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Steelers Steelers Notebook: Cowboys safety fined $7,500 for hit on Ivy

Saturday, August 30, 2003

By Ed Bouchette, Post-Gazette Sports Writer

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The NFL fined Dallas safety Darren Woodson $7,500 for a helmet-to-helmet hit Aug. 21 against Steelers wide receiver Khori Ivy.

The collision left Ivy with a slight concussion, but he practiced last week and suited up for the game last night against the Carolina Panthers. The play occurred in the second half when Ivy tried to catch a pass, but Woodson lowered his helmet and hit Ivy in the helmet, which is against NFL rules. Officials called no penalty on the play.

The fine was nothing new -- or exactly exorbitant -- for Woodson. The NFL fined him 10 times that amount, $75,000, in October of last year for a similar hit on Seattle wide receiver Darrell Jackson. The helmet-to-helmet hit on Jackson caused a concussion, and Jackson had a seizure in the locker room.

When Gene Washington, the NFL's director of football operations, announced the fine to Woodson last year, he also warned that another helmet-to-helmet hit by him likely would prompt a suspension or additional discipline.

Ivy spent last season on the Steelers' practice squad and is fighting an uphill battle for a roster spot as the No. 5 wide receiver.

Scott plays

Chad Scott did not practice all week because of a sprained ankle, but he took his normal position last night as the starting left cornerback. Halfback Chris Fuamatu-Ma'afala (hamstring), tight end Jerame Tuman (groin) and defensive end Brett Keisel (shoulder) did not dress. Dr. James Bradley will operate on Keisel's shoulder this morning.

Maddox holds

Quarterback Tommy Maddox held for place-kicks last night, a job Antwaan Randle El also has performed. It appeared Randle El would be the holder this week, but Coach Bill Cowher went back to Maddox after Jeff Reed missed a 36-yard field-goal try in the third exhibition game against Dallas.

Follow me

Steelers defensive end Aaron Smith and Carolina defensive end Mike Rucker have plenty in common.

"Me and Rucker have the same agent," Smith said. "We trained with each other before the combine. We still keep in touch."

So much, it's almost spooky. When Smith got married, Rucker did, too. When Smith and his wife bought their first house, so did the Ruckers. Their firstborns came about the same time, and now both wives are pregnant and due near the end of the year.

"Our lives have kind of taken the same path," Smith said.

Cut time

Coach Bill Cowher must make 14 moves by 4 p.m. tomorrow to reduce his roster to the 53-man limit. After 4 p.m. Monday, they can begin signing players to their five-man practice squad.

Request denied

When the exhibition schedule came out in the spring and the Steelers realized they would play in Carolina on the opening night for high school football in Pennsylvania, the Steelers asked the Panthers if they could move it up to Thursday.

The request was denied.

Captain call

The captains for the Steelers last night were guard Alan Faneca, defensive end Kimo von Oelhoffen and cornerback Chidi Iwuoma. The Steelers will choose their permanent captains next week.

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