Steelers Notebook: Pouncey, Smith limited

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FORT WORTH, Texas -- Neither center Maurkice Pouncey nor defensive end Aaron Smith practiced when the Steelers took the field for the first time Wednesday at Texas Christian University.

Pouncey did not take the field at all, spending time rehabilitating his high left ankle sprain while his teammates practiced. Smith, who has not been through a practice since his triceps was torn Oct. 24, went through another day of a "limited" practice, which has included very little over the past two weeks.

The Post-Gazette reported previously that neither will play in the Super Bowl.

Watchful eyes

Here is part of the report from the pool reporter covering the Steelers this week, Sports Illustrated's Peter King:

An ice storm and light snowstorm shut down school at TCU Tuesday and Wednesday, and the Steelers were forced inside the Horned Frogs' all-purpose practice field because of it. With 17-mph winds howling outside, making the wind-chill temperature 4 degrees, the Steelers worked crisply in 51-degree temperatures inside the unheated Sam Baugh Indoor Practice Facility 38 miles west of Dallas.

Pouncey has been walking with a protective boot on the right ankle. Steelers coach Mike Tomlin would not predict if he might be able to even practice by Friday. Pouncey said earlier this week there was a 75-percent chance he would play Sunday, but that may be overly optimistic.

"He's a center who's got a high ankle sprain," said Tomlin, minutes after dismissing his team for the afternoon. "If he played a skill position, we wouldn't be having this conversation. But he's an interior lineman. Whether he practices [by Friday] depends how he responds to treatment."

Noticeable for his performance Wednesday was center Doug Legursky, who faces the daunting task of making his first career start at center in the Super Bowl if Pouncey doesn't play. Steelers centers traditionally have been athletic pullers and blockers, and Legursky fit that description in the first practice of the week. Legursky (6 feet 1, 315 pounds) was quick to get outside on some running plays, the way Tomlin has asked.

"He's an athletic guy," Tomlin said. "And I've challenged him to get out and run and lead that group."

The Steelers resume work at 2:30 p.m. today inside the TCU facility.

Ambassador arrives

Dan Rooney arrived in Dallas-Fort Worth after spending the early part of the week with other U.S. ambassadors in Washington. Many in the organization were eager for him to get here, including offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, who has worked for several other organizations including Kansas City, Indianapolis and Cleveland.

"Mr. and Mrs. Rooney come in from Ireland, they're eating at the hotel on Saturday night with the players, and the guys can't wait to see them," Arians said. "I can't wait to see them. It is special. I don't know if anybody else can replicate it because he got it from his father, and they're passing it down through the family. Everybody wants to do it the Steeler way, but I don't really know if you can."

Ed Bouchette: . First Published February 3, 2011 5:15 AM


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