Gerry Dulac checks in from Day 4 of Steelers training camp in Latrobe:
Paul Ernster, the new punter, arrived last night and worked out with the team this morning. He was released by the Detroit Lions on Monday and was claimed by the Steelers at 4:30 p.m. yesterday to replace Dan Sepulveda, who will miss the rest of the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament.
"It's an exciting opportunity for me because I've always been a fan of the team and I have a lot of friends who are big fans of the Steelers," Ernster said. "They're really excited."
The Steelers have not placed Sepulveda on injured reserve - at least, not yet - and he actually spent part of the morning snapping for kicker Jeff Reed when they were practicing on an adjacent field.
Curiosly, Ernster punted for the Browns in the season opener against the Steelers last season. He was signed for just one game because Cleveland's regular punter, Dave Zastudil, was injured, and his first punt was a disaster.
Ernster dropped the snap deep in his own territory and finally got off a punt that traveled only 15 yards. However, there were four penalties on the play, and the Steelers eventually started a drive at the Browns 22, leading to a touchdown.
"All I remember is that the first play was a disaster," Ernster said.
Farrior sits out with hip problem
Inside LB James Farrior did not practice in the morning and will sit out the afternoon session because of a problem with his hip flexor. However, he said he will return tomorrow.
With Farrior out, that allowed Lawrence Timmons, last year's No. 1 pick, to work with the first-team defense. Timmons worked in the spot normally occupied by Larry Foote, who moved over to play Farrior's position.
Interviewing the interviewer
At least three national writers arrived at St. Vincent College to watch the Steelers, as did former assistant coach Dwain Painter, a scout for the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League. One of the writers was Peter King of Sports Illustrated, who did more than conduct interviews.
He was interviewed by NBC affiliate Channel 11 because he is a member of the network's NFL broadcast team.
Bettis on Farve
[View:/cfs-file.ashx/__key/CommunityServer.Blogs.Components.WeblogFiles/blogngold/Jerome_5F00_Bettis_5F00_on_5F00_DP_5F00_Show_2D00_Favre_5F00_and_5F00_the_5F00_Packers.mp3]Listen to Jerome Bettis answering this question on The Dan Patrick radio show today: 'If you were a Packer veteran right now, how would you feel about the Packer's decision not to want Favre in Green Bay?'
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