdue defensive end Anthony Spencer at their South Side practice facility on Monday. To read more about Spencer and the other Monday visitor, look here.

SATURDAY, APRIL 14, 7:30 a.m.

* Rodney Bailey signed a one-year contract with the Arizona Cardinals, becoming the second former Steeler to sign with Ken Whisenhunt's new team. Bailey played in 12 games as a defensive end last season with the Steelers and made four tackles. Bailey and Sean Morey have moved from the Steelers to the Cardinals this free-agent period.

FRIDAY, APRIL 13, 2:10 p.m.

* As reported earlier, Dwayne Jarrett, the USC wide receiver, paid a visit to the South Side and met with Kevin Colbert, Mike Tomlin and company. Another interesting visitor showed up, and you can read all about it here. (--j.w.)

THURSDAY, APRIL 12, 1:25 p.m.

* Joey Porter has the date circled. He told Florida Today that he can't wait for the Miami Dolphins' Nov. 26 Monday night game in Pittsburgh.

"I didn't get my fair shot to stay," Porter said on ESPN. ". . . When I come, it's going to be fun to run into my old guys, because I'm coming down with a whole bunch of new friends. It's going to be a business trip, but it's going to be a pleasure for me at the same time."

Porter had more to say about the game in today's report. He also said he was "embarrassed" by the incident in Las Vegas with Levi Jones.

* Three draft prospects are in for visits today. Notre Dame left tackle Ryan Harris is the big name, and Virginia cornerback Marcus Hamilton's visit had been reported earlier, but it's the third name -- here -- that might interest the serious students of the draft. (--j.w.)

THURSDAY, APRIL 12, 8:20 a.m.

* Scout.com's Tony Pauline called last night to tell me one of my favorite players is coming to Pittsburgh for a visit: Texas DE/OLB Brian Robison. A date wasn't given.

Robison is a 6-3 1/8, 259-pounder who showed off eye-popping athleticism at the combine. He ran a 4.67 40, a 6.89 3-cone and, at 1.49, was the only front-seven defender at the combine under 1.5 seconds in the 10-yard split. He also had a vertical jump of 40.5 inches. Robison played out of position at defensive end at Texas. The natural 3-4 OLB moved from middle linebacker as a freshman to 4-3 end and started three seasons there and compiled 13 sacks and 37 tackles for loss. He's considered a third-round prospect.

* According to Scout.com's Ed Thompson, the Steelers showed interest in Montana QB Josh Swogger at the combine. He's 6-4 1/2, 237 and, after transferring from Washington State, where he started six games in 2004, started all 13 games for the Grizzlies last season. Swogger completed 54 percent of his passes with a TD-Int ratio of 17-12. He's a developmental prospect who could likely be signed after the draft.

* The game to circle on the Steelers' schedule is the Monday, Nov. 5 home game against the Ravens. The Steelers are planning a massive celebration in accordance with their 75th anniversary as an NFL franchise. (--j.w.)

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 11, 12:50 p.m.

* Two more prospects showed up today -- one you've heard of and one you probably haven't. I'm going to send you here for the information.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 11, NOON

* Florida State outside linebacker Lawrence Timmons and USC wide receiver Steve Smith are visiting with the Steelers right now.

Timmons is 6-0 7/8, 234 and ran 4.6+ 40s at both the combine and his pro day. The junior started only one year at Florida State, which used a 3-4 scheme 25 percent of the time. Timmons is expected to be a first-round pick, and is considered a strong candidate to be chosen by the Steelers at pick 15.

Smith is a 5-11 3/4, 197-pound Alaskan. He ran a 4.4 40 at the combine and is considered a late-first, early-second round prospect. He caught 173 passes the last three seasons at USC and last year caught 71 for 1,083 yards and 9 touchdowns and was MVP of the Rose Bowl. (--j.w.)

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 11, 7:30 a.m.

* Jacoby Jones is starting a 14-day, nine-city tour that will include a visit to the Steelers. Jones is a 6-2, 210-pound wide receiver from Division II Lane College. He ran a 4.53 40 at the combine and caught 4 passes for 57 yards in the East-West Shrine game.

TUESDAY, APRIL 10, 1:15 p.m.

* University of Pittsburgh OLB Clint Session has upcoming visits to the Buffalo Bills, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers and Indianapolis Colts, according to his agent, Harold Lewis.

TUESDAY, APRIL 10, 12:45 p.m.

* After returning from his vacation, Jim Wexell has so many notes and thoughts about the draft prospects that he had to put some in a story (soon to be published) and the rest here on the message board.

MONDAY, APRIL 9, 10 p.m.

* Those wondering about the status of Steelers cornerback Ricardo Colclough need not wonder any longer. Colclough has been an active member of the Steelers' basketball team this offseason and does not seem to be hampered by the neck injury that sidelined him last season. If Colclough and the team believed the neck was a problem, it's doubtful he would be playing basketball. (--d.l.)

MONDAY, APRIL 9, 3:10 p.m.

* To update a previous report, Michigan DE/OLB Lamarr Woodley will visit the Steelers tomorrow.

SATURDAY, APRIL 7, 6:10 p.m.

* According to the Miami Herald, University of Miami LB Jon Beason held a workout for prospective NFL employers on Thursday. Various internet reports place the Steelers as one of seven teams present. Beason ran in the low 4.6-second range -- a significant improvement over the 4.72 he ran at the combine -- but was hardly pleased.

"Overall, I would probably give myself a seven out of 10," Beason said. "I was a little disappointed. I didn't put everything together like I wanted to. All in all, they're still happy with me."

SATURDAY, APRIL 7, 1:20 p.m.

* In a phone conversation with Scout.com's Ed Thompson Friday evening, Nebraska's Adam Carriker confirmed a Wednesday visit with the Eagles, but has yet to meet with the Rams as previously reported. They're still on the docket, as are the Steelers. Carriker expects to meet with the Jets, Redskins, and Saints, as well.

*TFY Draft Preview reports the Steelers have a keen interest in OT Joe Staley, but not necessarily at 1.15:

"Sources have told us that Pittsburgh Steelers new offensive line coach Larry Zierlein absolutely loves Staley since attending his pro-day workout and has been lobbying the team on his behalf. These same sources are not so sure the Steelers will be taking a tackle with the 15th pick."

Read the rest of the story here.

THURSDAY, APRIL 5, 8:05 a.m.

* RavensInsider.com emailed us this nugget this morning:

University of Michigan cornerback Leon Hall, a consensus top 15 first-round draft prospect, has scheduled visits with the Cincinnati Bengals, Detroit Lions, Pittsburgh Steelers and Washington Redskins, according to his agent, Doug Hendrickson, of Octagon Sports.

Also, from NFL.com:

"Nebraska DE Adam Carriker is visiting the Eagles today (April 4), the Rams tomorrow, and the Jets, Redskins and Steelers after that."

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 4, 6:00 p.m.

* The Steelers' preseason schedule has been finalized as opposed to the one released by the league earlier this week. The team will play five preseason games this summer, including two nationally televised games, as well as home games against the Green Bay Packers and Philadelphia Eagles.

As we already knew, the Steelers open against the New Orleans Saints on national TV in Canton, Ohio, in the annual AFC-NFC Hall of Fame Game, Sunday, Aug. 5, on NFL Network.

The Steelers' preseason home opener will take place Saturday, Aug. 11, at 7:30 p.m. against the Green Bay Packers at Heinz Field.

The final home preseason game will take place Aug. 26 at 8 p.m., when they host the Philadelphia Eagles during a nationally televised game on NBC.

In between, the club will play their third preseason game on Saturday, Aug. 18, on the road against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field.

The Steelers will conclude their preseason schedule Thursday, Aug. 30, against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium. Kickoff time for that game has yet to be finalized.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 4, 4:00 p.m.

* According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Steelers entertained Penn State OT Levi Brown yesterday. Our scout has Brown listed as a top-ten value with the movement skills and feet to play left tackle.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 4, 10:00 a.m.

* Grambling coaching legend Eddie Robinson has died at the tender young age of 88. Robinson's career numbers are awe-inspiring, and include an undefeated, unscored-upon team in 1942, but the one that stands out above all is his 56-year tenure with Grambling State University. Try that, Nick Saban. Rest in peace, Eddie. And thank you. (--d.d.)

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 4, 7:30 a.m.

* The Tennessee Titans are making a run at San Diego Chargers reserve RB Michael "The Burner" Turner. Turner would be ideal as a complement to Steelers RB Willie Parker, but at a cost of first and third round draft picks, plus a starter's contract, he's too rich for Pittsburgh's blood.

Turner will be in Buffalo today eyeing the gaping hole in the Bills' backfield. No matter where he lands, his signing will allow a quality back to fall a little further in the draft. And that bodes well for the Steelers' RB needs. (--d.d.)

TUESDAY, APRIL 3, 4:40 p.m.

* Scout.com's Adam Caplan reports the Steelers have a pre-draft visit coming up with University of South Carolina WR Sidney Rice. Details to follow as they become available.

TUESDAY, APRIL 3, 3:10 p.m.

* Unconfirmed reports have Oklahoma State DT Ryan McBean visiting the Steelers today. Those same reports have Fresno State RB Dwayne Wright on tap for a visit tomorrow.

McBean is a mid-round defensive line prospect that projects to end in the Steelers' 3-4 scheme but could be overdrafted. Wright, 5-11, 230, is likely a day-two prospect due to speed, age, and health concerns. However, he's been reasonably productive when healthy. (--d.d.)

TUESDAY, APRIL 3, 11:50 a.m.

* As promised, we've confirmed Southern Cal's Dwayne Jarrett will visit the South Side a week from Friday on April 13. Hmmm, Friday the 13th. Is that ever a good thing? (--d.d.)

TUESDAY, APRIL 3, 8:55 a.m.

* The NFL released a list of the Steelers' preseason opponents yesterday. Mike Tomlin's bunch will open the preseason schedule versus the New Orleans Saints in the annual Hall of Fame game. Kickoff is at 8 p.m., on Aug. 5 in Canton, Ohio.

They play their first home game on Aug. 10 or 11 against the Green Bay Packers; then travel to Washington to face the Redskins Aug. 17 or 18; return home to play Philadelphia Aug. 26 at 8 p.m.; and wrap up the preseason versus the Panthers in Carolina, the weekend of Aug. 30.

*The Steelers hosted RB Antonio Pittman of nearby Ohio State Monday. The 5-11, 207-pound Pittman should come off the board somewhere in the middle of rounds two and three.

SUNDAY, APRIL 1, 10:20 a.m.

* When you haven't had much success, I guess the next best thing is to be pals with the cool kid.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer offered this little nugget this morning, linking new Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin to the lowly Browns.

"I had him do reports," Crennel said. "He did a report for me, studied a division opponent. Wrote up their tendencies, wrote up their personnel. I assigned him that when he came in. He gave it to me when he left, and you could tell that he was a pretty sharp guy as a result of that report."

As any astute Steelers fan already knows, former coaches Chuck Noll and Bill Cowher played for the Browns, the latter also served a stint as an assistant coach.

Happy April Fool's Day, Pittsburgh. Unfortunately, this one's legit. (--d.d.)

SATURDAY, MARCH 31, 7:30 p.m.

* According to scout.com's Adam Caplan, the Steelers have a pre-draft visit with USC WR Dwayne Jarrett coming up.

As first reported a few weeks ago by scout.com, Jarrett also has scheduled visits with the New York Giants, Dallas Cowboys, and Tennessee Titans coming up in April.

We'll have a date for you once it's confirmed.

FRIDAY, MARCH 30, 6:40 a.m.

* Mel Kiper, that shrewd marketeer, is at it again. He's moved Central Michigan OT Joe Staley up to No. 13 on his "Big Board" so now I have to spill the beans: A source indicated to me recently that the Steelers like Staley a lot. Not that they'd draft him at No. 15, but if they were to trade down, Staley would be considered among a pool of players. So, Mel, you've blown a story I was trying to save for a week or so. I guess that's how the old draft ball bounces.

* As we reported early in the week, the Steelers will host Hawaii 3-4 DE Ikaika Alama-Francis on Monday. We'll have a feature on him coming out Sunday night. The club is really hitting the front-seven defenders this draft season. (--j.w.)

THURSDAY, MARCH 29, 11:30 p.m.

* One of my personal favorites in this draft, defensive end Ikaika Alama-Francis, had his pro day Thursday in Hawaii and didn't disappoint. According to Scout sources, Alama-Francis turned in a 35-inch vertical at 276 pounds and had a broad jump of 9-6. He was timed at 4.85 to 4.88 seconds in the 40 and looked good in the position drills. There were also reports that he worked out in the tight end position drills as well, showing you a little about this kid's athleticism. At this point, Alama-Francis is likely a second-round pick, but he could be a guy who slides to the third. Either way, he's a guy the Steelers should look closely at. (--d.l.)

TUESDAY, MARCH 27, 4:10 p.m.

* Here's a new story on Marcello Church from his hometown paper:

Pinellas Preps

TUESDAY, MARCH 27, 8:20 a.m.

* Click the following link for an update on newly scheduled player visits with the Steelers, as well as other prospect news:

New prospects

MONDAY, MARCH 26, 9:45 p.m.

* How does the great AdamJT13 do it? I haven't studied his entire prediction list for compensatory picks, but the list just came out and he nailed the Steelers' picks. Pittsburgh was awarded picks at the end of the fourth and fifth rounds for losing wide receiver Antwaan Randle El and safety Chris Hope, just as AdamJT13 had predicted. San Diego, San Francisco, Indianapolis and Oakland were the big winners, landing third-round selections. In fact, the defending Super Bowl champions really made out this year, landing extra picks in the third, fourth and fifth rounds. The Steelers' fourth-round pick is the first fourth round compensation pick, 132nd overall. Their fifth-rounder is also the first compensatory pick of that round, the 170th overall. (--d.l.)

MONDAY, MARCH 26, 6:15 p.m.

* The Steelers just announced that Tyrone Carter's new deal is for three years.

MONDAY, MARCH 26, 4:50 p.m.

* Tyrone Carter officially signed with the Steelers, ending a strange series of events in which Carter apparently agreed to contracts with both the Steelers and Chicago Bears in the last 48 hours. Details of the proceedings are not known at this time, and neither are the details of the contract. It's possible that Carter's agent is not returning phone calls out of embarrassment. The Steelers would not comment on the matter.

Carter, a 5-foot-8 safety, is entering his eighth season in the league and fourth with the Steelers. The backup strong safety recorded 42 total tackles last season and had two sacks and two forced fumbles. He started three games.

MONDAY, MARCH 26, 1:15 p.m.

* Okay, with the Rooneys, Kevin Colbert and Mike Tomlin in Phoenix, my sources are out of town (just kidding) but I was able to learn that Tyrone Carter agreed to terms with the Steelers before agreeing to terms with the Chicago Bears. At this point, the Steelers believe Carter is theirs. We will have an update.

* If it's true, that Carter is in the fold, you should know that the Super Bowl will be played February 3rd in Phoenix. That and the rest of the NFL schedule will be announced April 5. (--j.w.)

MONDAY, MARCH 26, 12:50 p.m.

* Heinz Field will host a job fair for anyone interested in event-day employment opportunities.

The Heinz Field Job Fair will take place Tuesday, April 3, in the East Club Lounge at Heinz Field. Interviews will be conducted from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 4 - 7 p.m.

Event-day positions will be available for Pittsburgh Steelers and University of Pittsburgh football games, as well as concerts and other events that will take place at Heinz Field. Available positions include: concession, catering, ticket taker, seat attendant, maid/porter, concierge, luxury suite/club attendant, merchandise, security, guest services and elevator operators.

Applicants may enter Heinz Field through the Suite Entry at Gate B. Parking is available in Gold Lot 1A for $5.00.

Any questions concerning employment at Heinz Field will be answered the day of the job fair. For more information, please log on to www.steelers.com.

* There's nothing happening on the Tyrone Carter front here on the South Side. I'll check elsewhere. (--j.w.)

MONDAY, MARCH 26, 10:05 a.m.

* The Steelers' PR department told me this about Tyrone Carter this morning: "We don't have anything yet. Call back in a bit and we may have something for you then."

Sounds to me like they're waiting for Carter to sign the contract and make it official. (--j.w.)

MONDAY, MARCH 26, 6:50 a.m.

* This is strange. ESPN.com has no news of Tyrone Carter's alleged signing with the Chicago Bears. A Google update of ESPN's report was sent to me via e-mail, but there was no story behind the link this morning. The Chicago Tribune reported the alleged signing, but credited ESPN. Witnesses say that an ESPN ticker last night reported that Carter has re-signed with the Steelers. We'll get to the bottom of this and have a report as soon as possible. (--j.w.)

MONDAY, MARCH 26, 6:30 a.m.

* Tyrone Carter signed a three-year contract for $2.4 million with a $280,000 bonus, according to The Chicago Tribune.

SUNDAY, MARCH 25, 2 p.m.

* The Steelers will be in the market for a safety as according to ESPN free agent Tyrone Carter has signed a three-year deal with the Chicago Bears. The loss of Carter leaves the Steelers with Troy Polamalu at strong safety and Ryan Clark and Anthony Smith battling for the starting free safety spot. With Mike Logan, a free agent, expected to retire - though he hasn't announced it yet - safety has now become a position of need, one that will likely be looked at in the later rounds of the draft. (--d.l.)

SATURDAY, MARCH 24, 9:25 a.m.

* According to KFFL, the Steelers attended the Villanova pro day yesterday to watch the workouts of QB Marvin Burroughs and S Allyn Bacchus.

SATURDAY, MARCH 24, 8:05 a.m.

* Bill Cowher spoke to a group of high-school coaches at the University of Tennessee yesterday. The event was covered by the Charlotte Observer.

FRIDAY, MARCH 23, 3:55 p.m.

* The Steelers signed free-agent linebacker Marcello Church (6-1, 230), who attended Florida State. Church suffered a season-ending injury his senior season (2005) and did not participate in an NFL camp last year. At Florida State, Church finished with a career-high 26 tackles in both his junior and senior seasons. He saw action in 12 games as a senior, ranking third on the team in sacks with 4.5. Church also blocked two punts with the Seminoles.

FRIDAY, MARCH 23, 7:20 a.m.

* According to Pittsburghsportsinsider.com, Pitt linebacker H.B. Blades visited with the Steelers on Thursday. "The knock on Blades is his perceived lack of speed," wrote someone who wisely remained anonymous. (--j.w.)

FRIDAY, MARCH 23, 6:55 a.m.

* I'd like to welcome Kai Vincent Wilson into Steeler Nation this morning! Kai is the firstborn of our columnist, Ryan, and his wife Audrey. Kai was born Wednesday, the first day of spring 2007, and measured 7 lbs, 9 oz. and was 21.5 inches long. Later that day he ran the 40 in 4.52, with an astounding short shuttle of 3.87. He's cat-quick and is expected to go in the first round. Congrats to the Wilson family!

FRIDAY, MARCH 23, 6:40 a.m.

* The Steelers, of course, made the 150-minute drive to State College to watch the Penn State pro day. Scout.com has a story from the New York Giants point of view. It's posted a few doors down.

* Texas DE and possible 3-4 OLB candidate Tim Crowder told Sirius Radio that he has visits scheduled with Atlanta, Tampa Bay, St. Louis and the New York Jets. The Jets are looking into whether he can play OLB.

* Mike Bires of the Beaver County Times must be one of the smart beat men out there who reads our site. He's written a Ben Roethlisberger story that finally gets it right about Ben's work ethic. Read it now, because I believe the BCT pulls its stories off the "free shelf" after a few days. (--j.w.)

THURSDAY, MARCH 22, 2:41 p.m.

* According to Scout.com draft expert Tony Pauline, the Steelers have traveled to Waco, Texas to work out Baylor punter Daniel Sepulveda.

The story is posted two doors down on this site, and tomorrow we'll be taking a long look at Sepulveda, who's become an SCI.com favorite. (--j.w.)

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 21, 11:30 p.m.

* Top-rated inside linebacker Patrick Willis of Mississippi ran for scouts and coaches and didn't disappoint. At 237 pounds, Willis ran the 40 in 4.37 and 4.38. He also had a 4.37 short shuttle and 7.10 three-cone drill. There's no doubt that Willis will be the first linebacker drafted. (--d.l.)

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 21, 7:35 p.m.

* According to The Boston Herald, the Boston College pro day was well-attended, but no mention is made of the Steelers. It's too bad, because there were a couple outstanding interior linemen, particularly Josh Beekman, who, according to the paper, displayed good feet and stayed low.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 21, 7:10 p.m.

* The Steelers will host Pitt QB Tyler Palko on an official draft prospect visit. The specifics of the visit are not known. (--j.w.)

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 21, 7:20 a.m.

* Former Steelers defensive lineman Jeremy Staat is one of 300 marines being deployed to Iraq, according to USA Today.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 21, 7:10 a.m.

* Scout.com has learned of another big-time prospect being sought by the Steelers.

Pitt CB Darrelle Revis will walk across the hall to officially visit with the Steelers, who, like many others, were impressed by Revis' pro-day workout last Friday. After running sub 4.4 40s -- among other impressive results -- Revis is now considered a lock to be drafted in the first round, possibly in the upper half.

Read today's NFL Draft story posted on this site for further details of the visits being scheduled around the league.

TUESDAY, MARCH 20, 4:30 p.m.

* According to the Post-Gazette the Steelers are interviewing Rocky Boiman, a free agent who was a back-up linebacker with the Indianapolis Colts last season.

TUESDAY, MARCH 20, 8:25 a.m.

* Known as AdamJT13 to his followers on the Internet, his world-famous compensation projections are in.

Last year Adam correctly projected fourth and fifth-round compensation picks to the Steelers. This year, he projects they'll receive a fourth-round pick for the loss of Chris Hope and a fifth-round pick for the loss of Antwaan Randle-El.

The compensation picks will officially be announced at next week's owners' meetings, but it's a mere formality thanks to Adam.

TUESDAY, MARCH 20, 6:36 a.m.

* Scout.com's Tony Pauline has learned that the Steelers are showing interest in a pair of similar style defensive ends: LaMarr Woodley of Michigan and Nu'u Tafisi of Cal.

Both players are short, squat defensive ends who project to outside linebacker in a 3-4, and both play with a great energy that has marked their college careers.

Woodley is coming off an impressive pro day workout and projects as a late first, early second-round pick. Tafisi, one of my personal favorites, is similar in style to Clark Haggans and projects as a fifth or sixth-rounder.

We'll follow this story and keep you up to date as it develops. (--j.w.)

TUESDAY, MARCH 20, 5:55 a.m.

* Long snapper Greg Warren has signed his exclusive rights tender. The third-year pro will be paid $435,000 this season.

MONDAY, MARCH 19, 6:10 p.m.

* According to NFL.com, Pitt CB Darrelle Revis, at his pro day last Friday, ran 4.41 and 4.39 40s, had a 38-inch vertical jump, a 10-5 broad jump, and ran the short shuttle in 4.08 and the 3-cone in 6.56. Those are stunning numbers.

Also, linebacker H.B. Blades had decent 40 times of 4.69 and 4.72 and a 3-cone time of 6.98. His short shuttle time was 4.36 and his vertical was 32 inches. (--j.w.)

MONDAY, MARCH 19, 5:45 p.m.

* The Steelers showed up at the Grand Valley State University pro day. Here's the link:

Hooray for the home team!

MONDAY, MARCH 19, 3 p.m.

* It appears that linebacker Colby Bockwoldt, who visited the Steelers recently, will sign a free-agent deal with the San Francisco 49ers.

MONDAY, MARCH 19, 7 a.m.

* Ex-Steeler Joey Porter can't stop hating Bengals. Porter was cited by Las Vegas police Sunday night for punching Bengals OT Levi Jones in the face at a casino.

SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 11 p.m.

*The sometimes subtle, sometimes drastic movements on some analysts draft boards is starting to take shape now that the combine is over and the pro day results are beginning to trickle in.

On the heals of Pitt cornerback Darrell Revis solidifying his spot in the top 10 to 15 players to be picked in next month's draft comes news that another player considered to be a sure-fire top 10 choice may be sliding.

One scouting site reported that Michigan defensive tackle Alan Branch, considered a sure-fire top-10 pick after the final college football game was played last season, may be sliding because some teams were turned off by his interviews at the combine.

Add to that the fact that buzz surrounding Louisville's Amobi Okoye, and it's beginning to look as if maybe the Steelers will have a shot at Branch with the 15th pick in the draft.

Mind you that 6-6, 334-pound Branch's supposed fall from grace has nothing to do with his play or his workouts. In fact, the big man ran a 5.07 40 and bench pressed 225 pounds 33 times. Apparently, some are now questioning his motor and his attitude.

But Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was at the Michigan pro day and a big man like Branch would certainly be enticing to the Steelers. He may also be very enticing to teams picking behind the Steelers, teams who might be will to move up in the draft for a chance to take a player who's a top-10 talent. (--d.l.)

SATURDAY, MARCH 17, 4:30 p.m.

* Some notes you may or may not be aware of:

--The Steelers raised their ticket prices for next season in Heinz Field. Seats that cost $55 last season will cost $59 and the $65 tickets will be $74. Traditionally, the team raises prices every other season.

--The Steelers' popular men's fantasy camp will take place from June 1-3 at their training camp site, Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pa. Registration is open at $499 per player at Steelers.com.

--Former Steelers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt, Arizona's new head coach, believes Bill Cowher will coach again.

"My guess, knowing how competitive that man is, is that yes, he will be back."

SATURDAY, MARCH 17, 4 p.m.

* Scout.com's Ed Thompson told SteelCityInsider.com that the Steelers met with Texas DE Tim Crowder at the Senior Bowl and had a formal interview with Arkansas CB Chris Houston at the combine.

SATURDAY, MARCH 17, 11:40 a.m.

