Steelers name Hartwig starting center, make first cuts

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Steelers coach Mike Tomlin today said that Justin Hartwig has been named the team's starting center.

Hartwig, a seven-year veteran who signed as a free agent this spring, beat out incumbent starter Sean Mahan.

"We watched this battle closely," Tomlin said after today's practice. "We have a level of comfort with his size, strength and range."

Mahan did not practice yesterday. Tomlin said he had to attend to "a personal emergency." Mahan was at the practice facility this morning before receiving a phone call around lunchtime.

The Steelers also made a couple of roster moves today to get down the NFL minimum. They placed injured punter Daniel Sepulveda on injured reserve and cut three players -- kick returner Jeremy Bloom, defensive lineman Martavius Prince and quarterback Mike Potts.

Those moves trim the Steelers roster to 77. They need to reduce the roster to 76 by tomorrow at 4 p.m. The Steelers have an exemption because wide receiver Marvin Allen will be on the team's practice squad as part of the NFL international program.


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