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Insider Only Pouncey inching closer to being named starting center

2010 1st round pick Maurkice Pouncey has been inching closer to becoming the Steelers starting center and all signs point towards Pouncey officially becoming the Steelers No. 1 center by this weekend.

The Steelers returned to the practice field this afternoon and during the team’s scrimmage portion of practice, Pouncey ran with the 1st team at center.
Justin Hartwig ran exclusively with the second team today.
The Steelers enter their most important preseason game Sunday night and Pouncey projects to see significant time with the 1st team (will likely start), putting Justin Hartwig’s future with the Steelers in doubt, less than a year after signing a four extension.
Meanwhile, the Steelers QB’s remain in the dark on Sunday’s rotation. Ben Roethlisberger is expected to play, at least that’s what Mike Tomlin hinted in his post-game news conference on Saturday night.
There hasn’t been any strong indications yet that Dennis Dixon will see significant time with the first team this week but Tomlin did mention following practice that Dixon will get his opportunity to work with the first team.
Dixon though did not take any first team reps in practice on Wednesday.,/div>

The coaching staff though has yet to officially name a starter for week 1, but all signs still point to Byron Leftwich despite Dennis Dixon’s late push.
Antonio Brown is expected to be one of the featured returners against Denver. Head coach Mike Tomlin said last week that Emmanuel Sanders would get his opportunity against Denver but Stefan Logan and Sanders were the primary punt returners today in practice with Antwaan Randle El taking a rep or two.
Ryan Clark will not play and ran with the scout team today. Will Allen replaced Clark as first team safety.
An intriguing battle to keep an eye on this week is the starting left cornerback spot. Bryant McFadden has not locked up the starting spot and is now limited with a pectorial injury.
McFadden missed practice and 2nd year corner Keenan Lewis ran with the first team. Lewis continues to draw praise from the coaching staff.

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William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at

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