* Because eight teams finished 8-8, the Steelers' position in each round will be rotated. Here's the breakdown:

First round -- 15th; second round -- 14th; third round -- 13th; fourth round -- 20th; fifth round -- 19th; sixth round -- 18th; seventh round -- 17th.

SATURDAY, MARCH 17, 7 a.m.

* The Post-Gazette concurred with the initial report on Darrelle Revis' 40 time. It's in the 4.39 range. Otherwise, there's not much out there on Steelers-specific prospects. I did see a note that Mike Tomlin was at the Michigan pro day. Enjoy the weekend. (--j.w.)

FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 5 p.m.

* The first report on Darrelle Revis' pro day comes from John Murphy, of Yahoo! Sports, who reports that the Pitt CB ripped off a 4.38 to 4.40 40.

Murphy is a reliable source, so it appears Revis made himself a lot of money today since speed was his main question mark. Certainly, the metro papers will have stories tomorrow morning, and by early next week I'll have an official time here. (--j.w.)

FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 10:10 a.m.

* The Steelers report that Chidi Iwuoma's deal is for one year. In 99 percent of these instances, the deal is for minimum wages, but the team pays the fully vested veteran more than what's counted against the salary cap.

FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 7:35 a.m.

* The Steelers re-signed special-teams ace Chidi Iwuoma, 29, on the same day they lost another free-agent coverage ace, Sean Morey. The two players were special-teams co-captains during the Steelers' 2005 championship season.

Iwuoma was cut by the team at the end of the 2006 training camp and the coverage teams slipped noticeably. He was re-signed Dec. 4 and played in two games before leaving the Carolina game with a wrist injury. Iwuoma was placed on injured reserve Dec. 20 and missed the final two games.

Terms of the contract have not yet been released. (--j.w.)

THURSDAY, MARCH 15, 8:42 p.m.

* The Mike Tomlin pro day train stopped at Tallahassee today for an up-close look at the Florida State prospects. According to the Tallahassee Democrat, Tomlin seemed to pardon OLB Lawrence Timmons's workout by telling the paper that his game tape is more important. "And his tape stands out a lot," Tomlin said.

The paper also noted that Kevin Colbert attended the workout.

In the Orlando Sentinel, Drew Rosenhaus seemed to apologize for his client's showing by telling Tomlin that Timmons would "be in shape by minicamp."

We at SCI.com list Timmons as the only true outside linebacker with odds of being drafted by the Steelers in the first round. Timmons opened at 12-1 odds, and it's obvious the Steelers are interested.

THURSDAY, MARCH 15, 5:30 P.M.

* According to ESPN.com, Sean Morey signed a three-year contract with the Arizona Cardinals.

We'd reported in this space that the Steelers considered Morey's contract demands to be exorbitant. Morey, according to a source, had warned the Steelers that if they didn't sign him, he could become the No. 4 receiver with Ken Whisenhunt's Cardinals. It looks like Morey will get a crack at it. (--j.w.)

THURSDAY, MARCH 15, 1:15 p.m.

* Steelers offensive line coach Larry Zierlein was one of several such assistants at the Central Michigan pro day to watch the workout of left tackle Joe Staley.

Word is that Staley turned in a world-class workout, but that was to be expected because we know Staley has Cassius Clay feet and can run like few big men can. The question mark about Staley has to do with his strength, and it's the kind of question that can't be answered with 27 reps on the bench.

Staley did not physically dominate the opposition in the MAC this season. That's what he needs to show -- on the field -- if he's going to move up into the first round. But it's a question that can't be answered at this point in the process.

If Staley's going to be a first-round pick -- and I know the experts will be raving about him after this workout -- it will only happen if a team at the bottom of the first round is willing to gamble. And I say good luck with all that. (--j.w.)

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 14, 5 p.m.

*The Steelers have been in contact with free agent punter Matt Turk about a possible visit. It's a busy week for the front office, but there's a chance Turk could visit at the end of the week.

The team was shut down by San Francisco in its attempt to sign restricted free agent punter Andy Lee last week when the 49ers match the Steelers' offer, but it's unlikely there will be a big market for the 36-year-old Turk.

But for the Steelers, Turk would at least be a suitable fill-in for a year or two, even though he's only a year younger than current punter Chris Gardocki.

But wouldn't it make sense at some point to just grab a youngster and stick with him at the position for a few years?

Then again, it's unlikely the Steelers would offer Turk much more than a two-year contract with a nominal signing bonus. Mike Barr is still hanging around and there's always the possibility this could be the year he wins the job. (--d.l.)

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 14, 7 a.m.

* Chukky Okobi is given life in today's Tribune-Review, and that may be a death sentence unto itself. But perhaps the real death sentence is buried under what Okobi's agent, Joe Linta, had to say:

"The fact they didn't ask Chukky to take a pay cut is huge. That tells me they're going to treat him fairly."

Uh, that tells me they're going to cut him, unless an emergency crops up at center with Sean Mahan, Kendall Simmons and Marvin Philip.

The Steelers learned their lesson about asking players with dimmed chances to take pay cuts last year with Duce Staley. Once Dan Rooney asked Staley to take a pay cut last spring, Rooney felt obligated to keep him throughout the season.

No, this does not look good for Okobi. The Steelers still must be eye-balling his $2 million salary. His signing bonus (complicated by two renegotiations) appears to have $813,583 (over three years) remaining. The deduction against his salary savings could be halved now since the Steelers can, by new rules, cut two players before June 1 and designate them as June 1 cuts.

The way I see it, if the Steelers were truly serious about keeping Okobi they'd have asked him to take a pay cut. Then again, Okobi is being given one last chance to light it up. Good luck, Chukk. (--j.w.)

* NFL.com reports that Mike Tomlin will be one of five head coaches and two general managers at LSU's pro day today.

TUESDAY, MARCH 13, 9:35 p.m.

* Back again so soon, but we just received a report from one of our eagle eyes that Mike Tomlin was at the Arkansas pro day today. We have an excellent report of that pro day on site, with quotes from Tomlin.

Also of note is that line coach John Mitchell was there. Most, I'm sure, will suspect he's looking at Jamaal Anderson, but in the Steelers' scheme Anderson would be a linebacker, so Mitch must've been there to look at big nose tackle Keith Jackson, who ran a couple of sub 5.0 40s. I really like Jackson's enthusiasm on the field. The story says he's a fourth or fifth-rounder, and I would agree after watching him closely in a few late-season games. (--j.w.)

TUESDAY, MARCH 13, 9:20 p.m.

* The Steelers have opened preliminary contract-extension talks with the agents of Alan Faneca, Troy Polamalu and Kendall Simmons. Those players are entering the final seasons of their contracts.

The third player listed is a surprise, considering his struggles the last few years, but a source stressed how preliminary these talks are. The Steelers are waiting to see how well Simmons plays this spring before deciding whether to take the next step with him. But they did let Simmons know of their interest, since they have a problem brewing at their guard positions.

Not only are starting guards Faneca and Simmons entering the final seasons of their contracts, but Trai Essex and Chris Kemoeatu will be restricted free agents next March. Essex is a tackle whom they think can play guard, while Kemoeatu has struggled understanding the old system and, as mentioned earlier, is expected to endure greater struggles with Bruce Arians's new system.

Another lineman, right tackle Max Starks, is also entering the final season of his contract, but the Steelers won't begin extension talks with him until they see him in spring drills. If he checks in at 400 pounds again, as he did last spring, there won't be any extension talks with Starks.

There have been no talks with Ben Roethlisberger concerning a contract extension. He has two seasons remaining on his rookie contract. (--j.w.)

TUESDAY, MARCH 13, 3:40 p.m.

* You'll be happy to know the front office was just about deserted today. They're all out working at the various pro days across America. Today, that must mean someone was at Oklahoma, Arkansas and Clemson. Hope to have some news on those and more coming up. As a p.s., it also means no free-agent visits this week.

TUESDAY, MARCH 13, 10 a.m.

* The great Vic Ketchman, now working for the Jaguars, released his personal top 32. In "Ask Vic" he warns readers that he's not a scout, but a sportswriter. He still talks to scouts along the way, since he's an excellent sportswriter. And notice where the Steelers pick, because Vic, who covered the Steelers from 1972-1994, always has them in mind, as well as PA players.

http://www.jaguars.com/news/vicsvalueboard.aspx

TUESDAY, MARCH 13, 8 a.m.

* According to John Murphy of Yahoo Sports, the Steelers are one of three teams showing interest in Western Oregon running back Eliot Vinzant. The 1,000-yard rusher is also receiving interest from San Diego and RB-starved Green Bay. The W.O. pro day is Friday.

* Lance Briggs of the Bears is now demanding a trade or release, according to Fox Sport's Jay Glazer. Briggs is only 26 and has already been to two Pro Bowls, and he would fit anywhere in the Steelers' scheme -- any scheme -- but the problem is money. It's a difficult time for the Steelers to pay big money to a star player -- even at a position of need -- since it's time to re-set their salary structure with Troy Polamalu, Alan Faneca and Ben Roethlisberger. At today's going rates, Briggs would smash any plans the Steelers have of re-signing their three team leaders at reasonable rates.

SUNDAY, MARCH 11, 10:15 a.m.

* One of the former offensive coaches was in town Saturday and, in between pleasantries, passed along some information.

When told the team had just signed Sean Mahan to compete with Kendall Simmons at center, he said that center and right guard were the team's biggest concerns heading into the offseason, that Chukky Okobi can't move anyone and has trouble with nose tackles, and that Chris Kemoeatu may have had a chance mentally in his third year in the system, but that Bruce Arians's offensive changes won't help the player at all.

Of course, what's a Steelers conversation without asking about Ben Roethlisberger? He said that Ben will work his butt off all day on the field but that he needs to study harder off it. The coach was not pessimistic or sour about Roethlisberger and the future by any means.

On a related note, a source last week did say that Roethlisberger was helping Arians with some of the new schematics and was therefore very involved in the changing offense.

SATURDAY, MARCH 10, 2:20 p.m.

* The numbers are in on Sean Mahan.

The Steelers' new center, er ... center candidate, signed a 5-year deal that averages just under $3.5 million per year, and will pay the 5-year vet close to $5 million in 2007.

Mahan turned down more money elsewhere to be a Steeler and cited the following for his decision: the opportunity to start at center and for a franchise steeped in tradition and success at the position; his comfort-level with head coach Mike Tomlin; and the tradition, success and historic stability of the franchise.

SATURDAY, MARCH 10, 1 p.m.

* The Steelers and center Sean Mahan have come to an agreement. We'll update the terms as they come available.

SATURDAY, MARCH 10, 10:15 a.m.

* I just opened my story on Sean Mahan and I want to apologize for the lack of apostrophes. I have no idea what happened. I only wish one of you readers would've called my house with an edit alert.

* Some interesting pro day times: Purdue DE/OLB Anthony Spencer, according to him on his school's web site, ran a 4.64 40; Arizona State TE Zach Miller ran a 4.74 40, down from 4.87 at the combine; and Rutgers TE Clark Harris ran "in the low 4.7s."

Miller is taking heat for his 40 time, but I'm wondering if he wouldn't be a steal in the second round. Greg Olsen, in my mind, is being overrated because of his combine workout. I thought he stunk this season.

And another point: The only recorded time for Heath Miller was 4.87, which his school had listed in his bio prior to his final season. Miller and Miller in a 2-TE set would only confuse the writers, but both will block and catch anything near them. (--j.w.)

SATURDAY, MARCH 10, 9:30 a.m.

* John Harris, in this morning's Tribune-Review, provides this interesting nugget: "The scuttlebutt traveling among player agents is that Marvin Demoff, (Troy) Polamalu's high-powered representative, wants a dollar more than Baltimore safety Ed Reed's six-year, $45 million that includes a $15 million signing bonus."

My guess is the Steelers would be agreeable to such a contract. It sets a new standard, sure, but Polamalu is worthy. My guess is it would set the bar just a bit higher than what they'll want to pay 31-year-old Alan Faneca and eventually a solid second to Ben Roethlisberger's new deal. And isn't that about the way their salary structure should shake out?

The Steelers are not cheap; they're smart. The problem with these exorbitant bonuses being paid the current mediocre crop of free agents is what the rest of the team will want. Word is San Francisco coach Mike Nolan plans to meet with his team soon to head off any potential jealousies. My guess is it's too late for that. They should've thought about their salary structure on March 1.

Harris also wonders if Faneca's apparent displeasure over the departure(s) of Russ Grimm (and Joey Porter) will "factor into his decision when negotiating his next deal." My guess is no. Aren't leaders allowed to call their teammates and complain about the bosses every now and then? You have to have some fire in your men, as Mike Tomlin might say.

There are warning signs on the road ahead, and there's a lot of people saying we'd be better off dead, but I believe the Steelers are making the proper decisions. Keep on rockin' in the free world.(--j.w.)

FRIDAY, MARCH 9, 9 p.m.

* According to a representative for free agent offensive lineman Sean Mahan, Mahan liked what he saw from his visit with the Steelers and the two sides are currently exchanging contract details.

FRIDAY, MARCH 9, 5:15 p.m.

* Colby Bockwoldt and Sean Mahan left the building without deals. Mahan is hopping on a plane and heading back to Tampa. It's believed that Bockwoldt is leaving Pittsburgh as well. That they couldn't get a deal done with Bockwoldt, who nearly begged the Steelers to sign him, comes as a surprise. Maybe next week.

FRIDAY, MARCH 9, 3:05 p.m.

* Colby Bockwoldt has offers from San Francisco and Tennessee but he really wants to play here. The BYU boys raved about the place to him and he wants his agent to get it done, so I believe he'll sign a contract today.

Sean Mahan, a dead ringer for Mike Tomczak, said he has offers from Seattle and Cleveland but the battle for his services is probably between Tampa Bay and the Steelers. He wants to start, and the Steelers told him he'd have to compete with Kendall Simmons and Chukky Okobi for the center job. My hunch is he'll sign with Tampa Bay. I could be wrong.

FRIDAY, MARCH 9, 2:15 p.m.

* One of the free agents is due in the media room any minute now, but first I'd like to share some nuggets on available running backs. Ron Dayne, word is, has never been a favorite around here. Don't know why exactly, but just know he's not on the list. As for T.J. Duckett, one source believes the coaches consider him to be no better than Najeh Davenport and assumes they want to keep one spot open for the draft. I asked this: Tony Hunt?

"He'd be a good fit, probably in the third round." But I told him I doubt he gets out of the second round.

* As for those Rutgers CBs, the times were inflated a bit, but not by much. Joe Porter is a track guy who was second team behind Derrick Roberson, who's injury prone. Porter started as a sophomore before losing his job because he plays like he's a track man.

FRIDAY, MARCH 9, 12:15 p.m.

* A couple of free agents are already in the building down on the South Side, according to Ed Bouchette of the Post-Gazette.

Bouchette has already reported that Colby Bockwoldt, a 25-year-old linebacker who started 16 games for the New Orleans Saints in 2005, is talking to the Steelers. He was a seventh-round draft pick out of BYU, so perhaps Brett Keisel's heard of him because I haven't.

Also, Sean Mahan is here. I've just arrived, so hopefully we'll get to interview him. (--j.w.)

FRIDAY, MARCH 9, 8:22 a.m.

* If the Steelers play their cards right, all they'll lose in the Joey Porter cut is some emotional leadership and the letter 'Y'. Yes, the Steelers were at the Rutgers pro day yesterday and saw CB Joe Porter run a 4.28 40.

How's that for a set up? Anyway, we all know of the Steelers' interest in the many Rutgers prospects. The other CB, Derrick Roberson, was timed in 4.34 and recorded a 42.5 vertical jump.

Now, take these times with a grain of salt because they're being reported by the school's web site, and that was the only new info reported there.

* Speaking of exaggerated, a couple of the worst drafniks have released more drivel. Mel Kiper (who appears to at least be talking to people who watch tape) has the following players at picks 13-17: 13. Carriker, 14. Bowe, 15. Jarrett, 16. L. Hall, 17. Lynch. He has Alan Branch at No. 21. The other self-respected and overrated 'nik is Frank Croyle. He has the Steelers taking Joe Porter -- wait, that's not right -- Dwayne Jarrett at No. 15 and -- right after Anthony Spencer at No. 45 -- Ben Grubbs in the second round. (--j.w.)

FRIDAY, MARCH 9, 7 a.m.

* The Tampa Tribune reports this morning that contract talks between the Bucs and guard/center Sean Mahan "slowed to a crawl." Beat man Roy Cummings believes "Mahan would prefer to stay in Tampa, and the fact the sides continue to talk is a sign the Bucs want him back.

"Another indication of the Bucs' desire to retain Mahan: They have yet to schedule a meeting with free-agent guard Cooper Carlisle."

Here's the link:

http://www.tbo.com/sports/bucs/MGB745UW1ZE.html

THURSDAY, MARCH 8, 7:40 p.m.

* Hmmm. The Steelers are talking to some rather rude boys of late. According to Jamal Lewis, the Steelers spoke to him about a potential deal, but Lewis, in an interview on Sirius Radio, said that he didn't want to split carries with Willie Parker. Lewis instead signed a 1-year contract with the Browns for $3.5 million. And according to today's Las Vegas Review Journal the Steelers sent a scout to watch the pro day workout of super talent Eric Wright. The UNLV cornerback had transferred from USC after police arrested him in Los Angeles in 2005 on suspicion of rape. According to the paper, police also found 136 Ecstasy pills in his apartment, but charges were never filed.

THURSDAY, MARCH 8, 5:35 p.m.

* Alex "Don't call me Roger or Floyd or especially Pork Chop" Bannister has left the building without signing a contract. The search for a cheap gunner continues.

THURSDAY, MARCH 8, 3:50 p.m.

* "Pork Chop" Womack "went over the wall." At least that's how Kevin Colbert put it to reporters who were waiting to interview Womack. He left without speaking to us or signing a contract. Colbert said it doesn't mean the two sides will not reach an agreement in the future. They're looking at Womack as a backup guard.

THURSDAY, MARCH 8, 3:30 p.m.

* The Steelers confirmed that Tampa Bay free agent Sean Mahan will be in tomorrow for a visit. A source with the team said, if signed, Mahan would compete with Kendall Simmons at center this spring. Yes, Kendall Simmons. The two would trade off between center and right guard.

Don't know where that leaves Chukky Okobi, but when asked about Okobi, the source said, "He doesn't play guard."

It could be an ominous predicament for Okobi, or Simmons could prove to the Steelers he still can't execute a shotgun snap, which was a problem for him at the position last preseason.

* The Steelers consider Alex Bannister the top gunner in the league over the last five years. He also lined up at times for Seattle at wide receiver, but his value is in his punt coverage.

THURSDAY, MARCH 8, 1:40 p.m.

* Arnold "Snelly" Harrison just says all systems are go, that his leg's fine and he's working out at full speed. He's also much stronger in the upper body. "My lower extremity was down so I concentrated on my upper body," he said, making a benching motion. "When one area's weakened, the others all get stronger."

Harrison's up to 252 (about 16 pounds) and says he wants to get back down to 247-48 for the season. When someone asked if he was ready to play in the 4-3 defense, a look of horror crept over his face and he asked: "Do you know something I don't?" When laughter followed, Harrison relaxed. "It's all good," he said and walked out the door.

* It's been confirmed by a Steelers source that the 49ers have indeed matched the offer sheet for punter Andy Lee. The search for Chris Gardocki's replacement moves elsewhere.

THURSDAY, MARCH 8, 1:20 p.m.

* As many of you know by know, the Steelers are hosting free agents OT Floyd "Pork Chop" Womack and WR Alex Bannister today.

Bannister is more of a special-teams ace, and with the team having trouble coming to terms with their own coverage ace, Sean Morey, Bannister's prospects of signing a deal appear good. Morey's demands are said to be way out of whack.

* In other Steelers-related UFA dealings, Chad Brown, one of their free agents, is at the South Side to get his knee checked, "for snowboarding," he joked. The 37-year-old Brown said the team is showing interest in retaining him.

THURSDAY, MARCH 8, 8:15 a.m.

* The San Francisco Chronicle this morning is reporting that the 49ers "are seriously considering matching the Steelers' offer" to restricted free agent punter Andy Lee. The paper reports the terms are the same -- $7.1 million for 7 years, including $1.66 million bonus -- as we reported yesterday.

The Chronicle also reports that 3-4 OLB Tully Banta-Cain's contract is a $9 million, three-year deal that could rise to $12.3 million with incentives. Banta-Cain received a $2.9 million signing bonus and a $600,000 roster and workout bonus. This for a guy who was benched in the playoffs by New England last season.

* The word from the Steelers' front office is the team will host an unnamed unrestricted free agent today, but the representative for Tampa Bay center Sean Mahan would not confirm that he's that player. The agent would only say Mahan will visit "later this week."

* Those in the front office also had a good laugh at a report saying they'd "poisoned" the Andy Lee offer sheet with a clause that would make it impossible for the 49ers to match the offer. We all know that's not the way they do business.

* The guys who study tape on the South Side were shaking their heads yesterday over the $20 million bonus the Miami Dolphins paid Joey Porter. They figured someone would take a chance on Porter, but didn't believe anyone would pay him big money due to his 2006 performance, which is plain for all to see on tape. "Don't they have one of these in Miami?" was the question asked by the man seated near the TV.

* The big shots in the front office read our opening draft report on Anthony Spencer and told a source "he knows what he's talking about." By the same token, the admission by Jarvis Moss that he was suspended for smoking pot "isn't helping him at all down here." One of our spies at the Florida pro day confirmed the buzz is that Moss's stock is plunging.

* The Lincoln Journal Star is reporting today that DE Adam Carriker, down five pounds from the combine to 291, ran his 40 in 4.72 at yesterday's pro day, but that scouts will add a tenth because of a fast track. Carriker said that's all he wanted to accomplish -- a 4.8 on everyone's watch -- because he'd heard some had him at 4.9 at the combine.

* Nebraska RB Brandon Jackson, an intriguing first-day junior prospect, weighed 206 and ran between 4.38 and 4.41, down from his combine time of 4.57. Also, TE Matt Herian, who at least makes an effort to block (a rarity in this pathetic TE crop), ran a 4.7 at 242 pounds.


