Polamalu a Steelers captain for the first time

AP

The Steelers have announced their 2014 team captains, and one of the most tenured and respected members of the team has become a captain for the first time in his career.

Safety Troy Polamalu, embarking on his 12th season with the team, will serve as the defensive captain.

Polamalu succeeds safety Ryan Clark, who left for Washington, and defensive end Brett Keisel, who re-signed only recently.  Keisel had been the lone defensive captain in Pittsburgh in 2012.

Offensively, Ben Roethlisberger serves as the captain for the fourth straight year.  Last year, he shared the duties with center Maurkice Pouncey.  This year, it’s only Roethlisberger.

The special-teams captains are safety Robert Golden and kicker Shaun Suisham.  The Steelers didn’t have a special-teams captain in 2013 or 2012.

Polamalu wears the “C” in what could be his last year with the team.  In the offseason, he invited a teammate to work out with him in the offseason — his potential successor, safety Shamarko Thomas.