Steelers Notebook: Pouncey, Smith out despite report
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DALLAS -- Despite how they are being listed on official injury reports, rookie center Maurkice Pouncey and defensive end Aaron Smith will not play in Super Bowl XLV against the Green Bay Packers, sources told the Post-Gazette.
The Post-Gazette reported last week that Pouncey has a broken bone in his left ankle to go with the high ankle sprain he sustained on the opening series in the AFC championship and was not expected to play against the Packers.
Despite that, the Steelers on Friday listed Pouncey as questionable on their injury report, a designation that means he has a 50-50 chance of playing against the Packers. Steelers coach Mike Tomlin did not acknowledge the broken bone when asked about it Monday at the team's first news conference for Super Bowl XLV.
Shortly after the team arrived at its hotel, sources confirmed to the Post-Gazette that Pouncey and Smith will not play in the game. Doug Legurksy will start at center.
"I don't think it's going to affect us at all, personally," right tackle Flozell Adams said about Pouncey. "We have a lot of guys on this team, not just the offensive line, who come in and step up. I have no shadow of a doubt that Doug will do just as good a job, if not better, than Pouncey. I mean that."
Smith has not played since Week 6 after a triceps tendon in his left arm was torn. The Steelers have kept a roster spot open for him, but Smith has not practiced since the injury and will not play. But, like Pouncey, the Steelers are listing him as questionable on their injury report -- leading to misguided speculation he could play.
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger Monday declined to "reflect" on the past in his first Super Bowl media gathering, a signal that he will not get into what happened in Georgia in March nor how he overcame the sexual assault allegations and resulting four-game NFL suspension.
"I think that's a great reflective question and the time for reflecting is probably after the year," Roethlisberger said from the podium at the team's Omni Hotel headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas. He was asked if this game would be redemptive for him.
"So, for me, I can't reflect now. I have to think about this game."
A questioner persisted when he asked if he reflects privately about such things.
"Not yet, no. Honestly, you guys probably think I'm just telling you this, but honestly I don't think it's the time. When you reflect on something, usually you think back because something is over. The season's not over, so for me to sit and reflect on a game or something else, it's just not the time to do it."
Reports of receiver Hines Ward's retirement have continued even though Ward has said he does not plan to retire, that he wants to play another season. He tried to put them to rest again when asked about it.
"Whenever that time comes, trust me, I'll let you guys know," said Ward, who arrived in Texas wearing a cowboy hat and belt buckle. "I don't foresee this being my last game."
Tomlin, on how he dealt with linebacker James Harrison, who threatened to retire after he was hit with a record $75,000 fine this season (later reduced to $50,000):
"Not a lot was needed to be done with James other than maybe give him a day off and let it burn itself out like I knew it would, and it did. He's still James Harrison, and he still plays high-quality football, and I don't think that will change."
First Published February 1, 2011 12:00 am