Steel City Insider Top Stories

\r\n\r\n

MONDAY, AUGUST 13, 4:00 p.m.\r\n

* The Steelers re-signed long snapper Jared Retkofsky to their roster, the team announced today.\r\n

\r\nRetkofsky (6-5, 260) was originally signed by the Steelers as an undrafted free agent earlier this year out of TCU but was released by the team on July 19.\r\n

\r\nTo make room for Retkofsky, the Steelers released rookie linebacker Matt King (6-3, 245). King was signed by Pittsburgh on August 3.\r\n\r\n\r\n

MONDAY, JULY 23, 4:30 p.m.\r\n

* The Steelers have agreed to a 5-year, $33 million contract extension with All-Pro strong safety Troy Polamalu, that includes $15 million in guaranteed money. The extension will keep Polamalu in Pittsburgh through 2011. \r\n

Details to follow.\r\n\r\n

MONDAY, JULY 23, 2:45 p.m.\r\n

* Players are beginning to arrive at St. Vincent College in Latrobe, site of Mike Tomlin's first training camp as head coach of the Steelers. Players are not required to report until 4 p.m. today, after which they will participate in Tomlin's surprise conditioning test. But that didn't keep one player from getting in really early to get a jump on things. \r\n

\r\n\"It's a little scary, plus when you don't know what to expect,\" said RG Kendall Simmons, who arrived yesterday. \"In past years you knew what to expect and it really didn't matter much. But now it kind of throws a wrinkle in things, kind of keeps you up in the air.\"\r\n\r\n

* And as reported in this space nearly a month ago, the Steelers announced today they have promoted veteran assistant coach John Mitchell to assistant head coach/defensive line. \r\n

\r\nMitchell, is in his 14th season with the team and is entering his 34th season of coaching overall, including 17 in the NFL, 15 at the college level and two in the USFL.\r\n

\r\nA former All-America defensive end for Alabama, Mitchell was the first African-American to play for the Crimson Tide and began his coaching career under legendary 'Bama coach Paul \"Bear\" Bryant.\r\n\r\n

SUNDAY, JULY 22, 7:50 a.m.\r\n

* The Steelers gave fifth-round draft pick William Gay a $106,000 bonus after signing him to a three-year contract. That leaves first-round pick Lawrence Timmons as the team's lone unsigned pick. The roster is set at 86, with six of the players NFL Europe exempt until the final cut. \r\n\r\n

FRIDAY, JULY 20, 12:40 p.m.\r\n

* The Steelers officially announced the signings of draft picks LaMarr Woodley and Dallas Baker today, and also announced the signing of third-round draft pick Matt Spaeth.\r\n

Spaeth (6-7, 270), out of Minnesota, is the all-time career leader for the Gophers in receiving yards (1,291) and receptions (109) by a tight end. As a senior, he won the John Mackey Award as the nation's top tight end after finishing with 47 receptions for 564 yards (12.0 avg.) and four touchdowns. A two-time All-Big Ten first-team honoree, Spaeth finished his career with 12 touchdowns.\r\n

(Spaeth's contract, according to Scout's Adam Caplan: $564,000 signing bonus; $285,000 2007 salary; $370,000 2008; $460,000 2009). \r\n

The Steelers have now signed six of their eight draft picks from the 2007 NFL Draft. The only two that have yet to sign are linebacker Lawrence Timmons (first round) and cornerback William Gay (second of two fifth-round picks).\r\n\r\n\r\n

THURSDAY, JULY 19, 4:40 p.m.\r\n

* The Steelers released two players today, trimming their roster to 86 players four days prior to the start of team's training camp.\r\n\r\n

First-year wide receiver Gerran Walker and free agent rookie long snapper Jared Retkofsky were both released after the team signed draft picks Dallas Baker and LaMarr Woodley this week.\r\n\r\n

The Steelers can bring 86 players to training camp due to six NFL Europe League roster exemptions. As each of the remaining draft picks -- Lawrence Timmons, Matt Spaeth and William Gay -- are signed, a corresponding player will be released.\r\n \r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n

TUESDAY, JULY 17, 10:30 p.m.\r\n

*Seventh rounder Dallas Baker became the latest Steelers draft pick to come to terms with the team, agreeing on a three-year deal that will pay him $1.15 million, including a $39,750 signing bonus.\r\n\r\n

Baker is the fourth Steelers draft pick to reach an agreement with the team, leaving only first-rounder Lawrence Timmons, second-rounder LaMarr Woodley, third-rounder Matt Spaeth and William Gay, the second of their two fifth-round selections, still unsigned.\r\n\r\n

As Jim Wexell reported last week, negotiations are also heating up between the team and Pro Bowl safety Troy Polamalu and a new deal could be struck before he reports at 4 p.m. Monday.(--d.l.)\r\n\r\n

WEDNESDAY, JULY 11, 10 a.m.\r\n

* The Steelers announced today that they will stick with their 3-4 defense ... no, just kidding. But the Steelers did get around to announcing the addition of WR/KR Dan Sheldon, whom the team claimed off the waiver wire a week ago. The Steelers also announced the signing of running back Larry Croom.\r\n\r\n

Croom (5-10, 201), from UNLV, was originally signed by the Arizona Cardinals as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2004 and finished with 29 carries for 76 yards in six games that season. He was signed by the Tennessee Titans before their 2005 training camp but was cut later in camp. He also spent time on the Detroit Lions' practice squad in 2005 and was signed to San Diego's 2006 offseason roster. He spent three seasons in NFL Europe.\r\n\r\n

The Steelers are obviously waiting to announce the promotion of DL coach John Mitchell to assistant head coach. \r\n\r\n

As for the contract status of Troy Polamalu, the Steelers, of course, won't say anything for the public record and Polamalu's agent, Marvin Demoff, won't return calls to Scout.com. However, an impeccable source with the team said the sides are close to a deal. (--j.w.)\r\n\r\n

MONDAY, JULY 9, 2 p.m.\r\n

* A source in Pittsburgh confirmed that the Steelers are close to a contract agreement with second-round draft pick LaMarr Woodley, but the big news, according to the source, is that the team is close to extending the contract of All-Pro safety Troy Polamalu. Stay tuned to SteelCityInsider.com for updates. (--j.w.)\r\n\r\n

MONDAY, JULY 9, 11:20 p.m.\r\n

* Dan Rooney's statement on the weekend resignation of former Pirates CEO Kevin McClatchy:\r\n

\"Kevin McClatchy is a fine young man whom I have known for many years. He and my son, Dan Jr., went to high school together and played on the same baseball and football teams. He pioneered the efforts to keep the Pittsburgh Pirates in the city of Pittsburgh and did all of the necessary corporate work to make the team remain here. He also worked to get PNC Park built, which is the most beautiful baseball stadium in the country.\r\n

\"The city of Pittsburgh has a debt of gratitude to Kevin. I am pleased with the progress he has made over the years with the Pirates.\"\r\n\r\n

SATURDAY, JULY 7, 9:37 a.m.\r\n

* The Steelers added former Northern Illinois record-holder Dan Sheldon to their roster yesterday. According to The Courier News of suburban Chicago, Sheldon was released by the Atlanta Falcons on Tuesday and claimed by both the Steelers and Philadelphia Eagles. By virtue of a worse won-loss record last season, the Steelers were awarded Sheldon.\r\n

The 5-foot-11, 173-pound wide receiver was second in NFL Europe with a 25.1 kickoff-return average. He was third in punt-return average at 10.6. Sheldon was hampered by a strained left hamstring injury all spring, which may explain his release by the Falcons.\r\n

The 25-year-old set school return records at Northern Illinois and was signed by the Arizona Cardinals following the 2005 draft. He spent the 2005 season on the Cardinals' practice squad and was released following the season. Last year he was released by both the Indianapolis Colts and Chicago Bears before signing with Atlanta this past February.\r\n

The Steelers lack depth in their return game. They're hopeful that second-year man Willie Reid overcomes foot problems that cost him his rookie season and much of the spring workouts. The team would prefer not to use starting split end Santonio Holmes as a return man, or reserve defensive back Ricardo Colclough because of his fumbling problems.\r\n

Here's the complete Sheldon bio. (--j.w.)\r\n\r\n

WEDNESDAY, JULY 4, 7:20 a.m.\r\n

* The Virginia Gazette reports today on a pair of Steelers who grew up in the Williamsburg area.\r\n\r\n

FRIDAY, JUNE 29, 9:45 a.m.\r\n

* According to Scout.com, the Steelers are close to signing second-round draft pick Lamarr Woodley. The report states that Woodley could sign a contract early next week. None of the league's first or second-round draft picks have signed contracts yet. The full story is posted elsewhere on the front page.\r\n\r\n

THURSDAY, JUNE 28, 4:30 p.m.\r\n

* The Steelers today released three rookie free agents: wide receiver Eric Deslauriers, running back Paul Mosley and fullback Aaron Robbins.

\r\n\r\nDeslauriers (6-4, 207) was signed by the Steelers as a rookie free agent out of Eastern Michigan, Mosley (6-3, 236) out of Baylor and Robbins (6-4, 256) from Wyoming.

\r\n\r\nAll Steelers are scheduled to report to Training Camp at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pa., on Monday, July 23.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n

THURSDAY, JUNE 28, 7:20 a.m.\r\n

* The Steelers yesterday released undrafted rookie free agent Eric Deslauriers. The 6-foot-4, 207-pound wide receiver from Eastern Michigan is a native of Gatineau, Quebec. \r\n

The Steelers are now one spot shy of a full roster, but have five draft picks to sign.\r\n

* Here's an interesting blog entry from an Oakland writer who thinks the Raiders' front office should be more like the Steelers'.\r\n

* According to The Akron Beacon Journal, the Pro Football Hall of Fame has opened a 2,500-square foot exhibit commemorating the Steelers' 75th anniversary. Read about it here. \r\n\r\n

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27, 11 a.m.\r\n

* Get a jump on college football with this story about the most overrated and underrated teams and players in 2007. \r\n\r\n

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27, 9:30 a.m.\r\n

* Defensive line coach John Mitchell has been promoted to assistant head coach by Tomlin. The announcement will be made later this week.\r\n

Mitchell, 55, enters his 14th season as the Steelers' defensive line coach. \r\n

The promotion fills the spot left open by former assistant head coach Russ Grimm, now with the Arizona Cardinals. The position requires that Mitchell pick up the tab at weekly bull sessions with reporters and office support staff, as Grimm had often done during his reign. (-- j.w.)\r\n

* Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is the feature attraction at Coach Mike Tomlin's alma mater this week. Read about it here.\r\n

* Also, here's an update on former quarterback coach Mark Whipple.\r\n\r\n

MONDAY, JUNE 4, 2 p.m.\r\n

* The Steelers announced they have re-signed veteran running back Verron Haynes to a one-year contract. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.\r\n

Haynes (5-10, 222), who was released on March 1, was the Steelers' fifth-round draft choice in 2002 (166th overall). He played seven games in 2006 before being placed on the reserve/injured list with a knee injury versus Oakland (Oct. 29).\r\n

Haynes has played in 60 games with the Steelers and has rushed for 738 yards and three touchdowns on 174 carries (4.2 avg.). Quotes from Haynes will be coming briefly.\r\n

* Today's O.T.A. session was missed by quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, linebacker Clark Haggans, safety Troy Polamalu and defensive end Brett Keisel. Further details will be provided this afternoon.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n

THURSDAY, MAY 31, 5:30 p.m.\r\n

* The Steelers signed draft picks Dan Sepulveda and Cameron Stephenson to three-year contracts. \r\n

Sepulveda, a punter from Baylor, was the team's 4A draft pick, and Stephenson, a guard from Rutgers, was the team's 5A draft pick.\r\n

Also, we have some injury news on return man Willie Reid, as well as several OTA notes from reporter Jim Wexell.\r\n

* A statement from Art Rooney, regarding the approval of the master plan for North Shore Casino:\r\n

\r\n\"The proceedings at City Planning this week regarding approval of a master plan for Majestic Star were far less than satisfactory. The fact that people who object to the approval were given only three minutes to present positions is evidence that the proceeding was intended to push through an inadequate master plan that falls far short of what is legally required by city ordinance.\r\n

\r\n\"The fact that it took this long for City Planning to include the requirement for a traffic study does not bode well for the future of the North Shore. The Steelers would like to avoid going to court to solve the issues we have about event-day traffic. However, PITG's lack of cooperation and the lack of a willingness to take responsibility for doing things right leaves us with ongoing concern for how this project will be done. We must do what is necessary to protect the interests of our fans in being able to attend games at Heinz Field in a safe and convenient environment. This is an important project which will have important long-term impacts on the North Shore. We will continue to insist that no corners be cut.\"\r\n \r\n\r\n\r\n

THURSDAY, MAY 31, 1:35 p.m.\r\n

* Offensive line coach Larry Zierlein apologized to the fans, the team and his family for mass-forwarding a pornographic e-mail that had been sent to him by a member of the Steelers' front office earlier in the month. An interview -- that had been requested by only SteelCityInsider.com and the Post-Gazette but soon included several reporters -- will be available shortly, as will several notes from today's OTA workout.\r\n\r\n

WEDNESDAY, MAY 30, 3:20 p.m.\r\n

* For the second consecutive day, Willie Colon is starting at right tackle over a healthy Max Starks. More on this, as well as rumors and observations from Jim Wexell, by clicking this link.\r\n\r\n\r\n

WEDNESDAY, MAY 23, 2:40 p.m.\r\n

* Let's start the notebook off with Kevan Barlow's explanation for changing from No. 22 to No. 33: \"My mother read a bunch of bad stuff in some magazines and asked me to change. I'm not the kind of guy who worries about bad luck because I'm into the Lord. But, then again, I did sprain my ankle my second day with 22.\"\r\n

And here are the rest of the notes from today's workout.\r\n\r\n

TUESDAY, MAY 22, 4:55 p.m.\r\n

* The official statement from Steelers spokesman Dave Lockett appears to indicate that O-line coach Larry Zierlein has gotten off with a warning. From Lockett:\r\n

\"An inappropriate email communication was sent from our office to unintended recipients last week. The sending of inappropriate email messages is against club and league policy, and the sender has been warned about the policy violation. The sender has issued an apology to all of the recipients.\"\r\n\r\n

TUESDAY, MAY 22, 4 p.m.\r\n

* The Steelers \"are looking into it,\" was PR man Dave Lockett's only statement on an inappropriate e-mail that was allegedly forwarded to the team by offensive line coach Larry Zierlein.\r\n\r\n

* Here's the Quickie Q&A\r\nwith LaMarr Woodley that we'd promised earlier.\r\n\r\n

TUESDAY, MAY 22, 3 p.m.\r\n

* As expected, Alan Faneca missed the first of 14 voluntary spring workouts. Two other starters also missed today's workout. Read about that and other notes right here.\r\n\r\n

TUESDAY, MAY 22, 7 a.m.\r\n

* Organized Team Activities begin today and will continue through June 14. We'll be there to cover all 14 of the practices. Until then, here's a feature on former Steelers great Rocky Bleier. It may be gone in seven days, but for now it's free on the Notre Dame Internet Network.\r\n\r\n

SUNDAY, MAY 20, 8:35 a.m.\r\n

With a busy week on tap here at SteelCityInsider.com, I hand the floor over to some of the Sunday morning stories circulating the net that aren't in the mainstream media: (--j.w.)\r\n

* In the Washington Observer-Reporter, John Steigerwald is already looking to bench Ben Roethlisberger.\r\n

* A Beaver County Times notes column by one of my favorites, John Mehno, touches on Alan Faneca, Joey Porter and John Fedko.\r\n

* WTAE-TV news \"caught up with Roethlisberger\" at a high school function to ask him about his dinner with Mike Tomlin, as reported by Sports Illustrated.\r\n

* AOL/SCI/HSS writer Ryan Wilson comments on Dan Rooney's recent remarks about Faneca.\r\n

* And finally, to our message board for notes on relevant players from around the league, courtesy of The Sports Exchange.\r\n\r\n

SATURDAY, MAY 18, 6:40 a.m.\r\n

* Joey Porter told WPXI-TV \"I will make a statement\" when he returns to Pittsburgh on Nov. 26 with his new team, the Miami Dolphins. Porter also commented on LaMarr Woodley, the Steelers' new No. 55.\r\n\r\n

FRIDAY, MAY 18, 7:35 a.m.\r\n

* Dan Rooney told KDKA TV that talks with Alan Faneca \"get down to paying him what he wants and we just don't think we can do that.\" \r\n\r\n

SATURDAY, MAY 12, 5:50 p.m.\r\n

* Alan Faneca returned to practice this afternoon and explained his morning absence this way: \"Just some things were said and I just had to cool off, a little cool off time.\"\r\n

He didn't expound, only to say he and management talked and \"I still stand by what I said yesterday.\" \r\n

Was anything resolved? \r\n

\"No, it was just talk,\" he said.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n

SATURDAY, MAY 12, 4:25 p.m.\r\n

* Alan Faneca missed the morning practice, but is back on the field this afternoon. After practice I hope to get an answer for his curious day ... unless he punches me in the face first. Also, we'll have Mike Tomlin comments after practice as well. (--j.w.)\r\n\r\n

SATURDAY, MAY 12, 12 p.m.\r\n

* One day after venting about the lack of progress in his contract talks, guard Alan Faneca walked out of the team's minicamp Saturday. Chris Kemoeatu stepped in at left guard. We'll have more later.\r\n\r\n

FRIDAY, MAY 11, 12:55 p.m.\r\n

* Alan Faneca attended minicamp only because it's mandatory, he said. He answered every question put forth to him by a mob of reporters and at one point said he's convinced this will be his last year with the Steelers because their new contract offer wouldn't put him in the top 10 paid guards in the league. We'll have the full transcript within a half hour.\r\n\r\n

THURSDAY, MAY 10, 12:15 p.m.\r\n

* The Steelers released veteran linebacker Richard Seigler, the team announced today.

\r\n\r\nSeigler, a second-year linebacker who spent parts of the past two seasons on the Steelers' practice squad, was originally drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in the fourth round (127th overall) of the 2004 NFL Draft. He saw action in seven games as a rookie, finishing the season with one assisted tackle on defense and six special teams stops.\r\n

\r\nSeigler signed with the Steelers on Nov. 9, 2005, and spent the remainder of the season with the team. He was released during training camp in 2006, but was added to the practice squad Dec. 23.\r\n\r\n

WEDNESDAY, MAY 9, 11:15 a.m.\r\n

* Interviewed LaMarr Woodley and his former defensive coordinator the other day. Go here for the transcripts.\r\n\r\n

WEDNESDAY, MAY 9, 7:45 a.m.\r\n

* According to NFL.com, Kevan Barlow is returning home to play for the Steelers. The former Peabody High and Pitt star will suit up for this weekend's minicamp.\r\n\r\n

MONDAY, MAY 7, 5 p.m.\r\n

* To the surprise of no one, charges against Deshea Townsend have been dropped.\r\n\r\n\r\n

SATURDAY, MAY 5, 8:15 a.m.\r\n

* The amount of money the Steelers can pay their rookies is $4,257,000. The \"rookie pool number\" is the amount within the salary cap that the Steelers can spend on rookies.\r\n\r\n

FRIDAY, MAY 4, 4:15 p.m.\r\n

* For the running back-starved Steelers, it had to be one of two veterans: Kevan Barlow or Chris Brown. On Friday, it was Barlow who visited the Steelers. The former Pitt star is looking for a team after being released by the New York Jets. Barlow has spent six years in the league.\r\n\r\n\r\n

THURSDAY, MAY 3, 4 p.m.\r\n

* The Steelers released veteran tight end Tim Euhus, leaving the team with veterans Heath Miller and Jerame Tuman, practice player Jon Dekker, draft pick Matt Spaeth and rookie free agent Cody Boyd.\r\n\r\n

Euhus (6-5, 249) played with the Steelers in 2006 after signing on Aug. 29. He saw action in the Steelers' 2006 season opener and then was inactive for three games before being released on Oct. 12. He did not sign with another team in 2006 and re-signed with the Steelers in February. \r\n\r\n

WEDNESDAY, MAY 2, 4:30 p.m.\r\n

* A couple of nuggets from my quick trip to the South Side:\r\n

1. The undrafted rookie free agent with the best chance to make the team seems to be Rutgers center Darnell Stapleton. His is the only name that comes up during such discussions with sources. No one seems impressed with the undrafted rookie running backs ... at least yet.\r\n

2. Linebacker coach Keith Butler will be looking at second-round pick LaMarr Woodley at inside linebacker as well as outside and as a third-down defensive end. Several of us on the message boards had speculated during the season that Woodley looks like a buck inside backer, and it appears the Steelers are wondering about it as well. After all, the great Levon Kirkland made the move from college defensive end to buck backer.\r\n

We'll have many more of these nuggest -- as well as features on the new players -- as the weeks progress, but particularly once minicamp begins on May 11. We'll mix the news of the day with features on the rookies during the spring workout season. (--j.w.)\r\n\r\n

WEDNESDAY, MAY 2, 11:10 a.m.\r\n

* The Steelers have assigned jersey numbers to their rookie class of 2007. First-rounder Lawrence Timmons was assigned #94, the number made famous and last worn in Pittsburgh by Chad Brown. \r\n\r\n

Lamarr Woodley will don the #55 of departed Joey Porter, the man he is ultimately replacing, at least in the dime. Third-round TE Matt Spaeth will wear #89. \r\n\r\n

The other numbers assigned: P Daniel Sepulveda #9; DE Ryan McBean #69; OG Cameron Stephenson #65; CB William Gay #22; WR Dallas Baker #81; OC Darnell Stapleton #61; RB Gary Russell #33; FB Aaron Robbins #46; RB Paul Mosley #40; WR Chris Jackson #14; WR Eric Fowler #82; OT Jason Capizzi #67; TE Cody Boyd #48; LS Jared Retkofsky #64; DL Derrick Jones #67; and WR Eric Deslauriers #13.\r\n\r\n

MONDAY, APRIL 30, 9:10 p.m.\r\n

* One change on the UFA roster: DE Aaron Robbins of Wyoming has replaced FB Gijon Robinson.\r\n\r\n

MONDAY, APRIL 30, 12:25 p.m.\r\n

* The Steelers agreed to terms with the following rookie free agents:\r\n\r\n

PITTSBURGH STEELERS 2007 ROOKIE FREE AGENTS\r\n \r\n

1. Cody Boyd, TE, 6-8, 264, Washington State.\r\n

2. Jason Capizzi, OT, 6-9, 315, Indiana (Pa.).\r\n

3. Eric Deslauriers, WR, 6-4, 207, Eastern Michigan.\r\n

4. Eric Fowlers, WR, 6-3, 198, Grand Valley State.\r\n

5. Chris Jackson, WR, 6-2, 205, Millsaps.\r\n

6. Derrick Jones, DL, 6-4, 282, Grand Valley State.\r\n

7. Paul Mosley, RB, 6-3, 235, Baylor.\r\n

8. Jared Retkofsky, LS, 6-5, 260, TCU.\r\n

9. Gijon Robinson, FB, 6-1, 261, Missouri Western State.\r\n

10. Gary Russell, RB, 5-11, 215, Minnesota.\r\n

11. Darnell Stapleton, G/C, 6-3, 285, Rutgers.\r\n\r\n

SUNDAY, APRIL 29, 11:45 p.m.\r\n

* The names of two other undrafted free agents have surfaced. Darnell Stapleton, a center from Rutgers, and running back Gary Russell of Minnesota have landed with Pittsburgh. \r\n

Russell, 5-11, 217, amassed 1,274 yards on 210 carries (6.1 avg.) and ran for 18 touchdowns in 2005, but was declared academically ineligible in 2006 and did not play.\r\n

The 6-3, 305-pound Stapleton was one of six finalists for the Rimington Trophy, an award given annually to the nation's top center. \r\n\r\n

SUNDAY, APRIL 29, 9:15 p.m.\r\n

* Scout.com: Had the Steelers not selected Matt Spaeth in the third round with the \r\n77th pick, the Jacksonville Jaguars were poised to choose him with pick 79.\r\n\r\n

SUNDAY, APRIL 29, 7:40 p.m.\r\n

* The Steelers won't release their list of rookie free agents until tomorrow, but a source confirmed they've signed 6-foot-9, 324-pound left tackle Jason Capizzi of Indiana University of Pa. and Pine-Richland High School.\r\n\r\n

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 25, 5:55 p.m.\r\n

* Per Adam Caplan, Steelers RT Max Starks signed his one-year RFA tender today. \r\n

* The Steelers apparently have UTEP WR/KR Johnnie Lee Higgins high on their draft board. Read more about Higgins here.\r\n\r\n\r\n

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 25, 6:18 a.m.\r\n

* SCI publisher Jim Wexell chose Joe Staley in the first round of the recent Scout.com mock draft, but sources have told Scout that the Steelers are not interested in fortifying the position in the first round. Sources told the network the Steelers are instead interested in mid-rounders Chris Denman (6-6 1/2, 315, 5.64) of Fresno State and Allen Barbre (6-4, 300, 4.88) of Missouri Southern State.\r\n\r\n

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 25, 5:18 a.m.\r\n

* The Steelers will host their annual Fan Blitz at Heinz Field on Saturday, April 28. The event allows fans to watch the draft excitement unfold on the Jumbotron and on large screen televisions throughout Heinz Field while participating in numerous interactive activities. \r\n

The Fan Blitz will be open to the public from 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Fans will be permitted to kick field goals on the playing field while current and former Steelers players sign autographs. For more details on this event, visit www.steelers.com. \r\n\r\n

MONDAY, APRIL 23, 5:25 p.m.\r\n

* Steelers third-string QB Brian St. Pierre signed his one-year tender offer today. \r\n\r\n

FRIDAY, APRIL 20, 1:45 p.m.\r\n

* Nothing further on Faneca. Coach Mike Tomlin will address the issue after this evening's practice.\r\n

* Missing from today's practice, from the starting lineup, were Faneca, Troy Polamalu and Clark Haggans. My understanding is that Polamalu is at a retreat and Haggans just had a baby born premature by several weeks.\r\n

* Positions of interest on the first team: C Chukky Okobi, LG Chris Kemeatu, LOLB Rian Wallace, RCB Deshea Townsend and SS Tyrone Carter. \r\n

The second-team O-line, from left to right, consisted of Brandon Torrey, Sean Mahan, Marvin Philip, Trai Essex and Willie Colon. The second-team D-line, from left to right, consisted of Nick Eason, Chris Hoke and Travis Kirschke. The second-team linebackers, from left to right, were Wallace (still), Richard Seigler, Ron Stanley, and Marcello Church. The second-team corners were Ricardo Colclough and Bryant McFadden and the second-team safeties were Mike Lorello and Anthony Smith. The wide receivers rotate at a different pace than the rest of the players so I hesitate to say whether Santonio Holmes or Cedrick Wilson was the starting split end. Also, I saw Arnold Harrison in the hallway but don't remember if he was on the field rotating with Wallace at LOLB. \r\n

* Kendall Simmons played center only for the third- and fourth-team quarterbacks during 7-on-7 drills. He snapped shotgun and dribbled the last one of the session back to QB Bryan Randall.\r\n

* The last of the college visitors were in today. The Steelers hosted Arkansas CB Chris Houston and Pitt CB Darrelle Revis. (--j.w.)\r\n\r\n

FRIDAY, APRIL 20, 11:15 a.m.\r\n

* Okay, we have our first mistake of the hour-long season. Alan Faneca is NOT on the field. He reported to the South Side facility Thursday night and showed up again Friday morning, but did not suit up. Dan Rooney confirmed Faneca had been at the facility.\r\n

\"He WAS here,\" Rooney said.\r\n

Was he negotiating with you?\r\n

\"No,\" Rooney said.\r\n

What's he doing here?\r\n

\"I'm not going to speak for him,\" Rooney said.\r\n

Updates as we get them.\r\n\r\n

FRIDAY, APRIL 20, 10:15 a.m.\r\n

* Alan Faneca is practicing with the team right now. We'll have quotes from him after the first workout of the day. (--j.w.)\r\n\r\n

FRIDAY, APRIL 20, 6:15 a.m.\r\n

* According to the Post-Gazette, the Steelers on Thursday hosted Miami OLB Jon Beason, Washington TE Cody Boyd, Missouri Southern State T-G Allen Barbre and Baylor P Dan Sepulveda. \r\n\r\n

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 18, 4:45 p.m.\r\n

* The Steelers today hosted East Carolina wide receiver Aundrae Allison. The 6-0 1/4, 198-pounder caught 145 passes for 1,732 yards and 11 touchdowns during his two seasons at ECU. At the combine he ran his 40s in 4.39 andn 4.41 seconds.\r\n\r\n

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 18, 10:16 a.m.\r\n

* Steelers defensive line coach John Mitchell will be inducted into the Mobile Sports Hall of Fame tomorrow night. Read the story in today's Mobile Register about Mitchell's career. \r\n\r\n

TUESDAY, APRIL 17, 12:10 p.m.\r\n

* The Steelers hosted three players on Tuesday and all three had been reported upon earlier by SteelCityInsider.com. \r\n

The players are defensive end Adam Carriker of Nebraska, defensive tackle Amobi Okoye of Louisville and wide receiver Jacoby Jones of Division II Lane College.\r\n\r\n

TUESDAY, APRIL 17, 7:05 a.m.\r\n

* After watching Willie Reid and Rasheed Marshall play basketball the other night, I'm not so worried about the Steelers' No. 5 wide receiver spot. Here's a closer look at Marshall by the Wheeling Intelligencer. (--j.w.) \r\n\r\n

