--The Pittsburgh Steelers Footballers have changed their name. Real Steelers have been playing basketball in the offseason since 1969, usually before big crowds for charity events. The lockout is on and so is the basketball, but they're now playing as the Pittsburgh All-Star Footballers Basketball Team.
"You have no idea when this thing will be settled," said one player, backup safety Ryan Mundy. "The worst thing that you can do is be caught unprepared."
--Burt Lauten, the team's No. 2 PR man, will serve as interim communications coordinator after Dave Lockett left the team after 13 seasons. Lauten is expected to get the job permanently.
--The Steelers plan no layoffs, no furloughs and no cuts in pay. Team president Art Rooney said the Steelers have instituted a "salary freeze" in the organization.
"We're going to take it a week at a time," Rooney said. "We're not planning any large-scale layoffs or furloughs. Hopefully, we won't get to that situation."
--Dan Rooney, Ambassador to Ireland, voiced his opposition to the proposed 18-game schedule last fall. In its last proposal, management took it off the table.
"On our side, that was a fairly major concession," Art Rooney said. "There were people on our side not happy about putting that offer off the table."
--Sharing a complex that works more like a duplex with Pitt can be advantageous for the Steelers at times like these. Each NFL team is permitted to have 30 draft prospects in for a visit but a rule allows teams to have players visit if they are in the same city and not count against that number.
On Tuesday, seven Pitt Panthers walked next door and met with Steelers coaches and scouts: Wide receiver Jon Baldwin, defensive ends Jabaal Sheard and Greg Romeus, fullback Henry Hynoski, running back Dion Lewis, offensive tackle Jason Pinkston and safety Dom DiCicco.
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