Faneca may skip Steelers minicamp
Friday, April 20, 2007
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Mike Tomlin conducts his first minicamp this weekend, starting today, and he could be confronted with his first real issue as Steelers coach:
Will Alan Faneca show up?
Neither Faneca nor his agent, Rick Smith, returned phone calls to answer that question. But there are indications the All-Pro guard will not be in Pittsburgh this weekend.
He has attended none of the voluntary workouts with his teammates that began March 19. He is known to be unhappy with his contract that has one year remaining and with the pace of talks toward a new one. Smith said last month that he would no longer talk publicly about Faneca and that any comments about the player would have to come from "Rooney or Kevin Colbert."
Faneca is not yet required by contract to show up, even for this minicamp because it is voluntary. The first time Faneca or any other Steelers player must report is the weekend of May 11, when Tomlin continues his predecessor's practice of holding a required minicamp over Mother's Day Weekend. That's when a player can be fined for not showing.
Until then, the Faneca issue will fester. The Steelers have paid him a $1 million roster bonus that came due early in March.
There could be other Steelers who do not show today other than Faneca, but the turnout for their workouts the previous month generally has been good.
Tomlin will put his new team through two workouts on the field today, two more tomorrow and one on Sunday. No pads can be worn and, supposedly, there is to be no contact during the drills.