MONDAY, APRIL 16, 6:25 p.m.\r\n

* Scout.com's Adam Caplan is reporting that Louisville defensive tackle Amobi Okoye visited the Steelers' offices.\r\n\r\n

MONDAY, APRIL 16, 5:30 p.m.\r\n

* Defensive end Nick Eason has signed a contract with the Steelers. A 2003 fourth-round selection out of Clemson by the Denver Broncos, Eason spent the last three seasons with the Cleveland Browns.\r\n\r\n

MONDAY, APRIL 16, 4 p.m.\r\n

* Well, well, well. Just when you write a story wondering about the guy, he shows up. The Steelers hosted Purdue defensive end Anthony Spencer at their South Side practice facility on Monday. To read more about Spencer and the other Monday visitor, look here.\r\n\r\n

SATURDAY, APRIL 14, 7:30 a.m.\r\n

* Rodney Bailey signed a one-year contract with the Arizona Cardinals, becoming the second former Steeler to sign with Ken Whisenhunt's new team. Bailey played in 12 games as a defensive end last season with the Steelers and made four tackles. Bailey and Sean Morey have moved from the Steelers to the Cardinals this free-agent period.\r\n\r\n

FRIDAY, APRIL 13, 2:10 p.m.\r\n

* As reported earlier, Dwayne Jarrett, the USC wide receiver, paid a visit to the South Side and met with Kevin Colbert, Mike Tomlin and company. Another interesting visitor showed up, and you can read all about it here. (--j.w.)\r\n\r\n

THURSDAY, APRIL 12, 1:25 p.m.\r\n

* Joey Porter has the date circled. He told Florida Today that he can't wait for the Miami Dolphins' Nov. 26 Monday night game in Pittsburgh.\r\n

\"I didn't get my fair shot to stay,\" Porter said on ESPN. \". . . When I come, it's going to be fun to run into my old guys, because I'm coming down with a whole bunch of new friends. It's going to be a business trip, but it's going to be a pleasure for me at the same time.\"\r\n

Porter had more to say about the game in today's report. He also said he was \"embarrassed\" by the incident in Las Vegas with Levi Jones.\r\n

* Three draft prospects are in for visits today. Notre Dame left tackle Ryan Harris is the big name, and Virginia cornerback Marcus Hamilton's visit had been reported earlier, but it's the third name -- here -- that might interest the serious students of the draft. (--j.w.)\r\n\r\n

THURSDAY, APRIL 12, 8:20 a.m.\r\n

* Scout.com's Tony Pauline called last night to tell me one of my favorite players is coming to Pittsburgh for a visit: Texas DE/OLB Brian Robison. A date wasn't given.\r\n

Robison is a 6-3 1/8, 259-pounder who showed off eye-popping athleticism at the combine. He ran a 4.67 40, a 6.89 3-cone and, at 1.49, was the only front-seven defender at the combine under 1.5 seconds in the 10-yard split. He also had a vertical jump of 40.5 inches. Robison played out of position at defensive end at Texas. The natural 3-4 OLB moved from middle linebacker as a freshman to 4-3 end and started three seasons there and compiled 13 sacks and 37 tackles for loss. He's considered a third-round prospect.\r\n

* According to Scout.com's Ed Thompson, the Steelers showed interest in Montana QB Josh Swogger at the combine. He's 6-4 1/2, 237 and, after transferring from Washington State, where he started six games in 2004, started all 13 games for the Grizzlies last season. Swogger completed 54 percent of his passes with a TD-Int ratio of 17-12. He's a developmental prospect who could likely be signed after the draft.\r\n

* The game to circle on the Steelers' schedule is the Monday, Nov. 5 home game against the Ravens. The Steelers are planning a massive celebration in accordance with their 75th anniversary as an NFL franchise. (--j.w.)\r\n\r\n\r\n

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 11, 12:50 p.m.\r\n

* Two more prospects showed up today -- one you've heard of and one you probably haven't. I'm going to send you here for the information.\r\n\r\n

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 11, NOON\r\n

* Florida State outside linebacker Lawrence Timmons and USC wide receiver Steve Smith are visiting with the Steelers right now.\r\n

Timmons is 6-0 7/8, 234 and ran 4.6+ 40s at both the combine and his pro day. The junior started only one year at Florida State, which used a 3-4 scheme 25 percent of the time. Timmons is expected to be a first-round pick, and is considered a strong candidate to be chosen by the Steelers at pick 15.\r\n

Smith is a 5-11 3/4, 197-pound Alaskan. He ran a 4.4 40 at the combine and is considered a late-first, early-second round prospect. He caught 173 passes the last three seasons at USC and last year caught 71 for 1,083 yards and 9 touchdowns and was MVP of the Rose Bowl. (--j.w.) \r\n\r\n

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 11, 7:30 a.m.\r\n

* Jacoby Jones is starting a 14-day, nine-city tour that will include a visit to the Steelers. Jones is a 6-2, 210-pound wide receiver from Division II Lane College. He ran a 4.53 40 at the combine and caught 4 passes for 57 yards in the East-West Shrine game.\r\n\r\n

TUESDAY, APRIL 10, 1:15 p.m.\r\n

* University of Pittsburgh OLB Clint Session has upcoming visits to the Buffalo Bills, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers and Indianapolis Colts, according to his agent, Harold Lewis.\r\n\r\n

TUESDAY, APRIL 10, 12:45 p.m.\r\n

* After returning from his vacation, Jim Wexell has so many notes and thoughts about the draft prospects that he had to put some in a story (soon to be published) and the rest here on the message board.\r\n\r\n

MONDAY, APRIL 9, 10 p.m.\r\n

* Those wondering about the status of Steelers cornerback Ricardo Colclough need not wonder any longer. Colclough has been an active member of the Steelers' basketball team this offseason and does not seem to be hampered by the neck injury that sidelined him last season. If Colclough and the team believed the neck was a problem, it's doubtful he would be playing basketball. (--d.l.)\r\n\r\n\r\n

MONDAY, APRIL 9, 3:10 p.m.\r\n

* To update a previous report, Michigan DE/OLB Lamarr Woodley will visit the Steelers tomorrow.\r\n\r\n

SATURDAY, APRIL 7, 6:10 p.m.\r\n

* According to the Miami Herald, University of Miami LB Jon Beason held a workout for prospective NFL employers on Thursday. Various internet reports place the Steelers as one of seven teams present. Beason ran in the low 4.6-second range -- a significant improvement over the 4.72 he ran at the combine -- but was hardly pleased.\r\n

\"Overall, I would probably give myself a seven out of 10,\" Beason said. \"I was a little disappointed. I didn't put everything together like I wanted to. All in all, they're still happy with me.\"\r\n\r\n

SATURDAY, APRIL 7, 1:20 p.m.\r\n

* In a phone conversation with Scout.com's Ed Thompson Friday evening, Nebraska's Adam Carriker confirmed a Wednesday visit with the Eagles, but has yet to meet with the Rams as previously reported. They're still on the docket, as are the Steelers. Carriker expects to meet with the Jets, Redskins, and Saints, as well.\r\n\r\n

*TFY Draft Preview reports the Steelers have a keen interest in OT Joe Staley, but not necessarily at 1.15:\r\n

\r\n\"Sources have told us that Pittsburgh Steelers new offensive line coach Larry Zierlein absolutely loves Staley since attending his pro-day workout and has been lobbying the team on his behalf. These same sources are not so sure the Steelers will be taking a tackle with the 15th pick.\"\r\n

Read the rest of the story here. \r\n\r\n

THURSDAY, APRIL 5, 8:05 a.m.\r\n

* RavensInsider.com emailed us this nugget this morning:\r\n

University of Michigan cornerback Leon Hall, a consensus top 15 first-round draft prospect, has scheduled visits with the Cincinnati Bengals, Detroit Lions, Pittsburgh Steelers and Washington Redskins, according to his agent, Doug Hendrickson, of Octagon Sports. \r\n

Also, from NFL.com:\r\n

\"Nebraska DE Adam Carriker is visiting the Eagles today (April 4), the Rams tomorrow, and the Jets, Redskins and Steelers after that.\"\r\n\r\n\r\n

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 4, 6:00 p.m.\r\n

* The Steelers' preseason schedule has been finalized as opposed to the one released by the league earlier this week. The team will play five preseason games this summer, including two nationally televised games, as well as home games against the Green Bay Packers and Philadelphia Eagles. \r\n\r\n

As we already knew, the Steelers open against the New Orleans Saints on national TV in Canton, Ohio, in the annual AFC-NFC Hall of Fame Game, Sunday, Aug. 5, on NFL Network. \r\n\r\n

The Steelers' preseason home opener will take place Saturday, Aug. 11, at 7:30 p.m. against the Green Bay Packers at Heinz Field. \r\n\r\n

The final home preseason game will take place Aug. 26 at 8 p.m., when they host the Philadelphia Eagles during a nationally televised game on NBC.\r\n\r\n

In between, the club will play their third preseason game on Saturday, Aug. 18, on the road against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field.\r\n\r\n

The Steelers will conclude their preseason schedule Thursday, Aug. 30, against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium. Kickoff time for that game has yet to be finalized.\r\n\r\n\r\n

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 4, 4:00 p.m.\r\n\r\n

* According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Steelers entertained Penn State OT Levi Brown yesterday. Our scout has Brown listed as a top-ten value with the movement skills and feet to play left tackle. \r\n\r\n\r\n

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 4, 10:00 a.m.\r\n\r\n

* Grambling coaching legend Eddie Robinson has died at the tender young age of 88. Robinson's career numbers are awe-inspiring, and include an undefeated, unscored-upon team in 1942, but the one that stands out above all is his 56-year tenure with Grambling State University. Try that, Nick Saban. Rest in peace, Eddie. And thank you. (--d.d.)\r\n\r\n

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 4, 7:30 a.m.\r\n\r\n

* The Tennessee Titans are making a run at San Diego Chargers reserve RB Michael \"The Burner\" Turner. Turner would be ideal as a complement to Steelers RB Willie Parker, but at a cost of first and third round draft picks, plus a starter's contract, he's too rich for Pittsburgh's blood. \r\n\r\n

Turner will be in Buffalo today eyeing the gaping hole in the Bills' backfield. No matter where he lands, his signing will allow a quality back to fall a little further in the draft. And that bodes well for the Steelers' RB needs. (--d.d.)\r\n\r\n

TUESDAY, APRIL 3, 4:40 p.m.\r\n\r\n

* Scout.com's Adam Caplan reports the Steelers have a pre-draft visit coming up with University of South Carolina WR Sidney Rice. Details to follow as they become available.\r\n\r\n\r\n

TUESDAY, APRIL 3, 3:10 p.m.\r\n\r\n

* Unconfirmed reports have Oklahoma State DT Ryan McBean visiting the Steelers today. Those same reports have Fresno State RB Dwayne Wright on tap for a visit tomorrow. \r\n\r\n

McBean is a mid-round defensive line prospect that projects to end in the Steelers' 3-4 scheme but could be overdrafted. Wright, 5-11, 230, is likely a day-two prospect due to speed, age, and health concerns. However, he's been reasonably productive when healthy. (--d.d.)\r\n\r\n

TUESDAY, APRIL 3, 11:50 a.m.\r\n\r\n

* As promised, we've confirmed Southern Cal's Dwayne Jarrett will visit the South Side a week from Friday on April 13. Hmmm, Friday the 13th. Is that ever a good thing? (--d.d.)\r\n\r\n

TUESDAY, APRIL 3, 8:55 a.m.\r\n\r\n

* The NFL released a list of the Steelers' preseason opponents yesterday. Mike Tomlin's bunch will open the preseason schedule versus the New Orleans Saints in the annual Hall of Fame game. Kickoff is at 8 p.m., on Aug. 5 in Canton, Ohio.\r\n

\r\nThey play their first home game on Aug. 10 or 11 against the Green Bay Packers; then travel to Washington to face the Redskins Aug. 17 or 18; return home to play Philadelphia Aug. 26 at 8 p.m.; and wrap up the preseason versus the Panthers in Carolina, the weekend of Aug. 30.\r\n

\r\n*The Steelers hosted RB Antonio Pittman of nearby Ohio State Monday. The 5-11, 207-pound Pittman should come off the board somewhere in the middle of rounds two and three. \r\n\r\n

SUNDAY, APRIL 1, 10:20 a.m.\r\n\r\n

* When you haven't had much success, I guess the next best thing is to be pals with the cool kid. \r\n \r\n

The Cleveland Plain Dealer offered this little nugget this morning, linking new Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin to the lowly Browns.\r\n\r\n

\"I had him do reports,\" Crennel said. \"He did a report for me, studied a division opponent. Wrote up their tendencies, wrote up their personnel. I assigned him that when he came in. He gave it to me when he left, and you could tell that he was a pretty sharp guy as a result of that report.\"\r\n\r\n

As any astute Steelers fan already knows, former coaches Chuck Noll and Bill Cowher played for the Browns, the latter also served a stint as an assistant coach.\r\n\r\n

Happy April Fool's Day, Pittsburgh. Unfortunately, this one's legit. (--d.d.)\r\n\r\n

SATURDAY, MARCH 31, 7:30 p.m.\r\n\r\n

* According to scout.com's Adam Caplan, the Steelers have a pre-draft visit with USC WR Dwayne Jarrett coming up. \r\n

\r\nAs first reported a few weeks ago by scout.com, Jarrett also has scheduled visits with the New York Giants, Dallas Cowboys, and Tennessee Titans coming up in April. \r\n

\r\nWe'll have a date for you once it's confirmed. \r\n\r\n

FRIDAY, MARCH 30, 6:40 a.m.\r\n

* Mel Kiper, that shrewd marketeer, is at it again. He's moved Central Michigan OT Joe Staley up to No. 13 on his \"Big Board\" so now I have to spill the beans: A source indicated to me recently that the Steelers like Staley a lot. Not that they'd draft him at No. 15, but if they were to trade down, Staley would be considered among a pool of players. So, Mel, you've blown a story I was trying to save for a week or so. I guess that's how the old draft ball bounces.\r\n

* As we reported early in the week, the Steelers will host Hawaii 3-4 DE Ikaika Alama-Francis on Monday. We'll have a feature on him coming out Sunday night. The club is really hitting the front-seven defenders this draft season. (--j.w.) \r\n\r\n

THURSDAY, MARCH 29, 11:30 p.m.\r\n

* One of my personal favorites in this draft, defensive end Ikaika Alama-Francis, had his pro day Thursday in Hawaii and didn't disappoint. According to Scout sources, Alama-Francis turned in a 35-inch vertical at 276 pounds and had a broad jump of 9-6. He was timed at 4.85 to 4.88 seconds in the 40 and looked good in the position drills. There were also reports that he worked out in the tight end position drills as well, showing you a little about this kid's athleticism. At this point, Alama-Francis is likely a second-round pick, but he could be a guy who slides to the third. Either way, he's a guy the Steelers should look closely at. (--d.l.)\r\n\r\n

TUESDAY, MARCH 27, 4:10 p.m.\r\n

* Here's a new story on Marcello Church from his hometown paper:

\r\nPinellas Preps\r\n\r\n\r\n

TUESDAY, MARCH 27, 8:20 a.m. \r\n

* Click the following link for an update on newly scheduled player visits with the Steelers, as well as other prospect news:\r\n

\r\nNew prospects\r\n\r\n

MONDAY, MARCH 26, 9:45 p.m.\r\n

* How does the great AdamJT13 do it? I haven't studied his entire prediction list for compensatory picks, but the list just came out and he nailed the Steelers' picks. Pittsburgh was awarded picks at the end of the fourth and fifth rounds for losing wide receiver Antwaan Randle El and safety Chris Hope, just as AdamJT13 had predicted. San Diego, San Francisco, Indianapolis and Oakland were the big winners, landing third-round selections. In fact, the defending Super Bowl champions really made out this year, landing extra picks in the third, fourth and fifth rounds. The Steelers' fourth-round pick is the first fourth round compensation pick, 132nd overall. Their fifth-rounder is also the first compensatory pick of that round, the 170th overall. (--d.l.)\r\n\r\n\r\n

MONDAY, MARCH 26, 6:15 p.m.\r\n

* The Steelers just announced that Tyrone Carter's new deal is for three years.\r\n\r\n

MONDAY, MARCH 26, 4:50 p.m.\r\n

* Tyrone Carter officially signed with the Steelers, ending a strange series of events in which Carter apparently agreed to contracts with both the Steelers and Chicago Bears in the last 48 hours. Details of the proceedings are not known at this time, and neither are the details of the contract. It's possible that Carter's agent is not returning phone calls out of embarrassment. The Steelers would not comment on the matter.\r\n

Carter, a 5-foot-8 safety, is entering his eighth season in the league and fourth with the Steelers. The backup strong safety recorded 42 total tackles last season and had two sacks and two forced fumbles. He started three games.\r\n\r\n

MONDAY, MARCH 26, 1:15 p.m.\r\n

* Okay, with the Rooneys, Kevin Colbert and Mike Tomlin in Phoenix, my sources are out of town (just kidding) but I was able to learn that Tyrone Carter agreed to terms with the Steelers before agreeing to terms with the Chicago Bears. At this point, the Steelers believe Carter is theirs. We will have an update.\r\n

* If it's true, that Carter is in the fold, you should know that the Super Bowl will be played February 3rd in Phoenix. That and the rest of the NFL schedule will be announced April 5. (--j.w.)\r\n\r\n

MONDAY, MARCH 26, 12:50 p.m.\r\n

* Heinz Field will host a job fair for anyone interested in event-day employment opportunities.\r\n

The Heinz Field Job Fair will take place Tuesday, April 3, in the East Club Lounge at Heinz Field. Interviews will be conducted from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 4 - 7 p.m.\r\n

Event-day positions will be available for Pittsburgh Steelers and University of Pittsburgh football games, as well as concerts and other events that will take place at Heinz Field. Available positions include: concession, catering, ticket taker, seat attendant, maid/porter, concierge, luxury suite/club attendant, merchandise, security, guest services and elevator operators.\r\n

Applicants may enter Heinz Field through the Suite Entry at Gate B. Parking is available in Gold Lot 1A for $5.00.\r\n

Any questions concerning employment at Heinz Field will be answered the day of the job fair. For more information, please log on to www.steelers.com.\r\n\r\n

* There's nothing happening on the Tyrone Carter front here on the South Side. I'll check elsewhere. (--j.w.)\r\n\r\n

MONDAY, MARCH 26, 10:05 a.m.\r\n

* The Steelers' PR department told me this about Tyrone Carter this morning: \"We don't have anything yet. Call back in a bit and we may have something for you then.\"\r\n

Sounds to me like they're waiting for Carter to sign the contract and make it official. (--j.w.) \r\n\r\n

MONDAY, MARCH 26, 6:50 a.m.\r\n

* This is strange. ESPN.com has no news of Tyrone Carter's alleged signing with the Chicago Bears. A Google update of ESPN's report was sent to me via e-mail, but there was no story behind the link this morning. The Chicago Tribune reported the alleged signing, but credited ESPN. Witnesses say that an ESPN ticker last night reported that Carter has re-signed with the Steelers. We'll get to the bottom of this and have a report as soon as possible. (--j.w.) \r\n\r\n

MONDAY, MARCH 26, 6:30 a.m.\r\n

* Tyrone Carter signed a three-year contract for $2.4 million with a $280,000 bonus, according to The Chicago Tribune.\r\n\r\n

SUNDAY, MARCH 25, 2 p.m.\r\n

* The Steelers will be in the market for a safety as according to ESPN free agent Tyrone Carter has signed a three-year deal with the Chicago Bears. The loss of Carter leaves the Steelers with Troy Polamalu at strong safety and Ryan Clark and Anthony Smith battling for the starting free safety spot. With Mike Logan, a free agent, expected to retire - though he hasn't announced it yet - safety has now become a position of need, one that will likely be looked at in the later rounds of the draft. (--d.l.)\r\n\r\n

SATURDAY, MARCH 24, 9:25 a.m.\r\n

* According to KFFL, the Steelers attended the Villanova pro day yesterday to watch the workouts of QB Marvin Burroughs and S Allyn Bacchus.\r\n\r\n

SATURDAY, MARCH 24, 8:05 a.m.\r\n

* Bill Cowher spoke to a group of high-school coaches at the University of Tennessee yesterday. The event was covered by the Charlotte Observer.\r\n\r\n

FRIDAY, MARCH 23, 3:55 p.m.\r\n

* The Steelers signed free-agent linebacker Marcello Church (6-1, 230), who attended Florida State. Church suffered a season-ending injury his senior season (2005) and did not participate in an NFL camp last year.\r\n\r\nAt Florida State, Church finished with a career-high 26 tackles in both his junior and senior seasons. He saw action in 12 games as a senior, ranking third on the team in sacks with 4.5. Church also blocked two punts with the Seminoles.\r\n\r\n

FRIDAY, MARCH 23, 7:20 a.m.\r\n

* According to Pittsburghsportsinsider.com, Pitt linebacker H.B. Blades visited with the Steelers on Thursday. \"The knock on Blades is his perceived lack of speed,\" wrote someone who wisely remained anonymous. (--j.w.)\r\n\r\n

FRIDAY, MARCH 23, 6:55 a.m.\r\n

* I'd like to welcome Kai Vincent Wilson into Steeler Nation this morning! Kai is the firstborn of our columnist, Ryan, and his wife Audrey. Kai was born Wednesday, the first day of spring 2007, and measured 7 lbs, 9 oz. and was 21.5 inches long. Later that day he ran the 40 in 4.52, with an astounding short shuttle of 3.87. He's cat-quick and is expected to go in the first round. Congrats to the Wilson family!\r\n\r\n

FRIDAY, MARCH 23, 6:40 a.m.\r\n

* The Steelers, of course, made the 150-minute drive to State College to watch the Penn State pro day. Scout.com has a story from the New York Giants point of view. It's posted a few doors down.\r\n\r\n

* Texas DE and possible 3-4 OLB candidate Tim Crowder told Sirius Radio that he has visits scheduled with Atlanta, Tampa Bay, St. Louis and the New York Jets. The Jets are looking into whether he can play OLB.\r\n\r\n

* Mike Bires of the Beaver County Times must be one of the smart beat men out there who reads our site. He's written a Ben Roethlisberger story that finally gets it right about Ben's work ethic. Read it now, because I believe the BCT pulls its stories off the \"free shelf\" after a few days. (--j.w.) \r\n\r\n

THURSDAY, MARCH 22, 2:41 p.m.\r\n

* According to Scout.com draft expert Tony Pauline, the Steelers have traveled to Waco, Texas to work out Baylor punter Daniel Sepulveda.\r\n

The story is posted two doors down on this site, and tomorrow we'll be taking a long look at Sepulveda, who's become an SCI.com favorite. (--j.w.)\r\n\r\n

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 21, 11:30 p.m.\r\n

* Top-rated inside linebacker Patrick Willis of Mississippi ran for scouts and coaches and didn't disappoint. At 237 pounds, Willis ran the 40 in 4.37 and 4.38. He also had a 4.37 short shuttle and 7.10 three-cone drill. There's no doubt that Willis will be the first linebacker drafted. (--d.l.)\r\n\r\n

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 21, 7:35 p.m.\r\n

* According to The Boston Herald, the Boston College pro day was well-attended, but no mention is made of the Steelers. It's too bad, because there were a couple outstanding interior linemen, particularly Josh Beekman, who, according to the paper, displayed good feet and stayed low. \r\n\r\n

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 21, 7:10 p.m.\r\n

* The Steelers will host Pitt QB Tyler Palko on an official draft prospect visit. The specifics of the visit are not known. (--j.w.)\r\n\r\n

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 21, 7:20 a.m.\r\n

* Former Steelers defensive lineman Jeremy Staat is one of 300 marines being deployed to Iraq, according to USA Today.\r\n\r\n

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 21, 7:10 a.m.\r\n

* Scout.com has learned of another big-time prospect being sought by the Steelers. \r\n

Pitt CB Darrelle Revis will walk across the hall to officially visit with the Steelers, who, like many others, were impressed by Revis' pro-day workout last Friday. After running sub 4.4 40s -- among other impressive results -- Revis is now considered a lock to be drafted in the first round, possibly in the upper half. \r\n

Read today's NFL Draft story posted on this site for further details of the visits being scheduled around the league.\r\n\r\n

TUESDAY, MARCH 20, 4:30 p.m.\r\n

* According to the Post-Gazette the Steelers are interviewing Rocky Boiman, a free agent who was a back-up linebacker with the Indianapolis Colts last season.\r\n\r\n

TUESDAY, MARCH 20, 8:25 a.m.\r\n

* Known as AdamJT13 to his followers on the Internet, his world-famous compensation projections are in. \r\n

Last year Adam correctly projected fourth and fifth-round compensation picks to the Steelers. This year, he projects they'll receive a fourth-round pick for the loss of Chris Hope and a fifth-round pick for the loss of Antwaan Randle-El.\r\n

The compensation picks will officially be announced at next week's owners' meetings, but it's a mere formality thanks to Adam.\r\n\r\n

TUESDAY, MARCH 20, 6:36 a.m.\r\n

* Scout.com's Tony Pauline has learned that the Steelers are showing interest in a pair of similar style defensive ends: LaMarr Woodley of Michigan and Nu'u Tafisi of Cal.\r\n

Both players are short, squat defensive ends who project to outside linebacker in a 3-4, and both play with a great energy that has marked their college careers. \r\n

Woodley is coming off an impressive pro day workout and projects as a late first, early second-round pick. Tafisi, one of my personal favorites, is similar in style to Clark Haggans and projects as a fifth or sixth-rounder.\r\n

