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Steelers Blog

Pouncey spreads some holiday cheer

Posted by Teresa Varley on December 7, 2012 – 11:16 pm


Center Maurkice Pouncey made Christmas brighter for kids when he hosted the Jingle Bell Blitz on Friday night. His Team Pouncey 2 of a Kind Foundation partnered with the Father Ryan Arts Center of Focus On Renewal to provide toys to kids in the McKees Rocks area.

“It’s an opportunity for us to give back,” said Pouncey. “It’s awesome to see kids smile. We are so blessed, so the opportunity to give back is something I love.”

The evening included fun activities for families and kids, including cookie decorating, as well as singing Christmas carols.

The highlight, though, was the arrival of Santa Claus and Pouncey, who teamed up to pose for pictures and of course distribute the gifts.

“The holiday season can be a very difficult time for many of the families we serve,” said Pat Moran, Father Ryan Arts Center Director. “Hosting a gift-giving celebration is one of the ways in which we reach out to and support the children and families that we work with, and we are so fortunate and appreciative to partner with Maurkice Pouncey and everyone who supports our efforts to help make the holidays a little brighter for our neighborhood.”

Pouncey has been hosting the Jingle Bell Blitz for three years, and loves it more every time he takes part.

“You understand what Christmas is about and what it means and you enjoy seeing the smiles on kid’s faces,” said Pouncey.

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Who’s in, who’s out this week

Posted by Teresa Varley on December 7, 2012 – 2:52 pm

Linebacker LaMarr Woodley (ankle) is one of three players ruled out for Sunday’s game against the San Diego Chargers at Heinz Field. Also out are tackle Mike Adams (ankle) and cornerback Ike Taylor (ankle).  Quarterback Byron Leftwich (ribs) is questionable.

Probable for the game are WR Antonio Brown (ankle), P Drew Butler (illness), S Ryan Clark (hip), T Willie Colon (knee), WR Jerricho Cotchery (ribs), RB Will Johnson (concussion), S Troy Polamalu (not injury related), QB Ben Roethlisberger (right shoulder), WR Emmanuel Sanders (shoulder), and WR Mike Wallace (knee).

“I feel like we’re getting healthier,” said linebacker James Harrison. “You always want to be healthy when you’re trying to make a run to the playoffs. I guess it is good timing. We lost Ike. That’s a place where we’re going to have to have younger guys step in and do the job.

Harrison said the defense will not change what they do without Taylor on the field.

“We won’t change what we do,” said Harrison. “The next guy in line is going to come in and play just as good, if not better. That’s what we’re hoping for. That’s the standard that we have.”

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Burress looking forward to playing at Heinz Field

Posted by Teresa Varley on December 7, 2012 – 2:18 pm

After a few weeks in the Steelers offense receiver Plaxico Burress feels comfortable and is hoping to get an opportunity to contribute this week.

“It’s coming along,” said Burress.  “I got a few more reps in practice. The more I can get out there with Ben (Roethlisberger) and build a rapport with him the better I will be. Once I show them I am able to react on calls at the line of scrimmage and signals I will be able to do a lot more.”

Burress’ last season with the Steelers was Roethlisberger’s rookie year in 2004, and the two built a good rapport then and it is now being rekindled with the quarterback returning to practice.

“He sees the same things I do,” said Burress. “That is rare in this league and when you have that you can go out and do some things. You learn that over years of playing. His maturation process of playing quarterback is at all time high. When he sees the same things I am seeing, we haven’t missed a beat. It’s going to take a lot of work out there for us. We’re going to have fun doing it.”

In his first two games back Burress has not seen much action, which he understands due to the group of young receivers that includes Mike Wallace, Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders. He is willing to accept a reduced role in the offense, but still wants to contribute.

“I think every player that has the ability to play as long as I have, and you’ve seen guys go through it along the way, you kind of sense that your day will come, when that point and time comes in your career and you’re blessed enough to play that long,” said Burress, who is in his 11th season. “I have three great, young talents in front of me. I’ve never been around a group of guys with that much talent and speed and the things that they can do. They’re all very talented, and I just sit back and watch and enjoy it. I just try to give them all the knowledge I can about the game.”

Burress is excited about returning to Heinz Field this week, the place where his career began, and is hoping to make some plays.

“I’m just anxious to get back into Heinz Field and go out there and pretty much just put a stamp on where it all started for me,” said Burress. “It’s going to be emotional and it’s going to be fun. Hopefully, I can go out there and make some plays and maybe score a couple of touchdowns.

“They called it magic when I was here before and we want to get some of that magic going again.”

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A magical moment for a young fan

Posted by Teresa Varley on December 7, 2012 – 2:14 pm

Five-year old Wesley Smith was shy and slightly overwhelmed as he met some of his favorite Steelers players, but when he saw quarterback Ben Roethlisberger his eyes lit up.

Smith, who has a brain tumor, had the chance to attend Steelers’ practice and meet players through the Make-A-Wish Foundation and will be at Sunday’s game against the San Diego Chargers at Heinz Field.

“It’s extraordinary,” said his mother Robin Smith, from Coeburn, Virginia. “It’s a dream come true. It delights me to see him light up. He has liked the Steelers since he has been little. It’s a magical moment.”

MAW_Ben_sign_12_7_2012 MAW_with_Max_12_7_2012 MAW_withRedman_12_7_2012

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