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Troy: 'I'm not going to change who I am'

Posted Sep 1, 2014

Notebook: Players honored to be captains; Warren looks to return; getting offense going.

O Captain, My Captain: On Monday, before taking the field for their first regular season practice, Steelers’ players voted on team captains.  And when the votes were counted, four players were selected to represent the team at the coin toss each week, but far beyond that.

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (offense), safety Troy Polamalu (defense) and kicker Shaun Suisham and safety Robert Golden (special teams), will all do the honors this year, with all but Roethlisberger first-time captains.

“It’s a tremendous honor, but I'm not going to change who I am from day-to-day,” said Polamalu. “The best captains are people who prepare the best they can to play well on the football field. That has always been my focus and I don’t think it’s going to change.

“There have been some amazing captains that I’ve played for…Joey (Porter), Hines (Ward), Jerome (Bettis), (Brett) Keisel and Aaron Smith. There have been a lot of guys that have never been voted captain who were really captains and leaders in the locker room. It’s best to represent the team when you are walking out for the coin toss at the Super Bowl. Those are the best captains that have graced this locker room.”

The last two years the Steelers haven’t had a special teams captain, and Suisham and Golden are both humbled by the honor.

“It’s something I didn’t anticipate,” said Suisham. “There are a lot of different personalities in the locker room and I think we can all lead in different ways. Hopefully I can do that by the example of being a consistent player.”

While this is Golden’s first-time as a captain with the Steelers, he was a captain in high school and for two seasons in college, so he understands what it means.

“For the guys to have that kind of trust in me and want me to be a captain means a lot,” said Golden. “I am a guy that leads by example, but I can be vocal too, especially with the younger guys. We have a lot of veteran guys on the team as well so I’m still learning from them. Hopefully I can learn from them and teach others and we can put it together and be a great special teams unit.”

For Roethlisberger being a captain is old hat, this being the sixth time he was selected, but he appreciates it just as much now as he did the first time and will continue to operate the way he has.

“It’s an awesome honor that your teammates name you,” said Roethlisberger. “I’ve been blessed to be a captain the last couple of years. For the franchise and the storied tradition that it is here, it’s a great honor.”

It’s a snap: Long snapper Greg Warren’s initial four-week recovery from a knee injury suffered during training camp has been accelerated, and from the looks of things he could be ready to go this Sunday against the Cleveland Browns at Heinz Field.

“I feel really good,” said Warren. “I did everything today and the day before the (Panthers) game last week. Things are right on track.

“Getting out of surgery I felt really good, everything was right on track to be two weeks and that’s what it ended up being.”

Back to work: The Steelers offense had their struggles in the preseason, but with the regular season just days away running back Le’Veon Bell knows they will be on track when it matters most.

“There’s always room for improvement,” said Bell. “We’re going to continue to work on things, iron out things and smooth out things for this upcoming week. We had a great practice today, but we definitely can get better.”

Bell said he is looking forward to Sunday’s game against the Browns, the first season-opener he will play in. He was sidelined for the first three games of 2013, his rookie year, with a foot injury.

“I’m excited for the upcoming week, opening season, week one,” said Bell.  “I didn’t get to play in week one last year. I’m excited for that and just getting after it with these guys.”