We'll follow this story and keep you up to date as it develops. (--j.w.)\r\n\r\n

TUESDAY, MARCH 20, 5:55 a.m.\r\n

* Long snapper Greg Warren has signed his exclusive rights tender. The third-year pro will be paid $435,000 this season. \r\n\r\n

MONDAY, MARCH 19, 6:10 p.m.\r\n

* According to NFL.com, Pitt CB Darrelle Revis, at his pro day last Friday, ran 4.41 and 4.39 40s, had a 38-inch vertical jump, a 10-5 broad jump, and ran the short shuttle in 4.08 and the 3-cone in 6.56. Those are stunning numbers. \r\n

Also, linebacker H.B. Blades had decent 40 times of 4.69 and 4.72 and a 3-cone time of 6.98. His short shuttle time was 4.36 and his vertical was 32 inches. (--j.w.)\r\n\r\n

MONDAY, MARCH 19, 5:45 p.m.\r\n

* The Steelers showed up at the Grand Valley State University pro day. Here's the link:\r\n\r\n

Hooray for the home team! \r\n\r\n

MONDAY, MARCH 19, 3 p.m.\r\n

* It appears that linebacker Colby Bockwoldt, who visited the Steelers recently, will sign a free-agent deal with the San Francisco 49ers.\r\n\r\n

MONDAY, MARCH 19, 7 a.m.\r\n

* Ex-Steeler Joey Porter can't stop hating Bengals. Porter was cited by Las Vegas police Sunday night for punching Bengals OT Levi Jones in the face at a casino.\r\n\r\n

SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 11 p.m.\r\n

*The sometimes subtle, sometimes drastic movements on some analysts draft boards is starting to take shape now that the combine is over and the pro day results are beginning to trickle in.\r\n

On the heals of Pitt cornerback Darrell Revis solidifying his spot in the top 10 to 15 players to be picked in next month's draft comes news that another player considered to be a sure-fire top 10 choice may be sliding.\r\n

One scouting site reported that Michigan defensive tackle Alan Branch, considered a sure-fire top-10 pick after the final college football game was played last season, may be sliding because some teams were turned off by his interviews at the combine.\r\n

Add to that the fact that buzz surrounding Louisville's Amobi Okoye, and it's beginning to look as if maybe the Steelers will have a shot at Branch with the 15th pick in the draft.\r\n

Mind you that 6-6, 334-pound Branch's supposed fall from grace has nothing to do with his play or his workouts. In fact, the big man ran a 5.07 40 and bench pressed 225 pounds 33 times. Apparently, some are now questioning his motor and his attitude.\r\n

But Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was at the Michigan pro day and a big man like Branch would certainly be enticing to the Steelers. He may also be very enticing to teams picking behind the Steelers, teams who might be will to move up in the draft for a chance to take a player who's a top-10 talent. (--d.l.)\r\n\r\n\r\n

SATURDAY, MARCH 17, 4:30 p.m.\r\n

* Some notes you may or may not be aware of:\r\n

--The Steelers raised their ticket prices for next season in Heinz \r\nField. Seats that cost $55 last season will cost $59 and the $65 tickets \r\nwill be $74. Traditionally, the team raises prices every other season.\r\n

--The Steelers' popular men's fantasy camp will take place from June \r\n1-3 at their training camp site, Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pa. \r\nRegistration is open at $499 per player at Steelers.com.\r\n

--Former Steelers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt, Arizona's new \r\nhead coach, believes Bill Cowher will coach again.\r\n

\"My guess, knowing how competitive that man is, is that yes, he will be back.\"\r\n\r\n\r\n

SATURDAY, MARCH 17, 4 p.m.\r\n

* Scout.com's Ed Thompson told SteelCityInsider.com that the Steelers met with Texas DE Tim Crowder at the Senior Bowl and had a formal interview with Arkansas CB Chris Houston at the combine. \r\n\r\n

SATURDAY, MARCH 17, 11:40 a.m.\r\n

* Because eight teams finished 8-8, the Steelers' position in each round will be rotated. Here's the breakdown:\r\n

First round -- 15th; second round -- 14th; third round -- 13th; fourth round -- 20th; fifth round -- 19th; sixth round -- 18th; seventh round -- 17th.\r\n\r\n

SATURDAY, MARCH 17, 7 a.m.\r\n

* The Post-Gazette concurred with the initial report on Darrelle Revis' 40 time. It's in the 4.39 range. Otherwise, there's not much out there on Steelers-specific prospects. I did see a note that Mike Tomlin was at the Michigan pro day. Enjoy the weekend. (--j.w.)\r\n\r\n

FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 5 p.m.\r\n

* The first report on Darrelle Revis' pro day comes from John Murphy, of Yahoo! Sports, who reports that the Pitt CB ripped off a 4.38 to 4.40 40. \r\n

Murphy is a reliable source, so it appears Revis made himself a lot of money today since speed was his main question mark. Certainly, the metro papers will have stories tomorrow morning, and by early next week I'll have an official time here. (--j.w.)\r\n\r\n

FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 10:10 a.m.\r\n

* The Steelers report that Chidi Iwuoma's deal is for one year. In 99 percent of these instances, the deal is for minimum wages, but the team pays the fully vested veteran more than what's counted against the salary cap.\r\n\r\n

FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 7:35 a.m.\r\n

* The Steelers re-signed special-teams ace Chidi Iwuoma, 29, on the same day they lost another free-agent coverage ace, Sean Morey. The two players were special-teams co-captains during the Steelers' 2005 championship season.\r\n

Iwuoma was cut by the team at the end of the 2006 training camp and the coverage teams slipped noticeably. He was re-signed Dec. 4 and played in two games before leaving the Carolina game with a wrist injury. Iwuoma was placed on injured reserve Dec. 20 and missed the final two games.\r\n

Terms of the contract have not yet been released. (--j.w.)\r\n\r\n

THURSDAY, MARCH 15, 8:42 p.m.\r\n

* The Mike Tomlin pro day train stopped at Tallahassee today for an up-close look at the Florida State prospects. According to the Tallahassee Democrat, Tomlin seemed to pardon OLB Lawrence Timmons's workout by telling the paper that his game tape is more important. \"And his tape stands out a lot,\" Tomlin said.\r\n

The paper also noted that Kevin Colbert attended the workout.\r\n

In the Orlando Sentinel, Drew Rosenhaus seemed to apologize for his client's showing by telling Tomlin that Timmons would \"be in shape by minicamp.\"\r\n

We at SCI.com list Timmons as the only true outside linebacker with odds of being drafted by the Steelers in the first round. Timmons opened at 12-1 odds, and it's obvious the Steelers are interested. \r\n\r\n

THURSDAY, MARCH 15, 5:30 P.M.\r\n

* According to ESPN.com, Sean Morey signed a three-year contract with the Arizona Cardinals. \r\n

We'd reported in this space that the Steelers considered Morey's contract demands to be exorbitant. Morey, according to a source, had warned the Steelers that if they didn't sign him, he could become the No. 4 receiver with Ken Whisenhunt's Cardinals. It looks like Morey will get a crack at it. (--j.w.)\r\n\r\n

THURSDAY, MARCH 15, 1:15 p.m.\r\n

* Steelers offensive line coach Larry Zierlein was one of several such assistants at the Central Michigan pro day to watch the workout of left tackle Joe Staley. \r\n

Word is that Staley turned in a world-class workout, but that was to be expected because we know Staley has Cassius Clay feet and can run like few big men can. The question mark about Staley has to do with his strength, and it's the kind of question that can't be answered with 27 reps on the bench. \r\n

Staley did not physically dominate the opposition in the MAC this season. That's what he needs to show -- on the field -- if he's going to move up into the first round. But it's a question that can't be answered at this point in the process. \r\n

If Staley's going to be a first-round pick -- and I know the experts will be raving about him after this workout -- it will only happen if a team at the bottom of the first round is willing to gamble. And I say good luck with all that. (--j.w.)\r\n\r\n

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 14, 5 p.m.\r\n

*The Steelers have been in contact with free agent punter Matt Turk about a possible visit. It's a busy week for the front office, but there's a chance Turk could visit at the end of the week.\r\n

The team was shut down by San Francisco in its attempt to sign restricted free agent punter Andy Lee last week when the 49ers match the Steelers' offer, but it's unlikely there will be a big market for the 36-year-old Turk.\r\n

But for the Steelers, Turk would at least be a suitable fill-in for a year or two, even though he's only a year younger than current punter Chris Gardocki.\r\n

But wouldn't it make sense at some point to just grab a youngster and stick with him at the position for a few years?\r\n

Then again, it's unlikely the Steelers would offer Turk much more than a two-year contract with a nominal signing bonus. Mike Barr is still hanging around and there's always the possibility this could be the year he wins the job. (--d.l.)\r\n

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 14, 7 a.m.\r\n

* Chukky Okobi is given life in today's Tribune-Review, and that may be a death sentence unto itself. But perhaps the real death sentence is buried under what Okobi's agent, Joe Linta, had to say:\r\n

\"The fact they didn't ask Chukky to take a pay cut is huge. That tells me they're going to treat him fairly.\"\r\n

Uh, that tells me they're going to cut him, unless an emergency crops up at center with Sean Mahan, Kendall Simmons and Marvin Philip.\r\n

The Steelers learned their lesson about asking players with dimmed chances to take pay cuts last year with Duce Staley. Once Dan Rooney asked Staley to take a pay cut last spring, Rooney felt obligated to keep him throughout the season.\r\n

No, this does not look good for Okobi. The Steelers still must be eye-balling his $2 million salary. His signing bonus (complicated by two renegotiations) appears to have $813,583 (over three years) remaining. The deduction against his salary savings could be halved now since the Steelers can, by new rules, cut two players before June 1 and designate them as June 1 cuts. \r\n

The way I see it, if the Steelers were truly serious about keeping Okobi they'd have asked him to take a pay cut. Then again, Okobi is being given one last chance to light it up. Good luck, Chukk. (--j.w.)\r\n

* NFL.com reports that Mike Tomlin will be one of five head coaches and two general managers at LSU's pro day today.\r\n \r\n

TUESDAY, MARCH 13, 9:35 p.m.\r\n

* Back again so soon, but we just received a report from one of our eagle eyes that Mike Tomlin was at the Arkansas pro day today. We have an excellent report of that pro day on site, with quotes from Tomlin. \r\n

Also of note is that line coach John Mitchell was there. Most, I'm sure, will suspect he's looking at Jamaal Anderson, but in the Steelers' scheme Anderson would be a linebacker, so Mitch must've been there to look at big nose tackle Keith Jackson, who ran a couple of sub 5.0 40s. I really like Jackson's enthusiasm on the field. The story says he's a fourth or fifth-rounder, and I would agree after watching him closely in a few late-season games. (--j.w.)\r\n\r\n

TUESDAY, MARCH 13, 9:20 p.m.\r\n

* The Steelers have opened preliminary contract-extension talks with the agents of Alan Faneca, Troy Polamalu and Kendall Simmons. Those players are entering the final seasons of their contracts. \r\n

The third player listed is a surprise, considering his struggles the last few years, but a source stressed how preliminary these talks are. The Steelers are waiting to see how well Simmons plays this spring before deciding whether to take the next step with him. But they did let Simmons know of their interest, since they have a problem brewing at their guard positions. \r\n

Not only are starting guards Faneca and Simmons entering the final seasons of their contracts, but Trai Essex and Chris Kemoeatu will be restricted free agents next March. Essex is a tackle whom they think can play guard, while Kemoeatu has struggled understanding the old system and, as mentioned earlier, is expected to endure greater struggles with Bruce Arians's new system.\r\n

Another lineman, right tackle Max Starks, is also entering the final season of his contract, but the Steelers won't begin extension talks with him until they see him in spring drills. If he checks in at 400 pounds again, as he did last spring, there won't be any extension talks with Starks.\r\n

There have been no talks with Ben Roethlisberger concerning a contract extension. He has two seasons remaining on his rookie contract. (--j.w.) \r\n\r\n

TUESDAY, MARCH 13, 3:40 p.m.\r\n

* You'll be happy to know the front office was just about deserted today. They're all out working at the various pro days across America. Today, that must mean someone was at Oklahoma, Arkansas and Clemson. Hope to have some news on those and more coming up. As a p.s., it also means no free-agent visits this week.\r\n\r\n

TUESDAY, MARCH 13, 10 a.m.\r\n

* The great Vic Ketchman, now working for the Jaguars, released his personal top 32. In \"Ask Vic\" he warns readers that he's not a scout, but a sportswriter. He still talks to scouts along the way, since he's an excellent sportswriter. And notice where the Steelers pick, because Vic, who covered the Steelers from 1972-1994, always has them in mind, as well as PA players.\r\n

\r\nhttp://www.jaguars.com/news/vicsvalueboard.aspx\r\n\r\n

TUESDAY, MARCH 13, 8 a.m.\r\n

* According to John Murphy of Yahoo Sports, the Steelers are one of three teams showing interest in Western Oregon running back Eliot Vinzant. The 1,000-yard rusher is also receiving interest from San Diego and RB-starved Green Bay. The W.O. pro day is Friday.\r\n\r\n

* Lance Briggs of the Bears is now demanding a trade or release, according to Fox Sport's Jay Glazer. Briggs is only 26 and has already been to two Pro Bowls, and he would fit anywhere in the Steelers' scheme -- any scheme -- but the problem is money. It's a difficult time for the Steelers to pay big money to a star player -- even at a position of need -- since it's time to re-set their salary structure with Troy Polamalu, Alan Faneca and Ben Roethlisberger. At today's going rates, Briggs would smash any plans the Steelers have of re-signing their three team leaders at reasonable rates.\r\n\r\n

SUNDAY, MARCH 11, 10:15 a.m.\r\n

* One of the former offensive coaches was in town Saturday and, in between pleasantries, passed along some information. \r\n

When told the team had just signed Sean Mahan to compete with Kendall Simmons at center, he said that center and right guard were the team's biggest concerns heading into the offseason, that Chukky Okobi can't move anyone and has trouble with nose tackles, and that Chris Kemoeatu may have had a chance mentally in his third year in the system, but that Bruce Arians's offensive changes won't help the player at all. \r\n

Of course, what's a Steelers conversation without asking about Ben Roethlisberger? He said that Ben will work his butt off all day on the field but that he needs to study harder off it. The coach was not pessimistic or sour about Roethlisberger and the future by any means.\r\n

On a related note, a source last week did say that Roethlisberger was helping Arians with some of the new schematics and was therefore very involved in the changing offense.\r\n\r\n

SATURDAY, MARCH 10, 2:20 p.m.\r\n

* The numbers are in on Sean Mahan. \r\n\r\n

The Steelers' new center, er ... center candidate, signed a 5-year deal that averages just under $3.5 million per year, and will pay the 5-year vet close to $5 million in 2007. \r\n\r\n

Mahan turned down more money elsewhere to be a Steeler and cited the following for his decision: the opportunity to start at center and for a franchise steeped in tradition and success at the position; his comfort-level with head coach Mike Tomlin; and the tradition, success and historic stability of the franchise. \r\n\r\n\r\n

SATURDAY, MARCH 10, 1 p.m.\r\n

* The Steelers and center Sean Mahan have come to an agreement. We'll update the terms as they come available.\r\n\r\n

SATURDAY, MARCH 10, 10:15 a.m.\r\n

* I just opened my story on Sean Mahan and I want to apologize for the lack of apostrophes. I have no idea what happened. I only wish one of you readers would've called my house with an edit alert. \r\n

* Some interesting pro day times: Purdue DE/OLB Anthony Spencer, according to him on his school's web site, ran a 4.64 40; Arizona State TE Zach Miller ran a 4.74 40, down from 4.87 at the combine; and Rutgers TE Clark Harris ran \"in the low 4.7s.\"\r\n

Miller is taking heat for his 40 time, but I'm wondering if he wouldn't be a steal in the second round. Greg Olsen, in my mind, is being overrated because of his combine workout. I thought he stunk this season. \r\n

And another point: The only recorded time for Heath Miller was 4.87, which his school had listed in his bio prior to his final season. Miller and Miller in a 2-TE set would only confuse the writers, but both will block and catch anything near them. (--j.w.)\r\n\r\n

SATURDAY, MARCH 10, 9:30 a.m.\r\n

* John Harris, in this morning's Tribune-Review, provides this interesting nugget: \"The scuttlebutt traveling among player agents is that Marvin Demoff, (Troy) Polamalu's high-powered representative, wants a dollar more than Baltimore safety Ed Reed's six-year, $45 million that includes a $15 million signing bonus.\"\r\n

My guess is the Steelers would be agreeable to such a contract. It sets a new standard, sure, but Polamalu is worthy. My guess is it would set the bar just a bit higher than what they'll want to pay 31-year-old Alan Faneca and eventually a solid second to Ben Roethlisberger's new deal. And isn't that about the way their salary structure should shake out?\r\n

The Steelers are not cheap; they're smart. The problem with these exorbitant bonuses being paid the current mediocre crop of free agents is what the rest of the team will want. Word is San Francisco coach Mike Nolan plans to meet with his team soon to head off any potential jealousies. My guess is it's too late for that. They should've thought about their salary structure on March 1.\r\n

Harris also wonders if Faneca's apparent displeasure over the departure(s) of Russ Grimm (and Joey Porter) will \"factor into his decision when negotiating his next deal.\" My guess is no. Aren't leaders allowed to call their teammates and complain about the bosses every now and then? You have to have some fire in your men, as Mike Tomlin might say.\r\n

There are warning signs on the road ahead, and there's a lot of people saying we'd be better off dead, but I believe the Steelers are making the proper decisions. Keep on rockin' in the free world.(--j.w.)\r\n\r\n

FRIDAY, MARCH 9, 9 p.m.\r\n

* According to a representative for free agent offensive lineman Sean Mahan, Mahan liked what he saw from his visit with the Steelers and the two sides are currently exchanging contract details.\r\n\r\n

FRIDAY, MARCH 9, 5:15 p.m.\r\n

* Colby Bockwoldt and Sean Mahan left the building without deals. Mahan is hopping on a plane and heading back to Tampa. It's believed that Bockwoldt is leaving Pittsburgh as well. That they couldn't get a deal done with Bockwoldt, who nearly begged the Steelers to sign him, comes as a surprise. Maybe next week.\r\n\r\n

FRIDAY, MARCH 9, 3:05 p.m.\r\n

* Colby Bockwoldt has offers from San Francisco and Tennessee but he really wants to play here. The BYU boys raved about the place to him and he wants his agent to get it done, so I believe he'll sign a contract today.\r\n

Sean Mahan, a dead ringer for Mike Tomczak, said he has offers from Seattle and Cleveland but the battle for his services is probably between Tampa Bay and the Steelers. He wants to start, and the Steelers told him he'd have to compete with Kendall Simmons and Chukky Okobi for the center job. My hunch is he'll sign with Tampa Bay. I could be wrong.\r\n\r\n

FRIDAY, MARCH 9, 2:15 p.m.\r\n

* One of the free agents is due in the media room any minute now, but first I'd like to share some nuggets on available running backs. Ron Dayne, word is, has never been a favorite around here. Don't know why exactly, but just know he's not on the list. As for T.J. Duckett, one source believes the coaches consider him to be no better than Najeh Davenport and assumes they want to keep one spot open for the draft. I asked this: Tony Hunt?\r\n

\"He'd be a good fit, probably in the third round.\" But I told him I doubt he gets out of the second round.\r\n\r\n

* As for those Rutgers CBs, the times were inflated a bit, but not by much. Joe Porter is a track guy who was second team behind Derrick Roberson, who's injury prone. Porter started as a sophomore before losing his job because he plays like he's a track man.\r\n\r\n

FRIDAY, MARCH 9, 12:15 p.m.\r\n

* A couple of free agents are already in the building down on the South Side, according to Ed Bouchette of the Post-Gazette. \r\n

Bouchette has already reported that Colby Bockwoldt, a 25-year-old linebacker who started 16 games for the New Orleans Saints in 2005, is talking to the Steelers. He was a seventh-round draft pick out of BYU, so perhaps Brett Keisel's heard of him because I haven't. \r\n

Also, Sean Mahan is here. I've just arrived, so hopefully we'll get to interview him. (--j.w.) \r\n\r\n

FRIDAY, MARCH 9, 8:22 a.m.\r\n

* If the Steelers play their cards right, all they'll lose in the Joey Porter cut is some emotional leadership and the letter 'Y'. Yes, the Steelers were at the Rutgers pro day yesterday and saw CB Joe Porter run a 4.28 40.\r\n

How's that for a set up? Anyway, we all know of the Steelers' interest in the many Rutgers prospects. The other CB, Derrick Roberson, was timed in 4.34 and recorded a 42.5 vertical jump.

Now, take these times with a grain of salt because they're being reported by the school's web site, and that was the only new info reported there.\r\n

* Speaking of exaggerated, a couple of the worst drafniks have released more drivel. Mel Kiper (who appears to at least be talking to people who watch tape) has the following players at picks 13-17: 13. Carriker, 14. Bowe, 15. Jarrett, 16. L. Hall, 17. Lynch. He has Alan Branch at No. 21. The other self-respected and overrated 'nik is Frank Croyle. He has the Steelers taking Joe Porter -- wait, that's not right -- Dwayne Jarrett at No. 15 and -- right after Anthony Spencer at No. 45 -- Ben Grubbs in the second round. (--j.w.)\r\n\r\n

FRIDAY, MARCH 9, 7 a.m.\r\n

* The Tampa Tribune reports this morning that contract talks between the Bucs and guard/center Sean Mahan \"slowed to a crawl.\" Beat man Roy Cummings believes \"Mahan would prefer to stay in Tampa, and the fact the sides continue to talk is a sign the Bucs want him back.\r\n

\"Another indication of the Bucs' desire to retain Mahan: They have yet to schedule a meeting with free-agent guard Cooper Carlisle.\"\r\n

Here's the link: \r\n\r\n

http://www.tbo.com/sports/bucs/MGB745UW1ZE.html\r\n\r\n

THURSDAY, MARCH 8, 7:40 p.m.\r\n

* Hmmm. The Steelers are talking to some rather rude boys of late. According to Jamal Lewis, the Steelers spoke to him about a potential deal, but Lewis, in an interview on Sirius Radio, said that he didn't want to split carries with Willie Parker. Lewis instead signed a 1-year contract with the Browns for $3.5 million.\r\nAnd according to today's Las Vegas Review Journal the Steelers sent a scout to watch the pro day workout of super talent Eric Wright. The UNLV cornerback had transferred from USC after police arrested him in Los Angeles in 2005 on suspicion of rape. According to the paper, police also found 136 Ecstasy pills in his apartment, but charges were never filed.\r\n\r\n

THURSDAY, MARCH 8, 5:35 p.m.\r\n

* Alex \"Don't call me Roger or Floyd or especially Pork Chop\" Bannister has left the building without signing a contract. The search for a cheap gunner continues.\r\n\r\n

THURSDAY, MARCH 8, 3:50 p.m.\r\n

* \"Pork Chop\" Womack \"went over the wall.\" At least that's how Kevin Colbert put it to reporters who were waiting to interview Womack. He left without speaking to us or signing a contract. Colbert said it doesn't mean the two sides will not reach an agreement in the future. They're looking at Womack as a backup guard.\r\n\r\n

THURSDAY, MARCH 8, 3:30 p.m.\r\n

* The Steelers confirmed that Tampa Bay free agent Sean Mahan will be in tomorrow for a visit. A source with the team said, if signed, Mahan would compete with Kendall Simmons at center this spring. Yes, Kendall Simmons. The two would trade off between center and right guard.\r\n

Don't know where that leaves Chukky Okobi, but when asked about Okobi, the source said, \"He doesn't play guard.\"\r\n

It could be an ominous predicament for Okobi, or Simmons could prove to the Steelers he still can't execute a shotgun snap, which was a problem for him at the position last preseason.\r\n

* The Steelers consider Alex Bannister the top gunner in the league over the last five years. He also lined up at times for Seattle at wide receiver, but his value is in his punt coverage.\r\n\r\n

THURSDAY, MARCH 8, 1:40 p.m.\r\n

* Arnold \"Snelly\" Harrison just says all systems are go, that his leg's fine and he's working out at full speed. He's also much stronger in the upper body. \"My lower extremity was down so I concentrated on my upper body,\" he said, making a benching motion. \"When one area's weakened, the others all get stronger.\" \r\n

Harrison's up to 252 (about 16 pounds) and says he wants to get back down to 247-48 for the season. When someone asked if he was ready to play in the 4-3 defense, a look of horror crept over his face and he asked: \"Do you know something I don't?\" When laughter followed, Harrison relaxed. \"It's all good,\" he said and walked out the door.\r\n

* It's been confirmed by a Steelers source that the 49ers have indeed matched the offer sheet for punter Andy Lee. The search for Chris Gardocki's replacement moves elsewhere.\r\n

THURSDAY, MARCH 8, 1:20 p.m.\r\n\r\n

* As many of you know by know, the Steelers are hosting free agents OT Floyd \"Pork Chop\" Womack and WR Alex Bannister today.\r\n

Bannister is more of a special-teams ace, and with the team having trouble coming to terms with their own coverage ace, Sean Morey, Bannister's prospects of signing a deal appear good. Morey's demands are said to be way out of whack.\r\n

* In other Steelers-related UFA dealings, Chad Brown, one of their free agents, is at the South Side to get his knee checked, \"for snowboarding,\" he joked. The 37-year-old Brown said the team is showing interest in retaining him.\r\n\r\n\r\n

THURSDAY, MARCH 8, 8:15 a.m.\r\n\r\n

* The San Francisco Chronicle this morning is reporting that the 49ers \"are seriously considering matching the Steelers' offer\" to restricted free agent punter Andy Lee. The paper reports the terms are the same -- $7.1 million for 7 years, including $1.66 million bonus -- as we reported yesterday.\r\n

The Chronicle also reports that 3-4 OLB Tully Banta-Cain's contract is a $9 million, three-year deal that could rise to $12.3 million with incentives. Banta-Cain received a $2.9 million signing bonus and a $600,000 roster and workout bonus. This for a guy who was benched in the playoffs by New England last season.\r\n

* The word from the Steelers' front office is the team will host an unnamed unrestricted free agent today, but the representative for Tampa Bay center Sean Mahan would not confirm that he's that player. The agent would only say Mahan will visit \"later this week.\"\r\n

* Those in the front office also had a good laugh at a report saying they'd \"poisoned\" the Andy Lee offer sheet with a clause that would make it impossible for the 49ers to match the offer. We all know that's not the way they do business.\r\n

* The guys who study tape on the South Side were shaking their heads yesterday over the $20 million bonus the Miami Dolphins paid Joey Porter. They figured someone would take a chance on Porter, but didn't believe anyone would pay him big money due to his 2006 performance, which is plain for all to see on tape. \"Don't they have one of these in Miami?\" was the question asked by the man seated near the TV.\r\n

* The big shots in the front office read our opening draft report on Anthony Spencer and told a source \"he knows what he's talking about.\" By the same token, the admission by Jarvis Moss that he was suspended for smoking pot \"isn't helping him at all down here.\" One of our spies at the Florida pro day confirmed the buzz is that Moss's stock is plunging.\r\n

* The Lincoln Journal Star is reporting today that DE Adam Carriker, down five pounds from the combine to 291, ran his 40 in 4.72 at yesterday's pro day, but that scouts will add a tenth because of a fast track. Carriker said that's all he wanted to accomplish -- a 4.8 on everyone's watch -- because he'd heard some had him at 4.9 at the combine. \r\n

* Nebraska RB Brandon Jackson, an intriguing first-day junior prospect, weighed 206 and ran between 4.38 and 4.41, down from his combine time of 4.57. Also, TE Matt Herian, who at least makes an effort to block (a rarity in this pathetic TE crop), ran a 4.7 at 242 pounds. \r\n\r\n\r\n","mobileBody":"

MONDAY, AUGUST 13, 4:00 p.m.

