Pittsburgh Steelers select team captains

PITTSBURGH -- The Steelers' 8-8 record last season didn't just bother Brett Keisel as a competitor. He also took it personally as a team captain.

The veteran defensive end will get a chance to lead again as he, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, free safety Ryan Clark and center Maurkice Pouncey were voted captains Monday by their teammates.

Clark and Pouncey are first-time captains while Keisel reprises the role for the second consecutive season.

“Hopefully I can do a better job and we as captains can do a better job,” Keisel said. “There's a lot of leaders in here that aren't captains and guys that we expect to lead.”

Keisel said he learned from his first stint as captain to speak his mind if something is on it.

That won't be a problem for Clark, who is one of the NFL's most outspoken players.

“I think I'm going to be exactly the same,” Clark said. “The reason people have voted you captain is you've shown those leadership skills already. I don't think I have to change, especially in the speaking up department. Brett has done an amazing job. I've seen him grow and transform. Hopefully I can lead in the same way.”

The players voted on captains Monday morning. Coach Mike Tomlin announced the picks after practice that afternoon.

Pouncey got the nod even though it is only a little over a month past his 24th birthday. “I was kind of hoping (to be a captain) but you never know,” the three-time Pro Bowler said. “There's a lot that comes with that. I'm humbled right now. It really is an awesome feeling.”