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Old 03-27-2012, 08:10 AM   #1
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Default Steelers move to address leadership void after losing Farrior, Ward

Steelers move to address leadership void after losing Farrior, Ward

By Scott Brown
PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Tuesday, March 27, 2012

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. It is impossible to quantify, yet ill-advised to ignore.

That is why leadership was taken into account before the Steelers released longtime captains James Farrior and Hines Ward as well as Aaron Smith, another veteran that commanded respect from his teammates.

It is also why the Steelers' anticipation of what happens off the field may rival the competition that takes place on it leading up to the 2012 season.

"It will be interesting to see whose team this becomes because James Farrior was the team leader, not just the defensive leader, so we'll see who steps up," Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert said. "To me it's wide open, but it's something you can never predict because you never know who is going to show up when it's really required."

That is not the only reason why leadership looms as such an X-factor with the Steelers.

Turnover may be inevitable in a league where the average career span is less than four years, but the Steelers' offseason purge cost them three captains.

Farrior, an inside linebacker and defensive quarterback, and Ward, the Steelers' all-time leading receiver, had been captains for a combined 15 seasons. Arnaz Battle, released before Farrior and Ward, joined them as a special teams captain last season.

"I can't sit here and say, 'This is our leader,'" Colbert said. "We're looking for that right now."

The good news for the Steelers is they still have a significant veteran presence in their locker room. Even better: They are not new to the transition that takes place when core players from championship teams have to be replaced.

"We went through this during the '70s," Steelers chairman emeritus Dan Rooney said Monday while taking a break during the NFL owners' meetings.

The Steelers had to replace defensive tackle Joe Greene and linebackers Andy Russell and Jack Ham following the run that produced four Super Bowl titles.

Rooney and Steelers president Art Rooney II said they expect quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, a two-time captain, to take on more of a leadership role this season. And the elder Rooney said, "You still have (nose tackle) Casey (Hampton). He's a good leader."

One thing Steelers brass seems to agree on is that leadership can't be forced or conferred upon any one player.

The Steelers could not have guessed that Farrior, who signed with the franchise in 2002, would blossom into the unquestioned leader of a team that won two Super Bowls.

"It can't be something where you just say, 'OK, you're the leader,'" Rooney II said. "The leader has to really be someone that the players buy into. I think we have quite a few good young players who are the kind of players who can be leaders on the team, and we still have veteran players who can play that role, too. But it's something that evolves, and it can't be artificial. It's got to be something that just develops as the chemistry of the team develops every year."

Scott Brown can be reached at sbrown@tribweb.com or 412-481-5432.

Read more: Steelers move to address leadership void after losing Farrior, Ward - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt...#ixzz1qJnr9Lu9
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Old 03-27-2012, 11:00 AM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers move to address leadership void after losing Farrior, Ward

Ben needs to step up on Offense and Troy, Clark, or Timmons on D. They are all now vets and could lead this team for quite some time by example just like the others have done.
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Old 03-27-2012, 03:05 PM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers move to address leadership void after losing Farrior, Ward

Quote:
Originally Posted by mesaSteeler View Post
Steelers move to address leadership void after losing Farrior, Ward

"We went through this during the '70s," Steelers chairman emeritus Dan Rooney said Monday while taking a break during the NFL owners' meetings.

The Steelers had to replace defensive tackle Joe Greene and linebackers Andy Russell and Jack Ham following the run that produced four Super Bowl titles.
and how did that work out for them? they didnt win another title until year 2005!

i really hope Antonio Brown steps up as one of the leaders on this team. I really like his attitude, and his desire to win.
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Old 03-27-2012, 04:20 PM   #4
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Default Re: Steelers move to address leadership void after losing Farrior, Ward

Ben needs to step up? Now your presuming he didn't step up last year? People love to whack Ben here.

No way Brown is going to step up and be a leader. Thats not happening nor do I get the impression he is that type of a player.

Clark? No, to mouthy in the press.

Troy: Nope, not mouthy enough. Although Troys hair is quite mouthy.

I think Timmons will have his handful and not need to worry about being a leader.

There are plenty of Veterans to fill the void. Just hopefully they are the ones who practice what they preach and not being living their day through twitter and facebook
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Old 03-27-2012, 04:41 PM   #5
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Default Re: Steelers move to address leadership void after losing Farrior, Ward

This is more about the media trying to make news when there is no news around.

Clark is definately a vocal guy, Lamaar Woodley was a leader of the defense while at Michigan and now that Farrior has moved on, I expect to see more of that. Other guys lead by example like Harrison and Troy.

Same is true on the other side of the ball as Ben is clearly the leader over there.
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Old 03-27-2012, 07:04 PM   #6
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Default Re: Steelers move to address leadership void after losing Farrior, Ward

I could see Clark, Hampton, Woodley, or even Keisel taking a leadership role on D. I agree that Harrison and Troy lead more by example.

Ben definitely needs to step up as a team leader. I'm not sure if he's got more to go in that area or not.

I could definitely see Brown become a leader on this team.
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Old 03-27-2012, 07:33 PM   #7
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Default Re: Steelers move to address leadership void after losing Farrior, Ward

there is absolutely no doubt in my mind ben will emerge as the team leader. he is the oldest offensive player in the starting 11.

is there any question who is the leader of the packers, giants, new england, once colts/now broncos?

can anyone imagine players like brady, manning, rodgers, breeze, rivers or eli defering the leadership role to a young wr going into his third year? thats unheard of. it never happened with rice or moss, and isnt happening with calvin johnson.

if that happens with ben he needs to be fired or retired. jerome and ward had earned their stripes, and their HOF calibur play earned them the position. ben is out of their shadow now and it is his team. im sure he appreciates and embraces that and the fact he doesnt need to feel like he's stepping on anyones toes.
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