* The Steelers re-signed long snapper Jared Retkofsky to their roster, the team announced today.

Retkofsky (6-5, 260) was originally signed by the Steelers as an undrafted free agent earlier this year out of TCU but was released by the team on July 19.

To make room for Retkofsky, the Steelers released rookie linebacker Matt King (6-3, 245). King was signed by Pittsburgh on August 3.

MONDAY, JULY 23, 4:30 p.m.

* The Steelers have agreed to a 5-year, $33 million contract extension with All-Pro strong safety Troy Polamalu, that includes $15 million in guaranteed money. The extension will keep Polamalu in Pittsburgh through 2011.

Details to follow.

MONDAY, JULY 23, 2:45 p.m.

* Players are beginning to arrive at St. Vincent College in Latrobe, site of Mike Tomlin's first training camp as head coach of the Steelers. Players are not required to report until 4 p.m. today, after which they will participate in Tomlin's surprise conditioning test. But that didn't keep one player from getting in really early to get a jump on things.

\"It's a little scary, plus when you don't know what to expect,\" said RG Kendall Simmons, who arrived yesterday. \"In past years you knew what to expect and it really didn't matter much. But now it kind of throws a wrinkle in things, kind of keeps you up in the air.\"

* And as reported in this space nearly a month ago, the Steelers announced today they have promoted veteran assistant coach John Mitchell to assistant head coach/defensive line.

Mitchell, is in his 14th season with the team and is entering his 34th season of coaching overall, including 17 in the NFL, 15 at the college level and two in the USFL.

A former All-America defensive end for Alabama, Mitchell was the first African-American to play for the Crimson Tide and began his coaching career under legendary 'Bama coach Paul \"Bear\" Bryant.

SUNDAY, JULY 22, 7:50 a.m.

* The Steelers gave fifth-round draft pick William Gay a $106,000 bonus after signing him to a three-year contract. That leaves first-round pick Lawrence Timmons as the team's lone unsigned pick. The roster is set at 86, with six of the players NFL Europe exempt until the final cut.

FRIDAY, JULY 20, 12:40 p.m.

* The Steelers officially announced the signings of draft picks LaMarr Woodley and Dallas Baker today, and also announced the signing of third-round draft pick Matt Spaeth.

Spaeth (6-7, 270), out of Minnesota, is the all-time career leader for the Gophers in receiving yards (1,291) and receptions (109) by a tight end. As a senior, he won the John Mackey Award as the nation's top tight end after finishing with 47 receptions for 564 yards (12.0 avg.) and four touchdowns. A two-time All-Big Ten first-team honoree, Spaeth finished his career with 12 touchdowns.

(Spaeth's contract, according to Scout's Adam Caplan: $564,000 signing bonus; $285,000 2007 salary; $370,000 2008; $460,000 2009).

The Steelers have now signed six of their eight draft picks from the 2007 NFL Draft. The only two that have yet to sign are linebacker Lawrence Timmons (first round) and cornerback William Gay (second of two fifth-round picks).

THURSDAY, JULY 19, 4:40 p.m.

* The Steelers released two players today, trimming their roster to 86 players four days prior to the start of team's training camp.

First-year wide receiver Gerran Walker and free agent rookie long snapper Jared Retkofsky were both released after the team signed draft picks Dallas Baker and LaMarr Woodley this week.

The Steelers can bring 86 players to training camp due to six NFL Europe League roster exemptions. As each of the remaining draft picks -- Lawrence Timmons, Matt Spaeth and William Gay -- are signed, a corresponding player will be released.

TUESDAY, JULY 17, 10:30 p.m.

*Seventh rounder Dallas Baker became the latest Steelers draft pick to come to terms with the team, agreeing on a three-year deal that will pay him $1.15 million, including a $39,750 signing bonus.

Baker is the fourth Steelers draft pick to reach an agreement with the team, leaving only first-rounder Lawrence Timmons, second-rounder LaMarr Woodley, third-rounder Matt Spaeth and William Gay, the second of their two fifth-round selections, still unsigned.

As Jim Wexell reported last week, negotiations are also heating up between the team and Pro Bowl safety Troy Polamalu and a new deal could be struck before he reports at 4 p.m. Monday.(--d.l.)

WEDNESDAY, JULY 11, 10 a.m.

* The Steelers announced today that they will stick with their 3-4 defense ... no, just kidding. But the Steelers did get around to announcing the addition of WR/KR Dan Sheldon, whom the team claimed off the waiver wire a week ago. The Steelers also announced the signing of running back Larry Croom.

Croom (5-10, 201), from UNLV, was originally signed by the Arizona Cardinals as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2004 and finished with 29 carries for 76 yards in six games that season. He was signed by the Tennessee Titans before their 2005 training camp but was cut later in camp. He also spent time on the Detroit Lions' practice squad in 2005 and was signed to San Diego's 2006 offseason roster. He spent three seasons in NFL Europe.

The Steelers are obviously waiting to announce the promotion of DL coach John Mitchell to assistant head coach.

As for the contract status of Troy Polamalu, the Steelers, of course, won't say anything for the public record and Polamalu's agent, Marvin Demoff, won't return calls to Scout.com. However, an impeccable source with the team said the sides are close to a deal. (--j.w.)

MONDAY, JULY 9, 2 p.m.

* A source in Pittsburgh confirmed that the Steelers are close to a contract agreement with second-round draft pick LaMarr Woodley, but the big news, according to the source, is that the team is close to extending the contract of All-Pro safety Troy Polamalu. Stay tuned to SteelCityInsider.com for updates. (--j.w.)

MONDAY, JULY 9, 11:20 p.m.

* Dan Rooney's statement on the weekend resignation of former Pirates CEO Kevin McClatchy:

\"Kevin McClatchy is a fine young man whom I have known for many years. He and my son, Dan Jr., went to high school together and played on the same baseball and football teams. He pioneered the efforts to keep the Pittsburgh Pirates in the city of Pittsburgh and did all of the necessary corporate work to make the team remain here. He also worked to get PNC Park built, which is the most beautiful baseball stadium in the country.

\"The city of Pittsburgh has a debt of gratitude to Kevin. I am pleased with the progress he has made over the years with the Pirates.\"

SATURDAY, JULY 7, 9:37 a.m.

* The Steelers added former Northern Illinois record-holder Dan Sheldon to their roster yesterday. According to The Courier News of suburban Chicago, Sheldon was released by the Atlanta Falcons on Tuesday and claimed by both the Steelers and Philadelphia Eagles. By virtue of a worse won-loss record last season, the Steelers were awarded Sheldon.

The 5-foot-11, 173-pound wide receiver was second in NFL Europe with a 25.1 kickoff-return average. He was third in punt-return average at 10.6. Sheldon was hampered by a strained left hamstring injury all spring, which may explain his release by the Falcons.

The 25-year-old set school return records at Northern Illinois and was signed by the Arizona Cardinals following the 2005 draft. He spent the 2005 season on the Cardinals' practice squad and was released following the season. Last year he was released by both the Indianapolis Colts and Chicago Bears before signing with Atlanta this past February.

The Steelers lack depth in their return game. They're hopeful that second-year man Willie Reid overcomes foot problems that cost him his rookie season and much of the spring workouts. The team would prefer not to use starting split end Santonio Holmes as a return man, or reserve defensive back Ricardo Colclough because of his fumbling problems.

Here's the complete Sheldon bio. (--j.w.)

WEDNESDAY, JULY 4, 7:20 a.m.

* The Virginia Gazette reports today on a pair of Steelers who grew up in the Williamsburg area.

FRIDAY, JUNE 29, 9:45 a.m.

* According to Scout.com, the Steelers are close to signing second-round draft pick Lamarr Woodley. The report states that Woodley could sign a contract early next week. None of the league's first or second-round draft picks have signed contracts yet. The full story is posted elsewhere on the front page.

THURSDAY, JUNE 28, 4:30 p.m.

* The Steelers today released three rookie free agents: wide receiver Eric Deslauriers, running back Paul Mosley and fullback Aaron Robbins.

Deslauriers (6-4, 207) was signed by the Steelers as a rookie free agent out of Eastern Michigan, Mosley (6-3, 236) out of Baylor and Robbins (6-4, 256) from Wyoming.

All Steelers are scheduled to report to Training Camp at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pa., on Monday, July 23.

THURSDAY, JUNE 28, 7:20 a.m.

* The Steelers yesterday released undrafted rookie free agent Eric Deslauriers. The 6-foot-4, 207-pound wide receiver from Eastern Michigan is a native of Gatineau, Quebec.

The Steelers are now one spot shy of a full roster, but have five draft picks to sign.

* Here's an interesting blog entry from an Oakland writer who thinks the Raiders' front office should be more like the Steelers'.

* According to The Akron Beacon Journal, the Pro Football Hall of Fame has opened a 2,500-square foot exhibit commemorating the Steelers' 75th anniversary. Read about it here.

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27, 11 a.m.

* Get a jump on college football with this story about the most overrated and underrated teams and players in 2007.

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27, 9:30 a.m.

* Defensive line coach John Mitchell has been promoted to assistant head coach by Tomlin. The announcement will be made later this week.

Mitchell, 55, enters his 14th season as the Steelers' defensive line coach.

The promotion fills the spot left open by former assistant head coach Russ Grimm, now with the Arizona Cardinals. The position requires that Mitchell pick up the tab at weekly bull sessions with reporters and office support staff, as Grimm had often done during his reign. (-- j.w.)

* Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is the feature attraction at Coach Mike Tomlin's alma mater this week. Read about it here.

* Also, here's an update on former quarterback coach Mark Whipple.

MONDAY, JUNE 4, 2 p.m.

* The Steelers announced they have re-signed veteran running back Verron Haynes to a one-year contract. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Haynes (5-10, 222), who was released on March 1, was the Steelers' fifth-round draft choice in 2002 (166th overall). He played seven games in 2006 before being placed on the reserve/injured list with a knee injury versus Oakland (Oct. 29).

Haynes has played in 60 games with the Steelers and has rushed for 738 yards and three touchdowns on 174 carries (4.2 avg.). Quotes from Haynes will be coming briefly.

* Today's O.T.A. session was missed by quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, linebacker Clark Haggans, safety Troy Polamalu and defensive end Brett Keisel. Further details will be provided this afternoon.

THURSDAY, MAY 31, 5:30 p.m.

* The Steelers signed draft picks Dan Sepulveda and Cameron Stephenson to three-year contracts.

Sepulveda, a punter from Baylor, was the team's 4A draft pick, and Stephenson, a guard from Rutgers, was the team's 5A draft pick.

Also, we have some injury news on return man Willie Reid, as well as several OTA notes from reporter Jim Wexell.

* A statement from Art Rooney, regarding the approval of the master plan for North Shore Casino:

\"The proceedings at City Planning this week regarding approval of a master plan for Majestic Star were far less than satisfactory. The fact that people who object to the approval were given only three minutes to present positions is evidence that the proceeding was intended to push through an inadequate master plan that falls far short of what is legally required by city ordinance.

\"The fact that it took this long for City Planning to include the requirement for a traffic study does not bode well for the future of the North Shore. The Steelers would like to avoid going to court to solve the issues we have about event-day traffic. However, PITG's lack of cooperation and the lack of a willingness to take responsibility for doing things right leaves us with ongoing concern for how this project will be done. We must do what is necessary to protect the interests of our fans in being able to attend games at Heinz Field in a safe and convenient environment. This is an important project which will have important long-term impacts on the North Shore. We will continue to insist that no corners be cut.\"

THURSDAY, MAY 31, 1:35 p.m.

* Offensive line coach Larry Zierlein apologized to the fans, the team and his family for mass-forwarding a pornographic e-mail that had been sent to him by a member of the Steelers' front office earlier in the month. An interview -- that had been requested by only SteelCityInsider.com and the Post-Gazette but soon included several reporters -- will be available shortly, as will several notes from today's OTA workout.

WEDNESDAY, MAY 30, 3:20 p.m.

* For the second consecutive day, Willie Colon is starting at right tackle over a healthy Max Starks. More on this, as well as rumors and observations from Jim Wexell, by clicking this link.

WEDNESDAY, MAY 23, 2:40 p.m.

* Let's start the notebook off with Kevan Barlow's explanation for changing from No. 22 to No. 33: \"My mother read a bunch of bad stuff in some magazines and asked me to change. I'm not the kind of guy who worries about bad luck because I'm into the Lord. But, then again, I did sprain my ankle my second day with 22.\"

And here are the rest of the notes from today's workout.

TUESDAY, MAY 22, 4:55 p.m.

* The official statement from Steelers spokesman Dave Lockett appears to indicate that O-line coach Larry Zierlein has gotten off with a warning. From Lockett:

\"An inappropriate email communication was sent from our office to unintended recipients last week. The sending of inappropriate email messages is against club and league policy, and the sender has been warned about the policy violation. The sender has issued an apology to all of the recipients.\"

TUESDAY, MAY 22, 4 p.m.

* The Steelers \"are looking into it,\" was PR man Dave Lockett's only statement on an inappropriate e-mail that was allegedly forwarded to the team by offensive line coach Larry Zierlein.

* Here's the Quickie Q&A with LaMarr Woodley that we'd promised earlier.

TUESDAY, MAY 22, 3 p.m.

* As expected, Alan Faneca missed the first of 14 voluntary spring workouts. Two other starters also missed today's workout. Read about that and other notes right here.

TUESDAY, MAY 22, 7 a.m.

* Organized Team Activities begin today and will continue through June 14. We'll be there to cover all 14 of the practices. Until then, here's a feature on former Steelers great Rocky Bleier. It may be gone in seven days, but for now it's free on the Notre Dame Internet Network.

SUNDAY, MAY 20, 8:35 a.m.

With a busy week on tap here at SteelCityInsider.com, I hand the floor over to some of the Sunday morning stories circulating the net that aren't in the mainstream media: (--j.w.)

* In the Washington Observer-Reporter, John Steigerwald is already looking to bench Ben Roethlisberger.

* A Beaver County Times notes column by one of my favorites, John Mehno, touches on Alan Faneca, Joey Porter and John Fedko.

* WTAE-TV news \"caught up with Roethlisberger\" at a high school function to ask him about his dinner with Mike Tomlin, as reported by Sports Illustrated.

* AOL/SCI/HSS writer Ryan Wilson comments on Dan Rooney's recent remarks about Faneca.

* And finally, to our message board for notes on relevant players from around the league, courtesy of The Sports Exchange.

SATURDAY, MAY 18, 6:40 a.m.

* Joey Porter told WPXI-TV \"I will make a statement\" when he returns to Pittsburgh on Nov. 26 with his new team, the Miami Dolphins. Porter also commented on LaMarr Woodley, the Steelers' new No. 55.

FRIDAY, MAY 18, 7:35 a.m.

* Dan Rooney told KDKA TV that talks with Alan Faneca \"get down to paying him what he wants and we just don't think we can do that.\"

SATURDAY, MAY 12, 5:50 p.m.

* Alan Faneca returned to practice this afternoon and explained his morning absence this way: \"Just some things were said and I just had to cool off, a little cool off time.\"

He didn't expound, only to say he and management talked and \"I still stand by what I said yesterday.\"

Was anything resolved?

\"No, it was just talk,\" he said.

SATURDAY, MAY 12, 4:25 p.m.

* Alan Faneca missed the morning practice, but is back on the field this afternoon. After practice I hope to get an answer for his curious day ... unless he punches me in the face first. Also, we'll have Mike Tomlin comments after practice as well. (--j.w.)

SATURDAY, MAY 12, 12 p.m.

* One day after venting about the lack of progress in his contract talks, guard Alan Faneca walked out of the team's minicamp Saturday. Chris Kemoeatu stepped in at left guard. We'll have more later.

FRIDAY, MAY 11, 12:55 p.m.

* Alan Faneca attended minicamp only because it's mandatory, he said. He answered every question put forth to him by a mob of reporters and at one point said he's convinced this will be his last year with the Steelers because their new contract offer wouldn't put him in the top 10 paid guards in the league. We'll have the full transcript within a half hour.

THURSDAY, MAY 10, 12:15 p.m.

* The Steelers released veteran linebacker Richard Seigler, the team announced today.

Seigler, a second-year linebacker who spent parts of the past two seasons on the Steelers' practice squad, was originally drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in the fourth round (127th overall) of the 2004 NFL Draft. He saw action in seven games as a rookie, finishing the season with one assisted tackle on defense and six special teams stops.

Seigler signed with the Steelers on Nov. 9, 2005, and spent the remainder of the season with the team. He was released during training camp in 2006, but was added to the practice squad Dec. 23.

WEDNESDAY, MAY 9, 11:15 a.m.

* Interviewed LaMarr Woodley and his former defensive coordinator the other day. Go here for the transcripts.

WEDNESDAY, MAY 9, 7:45 a.m.

* According to NFL.com, Kevan Barlow is returning home to play for the Steelers. The former Peabody High and Pitt star will suit up for this weekend's minicamp.

MONDAY, MAY 7, 5 p.m.

* To the surprise of no one, charges against Deshea Townsend have been dropped.

SATURDAY, MAY 5, 8:15 a.m.

* The amount of money the Steelers can pay their rookies is $4,257,000. The \"rookie pool number\" is the amount within the salary cap that the Steelers can spend on rookies.

FRIDAY, MAY 4, 4:15 p.m.

* For the running back-starved Steelers, it had to be one of two veterans: Kevan Barlow or Chris Brown. On Friday, it was Barlow who visited the Steelers. The former Pitt star is looking for a team after being released by the New York Jets. Barlow has spent six years in the league.

THURSDAY, MAY 3, 4 p.m.

* The Steelers released veteran tight end Tim Euhus, leaving the team with veterans Heath Miller and Jerame Tuman, practice player Jon Dekker, draft pick Matt Spaeth and rookie free agent Cody Boyd.

Euhus (6-5, 249) played with the Steelers in 2006 after signing on Aug. 29. He saw action in the Steelers' 2006 season opener and then was inactive for three games before being released on Oct. 12. He did not sign with another team in 2006 and re-signed with the Steelers in February.

WEDNESDAY, MAY 2, 4:30 p.m.

* A couple of nuggets from my quick trip to the South Side:

1. The undrafted rookie free agent with the best chance to make the team seems to be Rutgers center Darnell Stapleton. His is the only name that comes up during such discussions with sources. No one seems impressed with the undrafted rookie running backs ... at least yet.

2. Linebacker coach Keith Butler will be looking at second-round pick LaMarr Woodley at inside linebacker as well as outside and as a third-down defensive end. Several of us on the message boards had speculated during the season that Woodley looks like a buck inside backer, and it appears the Steelers are wondering about it as well. After all, the great Levon Kirkland made the move from college defensive end to buck backer.

We'll have many more of these nuggest -- as well as features on the new players -- as the weeks progress, but particularly once minicamp begins on May 11. We'll mix the news of the day with features on the rookies during the spring workout season. (--j.w.)

WEDNESDAY, MAY 2, 11:10 a.m.

* The Steelers have assigned jersey numbers to their rookie class of 2007. First-rounder Lawrence Timmons was assigned #94, the number made famous and last worn in Pittsburgh by Chad Brown.

Lamarr Woodley will don the #55 of departed Joey Porter, the man he is ultimately replacing, at least in the dime. Third-round TE Matt Spaeth will wear #89.

The other numbers assigned: P Daniel Sepulveda #9; DE Ryan McBean #69; OG Cameron Stephenson #65; CB William Gay #22; WR Dallas Baker #81; OC Darnell Stapleton #61; RB Gary Russell #33; FB Aaron Robbins #46; RB Paul Mosley #40; WR Chris Jackson #14; WR Eric Fowler #82; OT Jason Capizzi #67; TE Cody Boyd #48; LS Jared Retkofsky #64; DL Derrick Jones #67; and WR Eric Deslauriers #13.

MONDAY, APRIL 30, 9:10 p.m.

* One change on the UFA roster: DE Aaron Robbins of Wyoming has replaced FB Gijon Robinson.

MONDAY, APRIL 30, 12:25 p.m.

* The Steelers agreed to terms with the following rookie free agents:

PITTSBURGH STEELERS 2007 ROOKIE FREE AGENTS

1. Cody Boyd, TE, 6-8, 264, Washington State.

2. Jason Capizzi, OT, 6-9, 315, Indiana (Pa.).

3. Eric Deslauriers, WR, 6-4, 207, Eastern Michigan.

4. Eric Fowlers, WR, 6-3, 198, Grand Valley State.

5. Chris Jackson, WR, 6-2, 205, Millsaps.

6. Derrick Jones, DL, 6-4, 282, Grand Valley State.

7. Paul Mosley, RB, 6-3, 235, Baylor.

8. Jared Retkofsky, LS, 6-5, 260, TCU.

9. Gijon Robinson, FB, 6-1, 261, Missouri Western State.

10. Gary Russell, RB, 5-11, 215, Minnesota.

11. Darnell Stapleton, G/C, 6-3, 285, Rutgers.

SUNDAY, APRIL 29, 11:45 p.m.

* The names of two other undrafted free agents have surfaced. Darnell Stapleton, a center from Rutgers, and running back Gary Russell of Minnesota have landed with Pittsburgh.

Russell, 5-11, 217, amassed 1,274 yards on 210 carries (6.1 avg.) and ran for 18 touchdowns in 2005, but was declared academically ineligible in 2006 and did not play.

The 6-3, 305-pound Stapleton was one of six finalists for the Rimington Trophy, an award given annually to the nation's top center.

SUNDAY, APRIL 29, 9:15 p.m.

* Scout.com: Had the Steelers not selected Matt Spaeth in the third round with the 77th pick, the Jacksonville Jaguars were poised to choose him with pick 79.

SUNDAY, APRIL 29, 7:40 p.m.

* The Steelers won't release their list of rookie free agents until tomorrow, but a source confirmed they've signed 6-foot-9, 324-pound left tackle Jason Capizzi of Indiana University of Pa. and Pine-Richland High School.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 25, 5:55 p.m.

* Per Adam Caplan, Steelers RT Max Starks signed his one-year RFA tender today.

* The Steelers apparently have UTEP WR/KR Johnnie Lee Higgins high on their draft board. Read more about Higgins here.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 25, 6:18 a.m.

* SCI publisher Jim Wexell chose Joe Staley in the first round of the recent Scout.com mock draft, but sources have told Scout that the Steelers are not interested in fortifying the position in the first round. Sources told the network the Steelers are instead interested in mid-rounders Chris Denman (6-6 1/2, 315, 5.64) of Fresno State and Allen Barbre (6-4, 300, 4.88) of Missouri Southern State.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 25, 5:18 a.m.

* The Steelers will host their annual Fan Blitz at Heinz Field on Saturday, April 28. The event allows fans to watch the draft excitement unfold on the Jumbotron and on large screen televisions throughout Heinz Field while participating in numerous interactive activities.

The Fan Blitz will be open to the public from 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Fans will be permitted to kick field goals on the playing field while current and former Steelers players sign autographs. For more details on this event, visit www.steelers.com.

MONDAY, APRIL 23, 5:25 p.m.

* Steelers third-string QB Brian St. Pierre signed his one-year tender offer today.

FRIDAY, APRIL 20, 1:45 p.m.

* Nothing further on Faneca. Coach Mike Tomlin will address the issue after this evening's practice.

* Missing from today's practice, from the starting lineup, were Faneca, Troy Polamalu and Clark Haggans. My understanding is that Polamalu is at a retreat and Haggans just had a baby born premature by several weeks.

* Positions of interest on the first team: C Chukky Okobi, LG Chris Kemeatu, LOLB Rian Wallace, RCB Deshea Townsend and SS Tyrone Carter.

