Maurkice Pouncey, Aaron Smith Out For Super Bowl

In news that shouldn’t be much of a surprise at this point, center Maurkice Pouncey and defensive end Aaron Smith have been ruled out for Sunday’s game against Green Bay. That means Doug Legursky gets the start at center. As Mike Tomlin would say, “the standard is the standard.” Hey, they’ve been doing it all season, what’s one more game?

You’re probably wondering how that will work for the Steelers offense going up against the mountain of a man that is Packers nose tackle B.J. Raji, and JJ has an excellent look at that matchup over at FanHouse. If the Packers set their defense up the same way they have in the first three playoff games, Legursky may not have to deal with him as much as previously thought.

As for Aaron Smith, well, that simply stinks that he can’t go, especially since they kept him on the active roster all year. I don’t fault the Steelers for hoping he could go, and in all honesty, I’d rather see him be ruled out on Friday as opposed to taking up a spot on the 45, and then realizing he can’t go after the first or second play. So there’s that.

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  • EasyLikeSundayMonday

    Who gets the hat as the 7th OL? Chris Scott has more position flexibility than Hills.

    • Jjcooper

      But he’s never even dressed for a preseason game. I can’t see him going from never even having a snap in training camp to an active roster spot for the Super Bowl. And do remember, Tony Hills dressed and played OT and OG against the Titans.

  • EasyLikeSundayMonday

    Who gets the hat as the 7th OL? Chris Scott has more position flexibility than Hills.

  • EasyLikeSundayMorning

    JJ, good point. I still wonder whether Hartwig was in shape. He could have been the backup C and allowed Essex to keep his positional flexibility.

  • Randy Steele

    FYI: Just read that Dorian Brooks (g) was signed to the 53 off the practice squad.

  • Anonymous

    Why does everyone keep saying that the Packers will not take advantage of a Raji-Legursky match-up just because of how they have lined up until now?

  • ryan


    I think JJ wrote on FanHouse that the Packers didn’t alter their scheme to take advantage of the Eagles’ weakness at center during the wild card game. And Raji, generally, doesn’t line up over the center. So, yes, the Packers could do that, but is that one matchup reason enough to change how Packers’ defensive approach? Where they have been extremely successful?

    I think that’s the conversation. Can the Packers do it? Yes. Does history say they will? No. And most importantly: is it worth it? Well, we’ll see.

  • Randy Steele

    I heard an interesting tidbit from Larry Zierlein, the Steeler’s former o-line coach, about Legursky on a radio show that had Zierlein’s son, Lance, as its host.

    Larry Zierlein admitted that while he was coaching last year, he probably made a mistake not starting Legursky at center instead of Hartwig.

    Zierlein said that the reason he didn’t start Legursky is because he felt that Legursky was more valuable to the team playing backup for the two guard and center positions than he would have been as a starting center, as convoluted as that may sound.

    Anyway, he went on further to claim that while Legursky couldn’t match Pouncey’s speed and strength while blocking at the second level, Legursky’s agility and power at the initial point of attack after the snap is comparable to Pouncey’s, and he expects the Steelers o-line to operate almost as well with Legursky as it would have with Pouncey.

    For what it’s worth.

    • ryan

      Boom. At this stage in the proceedings, I’ll take it.