The second-team O-line, from left to right, consisted of Brandon Torrey, Sean Mahan, Marvin Philip, Trai Essex and Willie Colon. The second-team D-line, from left to right, consisted of Nick Eason, Chris Hoke and Travis Kirschke. The second-team linebackers, from left to right, were Wallace (still), Richard Seigler, Ron Stanley, and Marcello Church. The second-team corners were Ricardo Colclough and Bryant McFadden and the second-team safeties were Mike Lorello and Anthony Smith. The wide receivers rotate at a different pace than the rest of the players so I hesitate to say whether Santonio Holmes or Cedrick Wilson was the starting split end. Also, I saw Arnold Harrison in the hallway but don't remember if he was on the field rotating with Wallace at LOLB.

* Kendall Simmons played center only for the third- and fourth-team quarterbacks during 7-on-7 drills. He snapped shotgun and dribbled the last one of the session back to QB Bryan Randall.

* The last of the college visitors were in today. The Steelers hosted Arkansas CB Chris Houston and Pitt CB Darrelle Revis. (--j.w.)

FRIDAY, APRIL 20, 11:15 a.m.

* Okay, we have our first mistake of the hour-long season. Alan Faneca is NOT on the field. He reported to the South Side facility Thursday night and showed up again Friday morning, but did not suit up. Dan Rooney confirmed Faneca had been at the facility.

\"He WAS here,\" Rooney said.

Was he negotiating with you?

\"No,\" Rooney said.

What's he doing here?

\"I'm not going to speak for him,\" Rooney said.

Updates as we get them.

FRIDAY, APRIL 20, 10:15 a.m.

* Alan Faneca is practicing with the team right now. We'll have quotes from him after the first workout of the day. (--j.w.)

FRIDAY, APRIL 20, 6:15 a.m.

* According to the Post-Gazette, the Steelers on Thursday hosted Miami OLB Jon Beason, Washington TE Cody Boyd, Missouri Southern State T-G Allen Barbre and Baylor P Dan Sepulveda.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 18, 4:45 p.m.

* The Steelers today hosted East Carolina wide receiver Aundrae Allison. The 6-0 1/4, 198-pounder caught 145 passes for 1,732 yards and 11 touchdowns during his two seasons at ECU. At the combine he ran his 40s in 4.39 andn 4.41 seconds.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 18, 10:16 a.m.

* Steelers defensive line coach John Mitchell will be inducted into the Mobile Sports Hall of Fame tomorrow night. Read the story in today's Mobile Register about Mitchell's career.

TUESDAY, APRIL 17, 12:10 p.m.

* The Steelers hosted three players on Tuesday and all three had been reported upon earlier by SteelCityInsider.com.

The players are defensive end Adam Carriker of Nebraska, defensive tackle Amobi Okoye of Louisville and wide receiver Jacoby Jones of Division II Lane College.

TUESDAY, APRIL 17, 7:05 a.m.

* After watching Willie Reid and Rasheed Marshall play basketball the other night, I'm not so worried about the Steelers' No. 5 wide receiver spot. Here's a closer look at Marshall by the Wheeling Intelligencer. (--j.w.)

MONDAY, APRIL 16, 6:25 p.m.

* Scout.com's Adam Caplan is reporting that Louisville defensive tackle Amobi Okoye visited the Steelers' offices.

MONDAY, APRIL 16, 5:30 p.m.

* Defensive end Nick Eason has signed a contract with the Steelers. A 2003 fourth-round selection out of Clemson by the Denver Broncos, Eason spent the last three seasons with the Cleveland Browns.

MONDAY, APRIL 16, 4 p.m.

* Well, well, well. Just when you write a story wondering about the guy, he shows up. The Steelers hosted Purdue defensive end Anthony Spencer at their South Side practice facility on Monday. To read more about Spencer and the other Monday visitor, look here.

SATURDAY, APRIL 14, 7:30 a.m.

* Rodney Bailey signed a one-year contract with the Arizona Cardinals, becoming the second former Steeler to sign with Ken Whisenhunt's new team. Bailey played in 12 games as a defensive end last season with the Steelers and made four tackles. Bailey and Sean Morey have moved from the Steelers to the Cardinals this free-agent period.

FRIDAY, APRIL 13, 2:10 p.m.

* As reported earlier, Dwayne Jarrett, the USC wide receiver, paid a visit to the South Side and met with Kevin Colbert, Mike Tomlin and company. Another interesting visitor showed up, and you can read all about it here. (--j.w.)

THURSDAY, APRIL 12, 1:25 p.m.

* Joey Porter has the date circled. He told Florida Today that he can't wait for the Miami Dolphins' Nov. 26 Monday night game in Pittsburgh.

\"I didn't get my fair shot to stay,\" Porter said on ESPN. \". . . When I come, it's going to be fun to run into my old guys, because I'm coming down with a whole bunch of new friends. It's going to be a business trip, but it's going to be a pleasure for me at the same time.\"

Porter had more to say about the game in today's report. He also said he was \"embarrassed\" by the incident in Las Vegas with Levi Jones.

* Three draft prospects are in for visits today. Notre Dame left tackle Ryan Harris is the big name, and Virginia cornerback Marcus Hamilton's visit had been reported earlier, but it's the third name -- here -- that might interest the serious students of the draft. (--j.w.)

THURSDAY, APRIL 12, 8:20 a.m.

* Scout.com's Tony Pauline called last night to tell me one of my favorite players is coming to Pittsburgh for a visit: Texas DE/OLB Brian Robison. A date wasn't given.

Robison is a 6-3 1/8, 259-pounder who showed off eye-popping athleticism at the combine. He ran a 4.67 40, a 6.89 3-cone and, at 1.49, was the only front-seven defender at the combine under 1.5 seconds in the 10-yard split. He also had a vertical jump of 40.5 inches. Robison played out of position at defensive end at Texas. The natural 3-4 OLB moved from middle linebacker as a freshman to 4-3 end and started three seasons there and compiled 13 sacks and 37 tackles for loss. He's considered a third-round prospect.

* According to Scout.com's Ed Thompson, the Steelers showed interest in Montana QB Josh Swogger at the combine. He's 6-4 1/2, 237 and, after transferring from Washington State, where he started six games in 2004, started all 13 games for the Grizzlies last season. Swogger completed 54 percent of his passes with a TD-Int ratio of 17-12. He's a developmental prospect who could likely be signed after the draft.

* The game to circle on the Steelers' schedule is the Monday, Nov. 5 home game against the Ravens. The Steelers are planning a massive celebration in accordance with their 75th anniversary as an NFL franchise. (--j.w.)

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 11, 12:50 p.m.

* Two more prospects showed up today -- one you've heard of and one you probably haven't. I'm going to send you here for the information.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 11, NOON

* Florida State outside linebacker Lawrence Timmons and USC wide receiver Steve Smith are visiting with the Steelers right now.

Timmons is 6-0 7/8, 234 and ran 4.6+ 40s at both the combine and his pro day. The junior started only one year at Florida State, which used a 3-4 scheme 25 percent of the time. Timmons is expected to be a first-round pick, and is considered a strong candidate to be chosen by the Steelers at pick 15.

Smith is a 5-11 3/4, 197-pound Alaskan. He ran a 4.4 40 at the combine and is considered a late-first, early-second round prospect. He caught 173 passes the last three seasons at USC and last year caught 71 for 1,083 yards and 9 touchdowns and was MVP of the Rose Bowl. (--j.w.)

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 11, 7:30 a.m.

* Jacoby Jones is starting a 14-day, nine-city tour that will include a visit to the Steelers. Jones is a 6-2, 210-pound wide receiver from Division II Lane College. He ran a 4.53 40 at the combine and caught 4 passes for 57 yards in the East-West Shrine game.

TUESDAY, APRIL 10, 1:15 p.m.

* University of Pittsburgh OLB Clint Session has upcoming visits to the Buffalo Bills, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers and Indianapolis Colts, according to his agent, Harold Lewis.

TUESDAY, APRIL 10, 12:45 p.m.

* After returning from his vacation, Jim Wexell has so many notes and thoughts about the draft prospects that he had to put some in a story (soon to be published) and the rest here on the message board.

MONDAY, APRIL 9, 10 p.m.

* Those wondering about the status of Steelers cornerback Ricardo Colclough need not wonder any longer. Colclough has been an active member of the Steelers' basketball team this offseason and does not seem to be hampered by the neck injury that sidelined him last season. If Colclough and the team believed the neck was a problem, it's doubtful he would be playing basketball. (--d.l.)

MONDAY, APRIL 9, 3:10 p.m.

* To update a previous report, Michigan DE/OLB Lamarr Woodley will visit the Steelers tomorrow.

SATURDAY, APRIL 7, 6:10 p.m.

* According to the Miami Herald, University of Miami LB Jon Beason held a workout for prospective NFL employers on Thursday. Various internet reports place the Steelers as one of seven teams present. Beason ran in the low 4.6-second range -- a significant improvement over the 4.72 he ran at the combine -- but was hardly pleased.

\"Overall, I would probably give myself a seven out of 10,\" Beason said. \"I was a little disappointed. I didn't put everything together like I wanted to. All in all, they're still happy with me.\"

SATURDAY, APRIL 7, 1:20 p.m.

* In a phone conversation with Scout.com's Ed Thompson Friday evening, Nebraska's Adam Carriker confirmed a Wednesday visit with the Eagles, but has yet to meet with the Rams as previously reported. They're still on the docket, as are the Steelers. Carriker expects to meet with the Jets, Redskins, and Saints, as well.

*TFY Draft Preview reports the Steelers have a keen interest in OT Joe Staley, but not necessarily at 1.15:

\"Sources have told us that Pittsburgh Steelers new offensive line coach Larry Zierlein absolutely loves Staley since attending his pro-day workout and has been lobbying the team on his behalf. These same sources are not so sure the Steelers will be taking a tackle with the 15th pick.\"

Read the rest of the story here.

THURSDAY, APRIL 5, 8:05 a.m.

* RavensInsider.com emailed us this nugget this morning:

University of Michigan cornerback Leon Hall, a consensus top 15 first-round draft prospect, has scheduled visits with the Cincinnati Bengals, Detroit Lions, Pittsburgh Steelers and Washington Redskins, according to his agent, Doug Hendrickson, of Octagon Sports.

Also, from NFL.com:

\"Nebraska DE Adam Carriker is visiting the Eagles today (April 4), the Rams tomorrow, and the Jets, Redskins and Steelers after that.\"

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 4, 6:00 p.m.

* The Steelers' preseason schedule has been finalized as opposed to the one released by the league earlier this week. The team will play five preseason games this summer, including two nationally televised games, as well as home games against the Green Bay Packers and Philadelphia Eagles.

As we already knew, the Steelers open against the New Orleans Saints on national TV in Canton, Ohio, in the annual AFC-NFC Hall of Fame Game, Sunday, Aug. 5, on NFL Network.

The Steelers' preseason home opener will take place Saturday, Aug. 11, at 7:30 p.m. against the Green Bay Packers at Heinz Field.

The final home preseason game will take place Aug. 26 at 8 p.m., when they host the Philadelphia Eagles during a nationally televised game on NBC.

In between, the club will play their third preseason game on Saturday, Aug. 18, on the road against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field.

The Steelers will conclude their preseason schedule Thursday, Aug. 30, against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium. Kickoff time for that game has yet to be finalized.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 4, 4:00 p.m.

* According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Steelers entertained Penn State OT Levi Brown yesterday. Our scout has Brown listed as a top-ten value with the movement skills and feet to play left tackle.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 4, 10:00 a.m.

* Grambling coaching legend Eddie Robinson has died at the tender young age of 88. Robinson's career numbers are awe-inspiring, and include an undefeated, unscored-upon team in 1942, but the one that stands out above all is his 56-year tenure with Grambling State University. Try that, Nick Saban. Rest in peace, Eddie. And thank you. (--d.d.)

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 4, 7:30 a.m.

* The Tennessee Titans are making a run at San Diego Chargers reserve RB Michael \"The Burner\" Turner. Turner would be ideal as a complement to Steelers RB Willie Parker, but at a cost of first and third round draft picks, plus a starter's contract, he's too rich for Pittsburgh's blood.

Turner will be in Buffalo today eyeing the gaping hole in the Bills' backfield. No matter where he lands, his signing will allow a quality back to fall a little further in the draft. And that bodes well for the Steelers' RB needs. (--d.d.)

TUESDAY, APRIL 3, 4:40 p.m.

* Scout.com's Adam Caplan reports the Steelers have a pre-draft visit coming up with University of South Carolina WR Sidney Rice. Details to follow as they become available.

TUESDAY, APRIL 3, 3:10 p.m.

* Unconfirmed reports have Oklahoma State DT Ryan McBean visiting the Steelers today. Those same reports have Fresno State RB Dwayne Wright on tap for a visit tomorrow.

McBean is a mid-round defensive line prospect that projects to end in the Steelers' 3-4 scheme but could be overdrafted. Wright, 5-11, 230, is likely a day-two prospect due to speed, age, and health concerns. However, he's been reasonably productive when healthy. (--d.d.)

TUESDAY, APRIL 3, 11:50 a.m.

* As promised, we've confirmed Southern Cal's Dwayne Jarrett will visit the South Side a week from Friday on April 13. Hmmm, Friday the 13th. Is that ever a good thing? (--d.d.)

TUESDAY, APRIL 3, 8:55 a.m.

* The NFL released a list of the Steelers' preseason opponents yesterday. Mike Tomlin's bunch will open the preseason schedule versus the New Orleans Saints in the annual Hall of Fame game. Kickoff is at 8 p.m., on Aug. 5 in Canton, Ohio.

They play their first home game on Aug. 10 or 11 against the Green Bay Packers; then travel to Washington to face the Redskins Aug. 17 or 18; return home to play Philadelphia Aug. 26 at 8 p.m.; and wrap up the preseason versus the Panthers in Carolina, the weekend of Aug. 30.

*The Steelers hosted RB Antonio Pittman of nearby Ohio State Monday. The 5-11, 207-pound Pittman should come off the board somewhere in the middle of rounds two and three.

SUNDAY, APRIL 1, 10:20 a.m.

* When you haven't had much success, I guess the next best thing is to be pals with the cool kid.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer offered this little nugget this morning, linking new Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin to the lowly Browns.

\"I had him do reports,\" Crennel said. \"He did a report for me, studied a division opponent. Wrote up their tendencies, wrote up their personnel. I assigned him that when he came in. He gave it to me when he left, and you could tell that he was a pretty sharp guy as a result of that report.\"

As any astute Steelers fan already knows, former coaches Chuck Noll and Bill Cowher played for the Browns, the latter also served a stint as an assistant coach.

Happy April Fool's Day, Pittsburgh. Unfortunately, this one's legit. (--d.d.)

SATURDAY, MARCH 31, 7:30 p.m.

* According to scout.com's Adam Caplan, the Steelers have a pre-draft visit with USC WR Dwayne Jarrett coming up.

As first reported a few weeks ago by scout.com, Jarrett also has scheduled visits with the New York Giants, Dallas Cowboys, and Tennessee Titans coming up in April.

We'll have a date for you once it's confirmed.

FRIDAY, MARCH 30, 6:40 a.m.

* Mel Kiper, that shrewd marketeer, is at it again. He's moved Central Michigan OT Joe Staley up to No. 13 on his \"Big Board\" so now I have to spill the beans: A source indicated to me recently that the Steelers like Staley a lot. Not that they'd draft him at No. 15, but if they were to trade down, Staley would be considered among a pool of players. So, Mel, you've blown a story I was trying to save for a week or so. I guess that's how the old draft ball bounces.

* As we reported early in the week, the Steelers will host Hawaii 3-4 DE Ikaika Alama-Francis on Monday. We'll have a feature on him coming out Sunday night. The club is really hitting the front-seven defenders this draft season. (--j.w.)

THURSDAY, MARCH 29, 11:30 p.m.

* One of my personal favorites in this draft, defensive end Ikaika Alama-Francis, had his pro day Thursday in Hawaii and didn't disappoint. According to Scout sources, Alama-Francis turned in a 35-inch vertical at 276 pounds and had a broad jump of 9-6. He was timed at 4.85 to 4.88 seconds in the 40 and looked good in the position drills. There were also reports that he worked out in the tight end position drills as well, showing you a little about this kid's athleticism. At this point, Alama-Francis is likely a second-round pick, but he could be a guy who slides to the third. Either way, he's a guy the Steelers should look closely at. (--d.l.)

TUESDAY, MARCH 27, 4:10 p.m.

* Here's a new story on Marcello Church from his hometown paper:

Pinellas Preps

TUESDAY, MARCH 27, 8:20 a.m.

* Click the following link for an update on newly scheduled player visits with the Steelers, as well as other prospect news:

New prospects

MONDAY, MARCH 26, 9:45 p.m.

* How does the great AdamJT13 do it? I haven't studied his entire prediction list for compensatory picks, but the list just came out and he nailed the Steelers' picks. Pittsburgh was awarded picks at the end of the fourth and fifth rounds for losing wide receiver Antwaan Randle El and safety Chris Hope, just as AdamJT13 had predicted. San Diego, San Francisco, Indianapolis and Oakland were the big winners, landing third-round selections. In fact, the defending Super Bowl champions really made out this year, landing extra picks in the third, fourth and fifth rounds. The Steelers' fourth-round pick is the first fourth round compensation pick, 132nd overall. Their fifth-rounder is also the first compensatory pick of that round, the 170th overall. (--d.l.)

MONDAY, MARCH 26, 6:15 p.m.

* The Steelers just announced that Tyrone Carter's new deal is for three years.

MONDAY, MARCH 26, 4:50 p.m.

* Tyrone Carter officially signed with the Steelers, ending a strange series of events in which Carter apparently agreed to contracts with both the Steelers and Chicago Bears in the last 48 hours. Details of the proceedings are not known at this time, and neither are the details of the contract. It's possible that Carter's agent is not returning phone calls out of embarrassment. The Steelers would not comment on the matter.

Carter, a 5-foot-8 safety, is entering his eighth season in the league and fourth with the Steelers. The backup strong safety recorded 42 total tackles last season and had two sacks and two forced fumbles. He started three games.

MONDAY, MARCH 26, 1:15 p.m.

* Okay, with the Rooneys, Kevin Colbert and Mike Tomlin in Phoenix, my sources are out of town (just kidding) but I was able to learn that Tyrone Carter agreed to terms with the Steelers before agreeing to terms with the Chicago Bears. At this point, the Steelers believe Carter is theirs. We will have an update.

* If it's true, that Carter is in the fold, you should know that the Super Bowl will be played February 3rd in Phoenix. That and the rest of the NFL schedule will be announced April 5. (--j.w.)

MONDAY, MARCH 26, 12:50 p.m.

* Heinz Field will host a job fair for anyone interested in event-day employment opportunities.

The Heinz Field Job Fair will take place Tuesday, April 3, in the East Club Lounge at Heinz Field. Interviews will be conducted from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 4 - 7 p.m.

Event-day positions will be available for Pittsburgh Steelers and University of Pittsburgh football games, as well as concerts and other events that will take place at Heinz Field. Available positions include: concession, catering, ticket taker, seat attendant, maid/porter, concierge, luxury suite/club attendant, merchandise, security, guest services and elevator operators.

Applicants may enter Heinz Field through the Suite Entry at Gate B. Parking is available in Gold Lot 1A for $5.00.

Any questions concerning employment at Heinz Field will be answered the day of the job fair. For more information, please log on to www.steelers.com.

* There's nothing happening on the Tyrone Carter front here on the South Side. I'll check elsewhere. (--j.w.)

MONDAY, MARCH 26, 10:05 a.m.

* The Steelers' PR department told me this about Tyrone Carter this morning: \"We don't have anything yet. Call back in a bit and we may have something for you then.\"

Sounds to me like they're waiting for Carter to sign the contract and make it official. (--j.w.)

MONDAY, MARCH 26, 6:50 a.m.

* This is strange. ESPN.com has no news of Tyrone Carter's alleged signing with the Chicago Bears. A Google update of ESPN's report was sent to me via e-mail, but there was no story behind the link this morning. The Chicago Tribune reported the alleged signing, but credited ESPN. Witnesses say that an ESPN ticker last night reported that Carter has re-signed with the Steelers. We'll get to the bottom of this and have a report as soon as possible. (--j.w.)

MONDAY, MARCH 26, 6:30 a.m.

* Tyrone Carter signed a three-year contract for $2.4 million with a $280,000 bonus, according to The Chicago Tribune.

SUNDAY, MARCH 25, 2 p.m.

* The Steelers will be in the market for a safety as according to ESPN free agent Tyrone Carter has signed a three-year deal with the Chicago Bears. The loss of Carter leaves the Steelers with Troy Polamalu at strong safety and Ryan Clark and Anthony Smith battling for the starting free safety spot. With Mike Logan, a free agent, expected to retire - though he hasn't announced it yet - safety has now become a position of need, one that will likely be looked at in the later rounds of the draft. (--d.l.)

SATURDAY, MARCH 24, 9:25 a.m.

* According to KFFL, the Steelers attended the Villanova pro day yesterday to watch the workouts of QB Marvin Burroughs and S Allyn Bacchus.

SATURDAY, MARCH 24, 8:05 a.m.

* Bill Cowher spoke to a group of high-school coaches at the University of Tennessee yesterday. The event was covered by the Charlotte Observer.

FRIDAY, MARCH 23, 3:55 p.m.

* The Steelers signed free-agent linebacker Marcello Church (6-1, 230), who attended Florida State. Church suffered a season-ending injury his senior season (2005) and did not participate in an NFL camp last year. At Florida State, Church finished with a career-high 26 tackles in both his junior and senior seasons. He saw action in 12 games as a senior, ranking third on the team in sacks with 4.5. Church also blocked two punts with the Seminoles.

FRIDAY, MARCH 23, 7:20 a.m.

* According to Pittsburghsportsinsider.com, Pitt linebacker H.B. Blades visited with the Steelers on Thursday. \"The knock on Blades is his perceived lack of speed,\" wrote someone who wisely remained anonymous. (--j.w.)

FRIDAY, MARCH 23, 6:55 a.m.

* I'd like to welcome Kai Vincent Wilson into Steeler Nation this morning! Kai is the firstborn of our columnist, Ryan, and his wife Audrey. Kai was born Wednesday, the first day of spring 2007, and measured 7 lbs, 9 oz. and was 21.5 inches long. Later that day he ran the 40 in 4.52, with an astounding short shuttle of 3.87. He's cat-quick and is expected to go in the first round. Congrats to the Wilson family!

FRIDAY, MARCH 23, 6:40 a.m.

* The Steelers, of course, made the 150-minute drive to State College to watch the Penn State pro day. Scout.com has a story from the New York Giants point of view. It's posted a few doors down.

* Texas DE and possible 3-4 OLB candidate Tim Crowder told Sirius Radio that he has visits scheduled with Atlanta, Tampa Bay, St. Louis and the New York Jets. The Jets are looking into whether he can play OLB.

* Mike Bires of the Beaver County Times must be one of the smart beat men out there who reads our site. He's written a Ben Roethlisberger story that finally gets it right about Ben's work ethic. Read it now, because I believe the BCT pulls its stories off the \"free shelf\" after a few days. (--j.w.)

THURSDAY, MARCH 22, 2:41 p.m.

* According to Scout.com draft expert Tony Pauline, the Steelers have traveled to Waco, Texas to work out Baylor punter Daniel Sepulveda.

The story is posted two doors down on this site, and tomorrow we'll be taking a long look at Sepulveda, who's become an SCI.com favorite. (--j.w.)

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 21, 11:30 p.m.

* Top-rated inside linebacker Patrick Willis of Mississippi ran for scouts and coaches and didn't disappoint. At 237 pounds, Willis ran the 40 in 4.37 and 4.38. He also had a 4.37 short shuttle and 7.10 three-cone drill. There's no doubt that Willis will be the first linebacker drafted. (--d.l.)

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 21, 7:35 p.m.

* According to The Boston Herald, the Boston College pro day was well-attended, but no mention is made of the Steelers. It's too bad, because there were a couple outstanding interior linemen, particularly Josh Beekman, who, according to the paper, displayed good feet and stayed low.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 21, 7:10 p.m.

* The Steelers will host Pitt QB Tyler Palko on an official draft prospect visit. The specifics of the visit are not known. (--j.w.)

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 21, 7:20 a.m.

* Former Steelers defensive lineman Jeremy Staat is one of 300 marines being deployed to Iraq, according to USA Today.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 21, 7:10 a.m.

* Scout.com has learned of another big-time prospect being sought by the Steelers.

Pitt CB Darrelle Revis will walk across the hall to officially visit with the Steelers, who, like many others, were impressed by Revis' pro-day workout last Friday. After running sub 4.4 40s -- among other impressive results -- Revis is now considered a lock to be drafted in the first round, possibly in the upper half.

Read today's NFL Draft story posted on this site for further details of the visits being scheduled around the league.

TUESDAY, MARCH 20, 4:30 p.m.

* According to the Post-Gazette the Steelers are interviewing Rocky Boiman, a free agent who was a back-up linebacker with the Indianapolis Colts last season.

TUESDAY, MARCH 20, 8:25 a.m.

* Known as AdamJT13 to his followers on the Internet, his world-famous compensation projections are in.

Last year Adam correctly projected fourth and fifth-round compensation picks to the Steelers. This year, he projects they'll receive a fourth-round pick for the loss of Chris Hope and a fifth-round pick for the loss of Antwaan Randle-El.

The compensation picks will officially be announced at next week's owners' meetings, but it's a mere formality thanks to Adam.

TUESDAY, MARCH 20, 6:36 a.m.

* Scout.com's Tony Pauline has learned that the Steelers are showing interest in a pair of similar style defensive ends: LaMarr Woodley of Michigan and Nu'u Tafisi of Cal.

Both players are short, squat defensive ends who project to outside linebacker in a 3-4, and both play with a great energy that has marked their college careers.

Woodley is coming off an impressive pro day workout and projects as a late first, early second-round pick. Tafisi, one of my personal favorites, is similar in style to Clark Haggans and projects as a fifth or sixth-rounder.

We'll follow this story and keep you up to date as it develops. (--j.w.)

TUESDAY, MARCH 20, 5:55 a.m.

* Long snapper Greg Warren has signed his exclusive rights tender. The third-year pro will be paid $435,000 this season.

MONDAY, MARCH 19, 6:10 p.m.

* According to NFL.com, Pitt CB Darrelle Revis, at his pro day last Friday, ran 4.41 and 4.39 40s, had a 38-inch vertical jump, a 10-5 broad jump, and ran the short shuttle in 4.08 and the 3-cone in 6.56. Those are stunning numbers.

Also, linebacker H.B. Blades had decent 40 times of 4.69 and 4.72 and a 3-cone time of 6.98. His short shuttle time was 4.36 and his vertical was 32 inches. (--j.w.)

MONDAY, MARCH 19, 5:45 p.m.

* The Steelers showed up at the Grand Valley State University pro day. Here's the link:

Hooray for the home team!

MONDAY, MARCH 19, 3 p.m.

* It appears that linebacker Colby Bockwoldt, who visited the Steelers recently, will sign a free-agent deal with the San Francisco 49ers.

MONDAY, MARCH 19, 7 a.m.

* Ex-Steeler Joey Porter can't stop hating Bengals. Porter was cited by Las Vegas police Sunday night for punching Bengals OT Levi Jones in the face at a casino.

SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 11 p.m.

*The sometimes subtle, sometimes drastic movements on some analysts draft boards is starting to take shape now that the combine is over and the pro day results are beginning to trickle in.

On the heals of Pitt cornerback Darrell Revis solidifying his spot in the top 10 to 15 players to be picked in next month's draft comes news that another player considered to be a sure-fire top 10 choice may be sliding.

One scouting site reported that Michigan defensive tackle Alan Branch, considered a sure-fire top-10 pick after the final college football game was played last season, may be sliding because some teams were turned off by his interviews at the combine.

Add to that the fact that buzz surrounding Louisville's Amobi Okoye, and it's beginning to look as if maybe the Steelers will have a shot at Branch with the 15th pick in the draft.

Mind you that 6-6, 334-pound Branch's supposed fall from grace has nothing to do with his play or his workouts. In fact, the big man ran a 5.07 40 and bench pressed 225 pounds 33 times. Apparently, some are now questioning his motor and his attitude.

But Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was at the Michigan pro day and a big man like Branch would certainly be enticing to the Steelers. He may also be very enticing to teams picking behind the Steelers, teams who might be will to move up in the draft for a chance to take a player who's a top-10 talent. (--d.l.)

SATURDAY, MARCH 17, 4:30 p.m.

* Some notes you may or may not be aware of:

--The Steelers raised their ticket prices for next season in Heinz Field. Seats that cost $55 last season will cost $59 and the $65 tickets will be $74. Traditionally, the team raises prices every other season.

--The Steelers' popular men's fantasy camp will take place from June 1-3 at their training camp site, Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pa. Registration is open at $499 per player at Steelers.com.

--Former Steelers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt, Arizona's new head coach, believes Bill Cowher will coach again.

\"My guess, knowing how competitive that man is, is that yes, he will be back.\"

SATURDAY, MARCH 17, 4 p.m.

* Scout.com's Ed Thompson told SteelCityInsider.com that the Steelers met with Texas DE Tim Crowder at the Senior Bowl and had a formal interview with Arkansas CB Chris Houston at the combine.

SATURDAY, MARCH 17, 11:40 a.m.

* Because eight teams finished 8-8, the Steelers' position in each round will be rotated. Here's the breakdown:

First round -- 15th; second round -- 14th; third round -- 13th; fourth round -- 20th; fifth round -- 19th; sixth round -- 18th; seventh round -- 17th.

SATURDAY, MARCH 17, 7 a.m.

* The Post-Gazette concurred with the initial report on Darrelle Revis' 40 time. It's in the 4.39 range. Otherwise, there's not much out there on Steelers-specific prospects. I did see a note that Mike Tomlin was at the Michigan pro day. Enjoy the weekend. (--j.w.)

FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 5 p.m.

* The first report on Darrelle Revis' pro day comes from John Murphy, of Yahoo! Sports, who reports that the Pitt CB ripped off a 4.38 to 4.40 40.

Murphy is a reliable source, so it appears Revis made himself a lot of money today since speed was his main question mark. Certainly, the metro papers will have stories tomorrow morning, and by early next week I'll have an official time here. (--j.w.)

FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 10:10 a.m.

* The Steelers report that Chidi Iwuoma's deal is for one year. In 99 percent of these instances, the deal is for minimum wages, but the team pays the fully vested veteran more than what's counted against the salary cap.

FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 7:35 a.m.

* The Steelers re-signed special-teams ace Chidi Iwuoma, 29, on the same day they lost another free-agent coverage ace, Sean Morey. The two players were special-teams co-captains during the Steelers' 2005 championship season.

Iwuoma was cut by the team at the end of the 2006 training camp and the coverage teams slipped noticeably. He was re-signed Dec. 4 and played in two games before leaving the Carolina game with a wrist injury. Iwuoma was placed on injured reserve Dec. 20 and missed the final two games.

Terms of the contract have not yet been released. (--j.w.)

THURSDAY, MARCH 15, 8:42 p.m.

* The Mike Tomlin pro day train stopped at Tallahassee today for an up-close look at the Florida State prospects. According to the Tallahassee Democrat, Tomlin seemed to pardon OLB Lawrence Timmons's workout by telling the paper that his game tape is more important. \"And his tape stands out a lot,\" Tomlin said.

The paper also noted that Kevin Colbert attended the workout.

In the Orlando Sentinel, Drew Rosenhaus seemed to apologize for his client's showing by telling Tomlin that Timmons would \"be in shape by minicamp.\"

We at SCI.com list Timmons as the only true outside linebacker with odds of being drafted by the Steelers in the first round. Timmons opened at 12-1 odds, and it's obvious the Steelers are interested.

THURSDAY, MARCH 15, 5:30 P.M.

* According to ESPN.com, Sean Morey signed a three-year contract with the Arizona Cardinals.

We'd reported in this space that the Steelers considered Morey's contract demands to be exorbitant. Morey, according to a source, had warned the Steelers that if they didn't sign him, he could become the No. 4 receiver with Ken Whisenhunt's Cardinals. It looks like Morey will get a crack at it. (--j.w.)

THURSDAY, MARCH 15, 1:15 p.m.

* Steelers offensive line coach Larry Zierlein was one of several such assistants at the Central Michigan pro day to watch the workout of left tackle Joe Staley.

Word is that Staley turned in a world-class workout, but that was to be expected because we know Staley has Cassius Clay feet and can run like few big men can. The question mark about Staley has to do with his strength, and it's the kind of question that can't be answered with 27 reps on the bench.

Staley did not physically dominate the opposition in the MAC this season. That's what he needs to show -- on the field -- if he's going to move up into the first round. But it's a question that can't be answered at this point in the process.

If Staley's going to be a first-round pick -- and I know the experts will be raving about him after this workout -- it will only happen if a team at the bottom of the first round is willing to gamble. And I say good luck with all that. (--j.w.)

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 14, 5 p.m.

*The Steelers have been in contact with free agent punter Matt Turk about a possible visit. It's a busy week for the front office, but there's a chance Turk could visit at the end of the week.

The team was shut down by San Francisco in its attempt to sign restricted free agent punter Andy Lee last week when the 49ers match the Steelers' offer, but it's unlikely there will be a big market for the 36-year-old Turk.

But for the Steelers, Turk would at least be a suitable fill-in for a year or two, even though he's only a year younger than current punter Chris Gardocki.

But wouldn't it make sense at some point to just grab a youngster and stick with him at the position for a few years?

Then again, it's unlikely the Steelers would offer Turk much more than a two-year contract with a nominal signing bonus. Mike Barr is still hanging around and there's always the possibility this could be the year he wins the job. (--d.l.)

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 14, 7 a.m.

* Chukky Okobi is given life in today's Tribune-Review, and that may be a death sentence unto itself. But perhaps the real death sentence is buried under what Okobi's agent, Joe Linta, had to say:

\"The fact they didn't ask Chukky to take a pay cut is huge. That tells me they're going to treat him fairly.\"

Uh, that tells me they're going to cut him, unless an emergency crops up at center with Sean Mahan, Kendall Simmons and Marvin Philip.

The Steelers learned their lesson about asking players with dimmed chances to take pay cuts last year with Duce Staley. Once Dan Rooney asked Staley to take a pay cut last spring, Rooney felt obligated to keep him throughout the season.

No, this does not look good for Okobi. The Steelers still must be eye-balling his $2 million salary. His signing bonus (complicated by two renegotiations) appears to have $813,583 (over three years) remaining. The deduction against his salary savings could be halved now since the Steelers can, by new rules, cut two players before June 1 and designate them as June 1 cuts.

The way I see it, if the Steelers were truly serious about keeping Okobi they'd have asked him to take a pay cut. Then again, Okobi is being given one last chance to light it up. Good luck, Chukk. (--j.w.)

* NFL.com reports that Mike Tomlin will be one of five head coaches and two general managers at LSU's pro day today.

TUESDAY, MARCH 13, 9:35 p.m.

* Back again so soon, but we just received a report from one of our eagle eyes that Mike Tomlin was at the Arkansas pro day today. We have an excellent report of that pro day on site, with quotes from Tomlin.

Also of note is that line coach John Mitchell was there. Most, I'm sure, will suspect he's looking at Jamaal Anderson, but in the Steelers' scheme Anderson would be a linebacker, so Mitch must've been there to look at big nose tackle Keith Jackson, who ran a couple of sub 5.0 40s. I really like Jackson's enthusiasm on the field. The story says he's a fourth or fifth-rounder, and I would agree after watching him closely in a few late-season games. (--j.w.)

TUESDAY, MARCH 13, 9:20 p.m.

* The Steelers have opened preliminary contract-extension talks with the agents of Alan Faneca, Troy Polamalu and Kendall Simmons. Those players are entering the final seasons of their contracts.

The third player listed is a surprise, considering his struggles the last few years, but a source stressed how preliminary these talks are. The Steelers are waiting to see how well Simmons plays this spring before deciding whether to take the next step with him. But they did let Simmons know of their interest, since they have a problem brewing at their guard positions.

Not only are starting guards Faneca and Simmons entering the final seasons of their contracts, but Trai Essex and Chris Kemoeatu will be restricted free agents next March. Essex is a tackle whom they think can play guard, while Kemoeatu has struggled understanding the old system and, as mentioned earlier, is expected to endure greater struggles with Bruce Arians's new system.

Another lineman, right tackle Max Starks, is also entering the final season of his contract, but the Steelers won't begin extension talks with him until they see him in spring drills. If he checks in at 400 pounds again, as he did last spring, there won't be any extension talks with Starks.

There have been no talks with Ben Roethlisberger concerning a contract extension. He has two seasons remaining on his rookie contract. (--j.w.)

TUESDAY, MARCH 13, 3:40 p.m.

* You'll be happy to know the front office was just about deserted today. They're all out working at the various pro days across America. Today, that must mean someone was at Oklahoma, Arkansas and Clemson. Hope to have some news on those and more coming up. As a p.s., it also means no free-agent visits this week.

TUESDAY, MARCH 13, 10 a.m.

* The great Vic Ketchman, now working for the Jaguars, released his personal top 32. In \"Ask Vic\" he warns readers that he's not a scout, but a sportswriter. He still talks to scouts along the way, since he's an excellent sportswriter. And notice where the Steelers pick, because Vic, who covered the Steelers from 1972-1994, always has them in mind, as well as PA players.

http://www.jaguars.com/news/vicsvalueboard.aspx

TUESDAY, MARCH 13, 8 a.m.

* According to John Murphy of Yahoo Sports, the Steelers are one of three teams showing interest in Western Oregon running back Eliot Vinzant. The 1,000-yard rusher is also receiving interest from San Diego and RB-starved Green Bay. The W.O. pro day is Friday.

* Lance Briggs of the Bears is now demanding a trade or release, according to Fox Sport's Jay Glazer. Briggs is only 26 and has already been to two Pro Bowls, and he would fit anywhere in the Steelers' scheme -- any scheme -- but the problem is money. It's a difficult time for the Steelers to pay big money to a star player -- even at a position of need -- since it's time to re-set their salary structure with Troy Polamalu, Alan Faneca and Ben Roethlisberger. At today's going rates, Briggs would smash any plans the Steelers have of re-signing their three team leaders at reasonable rates.

SUNDAY, MARCH 11, 10:15 a.m.

* One of the former offensive coaches was in town Saturday and, in between pleasantries, passed along some information.

When told the team had just signed Sean Mahan to compete with Kendall Simmons at center, he said that center and right guard were the team's biggest concerns heading into the offseason, that Chukky Okobi can't move anyone and has trouble with nose tackles, and that Chris Kemoeatu may have had a chance mentally in his third year in the system, but that Bruce Arians's offensive changes won't help the player at all.

Of course, what's a Steelers conversation without asking about Ben Roethlisberger? He said that Ben will work his butt off all day on the field but that he needs to study harder off it. The coach was not pessimistic or sour about Roethlisberger and the future by any means.

On a related note, a source last week did say that Roethlisberger was helping Arians with some of the new schematics and was therefore very involved in the changing offense.

SATURDAY, MARCH 10, 2:20 p.m.

* The numbers are in on Sean Mahan.

The Steelers' new center, er ... center candidate, signed a 5-year deal that averages just under $3.5 million per year, and will pay the 5-year vet close to $5 million in 2007.

Mahan turned down more money elsewhere to be a Steeler and cited the following for his decision: the opportunity to start at center and for a franchise steeped in tradition and success at the position; his comfort-level with head coach Mike Tomlin; and the tradition, success and historic stability of the franchise.

SATURDAY, MARCH 10, 1 p.m.

* The Steelers and center Sean Mahan have come to an agreement. We'll update the terms as they come available.

SATURDAY, MARCH 10, 10:15 a.m.

* I just opened my story on Sean Mahan and I want to apologize for the lack of apostrophes. I have no idea what happened. I only wish one of you readers would've called my house with an edit alert.

* Some interesting pro day times: Purdue DE/OLB Anthony Spencer, according to him on his school's web site, ran a 4.64 40; Arizona State TE Zach Miller ran a 4.74 40, down from 4.87 at the combine; and Rutgers TE Clark Harris ran \"in the low 4.7s.\"

Miller is taking heat for his 40 time, but I'm wondering if he wouldn't be a steal in the second round. Greg Olsen, in my mind, is being overrated because of his combine workout. I thought he stunk this season.

And another point: The only recorded time for Heath Miller was 4.87, which his school had listed in his bio prior to his final season. Miller and Miller in a 2-TE set would only confuse the writers, but both will block and catch anything near them. (--j.w.)

SATURDAY, MARCH 10, 9:30 a.m.

* John Harris, in this morning's Tribune-Review, provides this interesting nugget: \"The scuttlebutt traveling among player agents is that Marvin Demoff, (Troy) Polamalu's high-powered representative, wants a dollar more than Baltimore safety Ed Reed's six-year, $45 million that includes a $15 million signing bonus.\"

My guess is the Steelers would be agreeable to such a contract. It sets a new standard, sure, but Polamalu is worthy. My guess is it would set the bar just a bit higher than what they'll want to pay 31-year-old Alan Faneca and eventually a solid second to Ben Roethlisberger's new deal. And isn't that about the way their salary structure should shake out?

The Steelers are not cheap; they're smart. The problem with these exorbitant bonuses being paid the current mediocre crop of free agents is what the rest of the team will want. Word is San Francisco coach Mike Nolan plans to meet with his team soon to head off any potential jealousies. My guess is it's too late for that. They should've thought about their salary structure on March 1.

Harris also wonders if Faneca's apparent displeasure over the departure(s) of Russ Grimm (and Joey Porter) will \"factor into his decision when negotiating his next deal.\" My guess is no. Aren't leaders allowed to call their teammates and complain about the bosses every now and then? You have to have some fire in your men, as Mike Tomlin might say.

There are warning signs on the road ahead, and there's a lot of people saying we'd be better off dead, but I believe the Steelers are making the proper decisions. Keep on rockin' in the free world.(--j.w.)

FRIDAY, MARCH 9, 9 p.m.

* According to a representative for free agent offensive lineman Sean Mahan, Mahan liked what he saw from his visit with the Steelers and the two sides are currently exchanging contract details.

FRIDAY, MARCH 9, 5:15 p.m.

* Colby Bockwoldt and Sean Mahan left the building without deals. Mahan is hopping on a plane and heading back to Tampa. It's believed that Bockwoldt is leaving Pittsburgh as well. That they couldn't get a deal done with Bockwoldt, who nearly begged the Steelers to sign him, comes as a surprise. Maybe next week.

FRIDAY, MARCH 9, 3:05 p.m.

* Colby Bockwoldt has offers from San Francisco and Tennessee but he really wants to play here. The BYU boys raved about the place to him and he wants his agent to get it done, so I believe he'll sign a contract today.

Sean Mahan, a dead ringer for Mike Tomczak, said he has offers from Seattle and Cleveland but the battle for his services is probably between Tampa Bay and the Steelers. He wants to start, and the Steelers told him he'd have to compete with Kendall Simmons and Chukky Okobi for the center job. My hunch is he'll sign with Tampa Bay. I could be wrong.

FRIDAY, MARCH 9, 2:15 p.m.

* One of the free agents is due in the media room any minute now, but first I'd like to share some nuggets on available running backs. Ron Dayne, word is, has never been a favorite around here. Don't know why exactly, but just know he's not on the list. As for T.J. Duckett, one source believes the coaches consider him to be no better than Najeh Davenport and assumes they want to keep one spot open for the draft. I asked this: Tony Hunt?

\"He'd be a good fit, probably in the third round.\" But I told him I doubt he gets out of the second round.

* As for those Rutgers CBs, the times were inflated a bit, but not by much. Joe Porter is a track guy who was second team behind Derrick Roberson, who's injury prone. Porter started as a sophomore before losing his job because he plays like he's a track man.

FRIDAY, MARCH 9, 12:15 p.m.

* A couple of free agents are already in the building down on the South Side, according to Ed Bouchette of the Post-Gazette.

Bouchette has already reported that Colby Bockwoldt, a 25-year-old linebacker who started 16 games for the New Orleans Saints in 2005, is talking to the Steelers. He was a seventh-round draft pick out of BYU, so perhaps Brett Keisel's heard of him because I haven't.

Also, Sean Mahan is here. I've just arrived, so hopefully we'll get to interview him. (--j.w.)

FRIDAY, MARCH 9, 8:22 a.m.

* If the Steelers play their cards right, all they'll lose in the Joey Porter cut is some emotional leadership and the letter 'Y'. Yes, the Steelers were at the Rutgers pro day yesterday and saw CB Joe Porter run a 4.28 40.

How's that for a set up? Anyway, we all know of the Steelers' interest in the many Rutgers prospects. The other CB, Derrick Roberson, was timed in 4.34 and recorded a 42.5 vertical jump.

Now, take these times with a grain of salt because they're being reported by the school's web site, and that was the only new info reported there.

* Speaking of exaggerated, a couple of the worst drafniks have released more drivel. Mel Kiper (who appears to at least be talking to people who watch tape) has the following players at picks 13-17: 13. Carriker, 14. Bowe, 15. Jarrett, 16. L. Hall, 17. Lynch. He has Alan Branch at No. 21. The other self-respected and overrated 'nik is Frank Croyle. He has the Steelers taking Joe Porter -- wait, that's not right -- Dwayne Jarrett at No. 15 and -- right after Anthony Spencer at No. 45 -- Ben Grubbs in the second round. (--j.w.)

FRIDAY, MARCH 9, 7 a.m.

* The Tampa Tribune reports this morning that contract talks between the Bucs and guard/center Sean Mahan \"slowed to a crawl.\" Beat man Roy Cummings believes \"Mahan would prefer to stay in Tampa, and the fact the sides continue to talk is a sign the Bucs want him back.

\"Another indication of the Bucs' desire to retain Mahan: They have yet to schedule a meeting with free-agent guard Cooper Carlisle.\"

Here's the link:

http://www.tbo.com/sports/bucs/MGB745UW1ZE.html

THURSDAY, MARCH 8, 7:40 p.m.

* Hmmm. The Steelers are talking to some rather rude boys of late. According to Jamal Lewis, the Steelers spoke to him about a potential deal, but Lewis, in an interview on Sirius Radio, said that he didn't want to split carries with Willie Parker. Lewis instead signed a 1-year contract with the Browns for $3.5 million. And according to today's Las Vegas Review Journal the Steelers sent a scout to watch the pro day workout of super talent Eric Wright. The UNLV cornerback had transferred from USC after police arrested him in Los Angeles in 2005 on suspicion of rape. According to the paper, police also found 136 Ecstasy pills in his apartment, but charges were never filed.

THURSDAY, MARCH 8, 5:35 p.m.

* Alex \"Don't call me Roger or Floyd or especially Pork Chop\" Bannister has left the building without signing a contract. The search for a cheap gunner continues.

THURSDAY, MARCH 8, 3:50 p.m.

* \"Pork Chop\" Womack \"went over the wall.\" At least that's how Kevin Colbert put it to reporters who were waiting to interview Womack. He left without speaking to us or signing a contract. Colbert said it doesn't mean the two sides will not reach an agreement in the future. They're looking at Womack as a backup guard.

THURSDAY, MARCH 8, 3:30 p.m.

* The Steelers confirmed that Tampa Bay free agent Sean Mahan will be in tomorrow for a visit. A source with the team said, if signed, Mahan would compete with Kendall Simmons at center this spring. Yes, Kendall Simmons. The two would trade off between center and right guard.

Don't know where that leaves Chukky Okobi, but when asked about Okobi, the source said, \"He doesn't play guard.\"

It could be an ominous predicament for Okobi, or Simmons could prove to the Steelers he still can't execute a shotgun snap, which was a problem for him at the position last preseason.

* The Steelers consider Alex Bannister the top gunner in the league over the last five years. He also lined up at times for Seattle at wide receiver, but his value is in his punt coverage.

THURSDAY, MARCH 8, 1:40 p.m.

* Arnold \"Snelly\" Harrison just says all systems are go, that his leg's fine and he's working out at full speed. He's also much stronger in the upper body. \"My lower extremity was down so I concentrated on my upper body,\" he said, making a benching motion. \"When one area's weakened, the others all get stronger.\"

Harrison's up to 252 (about 16 pounds) and says he wants to get back down to 247-48 for the season. When someone asked if he was ready to play in the 4-3 defense, a look of horror crept over his face and he asked: \"Do you know something I don't?\" When laughter followed, Harrison relaxed. \"It's all good,\" he said and walked out the door.

* It's been confirmed by a Steelers source that the 49ers have indeed matched the offer sheet for punter Andy Lee. The search for Chris Gardocki's replacement moves elsewhere.

THURSDAY, MARCH 8, 1:20 p.m.

* As many of you know by know, the Steelers are hosting free agents OT Floyd \"Pork Chop\" Womack and WR Alex Bannister today.

Bannister is more of a special-teams ace, and with the team having trouble coming to terms with their own coverage ace, Sean Morey, Bannister's prospects of signing a deal appear good. Morey's demands are said to be way out of whack.

* In other Steelers-related UFA dealings, Chad Brown, one of their free agents, is at the South Side to get his knee checked, \"for snowboarding,\" he joked. The 37-year-old Brown said the team is showing interest in retaining him.

THURSDAY, MARCH 8, 8:15 a.m.

* The San Francisco Chronicle this morning is reporting that the 49ers \"are seriously considering matching the Steelers' offer\" to restricted free agent punter Andy Lee. The paper reports the terms are the same -- $7.1 million for 7 years, including $1.66 million bonus -- as we reported yesterday.

The Chronicle also reports that 3-4 OLB Tully Banta-Cain's contract is a $9 million, three-year deal that could rise to $12.3 million with incentives. Banta-Cain received a $2.9 million signing bonus and a $600,000 roster and workout bonus. This for a guy who was benched in the playoffs by New England last season.

* The word from the Steelers' front office is the team will host an unnamed unrestricted free agent today, but the representative for Tampa Bay center Sean Mahan would not confirm that he's that player. The agent would only say Mahan will visit \"later this week.\"

* Those in the front office also had a good laugh at a report saying they'd \"poisoned\" the Andy Lee offer sheet with a clause that would make it impossible for the 49ers to match the offer. We all know that's not the way they do business.

* The guys who study tape on the South Side were shaking their heads yesterday over the $20 million bonus the Miami Dolphins paid Joey Porter. They figured someone would take a chance on Porter, but didn't believe anyone would pay him big money due to his 2006 performance, which is plain for all to see on tape. \"Don't they have one of these in Miami?\" was the question asked by the man seated near the TV.

* The big shots in the front office read our opening draft report on Anthony Spencer and told a source \"he knows what he's talking about.\" By the same token, the admission by Jarvis Moss that he was suspended for smoking pot \"isn't helping him at all down here.\" One of our spies at the Florida pro day confirmed the buzz is that Moss's stock is plunging.

* The Lincoln Journal Star is reporting today that DE Adam Carriker, down five pounds from the combine to 291, ran his 40 in 4.72 at yesterday's pro day, but that scouts will add a tenth because of a fast track. Carriker said that's all he wanted to accomplish -- a 4.8 on everyone's watch -- because he'd heard some had him at 4.9 at the combine.

* Nebraska RB Brandon Jackson, an intriguing first-day junior prospect, weighed 206 and ran between 4.38 and 4.41, down from his combine time of 4.57. Also, TE Matt Herian, who at least makes an effort to block (a rarity in this pathetic TE crop), ran a 4.7 at 242 pounds. 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